a somewhat strange set of seemingly disconnected thoughts…
quickly can you complete a series of tasks in your home?
types of materials do you take for granted will be located in
a certain place, especially when you need them but haven’t specifically
looked for them in some time?
long is a minute?
motivates you to take action at any particular moment?
bit of context might be deserved. So, let’s connect the dots.
night, Terry mentioned that the display on our thermostat didn’t
light up for her. Without a ton of explanation, the short and
sweet idea to draw from this statement of hers is that the batteries
needed to be replaced.
done this before. I’ve done it the hard way. I’ve done it the
easy way. The main difference between the hard and easy options?
the unit operates electrically. Yours probably does as well. You
know them, and that they have a battery backup. No worries there.
But when the batteries need replacing on ours, you need to remove
the main part of the thermostat from the wall, which of course
means that you’ve disconnected it from the system circuit. And
when you do that to replace the batteries, well… duh… that in
turn brings you to the point where you’ve removed all power from
our case, we have one minute… sixty seconds… to exchange the batteries.
Anything longer than that, and when everything is back in place
the display will be flashing with a request to set the time. Anything
longer than that and, I’m afraid, it becomes a procedure.
us, most of the procedure involves stuff that we aren’t really
concerned about. We don’t use the scheduling and advanced options
of the system. It controls not only the heat but also the air
conditioning, so we manually turn the system off and on throughout
the year as needed while adjusting the temperature based on the
old fashioned and slightly out of style way we’re feeling. (For
instance: “I’m cold. Are you cold? Let’s turn the heat up a bit.”)
That means there isn’t a lot to reset. But, it also means we don’t
use a ton of the buttons with any regularity, and it’s really
easy to keep hitting the Set and Run and arrow buttons to the
point where when all you wanted to do was replace the batteries
and wind up needing the instruction booklet because just wanting
to get things back to normal you slid right into the scheduling
options and have the temperature jumping to 96-degrees at 10:45pm
resetting our scene… Terry noticed the thermostat display is dark.
I’m going to replace the batteries. Ready… set… GO!
off the wall, grab two AA batteries, old ones out and new ones
in and… crap, I grabbed two dead batteries. The one-minute exchange
is not going to happen, so I need to break out the instruction
booklet to confirm that the “…if you’re not setting the schedule…”
steps I’m attempting are the actual correct steps to be taking.
few extra moves, but everything is handled, and I wake up this
morning, it’s trash day, and while getting the recycling to the
end of the driveway I begin wondering…
kind of things do I do around the house that have a certain pattern,
and are there any others I have to get done in under a minute?
addition to prepping for trash day… a task that does have a few
requirements since everything needs to be in place for an arrival
that could happen before I wake up even though the truck usually
stops between 10 and noon… I did come up with a few.
lightbulbs. Yup. Lightbulbs. Some of our lamps and fixtures use
different styles of bulbs. There’s a big difference between getting
to the bulb in ceiling of the garage, replacing something for
the lamp on my nightstand, and taking care of the backyard flood
For me this is because of our dryer. I try to alternate between
loads of laundry that will be headed to the dryer or hanging something
to dry. Keeps things from backing up a bit. My pattern differs
during the year based on putting something outside on the line
as opposed to inside on a rack, but it’s still a pattern.
are a few others, but here’s where things get a bit strange… because
of all the tasks I thought about, none of them involve a stopwatch.
Or, more precisely, a need to finish things in a certain amount
of time or else.
having gas in the lawn mower before I move out to the lawn to
resetting the times on clocks twice a year… from batteries in
smoke detectors to adding orange juice to the shopping list… of
any and all tasks and chores and repairs and to-do items… I couldn’t
come up with one that involved a countdown.
two batteries in sixty seconds. Make it, and the whole process
becomes a unit off, batteries swapped, unit back in place we’re
done procedure. Don’t make it, and settings and instruction booklets
and scanning indexes for information on what page to find battery
replacement steps and so much additional fun gets added to the
I need lightbulbs. I do know where they are located. I can find
screwdrivers, even those smaller precision kits for special tasks,
basically in the dark and probably without needing to open my
eyes. But knowing that I have a few good batteries on hand… especially
in a pressure situation… and I suppose the whole thing goes a
about it for now. The trash still hasn’t been picked up, so I’m
wondering if I need to call about that. And I should head out
to get some AA batteries. Things to do. (And not much time to