As proficient as I believe I am with my time at work, probably just the opposite is true at home. If I’m not on the computer tweaking photographs I have taken, I eventually wind up perched in front of possibly the greatest black hole in regard to personal time created in the 20th Century - the television. Now with the Internet in the house, I’ll have another place in which to waste my time during evenings at home. Look out television, a new challenger has arrived.

It’s official! The Henleys now have the Internet at home.

I understand how such an announcement will be met with yawns by those of you who eclipsed that technological barrier a decade or more ago. But in the Henley home, our link to the informational highway from the comfort of home was a long time in coming.

The “access road” to the “highway” was bumpy, as my dear wife, Nancy, can attest. A task that supposedly was going to require 30 minutes or less instead took enough time to drain the power on three cordless phones as Nancy talked to a series of AT&T tech folks in an effort to find someone capable of translating “tech-ese” into understandable English.

The task wound up claiming a half day of her precious time. And while she was ultimately successful, by the time I got the call to come home for lunch at mid-afternoon, both the computer and wife were “wired.” The last time I can remember her talking that fast was several years ago when she took a decongestant that didn’t agree with her system.

The amount of time lost in connecting our computer to the Internet might be just the tip of the iceberg. Pastor Chuck Todd, for whom I have a great deal of respect, sounded a warning regarding the Internet during a visit to our home last week.

“I can sit down at the computer, get on the Internet, look up and two hours will have passed,” he said.

On Sundays, Nancy and I have been reading and discussing a book by Charles Swindoll titled, “Come Before Winter ... And Share My Hope.” One of its first segments dealt with time management.

According to Swindoll, in the Bible the apostle Paul was talking about time management in Ephesians 5, where he writes about living purposefully, worthily and accurately ... being sensible, intelligent and wise.

While some may suggest otherwise, I think I am pretty efficient with the use of my time at work. There are phone calls to answer, people to interview, photos to take, videos to create, stories to write and, most of all, deadlines to meet.

I don’t have time to waste, for example, on e-mails that want me to look at a photo that someone believes contains the face of Jesus in a blob of peanut butter that’s been smeared onto a piece of bread. Who alive today knows what Jesus looked like anyway? I don’t have time for e-mails that say “if you love Jesus” you’ll forward this on to 50 friends. Besides, if I started that practice I’d soon have 50 fewer friends.

As proficient as I believe I am with my time at work, probably just the opposite is true at home. If I’m not on the computer tweaking photographs I have taken, I eventually wind up perched in front of possibly the greatest black hole in regard to personal time created in the 20th Century - the television.

Particularly maddening is the fact if on rare occasions when there is something worth watching, I’ll make the mistake of putting the recliner’s leg rest up and pulling on a blanket. Two or three hours later I’ll wake up to another show, or worse, the house completely dark with Nancy and our daughter, Anna, already in bed. I’ll then pop out of the recliner, hustle around for bed, hop in the sack and then ... you guessed it, lay there wide awake. Sometimes I’ll lie there for a couple of hours in the darkness, wishing that the Sandman express would make one more stop at my station. At other times I’ll get out of bed and simply turn the TV on again, knowing full well there will be little more than sitcom reruns and infomercials to watch.

Now with the Internet in the house, I’ll have another place in which to waste my time during evenings at home. Look out television, a new challenger has arrived.

Danny Henley writes for the Hannibal Courier-Post in Hannibal, Mo.