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Smart Watching Dumb Watches

Wednesday May 20, 2020

I blogged about one of my watches before, all excited about how fun it was. I like watches. I love a good ol’ Casio, man.

These days I’m wearing the Casio AE-1400WH quite a bit, because I found one at RURAL-MART for $19 and you bet your boots I know a smart buy when I see one. This is a low-end Casio with tons of features, among which you’ll also find the ability to see the current time on the analog-style time display while you switch through alarm, stopwatch, and timer modes. I always liked that.

The same watch also has five alarms, which is kind of fun to play with. You know what I use those for, besides waking up or remembering to do something?

QUANTIFIED HUMANITY.

I’m guessing you heard the word on the streets and joined the club.

(It’s not too big a deal unless you consistently elevate your own quantification practice, which I think probably also accounts for the difference between viewpoints like “I don’t get why Quantified Self is a big deal” and “holy sh**”)

Anyway, that’s right…I use my Casio alarms to track things! Calories, hydration, protein, whatever. Mostly calories though.

And yeah, there are some issues. For one, it’s impossible to store a number like “175 calories” because your model M1-A1 Improvised Casio Watch Alarm Calorie Counter will go up to 159 before it needs to jump up to 200 calories.

(If you’re hating on that I got news for you, son: I got 99 problems, but counting calories in increments smaller than 50 ain’t one. Also, this little feature can easily help you lose weight by overstating your calories consumed)

Plus here’s another little gem: Every time I change the alarm, it helpfully turns itself on. So I guess it’s possible to starve yourself and end up waking to a Casio alarm at like 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. (100 or 200 calories). In this way, we reward a balanced diet and punish extreme dieting.

Watches, man.

Oh, and if my schedule is in shambles, of course that’s when I notice that I LOVE a good ol’ G-Shock. Because my schedule is in shock and I may literally die from terrible time management. Something like that. But this truth is pretty consistent.

The opposite case: On weekends when all my work has been done for the week, I think, “maybe I’ll get one of those Snoopy watches.” Time for playful weekend scheduling.

(The reconciliation of schedules is generally helpful to a guy like me, just in case this is lost on anyone)

(Parenthetical 5: It does feel pretty clever to notice this stuff, and observe it happening again and again. At the same time, writing it out is kind of embarrassing…so it’s a good thing I have coached enough people to know that EVERYBODY has embarrassing stuff going on, and often the sooner it’s talked out, the better.)

Another thing that happens: If I’m shopping while bored, my ULTRA-contingency-planning process kicks in, which is I’m pretty sure why I bought a solar-powered G-Shock for my birthday recently. Because…it should last until the sun burns up? No, but gosh darnit, it’s solar and I think somehow that will make things easier in the long run.

It hasn’t arrived yet, and it’s nothing fancy, and I also bought it in “box is practically exploded” state to get a nice discount, so we’ll see how things go. But now that my mindset is back in normative mode, I’m pretty sure I my regular non-solar watches will retain their wearability despite the presence of this apocalyptic-times-anticipatin’ monster.

Sometimes I even hop on Aliexpress and buy a HUGE $10 “fitness watch” just for kicks. The build quality is good enough for day-to-day stuff, and a lot of them watches got “good movement” or so a friend tells me.

Also it’s just impossible to get a reasonably-priced “yellow camouflage” watch these days without paying an arm and a leg.

On the cost

I have a few friends who buy $5000 watches, and that’s all they wear. And I have a friend who tells me that he knows celebrities who collect watches that cost $200K and up, and this one time a bunch of those got stolen, or something. Man those guys need some kind of precious scheduling I guess. They’re probably avoiding scheduling out the rest of their lives, something like that. You know? The old man’s gold watch symbol. Time is precious.

Which, it’s all cool if that’s their thing. Personally I find that sensory breadth is way more rewarding to me than sensory depth, so I try to keep the budget low and the collection varied.

Plus I once lost a titanium G-Shock that was worth about as much as my entire collection is worth right now. Losing that watch was not cool at all. And I’ll probably find it in a box someday.

This also brings to mind a time when a friend approached me at a social event and said, “I used to be just like you, buying cheap watches.” Thank god it was really easy to cut that conversation short. Mister Expensive Watch Guy over here. Geez.

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