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Did Ya? by Matt Tracy I wonder if anyone ever thought of any of the stuff I propose? [597 words]
Turning Fifty by Danny I. Spitler The author takes a reflective look at reaching the half century mark. [999 words]
The Morning Shower
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The Morning Shower
Does anyone else suffer these issues associated with the morning shower?
[940 words]
Danny I. Spitler
-I am a successful business executive who is finally returning to writing after giving it up in College to pursue a business career. I travel extensively, hike, golf, and scuba dive. I live with Pam, my loving companion and fellow traveler.
[December 2000]
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The Morning Shower
Danny I. Spitler

At the risk of being branded as incurably anal retentive, I am prepared to admit that I have spent many years trying to find solutions to a secret dilemma. I have attempted to deal with this situation in silent contemplation for most of my life. Even my wives were unaware of the struggle that I faced almost every morning of my life. Am I the only one who stresses over the amount of water that is wasted waiting for the shower water to get hot?

Having grown up in desert environments and having spent my earlier working years in irrigation and ground water related industries, I have always been well aware of the need to protect and conserve our most precious desert resource----our water. Yet every morning I allow dozens of gallons of clear, usable water to drain unused into the sewer system simply because it hasn't reached a temperature that my naked body can endure.

Since my water heater is located on the opposite side of the house from my master bathroom the time that it takes to transport the heated water through the household plumbing and to my shower nozzle seems interminable. It takes 97 seconds. If only there were a way to take this wasted water and pipe it from the shower drain to all the thirsty plants in my yard.

If this were simply a case of wasted water perhaps I could deal more effectively with the stress of it all, but we are also dealing with time and energy. This compounds the stress of the situation immensely. As if the waste of water were not enough to worry about, there is the question of time.

I think I first became aware of the value of time management at the age of nine or ten years old when I saw the classic movie Cheaper by the Dozen. The movie was about a family with a dozen children. The father and mother were efficiency experts. One scene in the movie showed the father having his wife use a stop watch to determine if it was faster to button his vest starting with the top button and working down or starting with the bottom button and working up. The scene made a huge impression on me, and all of my life I have found myself dong the same analysis on dozens of little tasks that I perform each day; always attempting to squeeze extra seconds out of a task by doing it in the most efficient method available. A semester class in Time and Motion Study taken during my senior year at ASU only added to my compulsion.

Now, in addition to having to deal with the stress of wasted water, I have approximately 97 seconds of time to try and use productively while waiting on the hot water to arrive. As of yet I have not come up with a consistently acceptable use of the 97 seconds. The best fit is teeth brushing. If you push it you can do an adequate job of brushing in 97 seconds. However, I normally prefer to shower before eating breakfast, and brushing teeth just prior to eating is a bit of a waste in and of itself.

Bladder relief is a second possibility; however, there are two arguments against using this act to productively fill the time. First of all my prostate has reached the age that there is no guarantee that I can consistently complete the task in the allotted time frame. Secondly, it makes no sense to use the additional water needed for a toilet flush when the procedure could be accomplished in the shower utilizing the same time slot as your shampooing. This is a much more efficient use of both time and water resources. A fair warning to my male readers. As you know most women view this practice as somewhat distasteful despite the fact that it is totally logical and practical. So it is best to use discretion if your shower is in "line of sight" or if you have worked out a joint water savings plan that includes showering together (lucky dog). However, back to the original problem of utilizing the 97 seconds productively. This remains a constant challenge and I am open for suggestions.

Keep in mind that the timing must be exact. If you were to perform a task that does not finish at the exact moment that the water hits the correct temperature then the whole problem becomes much worse. If you fail to enter the shower at the exact moment that the water temperature is bearable then you are not only wasting water; you are wasting HOT water. It takes energy to heat the water, so if any hot water gets into the drain, without first touching your body, then you are wasting water AND energy. Allowing hot water to pass unused from the shower nozzle and into the sewer system is simply unforgivable. I believe that one of the contributing factors to a failed marriage occurred when my wife instructed me to leave the shower running when I got out since she would be using it within a couple of minutes. I was forced to inform her of approximately how many gallons of HOT water would be wasted in those "couple of minutes."

Since I have not been able to come up with the perfect solution to this monumental dilemma after many years of trying, I have decided to solicit suggestions from my readers. If you have come up with workable solutions that address these issues please share them with me. Perhaps together we can manage to address and conquer this most serious problem.



"Cute, funny, and very smart. :) Good job, You have a good way of writing sophisticated humor." -- Christy Mack.
"since you have expended quite a few minutes on this dilemma, maybe it is time to move onto something else that is not so rhetorical in nature....." -- georgi.


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© 1999 Danny I. Spitler
November 2000

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