Thursday, February 08, 2007

Building a Better Alarm Clock

Drumroll ...... aaaaaand .... I didn't go to the movie. For one thing, I was just finishing and turning in a project that was due Wednesday at about the time I needed to be getting ready to go. For another, I'd made a list of all the things I needed to get done before going to bed tonight (Thursday), and none of them were things that I could do while waiting in a movie line. I'm sure the other people in line wouldn't have appreciated me singing a Handel aria over and over again, and it would have been really difficult to clean my living room or do laundry remotely. Anything I could have done in line I also could do on the plane Friday and wasn't necessary for getting ready to leave town. So, practicality won out, and I must say that the moment I made the decision I felt a lot more relaxed. I've gone to events like that before, so it wasn't an anxiety about stepping outside my comfort zone, or anything like that. It was plain old too much to do, too little time to do it stress. If I'd been sure of getting into the screening, that would have been one thing, but with more than four times the number of passes given out as they had seats, the odds weren't worth taking the time to try. It would have still taken a big chunk out of my day even if I'd gone and then didn't get in and therefore didn't take the time to sit through the movie.

Instead, I paid bills, went to the post office (and walked, so there was exercise), straightened my living room, washed some clothes, practiced my music and edited a chapter of the book, among other things, so I feel a little less stressed about everything that must be done today. Today on the way to class, I have to go to the bank and do my last-minute errands before the trip. Then I have to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so I can catch an 8 o'clock flight in the morning.

I guess if I'd managed my time better earlier in the week or got an earlier start on the day, that would have helped. But, I didn't. I got an even later start because I was daydreaming and thinking. No, not plotting my book, or anything like that. I was thinking about ways to improve the alarm clock. First, there's the "You Have to Get Up Eventually" snooze button. I love the snooze button and can hit it for hours, but if I really need to get up, that constant nine minutes is just enough for me to really get back to sleep so that I have to wake up all over again. I need a clock with a diminishing snooze time. First time, you get nine minutes. Then the next time, four. And then two. Then one. And then the alarm just keeps going so you have to get up. I also think we need an Internet-enabled smart alarm. You could program it with certain parameters, like the route you take to work, the name of your company, your flight, etc., and then it could search for relevant information and adjust your wake-up time accordingly. If it's raining and traffic is slow or if there's a bad wreck on your route to work, it could get you up earlier. If there's snow and your company closes for the day, it could let you sleep in. If your early-morning flight has been delayed, it could let you sleep a little later.

I have no idea how to make any of that work, so I guess I'm not going to become wealthy from building a better alarm clock. The snooze button thing seems like it should be doable (and if it's already been done, I need that clock).

And now before I run off to get more stuff done, there's another Out of the Blogosphere book to tell you about (this is a group of authors who write various kinds of paranormal fiction and who help promote each other's books), Island Heat by Sue Kearney.

Former screen siren Shara Weston lived on an exotic and private South Pacific island as a recluse . . . until Cade Archer fell out of the sky and into her life. Cade's on a mission to open a portal between Shara's island volcano and his world. But not everyone wants him to succeed. A powerful enemy has followed Cade to prevent him from sending the resources through the portal that will free his people. Shara must find a way to fight him . . . to stop his mission because the fate of every man, woman and child on Earth is at stake.

For more info and to see Sue's video book trailer, visit her web site.

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