It's ... a wristwatch. I could tell that much from the customs slip, which does wonders at draining the surprise out of packages unless you've learned how to write an accurate but vague description of the contents. Since my father tends to use packing tape so as to make an impenetrable barrier it's just as well to know what it is long before going to the trouble of setting up a diamond drill to open the package. I hadn't thought my wrist needed much watching, but this is an interesting contraption, weighing as it does more than my iBook. It's based on blue, red, green, and yellow LEDs in some fashion, rather like something Captain Pike might wear. I haven't figured out how to read it, or how to set it, since the instructions are in German, while the watch is ``Made in China.''
I appreciate the gesture, particularly since it's such an odd watch, but the gift is still a peculiar one. It's been a long time since I wore a watch regularly, ever since I stopped paying $8 a year to keep alive a decade-old $20 watch, and my life is pretty well adjusted to going without one. About the only thing I need to be on time for are classes and airplanes, and both are such regular and predictable events I can use ordinary clocks. It's nice to time out lectures so I take a break at a reasonable time and dismiss class at a reasonable time, but it's not hard to pace oneself to find a logical pause after 50 to 55 minutes of talking anyway. I don't quite know what to do with it. I suppose wearing it is a possibility.
Also received were two offers to refinance my student loans; three bank statements; one note confirming a transfer of money from my Singapore to my United States account; a couple comic strips; and a newspaper clipping about that really very tiny fish discovered a couple weeks back.
Trivia: The first sports watches were made and sold in the 1930s, and were for golf. Source: Time's Pendulum: The Quest to Capture Time -- From Sundials to Atomic Clocks, Jo Ellen Barnett.
Currently Reading: Discoveries: The First Focus Science Fiction Anthology, Victor Gollancz, Editor. The introduction starts with ``if you're reading this in a second-hand bookshop in the 21st century, go to the electronic sales desk and part with your digi-cash right now.'' I guess they were projecting a little farther into the 21st century. Despite this implicit endorsement of the book's ultimate second-hand fate, the back cover warns it is ``Not for resale,'' apparently as it was ``Free with Focus magazine October 199'' -- the cover's torn off there. It looks as if the back cover was adhered to something and torn violently asunder.