Monday, November 05, 2012

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Ah, Daylight Saving Time (or the opposite — whichever way we just flip-flopped). Twice a year we have to re-remember how to reset all our clocks, a process which ranges from effortless to maddeningly complicated. The three categories:
  1. Our modern inter-wifi-cellular-magick phones and tablets and computers and such, which just change by their own selves and make it almost possible to forget we flip-flopped at all.
  2. Ye olde fashioned mechanical clocks and watches, which must be manually changed but which are generally pretty straightforward: twist or turn some knob until the hands are where you want them.
  3. Those infernal digi-clock creations spawned in the latter 20th century — the bedside alarm clocks, the microwave clocks, the DVD player clocks, the car dashboard clocks, the digital wristwatches — those wicked things whose time can only me changed by some maddeningly unintuitive combination of pushes and tweaks and fiddles, a process that we must painfully rediscover each fall and spring (or whenever the power goes out).1
I'm particularly tizzy-prone regarding lousy user-interfaces, and this time of year is quite stressful for me. One of these days, I'll probably lose it, tip over the edge, start repeatedly smashing all the buttons on some particularly egregious digital clock, thumping it with my fist, screaming There's your time! There's your goddamn time! until the console cracks and the little numbers dim and die. (Actually, I won't ever do this, but I find the idea cathartic.)

Weird rant over. Have a nice winter.

1 And there's that weird transitional period in which the Category 1 devices have made their effortless switch, and maybe we've changed any Category 2 tick-tockers we've still got floating around, but we haven't quite worked up the energy to mess with the Category 3s, and so glance at the stove clock or something, and the brain hits a little temporal-processing speed bump, and we have to parse it out, and we (or at least I) keep doing this until the cumulative psychic stress of these temporal speed bumps finally pushes us (or at least me) over the edge into actually mashing the randomized sequence of bleeps and blips to finally make the irksome little thing render the correct time (in that irksome all-right-angles late 20th century digital clock font). 

3 comments:

  1. Kirsten in Chi-town8:47 PM

    and the truly annoying clocks that were made to auto-set to the previous time-change rhythm that are off a week now - so we get to change those clocks -2 of them - twice, twice yearly. Plus set our alarms for the proper time. and I know that made no sense, but yes, cathartic.

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    Replies
    1. We should form a support group.

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  2. I share your desire to smash something when i am dealing with one of those number threes! i never understand all those symbols, curly q's, et., etc.

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