The catch-22 of time management

If you try to do everything right when it comes up, you’ll forever be interrupted by small tasks.

If you put everything off till later, your plate piles up with small tasks and others are forced to wait for you.

Both have their pluses and minuses. And yes, a balanced approach is the best solution.

But it’s one thing to say that, and quite another to figure out where that balance lies, and when to make exceptions to it.

Wow, that’s one of the most clinically boring scatterthoughts ever. And it’s really not worth posting.

But I’ve already written it, so I guess I’ll just slot this into the “Wastes of Your Time” category and be done with it.


I am eating the most fantastic apple

And I thought you should know.

It’s crispy, juicy, and sweet…kinda like me. And slightly cold from being kept in the fridge…unlike me.

Ha ha.

I thought about making a joke about it being yellow on the outside and white on the inside, but that would be in poor taste. And if you don’t get the joke (which I believe I’ve made before) then tough luck, cuz I’m not going to explain it again. Besides, it’s both red and yellow on the outside, which just wouldn’t make sense.

Seriously though, what a great apple. I think it’s a red delicious, and boy is it ever.

It probably sounds like I’m getting way too excited about a simple apple, but I’m probably overstating a little bit just to underscore how pleased I am.

What’s helping a lot is that I had low-to-medium expectations for this apple. I had bought a few last week and forgotten about them until yesterday, so this is the first one I’ve eaten. I thought I’d missed the “best before” date, and adjusted my expectations accordingly.

It just goes to show, when you set achievable goals, you can be very pleased with the results.


The problem now is that the next apple will receive high expectations, and may not live up to them. It’s a downhill slope from here.

So I’m just going to enjoy this one while I’m able to.

At the same time, by knowing that I know the next apple will have high expectations, I can lower my expectations such that it will still exceed them. But by knowing that I know that I know that, will I really know that?

Yeah, you know what? I don’t feel like doing the “know that you know that I know” bit right now. It requires both of my hands on the keyboard, which is preventing me from enjoying my apple.


In other news, I put my winter tires on this past weekend, just in time for another warm spell. Ah well, what’re you gonna do?

I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do.

I’m gonna finish my apple.


Maybe I’ll grow my hair long

Long-time visitors to Scatterthought will recall that my hair is a popular topic of conversation on this site. Not because I’m extremely vain, but because it amuses me to wax poetic about having good hair days.

Earlier this year, I commented on how I’m having a good hair year, and that’s largely held true. Though I suppose there have been a few off days, hair or there.

Wow, that’s a fantastically bad pun. And I admit, I rewrote the sentence in order to fit in the bad pun. And this coming from someone who generally dislikes puns. Sorry ’bout that.

Anyway, I usually keep my hair pretty short, but I’ve been debating whether it’s time to let it grow out a little. I’m not talking pony-tail length…I don’t even know if I have that in me. But after so many years with pretty much the same short, spiky hair, I’m bored with it. And I’m wondering what can be done.

Change is in the air.

This is coming up, of course, because I need a haircut, one way or another. I just don’t know when I’ll find the time to do it.

Arguably I could go the other way and shave my head, but no one wants to see that.

Hmm, re-reading this scatterthought, I have to say that I owe you an apology for writing such a stupid piece. Seriously, what a waste of your time. Sorry ’bout that.


Whatcha whatcha whatcha want

I have no idea why a Beastie Boys song just popped into my head and forced it’s way into the title of this scatterthought.

That’s right folks, it’s another entirely random, unplanned, and unrehearsed writing from your truly. After a 10.5hr work day, I’m definitely in the right mindset for it. So let’s see what the creative juices have to say, shall we?


Go Canucks?

Wow…is that all I’ve got? No, that can’t be all I’ve got. I refuse to believe that’s all I’ve got. I mean, the cognitive cylinders aren’t all firing after a long day in a too-warm office, but I gotta have more than that.

I suppose I should post a photo of my new car one of these days, but first I have to take one. Actually, there’s lots of things I have to do. A photo of the car should be low on the priority list.

Okay, I admit it. I’ve got nothing right now. I’m just tapped out and need to sleep, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing that inside of five minutes after I post this scatterthought. To be honest, there’s really no good reason to post this…it’s totally useless and contributes nothing to the ongoing history of this site.

But at least I tried. And hey, they can’t all be winners.


I’m all hyped up

I’ve had a wicked busy week, but there are more than a few things to look forward to.

I’ve got something on the go that I’m not quite ready to talk about. Some of you know what I’m talking about, but keep it to yourself right now. The rest of you just get to sit back and wonder.

Suffice to say that if my dream becomes a reality, it’ll be pretty cool.

I’m going to an NBA game with my dad tomorrow. He’s been in Toronto this week on business, but I’m yet to see him.

I get my new car in about a week, though this also means that I have to give up the Protege5 in about a week. Equal parts happy and sad, I guess.

I’m probably going to take golf lessons this April, which should be fun.

Of course, there’s always Battle of the Bards to look forward to (the next one’s on April 21st).

And a quick glance at the weather forecast suggests that maybe…just maybe, spring is gonna stick around at this point. Though it’s better if I keep doubting spring, in which case Mother Nature will prove me wrong. Not that Mother Nature has anything against me; I’m just usually wrong when it comes to predicting the weather.

Isn’t that special? I’m taking one for the team. Rather than trying to predict the weather accurately, I’m using my powers to wrongly predict it so that you an all enjoy the warm weather.

And to be clear, I’m not just saying all of this–I really AM sceptical about the weather. If I weren’t and I were just saying this, then Mother Nature would see through me and we’d all be screwed. And that’d be my fault.

So here you go: I predict another cold spell in April, and even after that I’ll be sceptical until we’ve have three solid weeks of warm weather, with maybe a bit of rain here or there.

Although now I’m running the risk that by being so overtly confident that I’m wrong that Mother Nature will prove me right.

Damn, I just confused myself. Confident…wrong…right.


So either I’m wrong and the weather will remain nice, or I’m wrong about being wrong and the weather will go…umm…wrong. I mean, bad. The weather will go bad.


Consider the butterfly effect, wherein a butterfly flapping its wings in North America is considered the catalyst for a major weather shift or natural disaster halfway around the world. The point simply being that this is an integrated system, and even the breath I just took could have a severe impact on the temperature in Japan, causing a driver to turn on his heated leather seats, which short-circuits his car and kills the power-steering, leading the vehicle to careen out of control.

Careen. Nice. I don’t think I’ve ever used ‘careen’ before.

Anyway, recognizing that the weather is an integrated system that spans the world, Mother Nature would have to take into account all of the people who have a belief about their individual ability to predict the weather. Whereas I claim to be bad at it, someone in Africa might be good at predicting the weather. Meanwhile, someone in the Antarctic might predict that it’ll be cold and snowy…every day of the year.

We’ll ignore that person’s opinion…they’re choosing to live in Antarctica.

Sidebar: I have a friend who has a friend who is/was a firefighter in Antarctica. It sounds silly, but it makes sense. If the buildings burn down, where are you gonna go?

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Mother Nature likely has to calculate the sum total of people’s expectations throughout the world: what they predict, whether they think they’re normally right or wrong, and whether they are normally right or wrong.

Stay with me here.

The third bit sounds like it would be entirely based on Mother Nature’s opinion of the individual: “I, Mother Nature, do not like Russ Wong and, as such, he will always be wrong about my weather.”

What I’m about to prove is that this is not the case. For two reasons.

1. If Mother Nature were to single out specific people to punish, such as myself, she would inadvertently punish people she likes in the process of punishing me.

2. Mother Nature is a concept, not an actual spiritual being with control over our weather patterns. Duh.

So basically, we can toss out the third variable. It’s not a cause, but an effect. So what, we now ask, is the cause?

The cause is the first two variables. Us. What we predict and whether we think we’re normally right or wrong.

We are Mother Nature. We are the weather patterns. Our thoughts are integral to them.

Take my office as an example (thus enabling me to justify this surprisingly-long Scatterthought that has now extended past the end of my lunch break). Individually, my coworkers and I have our own opinions on the weather and whether we’re normally right or wrong in predicting it. As a group, we have a collective opinion on both variables. So, if 70% of the 50 people in my office think that the weather will stay good, and 63% think that they’re normally right about the weather, then we’ll have good weather. If 63% think they’re wrong, then we’ll have bad weather.

This, of course, isn’t quite enough. It doesn’t mean that we’ll have good or bad weather immediately surrounding our office (as amusing as that would be). BUT weather patterns can be charted, and similarly, you could probably chart the various people as they move throughout the world. From people travelling on vacation to people moving to new locales to people staying in the same place for years and years.

But how, you ask, can our thoughts influence the weather? After all, thoughts have no substance.

Not quite. Thoughts have substance in two important ways. On one level, every thought is an electrical impulse in your brain. On another level, thoughts influence our actions and the actions of those around us. Every movement I make–the butterfly effect–is part of the earth’s weather system and, more interestingly, a direct communication between my brain/soul/consciousness and the natural world. My body is, quite simply, a medium. And as Marschall McLuhan so aptly stated, “the medium is the message”.

To steal another line, this time from The Police, “every breath we take, every move we make…”

But Mother Nature isn’t watching us. Mother Nature is us.

This is absolutely fascinating to me in an absolutely meaningless way. And I think I can sum it up in one quick joke.

Question: What do you get when you mix an English degree, a tendency to ramble, a background in cognitive science, a lot of trivial knowledge, and an overactive imagination?

Answer: A big waste of time.