My Now – 2/16/2023

Anatomy of Another Online Distraction: The Outdoor Temperature Check

Before exiting the house to run errands I, to gauge jacket needs, visit for the temperature. This should take 10 seconds, maximum. But as I do I inexplicably find mandatory need to possess the weather acumen of Today Show meteorologist, Al Rooker.

In addition to the temperature I study the hourly forecast, the five-day forecast and the 10-day forecast. Why? I’m heading out the door to buy toothpaste, not harvest sugar beets.

I then, seemingly without choice, begin checking the forecasts of favorite towns – Taos, New Mexico, Moab, Utah, Burlington, Vermont – that I have zero foreseeable plans of visiting.

Next to Moab’s name, in the top-of-the-page banner, is a red weather alert ball, which, I, despite being two time zones away, am powerless to ignore. I click the ball and read of flash flood warnings for Carbon, Emery and Grand counties. But I only know the region by towns. So I, via a different tab, study a Utah county map to learn Moab roosts in Grand County.

Again, why? I’m driving to an upstate New York Walgreens, not leading a mule train into Moab’s Blue John Canyon.

I then, as if to purposely annoy myself, direct attention to‘s menu of “Don’t Miss” videos with vital-to-my-day titles like “Watch as Roof Full of Snow Falls on Children Below” and “Diver Saves Crab in Distress.”

And, as usually is the case when online, while-I’m-here reasoning seizes the brain and I then exit to check email.

In all, a quick temperature check that should have taken 10 seconds slobbered into an unintended 16-minute time heist. or 303.229.0583.