Hour By Hour

Last month, the person that I will forever think of as erin-dot-erin did an exercise of following a day by taking a picture each hour.   I thought this was a darn good idea and thought it might be fun to cover a day in the life of Stevil.  Erin did hers for 10 on 10 – that is a picture an hour for 10 hours on the 10th of the month, but I didn’t feel like waiting another two weeks, so you’re getting 12 on 28.

Morning Walk

7 am. The morning started like most others, with Penny and I heading up to the summit of Mt Miramar.  She runs, I walk. (The Beloved is out of town until tomorrow.)  Cloudy day, but still a pretty good view.

The Drive To Work

8 am. We’re just starting some renovations, so Penny is coming to work with me a lot.   We head in and I must endure the dreadful ocean view commute that I have.  Again.

Getting Started

9 am. As I collect my thoughts for the day, the most important thing is, of course, coffee.  That experiment can wait a couple of minutes.

Experiments on ice

10 am. Okay, okay.  I’ll start the damn experiment already.

Research Tool

11 am. When I was in grad school, “going to the chemistry library” was a euphemism for “I’m going to go screw off for a while”.  Sadly, the internet has taken that away and the sum of human knowledge is at your fingertips.  Though sometimes you have to pay a subscription fee.

Mmmmm lunch

Noon. Lunchtime!  Peppered turkey breast (which was pretty damn tasteless–boo) on homemade quinoa bread with mustard and swiss. Toss in a mishmash of dates, almonds and choco acai berries and it’s all gone too fast.

Post lunch nap

1 pm.  After a busy morning of following me around and going out for a post-lunch pee, Penny gives up the ghost.

Delayed gratification

2 pm. Experiment in incubator until tomorrow.  Talk about delayed gratification.

Piano lesson

3 pm.  Mondays are usually short as I have my weekly piano lesson on Monday afternoon.  Is there a problem with me leaving work this early?  Hey, I’m a founder!  I can leave whenever I damn well please.

Heading home

4 pm. Good lesson, heading home.  Penny is long enough to stand in the backseat and put her head on your shoulder.  I mean, why should you be denied a dog (or vice versa) just because you’re driving?


5 pm. As I said nine hours ago, we’re having some renovations done, and I bet you can guess that we’re getting new floors installed.

Happy Hour -- Words With Booze

6 pm.  Okay, grass is cut, so it’s time for happy hour (a blood orange martini) and a little Words With Friends before dinner.

Okay – that’s 12 hours – not a bad day at all.  Dinner looks like it’s going to be some left over pesto pasta that I made last night.  And my last “Non-Beloved Movie” is going to get queued up  — a trip down memory lane with a re-watching of “Cloverfield”.


146 thoughts on “Hour By Hour

  1. Awesome entry! I really like the idea behind this. I’d like to do something similar, but think I’m going to hold off on a bit – I’ve got to get cracking on this 30 days of Books thing now that I’m recovered from the head-cold from hell, and don’t want to get sidetracked on another project before even getting going on the first! :-)

    • Thanks Ross — it was a lot of fun, I would definitely suggest it, but only you get finished with the Creeping Crud you’ve had and done a few more 30 DoB — Cori and Mad-tante are leaving us in the dust.

  2. Yeah, that’s a cruddy commute!


    That cocktail looks like as pretty as a liquid sunset.

    I think I’d like to steal this idea!

  3. Beautiful post. Thanks for the glimpse into Steveland, especially that dreadful commute. ;-) Hope the experiment turns out well. (Give Penny a scritch for me)

  4. WOW – the Penny on your shoulder pic is PRECIOUS!

    And I commiserate with your renovations. Your floors are stripped. My walls are stripped (living room/ hallway) as I am trying to finish sanding before my mom and I can paint.

  5. That commute?!?! You poor, poor person…


    And it’s nice to see I’m not the only one with more “Words with Friends” games than I have fingers…

    Great post. Fun to live vicariously through your day. But I have to reiterate: The commute…I’m SO sorry!

    • Mikalee — yeah, sometimes I remind myself that I’m not allowed to get cynical when I get to see the ocean every day. Did I mention that sometimes there are dolphins?? :)

  6. That is a genius idea! May I re-steal it? You’re day seems many and varied, what with walks, terrible drives, experiments (v. cool) and piano. And yes, that Martini is very vibrant – I’m sure nothing that colour can be good for you

    • Bill — considering that I borrowed it from someone that borrowed it from someone, I definitely say “Go for it!” — it was fun experiment.

      With all that blood orange juice in it, I’m SURE that drink was good for me! :)

  7. Very interesting. It’s fun seeing what life is like for someone else. I think I’ll try this for my next blog on Monday. Thanks for the idea.

      • Okay – I finally accomplished it. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It was very enlightening to actually keep track of what it was I was doing hour by hour. If interested you can see my copycat version of your post at mondayswithspd.wordpress.com
        Again, thanks for the idea.

    • carolanne — I had just finished cutting the grass when I sat down to write the post, so it was sort of like checking something off in my head — “The grass is cut, so now I can get on with my drinking and word-gaming… :) “

  8. Love this idea–and also love a blog that features a dog doing anything.

    We traveled with our dogs to Vietnam–material that merited two posts on my blog:
    “Canines in Conical Hats: Lucy Does Vietnam” and “An Unfortunate Incident Involving the International Trafficking of Canines and What I Haven’t Learned Since Then.”


    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Hang on for the ride!

    Lovin’ all things canine,

  9. Oh, that commute. And with your companion at your side? Heaven! Although when I saw the tubes-on-ice I thought it wouldn’t be the best flavoring for your morning coffee. ;)

    • Em — always important to separate the experiments from the snacks! :) And I have to admit, it really does help the workday when you can walk over and pet your dog… :)

  10. what a cool idea–and I must admit, the thing that made me want to click to read was the photo of your lovely dog, gazing out to the far distance.

    congrats on Freshly Pressed–it’s a fun ride!–as was your post, today.


  11. What a fun post! I especially loved a glimpse into the life of a scientist — y’all seem so mysterious to us liberal arts types.

    I’d love to post hourly pics of my workday but,hm, 1) clearing through piles of paper on my desk 2) newspaper/magazine/blog reading 3) writing (sitting at a computer). Zzzzzzzzz. People think being a writer is pretty cool (and it is) but it sure isn’t photogenic!

    • broadside — well, Monday was a good day b/c of getting out for my lesson. Most other days, there would have been more “bench” or “computer” shots! :)

  12. Great post! Can’t get enough of Penny, especially over the shoulder during the drive.

    • Thanks Lemon Tree — Monday was a good day since we were out for the lesson too. Otherwise there would have been more lab bench pics — or a couple of hours skipped! :)

  13. Yes, you have permission to leave work early. I’m sure the petri dishes (or however it’s spelled) will do just fine on their own.

    The picture of Penny ‘riding on your shoulder’ made me remember something I’d heard awhile back that a legislator in California had introduced legislation to make people restrain their pets while riding in cars. Good news that all the Cali budget woes are taken care of and that’s all he has to worry about!

    • petri is correct!

      I’m sure there was nothing wrong with my dog leaning forward into the driver’s space and me holding my arm out to snap a few pics. Complete control all the time. Maybe I should have made a phone call to complete the distraction! :)

    • middle — Penny is a Pointer — sometimes referred to as an English Pointer (I think to distinguish them from the German Shorthaired Pointers). Penny most definitely is a SoCal girl and does NOT like the cold… :)

  14. I love this photo entry! My commute, lack of dog, and work are a whole lot different! Love it, may need to get a camera on board and do this sooon, just for kicks :)

  15. I love this photo entry! I need a camera to see what this looks like from a different part of the world, with a wholly different commute!

  16. Having multiple readers planning to steal your idea is a ringing endorsement of your blog. Congrats. I wonder, have you ever accidentally left your martini in the incubator and drank your expirement? Yuck. :-)

  17. Cool! I love posts like this that give a glimpse into someone’s daily life. Of course I love the Penny pictures as well. That commute must be horrible. ;)

    Have you checked the online databases at your local public library for some of the science journal articles you can’t get free online? It depends on what they subscribe to, but it’s worth a shot!

    Maybe I’ll do this one day. Like Ross, I need to get going on my 30 DoB posts.

    • Bookish — you know, I never thought to check out our local library for journal access. Back in the day, no public libraries carried them (physical subscriptions) and so I never thought to look — now with e-subscriptions, who knows? I will check that out.

      I’d definitely keep the hourly photos in your back pocket for when you’re looking for a new idea.

    • Thanks Sandra — there are lots of Penny-posts here. I’m very sure she’s more popular than I am. :)

      I saw a lot of New Mexico on your site — The Beloved lived in Santa Fe for a few years. We love it there and are always looking for reasons to go back.

  18. Great idea, post -and- I love your dog ❤ And I look fwd to more…
    ‘Mr. Midnite’ and I once traveled across from east to west coast…nothing can ever beat that feeling when they ‘lean’ on you.

  19. I love Penny! I have a tall lab with a similar case of hangover when we’re driving…that big ‘ole head drapes over my shoulder as we head down the hwy. I also like the photo of your lunch. I love lunch. I love dinner. Also, I love dogs. Obviously, I’ll be back to visit your blog. :)

    • hippyk — thanks for coming by! There’s a lot of Penny here — and some food, though if I’m completely honest, there’s a lot more cocktails than snacks!

  20. I’m about to leave a job I hate. Your blog reminds me of all the things I’ve begun to take for granted in life. I hope that in leaving my job (and the hatred), I, too, will find wonder in the hour-by-hour drive through life. Thank you. I might have to do this to rediscover the beauty in my own life.

    • Yvonne — there is a “stop and smell the roses” quality to a project like this — it’s a great exercise for realizing that there’s a lot of great things going on every day.

  21. Really thinking you need to give up research and keep up the photography – you did such a beautiful posting of photos. And I love the comments. Seems like you have a blissful life.

  22. well, i saw petri on incubator, just like i did last 3 months. are u working with mikro agents right know? mikrobiology is my interest now.
    Nice post:)

  23. Pingback: I hate to do this, but… | The New Adventures of Old Christine

  24. Ha! Great idea. I would try this but my life isn’t as exciting as yours. I love the head on the shoulder pic.. sweet!

    • Katie — I don’t think my day was really what I would call exciting, and I’d think you’d be surprised about what you’d find throughout your day. :)

  25. Oh, dear. Next they are going to make a law prohibiting taking pictures while driving, lol. Be careful! And your drive to work is too awesome. I hate you. ;-)

  26. I’m thrilled I found you Freshly Pressed. All kinds of inspiration in your post–the artistry, humor, sweetness–and the voyeuristic peek into a musical, dog-loving, nutritionally-healthy, mad scientist. It’s a joy-spot in my day. Thanks, Steve.

  27. OK OK you’ve convinced me- San Diego and ocean views really ARE nicer than NJ! Ah well, maybe one day :-) Great post and great blog actually. I love this idea – I think I might do it – thanks for the inspiration – and congrats on being FP!

    • jonie — well, as someone that grew up in The Garden State, I can say that it’s a great place to be FROM… :) Definitely — give the hour by hour a shot!

  28. This is such a great idea and one I will have to make an effort to produce myself. I don’t know, that sandwich looks pretty good to me. And, apparently, your dog appreciates the view returning home, too!

    You have some great views all the way through your day. I mean, seriously, what a way to start your morning!

    • Thanks rtcrita — yeah, there are a series of trails that go into the canyon and hill behind our house. We’re constantly worried they’re going to put more houses there and then where will we walk in the morning?!!??

  29. A fun and rewarding post!!! congrats on Freshly Pressed!!!!!!! I really enjoyed reading it and the pics are great. Of course sometime I will copy…maybe the day we open the pool for the the season! Enjoy your weekend and give that baby doggy a chin rub for me! :)(:

  30. LOVE IT! My fav pic is the one of you and the dog on the ride home! very cute! Love the pic idea, too! wow, i need to try that!

    • Jenn — definitely give this meme a shot (can you tell I’m using memes for inspiration these days?) — it forces you to look at your day in a new way.

      • I am going to do my very best to try it tomorrow! I can’t wait to see what my day looks like through the lens! thx for the inspiration! :)

  31. What a great post! So neat to see the snapshots of a day. I was talking with a friend of mine just recently how interesting it would be to look back at points in our life with weekly snapshots, especially the awkward years of adolescence! Maybe I’ll try your photo an hour some time :)

    • CreativeIsthmus — it’s funny how digital photography has transformed the way we think about chronicling life — it’s so easy now and the way to get great pictures is just to take lots and lots of pictures. Impossible before!

  32. “Excellent adventure” ( I know I’ve heard that before). Having your dog with you in my opinion makes the day better.

    • nn — you always read that having a pet with you lowers your blood pressure — and it sure is nice to be able to stop and pet your dog or even go for a short walk as a break.

  33. Freshly Pressed, Steve! FRESHLY PRESSED!

    Mmmm just like the juice I’m gonna use in that martini…

    lol Congrats!

  34. Pingback: Not Nearly As Exciting … « GOM in Oklahoma's Blog

  35. Just had to tell you that I work at an Elementary school and told the other teachers about this blog. Great assignment for kids! The 1-4 graders will be doing this next week. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  36. Pingback: Hour by Hour « Mondays with SPD

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