A 3,000 Mile Journey

One of the (many?) strange things about me is that I always have numbers flying around inside of my head.

When I walk somewhere, I often count the number of steps that I take. When I see numbers on road signs, I often add or subtract them without thinking about it. When I go running, I often translate my pace into MPH. Yeah, I already admitted that it was strange.

The other day, on the way home from work, I discovered that I had picked up a hitchhiker—a little spider was on my hood, clinging on for dear life.

The distance from the church building to my apartment is about 8 miles, and it got me to thinking—in spider terms, how far of a trip were we making?

After estimating the size of the spider and comparing it to my own size, and making several tedious conversions from inches to feet to miles, I determined that for the spider, the trip to my apartment was roughly the equivalent of a 3,000 mile journey for me (it’s a ballpark figure—I did the calculations in my head while driving and listening to thumping techno music).

I was just reflecting on how traumatic it would be for me to be unwittingly deposited somewhere 3,000 miles away, when I looked down to discover that the spider was no longer on my car—sometime during my calculations he had apparently lost his grip and been blown away (speaking of traumatic).

Yeah, this is what life is like inside of my head.


Angela 10/21/08, 4:08 PM  

Well, maybe little spider is off having a grand adventure somewhere. ;)

Once on a flight from Dallas to Huntsville, I noticed a grasshopper sitting on top of one of the airplane seats... think of how far a journey that little guy made!

Colby 10/21/08, 9:54 PM  

@Luke: And you didn't even go back to look for it?? What a jerk.

Anonymous 10/21/08, 11:58 PM  

Though perhaps not to the same degree as yourself, I have numbers running around from time to time. One of my favorite activities at sporting events is to create an equation with the numbers on a scoreboard. (I.e., the home team's fouls multiplied by the number seconds minus the visitors' score...)

Luke Dockery 10/22/08, 8:57 AM  


Yeah that's a much further trip. Unfortunately, by you bringing it up, I now feel compelled to try to figure it out…

According to Google, it's 665 miles from Dallas to Huntsville, which is roughly 83 times as far as my work commute.

Assuming your grasshopper was a fairly normal grasshopper, he'd be about twice the size of my spider, so we'll divide the results by two, and that gives us…

(3000x83)/2=124,500 miles, or five times around the globe.

Luke Dockery 10/22/08, 8:58 AM  


Yeah, for real. I felt bad for him, but I was so absorbed in my calculations that I had no idea where he fell off.

Luke Dockery 10/22/08, 9:01 AM  


Yeah, I do the same sort of thing. I'm always looking at scoreboards and figuring out things like points per quarter and points per minute, or the ratio of one team's points to the other, and then extrapolating that out over a full game.

To most people that's probably an incredibly boring-sounding way to spend a game, but it's just something I do without thinking.

Angela 10/28/08, 8:07 AM  

How fascinating. I remember telephone numbers using subtraction, etc.

Luke Dockery 10/29/08, 10:22 AM  


I'll do stuff like that as well. Unfortunately, sometimes I remember the wrong numbers from the equations.

Anonymous 11/2/08, 8:17 PM  

I like to make equations. Raretly does one work. The dangerous part of that is, if one equation works well and works moments later (on a different sign, score, number of fouls, etc) I usually make some sort of sound that announces my excitement. This, however, is VERY difficult to explain to people.

Luke Dockery 11/4/08, 11:19 AM  


Yeah, I can imagine the strange looks you probably get.

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