Where Does Time Go?


I’m serious, think about it – Where does it go? If one consumes matter in pretty much any form it turns into energy. If one uses energy it generally results in ‘work’ (light, movement, heat, etc…) [E=mc2 and all…]. But where does time go? What does it do? I can feel it passing, I can see that time has come and gone, sometimes time seems to drag on and on, other times it’s gone in a flash.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s New Year’s Eve 2010 – tomorrow will be the first day of 2011 (or twenty-eleven, which sounds pretty cool by the way). I didn’t do nearly all the things I had planned or expected to do in 2010.  I intended to shoot more than I did, I wanted to post more often and more consistently than I did, and I expected I would have finished my software projects before the end of the year. There is also a lot I wanted to learn this year – I love learning new things, and I did learn a lot, just not what, when and where I expected.  There are many excellent photographers and software designers/engineers that I follow.  I’ve been wondering how they all get so much done and are able to post photos every day (or nearly every day) or contribute to great open source software…. and have time to tweet, blog, message, and talk about all they do.

I took a few minutes to reflect on 2010 to see where my time is going – after all, I have the same 24-hours a day everyone else has.  I found it enlightening:

  • There are 168 hours in a week
  • I work for Hewlett-Packard (the only job that really provides any income) about 50 hours a week
  • I sleep about 40 hours a week (I wish it was less, but probably should be more)
  • I work for a start-up company (can’t give any details on that yet) 15 hours a week
  • I work for my own company (Natural Art Media) doing photography and software design & coding about 20 hours a week
  • I do web-site maintenance, calendar, and news updates; stage setup/tear-down & sound mixing, and a few other things for my church that add up to about 9 hours a week
  • As near as I can tell I spend about 8 hours a week cooking and eating
  • My best guess is that I spend 7 hours a week exercising, getting ready for the day and getting to work (I only live 5 minutes from work)

That leaves 19 hours left for anything else (everything else I do that is not listed above).  Edit: My wife just read this and said, “What about your relationships?” – I think that’s my point. They are buried in the 19 “left-over” hours. This is by no means a complaint – just an observation that maybe I need to cut some things out in order to progress and get better at the things I do want to do.  Or, maybe I need to be less of a perfectionist and become efficient in all that I do. In any case, I’m looking forward to working it out in “twenty-eleven”.

Rather then write a retrospective on 2010, which you don’t want to read and would take me too long to write; I’ll just end the year with this photo of a clock from the archives.  If you’ve ever seen (by that I mean, actually observed it – not just glanced at it) this clock then you know where it’s located.  I’ll leave you to guess where it’s at – leave a comment with your guess and sometime I’ll add to this post and let you all know where it is.  I’ll give you a hint though:  I was standing in a long line when I photographed this and nearly 30 minutes later I could still see it (as I was still standing in line).


Where does time go? Nikon D200 18-200mm 3.5-5.6, 123mm, f/7.1, ISO 100, 1/200 sec

PS. I have a theory why time speeds up as you get older, maybe I’ll outline it sometime before it’s too late. Don’t forget to leave your guesses about the clock in the comment box below…

  1. Geekgirl

    There are grapevines all around the clock so I am thinking it’s at a winery somewhere. Since we were in Sonoma last August, that is another reason to think so.

  2. John

    The grapevines do suggest a vineyard or winery, however this clock is not at a winery – sorry.
    There have been some guesses on Facebook that it might be a sundial and in the northwest. Sorry – it’s a clock, not a sundial. it is not in the northwest – look at that strong sun and shadow – we don’t get that much sun here :-)

  3. John

    A few more hints:
    * Thousands (probably millions) of people have seen it though they may not have “looked” at it, so probably don’t remember it.
    * It is in California.

    The next hints I have will probably be dead giveaways, so that’s all for today. Extra points for telling what time it is.

  4. Geekgirl

    California Adventure? Somewhere in the wine country area?

  5. John

    Close, but not California Adventure or in the wine country. Norm on Facebook made a guess that is is Disneyland.

    I was going to go another round and ask for “Where in Disneyland?” and “What Time is It?” But I think I’ll just give the information.
    This is the Fantasy Land Clock called “Once Upon A Time”. It’s outside what was once the Once Upon A Time princess gift shop. it’s on the back side of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and you can see it while standing in line for may of the Fantasy Land rides (like Alice In Wonderland, Tea Cups, Peter Pan, etc…). it does keep time: It’s about 8:53am. The EXIF data for this photo (for those of you who might have peeked) is October 21, 2006 8:52:34.

    Thanks for playing!

  6. Geekgirl

    Wow, I don’t even remember seeing that clock (obviously!) Next time we go I’ll pay more attention to what you’re taking photos of :-)

  7. Dave

    I missed the game but this image is cool. I love the shadow and even before I saw the post revealing where it was taken, I knew it was in Disney Land. I couldn’t have told you where, but the design aesthetic is very “Small World” in the clock mechanism itself. One of my favorite things about this image is the color and luminance changes in the shadow. I also love how the shadow reveals the the true depth of the iron circles that hold the numbers. The literal view you selected of the object suggests a very thin pair of rails, it is that shadow that reveals them to be cylinders. Nice!

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