Friday, December 18, 2009

The stop watch

Or, curmudgeon strikes again.

I have a treadmill, a lightweight thing which takes up as little space as it can while still being functional. It's over a year old and so has started misbehaving. (There may not be an app for that, but there's bound to be a time-limit on a chip.) Its misbehavior centers on not showing me how far I've treaded once we get into the 1.5 miles range. Nor will it easily let me see my time. It's stuck on some number at the bottom which I think is supposed to be my heartbeat except I'm not even touching the monitor. Too many gizmos on this lightweight machine.

But that's not the problem. I thought if I bought a stop watch and affixed it with Velcro to the machine, then I could estimate when to speed up (from 4.0 to 4.7 mph over the course of exercise) and be done with it. I would win; the treadmill would not.

Well, the treadmill may not be winning, but the stop watch has a good chance.

All I wanted was a stop watch. That's all it had to do: zero out, click on, give me a readout in minutes and seconds, click off, zero out. Simple really.

Or not. I took myself to Walmart where I found two, one in the watch department, one in the sports. They were both $10. The sports department one seemed to be a simpler operation and therefore more suitable until I took it up to the watch department and found that the latter's choice had a back light button.

My exercise room is dark except for the light from the TV and the stubborn treadmill display. I needed the backlight, which determined my choice.

The instructions never said a word--not one--about how to use the stop watch. Instead it was all about pushing button S3 so many times to bring up the date and button S2 to set it. And it didn't work. Those were not the instructions for the stop watch I had bought! Plus, I didn't want the date! Or the day of the week, or the time. I wanted a stop watch!

Then, through a miracle (or just pushing enough buttons before I took the thing back and held out for a sports equipment store), I managed to push the right combination and there appeared--zeroes! A stop watch at last. I pushed it on, watched the numbers whiz by. Off. Reset. Did it again. Gingerly affixed it to the treadmill and left it in that mode. I don't think I would ever find it again and woe be to the person who pushes S3 unawares.

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