Michael, I think you're right of course, but this thread has been useful for me in other ways. I was wondering what the "black dots" on Bill's timer were like, and then he posted a picture. I think of my exposures in terms of percentages like Doremus, but I don't have a systematic approach like his. My test strips are 2 second intervals then 3, then sometimes 4; not based on any theory but just on how wide they should be based on my experience. Although honestly, it's not much of an "issue", I've found that once I've printed a couple from a given roll of film, the rest are usually similar enough that I can look at the negative and even make 1 second intervals around where it matters if I want to.

For dodging and burning, I tend to think in terms of percent of base exposure. It's interesting for me to learn how other people think about it. At my level ( still a beginner, but getting better ) the most important thing is not how I time but understanding and especially gaining a feel how the tones will change. For example, I have learned how dodging my low contrast exposure can help separate and bring out the darker areas on the print, but I don't have good intuition yet and need to make test strips to get it right. And sometimes it seems like there is just one amount of dodging that's just right, and if you miss much either way it's very noticeably not as good. If there is some way of thinking about it that will make that easier or more intuitive, then I'm "all ears"!

So yeah I agree that the goal is to make a great print and not meet some external thinking, but the chatter around that was valuable to me anyway.