Afternoon Inquisition

Afternoon Inquisition 4.3

So I’m waiting for the day when I don’t have to work anymore. I just hope that day doesn’t come courtesy of a coma or a forced stay in the boobie hatch or something similarly unfortunate. It would be much more fun if I sold one of my novels and it became a best-seller, allowing me then to keep a J.D. Salinger-esque schedule while drinking up my royalties and chasing college girls.

In the meantime, I’m working at a job that I like but that still leaves room for daydreams of leisure.

Do you ever see yourself as a person of leisure? If so, how would you spend your days if you didn’t have to work?

And in case you are already a person of leisure, here’s a puzzle to help fill your day.

I hope this puzzle will be fun
Find seven answers not just one
The first sees giants on common ground
The next describes things always around
The third is an ungrounded matter of race
And the next it keeps you in your place
Number five means to designate
And six of diamonds can seal your fate
The last, they may end the puzzle or
Finalize a bigger score
Now if you’ve solved these riddles fast
List your answers first to last
Be sure what crosses is also down
And become a puzzler of renown

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. Oh, yes. If I didn’t work, I would spend ALL my time at leisure. I’d probably still do the volunteer work I do, maybe take a few classes, but I’d spend a lot of time at home in my PJs watching movies too :D

  2. I will never be a person of leisure. It is not in my nature. Give me unstructured time and I will structure it. Always. I used to view this as a bad thing, but now I don’t. I see so many retired people slowly fall apart in a toxic miasma of bonbons and Oprah and I’m glad, barring a stroke, this will never be me.

    Right now my job is just one of the things I do. Take that away and there is cooking, sewing, photography, bike-riding, woodworking, photography, music, stained glass, cheese-making, bird-watching, hiking, blogging, writing, and probably more to come. Come to think of it, if you took my job away I’d probably still do something very much like it on my own time. I love creating software even if no one ever uses it but me and a hope-chest full of programs will attest to.

  3. Occasionally, usually while driving, I’m reminded how technology makes the stuff I do insanely easy compared to how it’d be just 5-10 decades ago, and I consider all my life to be leisure. If I didn’t have to work I’d still do so. My job’s just excellent.

  4. “I have no profession. My attitude – quite indefensible – is that, if I trouble no one, I may do as I like. It is, I dare say, an example of my decadence.”

  5. This is vastly amusing and a little ironic. One of the programs that I’ve written only for my own amusement helped me solve the puzzle. Good one, Sam! Thanks for the challenge. The puzzle is a gem, but Sam errs if he thinks we can’t solve it. Subtle enough?

  6. Too fast on the return key…

    My program is here: It’s for windows only. Sorry. GUIs are too hard to make portable unless you use scripted languages and then the programs are too slow for applications like this.

    It’s the complete Scrabble dictionary with a bunch of different search tools built on top of it including puzzles of this form and several others. For example I just found out, a little to my astonishment, that Sam Odgen is a perfect anagram for “Gods name”. Hmm.

  7. What skeplit said. I would like to die with more degrees than a thermometer.

    However, I have a few volunteer organizations near and dear to my heart, so I would probably work them in, too. I also have some hobbies, like bothering Skepchicks, so I’d keep those up…

  8. Like davew, I’d still be doing a lot of what I am doing. I’d still teach, but fewer classes (and no committees!). I’d do more volunteer work. I’d spend more time on my hobbies. I’d take over the world, or at least bring the patriarchy to its knees. You know, the usual.

  9. If I did not need to do so in order to pay rent and eat, there is no way in hell that I would work. As some have said it is in their nature to be organized and keep busy, it is in my nature NOT to.

    Now, I’m aware that having nothing but free time would be awful awful awful without plenty of money to live on. So, obviously, if I were a person of leisure I’d still likely have to do SOMETHING to occupy my time.

    Many have suggested constant education. That’d be OK, except that it takes me about 2-3 months of being in Academia to remember why I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of it before. But maybe I could get a series of interesting degrees or, at the very least, pay to audit courses of interest to me.

    Otherwise, it’d be all travel, movies / tv shows, and MAYBE finally getting up the nerve and/or motivation to write things. Maybe.

  10. I would take a couple of courses at a time, hang out with a Golden Retriever for a few hours each day, read more books and blogs, spend more time writing, paint my toenails everyday, learn to play a few more instruments, take dance lessons, cook/bake more, maybe teach a little, and then spend whatever time I had left just sitting around thinking of snappy comebacks.

  11. I ALWAYS see myself as a man of leisure! I revel in the thought of not working. Not working is the perfect career choice for me. I would read and write, collect books, travel and watch TV. I would visit my niece and my sister all the time and eat all the time. I would play Solitaire on the computer until my hand cramped and watch porn until my eyes melted. Oh such glorious bliss!

  12. I can’t ever see myself not working. Working less perhaps, but not giving up altogether. Going back to university would be interesting for awhile, but I suspect it would pall sooner or later.

  13. I would read a lot, travel, record some albums/play some shows, attend at least one hockey game at every NHL arena, and go to school even more than I do now.

  14. I would probably take a class at the local university but past that not much would change. I already spend my days lounging about drawing and writing the only difference would be that I wouldn’t have to worry about people buying my scribbles. The day I stop working/creating is the day I die.

  15. There are lots of things I wish I had more time for, like reading, games, doing random fun stuff, learning new skills/hobbies, traveling, etc. I remember from before I was working that I never had money to do anything, but now I don’t have enough time, or maybe I’m just bad at managing it?

  16. @Amesthe149: Sounds like you’re my kind of person, except I have my fur scratching divided among four Shelties and three cats. I’d love to do more reading and writing, too. I’ll pass on painting my toenails, though… ;-)

  17. Since I won’t ever, probably, walk without a limp again, I’d get myself a nice cane and take the trains all day.

    I’d dress up. I’d make a big deal out of it.

    Hey, after 300K miles freezing my ass off on a motorcycle, I’d be the first to admit that’s pretty lame dream, but it got me through it…somehow…

    In a car now. 3-series Bomber. LOVE it. (It’s got a heater and doors and everything). But I want to be handy for trains. So, I can read, and sleep, on my way to where ever. (In Long Beach, this is not possible for most people).

    So, my wish.

    Never drive again. Just hobble around, on my cane, take trains and buses and never drive.

    That’s the goal,


    (Pretty sad, huh?)

  18. SO, so many things I would like to do. An advanced degree in biology. Travel. Sex on every continent. Set up foundations to carry on things that I am interested in. I would love to start a foundation to further the causes of skeptisism, atheism and science. I would love to have the money to start a PAC that would push atheism in congress. I want to be the Harvey Milk of the atheist community. Just not the dying part. And I think I would follow the Jimmy Carter example and do a lot of house building for habitat for humanity. Every house I would build I would be wearing a No God T shirt.

  19. Antarctica would be the tricky one. Unless you know the right scientist(s) …

    As for the puzzle, curse you Sam, curse you!
    *shakes fist*

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