Understanding Limits At $100 A Minute

  • Posted on: 14 December 2016
  • By: David Trammel

 photo speeding2_zpsskjfn7vb.jpg

My blog post for today, is a lesson in Limits.

If I gave you one hundred dollars for a minute of your time, you would consider that good deal, wouldn't you? After all, you get over 525 thousand minutes a year in your Life, trading me one of those minutes for that much money seems like a very good deal. Doesn't it?

Before I hand you that money though, let me give you a little background on our deal.

I drive to work, like the vast majority of Americans. Five days a week, and some Saturdays. Its roughly 15 miles from my home to work, 12 of that on the Freeway. The speed limit for that stretch decreases from 60 to 55 just before the Onramp that I use, as you get deeper into the City. Depending on traffic it can take me 20-25 minutes to get to work.

Its the part on the Freeway that pertains to our deal.

I used to go to work at 4:30 am at my previous job, and traffic was always light. Now I go in at 1:30 pm, its busier. I have moderated my driving this last decade or so as I learned to live more economically. That 30 mile round trip to work, costs me the equivalent of two gallons of gas or about $6 at the present. The first half hour of my work is just paying the price to get there and back. I own a well worn but serviceable 1991 Ford Explorer, which is one of the early SUVs, smaller than the behemoths of today. Its a great little vehicle for a craftsman like myself, enough room to haul a few things even if they stick out the back, but economical enough to use day to day.

If you drive a lot today, you have no doubt noticed like I have, there are "bloody maniacs out there now!".

I usually drive just above the speed limit, 55-59 miles per hour. An acquaintance who was cop always told me, the police tend to ignore you unless you get 5 miles per hour or so above the speed limit. Its not worth their time pulling you over until that point. Even then, they really prefer to go after people going faster.

Also, I have better uses for my money than to pay a traffic ticket.

More and more, I feel like I'm the odd man out, the old foogie doing 30 miles per hour in the fast lane. I have people speed by me during my entire short trip. I tend to drive in the middle lane, and I have people wizz by me on either side all the time. Where they are going in such a rush, I always wonder.

Lets look at some numbers, shall we?

55 miles per hour = 0.97 miles a minute.  Travels 12 miles in 12 minutes, 22 seconds.

70 miles per hour = 1.16 miles a minute. Travels 12 miles in 10 minutes, 20 seconds.

If I speed up, I would be saving approximately two minutes travel time, yes?

The thing is, which directly pertains to our earlier deal, the local police departments have noticed the increase in speeding as well. Here in fact is a local news article on the exact stretch of Freeway I travel.

"Saint Louis Cities Tag Speeders With Heavy Fines"

I could probably safely play the odds, increase my speed and shave off two minute a day in travel but when I do get stopped, then doesn't the consequences seem to make those two minutes saved kind of pricey?

Not to mention, I'll spend 15-20 minutes sitting on the side of the road as the officer writes the ticket, AND be late for work.

(My employer has a "bonus" for perfect attendance, so I'd lose that as well.)

Two hundred dollars is a third of my monthly rent. Its all of my monthly utilities and some. Its a nice new tool for my basement workshop.

Its half my weekly paycheck!

So, now that you've read our deal, are you really willing to give me a few minutes of your time? Or should I say, you pay $100 for a minute of YOUR time...


As you learn the lessons of Green Wizardry, one of the fundamentals you are going to have to take to heart, is there ARE limits in Life.

Especially Life in the Long Descent.

We have all been able to ignore those limits due to winning the "Carbon Lotto" three hundred years ago. That millions of years worth of vegetable mater turned into oil and coal have given our civilization the means to ignore limits. We've been drunken sailors on Shore Leave, partying until the dawn.

Now that we are running dry of those funds, we must all start to relearn what our ancestors knew. How to live within the limits that Nature and the Environment impose. For some, like those of you reading this, the lesson will come easy. Others will have to be drug, kicking and scream, into the new norm. More likely bitching and complaining, lol, but like it or not, we all will learn to live within Limits.

So next time you feel a little cold, instead of going to the thermostat and popping it up a few degrees, grab a little extra to wear. Do it know when you have the option. Not when its forced on you later.

Your closet will thank you. Your wallet will thank you.

Its not what you are used to, but its what you have to do from now on. Learn to live within Limits. There will come a time, in a not too distant future where your choice is to don more clothing or freeze.

When the speedometer sits at zero because you are out of gas. Its not an end, its a beginning.

And let me just say, you look stunning in that sweater...LOL.


((©: "nospeed" by Petria Follett)