He Needs More Hours in the Day

By Joe Darby

I’m overwhelmed. There’s not enough hours in the day. How can I fit it all in?

Oh, no, there’s no crisis around the household. I’m not talking about something like a major plumbing leak, a dead battery in the car and unexpected visits by relatives, all in the same day.

What’s going on is something I never thought would be a problem for me — not enough time to watch all the TV that I have access to. This is particularly unexpected because I’m an avid reader and I’ve always spent a lot more time with books than I have before the TV screen.

And that’s still basically the case, which means time with my beloved books makes it even more difficult to see all the TV programming that I want to.

It all started with Netflix. We first subscribed to the Netflix DVD program a few years ago and we’ve seen lots of great movies and drama series that otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy.

Then a year or two ago we got Netflix streaming. I’m sure most of you know how that works. You can watch great drama anytime you want to. If you want to sit down for four hours and watch four episodes of The Tudors, for example, you can do it. If you have the time, of course.

In my Netflix DVD queue I have about 100 discs that I want to see. And I have countless hours of shows lined up to watch on streaming. I could basically keep up with those and not get too far behind, until recently when I began recording lots of other shows.

What happened was, I switched from cable to satellite and for some strange reason, I took advantage of the very easy new method of recording shows and I now have gosh knows how many dramas, documentaries and every day network TV shows waiting to be viewed.

I record pretty much all the network shows that I want to see, so I can watch them without having to sit through the commercials. Yes, I always fast forward through the sales pitches. The only exception is our very favorite show, the New York police drama Blue Bloods, which comes on at 9 p.m. on Friday. Mary and I have a tradition that we always watch BB live, unless we’re out of the house. And then we record it, of course.

Anyway besides our network shows, I go through the TCM schedule to pick out any great old classic movies we may want to see. Plus I mine the Smithsonian Channel, which has a really good selection of historical and nature documentaries. I have shows on my waiting list on everything from great combat aircraft to legendary baseball players to nature shows on the evolution of life.

Also, with my satellite service I got the MLB Network, which allows you to watch almost every baseball game being played that day. I tell you, my friend, I have seen LOTS of baseball in the last few months.

And I record all the LSU football games. I don’t watch them live because the tension if just too darned nerve wracking. So, when they win (which is always so far this season) I watch the recording. But if they lose, I will just erase the recording!

And finally, I am a big fan of the Great Courses. You’ve probably seen ads for these, or you might be a user yourself. The courses, presented on DVDs by popular university professors, range from history to psychology to self help advice to science, etc.. I buy lots of the history courses and they usually total about 12 to 18 hours of lectures. I have these courses stacked up on a waiting list too.

And of course all of this watching and book reading goes along with the every day chores and duties of life, ranging from cutting the grass to going out to lunch, which we kind of do a lot. Oh yes, and there’s the time I like to devote to my stamp and coin collection. I am retired, but like I said, there’s only so many hours in the day.

I guess that’s one reason why I’ve become a real night owl. Around 11 p.m. every night I start getting revved up. The next few hours, until 2 a.m. or so, are my special time. I may spend it catching up on my reading or watching a documentary on the F-4 Phantom fighter jet. But the night time is the right time for just relaxing and doing what I want. I suppose if I could get by on two hours sleep I would so do.

I can’t do that, of course. But it does mean I am a slow starter the next day. And that will continue to be the case, I suppose, unless we suddenly find a few extra hours in the day. Not too likely, though, huh?