Friday, November 20, 2009

Jack Bauer Would've Been Proud

This morning I got up at 6:15am.

I'm retired. I'm spending the winter in Florida. I have NO need whatsoever to be getting up at such an unearthly hour. I didn't do it when I worked. Hell the ISS crew don't get up at 6:15am and they're not even ON the earth.

you see, I thought it was 7:15am and even that is very early to be getting out of bed but I knew Deb was up and having coffee and I wanted to be sociable and join her. I even checked my watch twice as my bedroom was considerably darker than I'd have expected it to be at 7:15am - but I so trust my watch, that I rolled onto the floor, pulled myself upright in true Darwinian fashion and staggered out into the living area.

I was greeted with "what are you doing up so early ? It's just after 6am !! "

WHAT ? I looked at one of the many timepieces in the living area and sure enough, realised it was 6:15am. I looked AGAIN at my watch in case I'd mistaken the position of the hands but even if I had, it also has a digital display and there it was......7:15am. Ok 7:16am by then. What was going on ??

Now my watch was a lovely pressie from Debby last year. It synchronises daily with some atomic clock in Colorado and if it's more than 1.5 zanoseconds out, it emails Casio and they FedEx me a new watch and 2 technicians in Tokyo commit hari-kari. Not to be confused with Hari Kari who are an all female Japanese rock band who look like Kiss. It's all true. You think I could make up this stuff ?

After only one mug of coffee, I decided to investigate. I'd been messing with the buttons yesterday to get to the stopwatch function and I thought I might have set the time zone to Caracas (as you do) but the display clearly showed I was on New York time and so it should've been 6:16am. Ok 6:35am by now. My watch was proudly, and somewhat stubbornly, displaying 7:35am. It was also displaying a little satellite dish icon next to the time, showing that it was currently in digital and atomic discussions with Colorado and both parties were firmly convinced that I was in the NYC time zone and it was jolly well 7:35am.

Time (pardon the pun) to call up the big guns and I surfed for and then downloaded the manual for the watch. Like most digital watches, when there is a lot of data to display, the important stuff, like the time, is given a large font and the small stuff, like the alarm being set, that it's on a 24hr clock and that it's set for DST, are shown in wee wee tiny fonts. Very wee. Hard to see wee.

By removing my glasses and positioning the watch so close to my face that I could almost hear time passing, I noticed DST was displayed off to the extreme left on the display. Ok, fair enough. I wanted the watch to sort out DST after all so what was wrong with that ? Well everything really. According to the manual, when DST is showing in the display, that means it's summer and so 1 hr is added to the time. Why would it have a 'feature' like that ? If it's summer, just DO IT.

The manual showed me that if I wanted the watch to use its lovely 500 year, built in calendar to automatically adjust for DST, then I should press a combination of buttons until an 'A' came up and then accept it by pressing another button. As soon as I did this, the 'A' faded away as thankfully it's not supposed to be permanently on the display and then the watch hands started off on their delightful trip back 23 hrs. It's fun to see and almost worth the time being wrong now and then to watch it happen.

So despite chatting with its big atomic brother in Colorado, my little watch was off by an hour just because I'd accidentally set it to DST yesterday ! See what happens when you introduce the human factor !

But I sorted it and I feel so proud.

After being unable to cook a baked potato in that combi oven the other day, my confidence in modern technology needed a boost.

This morning it got that boost. And in a timely fashion too !

Somewhere in Tokyo, 2 Casio technicians are chomping down on a large plate of fugu as it's their lucky day.


Daphne said...

There can be such a thing as too much technology, you know. Here in Britain we have just two major times at the moment - one is called "morning" and one called "evening." You can tell it's morning as it's dark and it's raining. You can tell it's evening because it's dark and it's raining. In between we have brief flickering daylight known as "afternoon" and the rest of the time it's dark and it's raining and it's called "night". I am glad you've got your watch mended and I have taken mine off till Spring.

jay said...

Hahaha! I well recognise the symptoms of Radio-controlled Watch Failure Psychosis. OH suffers from it too - whenever something goes wrong with his.

I'm glad you were able to sort it out this time, and all by yourself, too! Well done! ;)

Jennyta said...

Given the weather we're suffering in north Wales, I have to say that Daphne has got it exactly right! :(

rhymeswithplague said...

I understood everything you said except the part about the hands turning back 23 hours. What??!? This would play havoc with your "day of the week" display, if, in fact, you have a "day of the week" display, wouldn't it?

Of course it would.

Silverback said...

Ahhhhh good on you, Bob; you spotted my deliberate mistake. Yes the hands just went back 11 hours - as they do every Fall.

Still fun, and slightly spooky, to see it happening though.

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