That’s that I said to my wife this morning: Good thing we’ve got these smartphones! Or pretty much any device with Google. (Or Microsoft’s Sydney, if you’re the adventurous type.)
This morning, after my shower (sure, I work from home now, but occasionally I do still take a shower), I was drying off and for the life of me, could not remember how many guitar pickers there were in Nashville. I was thinking it was 1,552, but I kept running it through my head, and I wasn’t at all sure about it.
Fortunately, my iPhone was right there on the cabinet where we keep the towels, so I didn’t have to wait until getting dressed and leaving the room to get my answer. Before I started shaving, I Googled it:
Nashville cats, play clean as country water
Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew
Nashville cats, been playin’ since they’s babies
Nashville cats, get work before they’re two
Well, there’s thirteen hundred and fifty two
Guitar pickers in Nashville
And they can pick more notes than the number of ants
On a Tennessee ant hill…
And so forth. So I was like 200 git-tar pickers off. No telling what would have happened if I couldn’t have found out right away. My head might have exploded or something.
I don’t know what we did before having these phones, and Google. Well, I sort of know. I had a dictionary on my desk at the paper. I tried to avoid looking at it, and fortunately I’m good at spelling so I seldom had to. But occasionally I would think, “Is that really the word I want in this context?” and open it.
Well, that would be it for awhile. I’d look up that word, and the definition would contain another word that I just had to look up or bust. And something about that word would remind me of another one I hadn’t run into in awhile, and this suggested fond memories, and couldn’t resist looking that one up too for old times’ sake, and before you knew it, I’d have been darting here and there in that volume for 15 or 20 minutes, with deadline bearing down on me.
Of course, today we have Google and HTML links, which are among the most wonderful inventions in human history, and the problems I had back in the day with a mere dead-tree dictionary look pretty pitiful. Or at least quaint.
But it’s fun. Anyway, after looking up the Lovin’ Spoonful, I thought about taking a crack at Wordle, but resisted the temptation and went ahead and shaved. Discipline, baby, discipline.
Managing one’s time takes more willpower than our fathers e’er dreamed of…