Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Focusing on the Flash

Dean told me of a recent news story that discussed how multi-tasking can diminish a person's ability to focus.  I'm waiting to hear "it's important for me to single-task in order to maintain my finely-tuned cognitive skills" the next time I suggest to him, (eyes rolling), that he can't do more than one thing at a time because he's a man.

Actually, he could have probably used that reasoning this past weekend while we were hiking with friends.  We have been hiking with these friends for years and the hikes have always had at least two things in common:  it's always rainy or buggy and Dean and Larry always walk so slow that if we chose to, Heidi and I could easily lap them.  The guys would have us believe their leisurely pace is required in order to view, touch, analyze and discuss all the geologic and botanical wonders surrounding them.  I, however, believe it's because they really can't do more than one thing at a time.  They walk, stop, point, stop, talk ... walk, stop, point, stop, talk.

Heidi and I do our best to slow our normal-person pace and stay with them, but that always proves to be impossible.  It's like telling a geologist he is not allowed to pick up a rock and lick it.  It just can't be done.  Within a few minutes we are so far ahead of them we are required to leave signs so they know which fork in the trail we took ... a water bottle here, a granola bar there ... 

At one point we had run out of "bread crumbs" and decided we'd better stop and wait for them to catch up.  We sat by a nice stream, feet up, relaxing, and waited for them to saunter along til they found us.  When they finally did, we feigned interest and asked what they'd been talking about during their hike.  They launched into some complicated theory as to the origins of the crumbling foundations and chimneys they'd seen along the way, the correct names of trees they'd seen, and other stuff.  I don't remember since I wasn't really listening. 

After they'd finished expounding upon their highly intelligent discussions they turned to us and said, "and what have you ladies been talking about?"  Without a second's hesitation we both replied, "hot flashes." 
There are advantages to woman-made breezes while hiking.  And in case you're wondering, there was a slight rain shower on this hike.

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2 comments:

abby rose said...

At least Dad has someone who will listen to his rock-talk once in awhile.

Art Elser said...

Ah yes! This hike sounds much like a man's comments about women shopping. They must examine, touch, check the temperature of, finger, handle, squeeze, stare at, hold up, check for size, discuss, rub, smell, and closely examine every piece of merchandise in the store. They don't usually lick stuff though.

A man can only stand so much of this behavior and creeping pace and must either wander off to find a good book store or find a place to sit down and catch a few Zs.

We don't have the flashes, though, so I'll give you that. A shopping trip, however, can generate some frustration heat. :-)