austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

The ticking seconds hear them call

One more little bit from the blackout. The next morning I woke up at about noon, according to my alarm clock. That seemed reasonable enough for a Sunday and got up then, discovering a Red Sox game was on and that outside my bedroom it was about 2 pm. I tested the obvious conclusion, but my computer's time disproved the idea that my bedroom had somehow become trapped in a block of time two hours early. It was all the more baffling that my clock was two hours off since I knew clearly I had set it to the correct time the night before when the power was back.

I've never understood why they sell electric alarm clocks that don't have battery backups, but that's the model my parents have and I haven't replaced it for little reason. In Singapore I lived entirely on travellers alarm clocks, using only batteries. Those wear out too, of course, but there's a warning ahead of time by the time drifting short and that's noticeable before going to bed. This required I keep backup batteries, but I can really get into backup batteries.

My investigation to how the clock did this required I check the alarm setting, which was, it turned out, for about 2 am. That would be when I tried to set the alarm clock; obviously, with the alarm time set the clock started keeping time from 12:00 am. And also with the last digit of the hour being right and the minutes being close enough to right -- and I've never insisted on my alarm clocks being more than roughly right -- fooled my eye into not noticing how far off it actually was.

Oh, yes, and apparently I naturally get up on the weekends around noon by my alarm clock regardless of what the actual time is. Apparently in my sleep I check the time and adjust my rapid-eye movement to match.

Trivia: It was a misprint in the 1876 Irish Railroad Travellers' Guide -- listing a train for Londonderry as departing Bandoran at 5:35 pm instead of 5:35 am -- which set Sir Sandford Fleming on the project to promote standardized time through the world. Source: Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time, Clark Blaise.

Currently Reading: Challenge To Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945 - 1974, Asif A Siddiqi.

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