Opinion

Trying to avoid work, a learning opportunity

By Dennis Minich

I don’t know if it is just the time of year, the crummy weather or the change in my detergent, but it has just been hard to get motivated to get the things done I need to get done. I have so many chores which need to be completed and so many errands that need to be run, but all of that has to wait until the newspaper work is done. It really puts a wrench in the gears when I can’t get motivated to do my newspaper work. It would be easy to turn on the TV, but then I would genuinely be shirking my responsibilities and that’s not my intent, my intent is simply to do something to get sufficiently motivated to do something. Simple enough?

What has happened most recently is sitting down to write, but first I have to check email. While on email I want to see what is happening on Facebook and while I am there some kind of ad or story will catch my eye. Since I am already kind of doing what I should be doing (checking email) I have no problem clicking the link and reading whatever tidbit of knowledge is being thrust my way. Of course, one story has a tease which leads to another story and another and by then I am watching videos or listening to old tunes and suddenly I am back realizing I haven’t finished my newspaper work and I can’t run errands or do chores until my writing is done.

In my defense, when I start surfing the net, I learn all kinds of things and really isn’t that what we are all supposed to be doing, learning and improving ourselves? For example, when I was putting off writing yesterday, I learned foreign tourists don’t like our bread because they think it is too sweet. Maybe that gives a new context to living on bread and water, I don’t know. This one I found really confusing: some foreign countries don’t understand why we put ice in things like soft drinks and tea. But then in some countries they make their ice cubes out of tea so when they put them in their tea it won’t water their drinks down. I also saw in Europe you don’t get free refills on your soft drinks, that’s an American thing. God bless America.

Last week I didn’t want to work so suddenly I delved into the word of pop culture. I learned that “Muskrat Love” and “Candyman” were rated two of the worst “Top 40” songs of all time. I can’t argue, but how did “Run Joey Run” and “The Night Chicago Died” not make that distinguished list? I also learned “Caddy-shack 2” and “Tarzan the Ape Man” (yes, the one with Bo Derek) were two of the worst movies of the 1980s according to critics. No arguments here. But then I found “Xanadu” on the list and the writers lost all credibility with me, after all anything with Olivia Newton-John and music by ELO can’t be the worst of anything.

Now on another list I learned Charlie Sheen and Julia Roberts are jerks in real life. Frankly, neither of those came as a big surprise, but the fact that Lucille Ball made the list sheds an entirely new light on my classic TV favorites.

There are some relevant and important things to know floating out there in cyberspace. Last Thursday while avoiding work I learned excessive body hair has been linked to higher IQs. I guess that caveman in the insurance commercials was rightfully upset when it was touted “So easy a Caveman can do it.” Now figure this one, the human brain supposedly has the same memory capacity as four terabytes on a computer. What’s frightening is even with that capacity about half the time I can’t remember where I left my phone.

Tonight, I learned if you look in the right place, you can find the answer to those questions you always wanted to ask. For example, an average four-year-old child will ask 450 questions a day. I didn’t see an answer, but I would estimate the average four-year-old child is given incorrect answers about 425 times a day. Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth II were both born in 1926, no comment just interesting. While in the social sciences, the term “OK” derives from President Martin Van Buren who was known as “Old Kinderhook” because he was raised in Kinderhook, New York. “OK” clubs were created to support Van Buren’s campaigns. An equally impressive piece of presidential trivia: George H.W. Bush is the only president in history to have thrown up on a foreign head of state. I wonder if one of his fraternity brothers later admonished him, “You didn’t throw up in front of Dean Wormer, you threw up on Dean Wormer.”

Finally, in the world of mathematics: We all know, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions, but what comes next? By adding zeroes, you get a quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion and undecillion.

And with that research I avoided days full of chores and a variety of errands.

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Categories: Opinion