Saturday, March 31, 2007

The power of the clock

OK, I give up. The clock has won.

For 35 years or so, Indiana did not participate in the illusion known as Daylight Savings Time. Now we do. The county where I live managed to put it off an extra year by strategically changing time zones, but we eventually were forced to change our clocks last fall. As you know if you’re a faithful reader, I declined to do so. I have had my clock radio set to get the 6:30 a.m. (EST) local news and weather for years. I had no desire to get up at a different time. So when we went on Daylight Squandering Time (aka Central Standard Time) in October, I refused to get up an hour later just so we could have sunset at 4:30 pm in the winter. For a couple of months, I didn’t change my clock at all, but when it became clear that the request to return to Eastern time would not be granted any time soon, I finally gave in. However, I set my alarm for 5:30 am CST. That’s 6:30 am EST. I would still wake up at the same time as always and not sleep through precious winter daylight.

So along comes March 11 and the big move to Central Daylight Savings Time. CDT is actually the same as EST, which is what we were on year round until our governor decided that we should change time like everyone else. (I hope everyone else doesn’t start jumping off cliffs.) Finally, we’re back on “normal” time. I can change my alarm to 6:30 and everything will be back to normal.

Except I’ve grown used to waking up when the clock reads 5:30 am. And I’m an aging morning person. I don’t need as much sleep as when I was younger and I tend to get less by waking up earlier. (Even when I was young, “sleeping in” for me meant not getting up until 8:00 am.) My internal alarm clock simply noticed the new time on the clock and started going off an hour early. The radio comes on at 6:30 but I generally wake up by 5:30.

I actually find the internal alarm rather amusing. Usually, I simply drift into wakefulness in the morning. Occasionally -- usually because I’ve been up late -- the radio wakes me up. But every once in a while I’m sound asleep at 5:30 or 6:30 or whenever my inner clock is set for and the internal alarm goes off. A silent nudge will intrude into my dreams and say, “Hey, it’s time to wake up!” I then experience the same irresistible surfacing as when an external alarm yanks me out of sleep. This consistently happens at my usual waking time. Some part of me knows what time it is even when I'm sleeping.

The internal alarm would be quite handy if the part of me that fears oversleeping were confident that it could be trusted. It doesn’t work that way. If I need to wake up at a definite time before daylight without an alarm clock, that worrywart part of me handles it by waking me up every hour on the hour starting around 3 am, a rather annoying solution. So I set a real alarm when it’s important that I wake up before daylight. The internal alarm mainly gets exercised on Saturdays when I have no reason to get up early and there’s no 6:30 news on the radio so I have the alarm turned off. I’m all set to sleep until, oh, 7:30, or even 8:00, and actually managing to ignore dawn creeping in until here comes that nudge dragging me out of sleep. And now it is set an hour earlier! Thanks a lot, Benjamin Franklin and Mitch “not my man” Daniels.

Now if only I would start going to sleep at the appropriate time for this new hour of rising. I’m not saving electricity. I’m just burning the candle at both ends.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Poor, neglected blog

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I forget that I have a blog. Maybe you're not surprised to hear that.

Anyway, it's not like nothing has been happening. I just haven't been writing about it here. I've been busy. I've even finished some books and started others. Maybe I'll check out this new easier template stuff on the new blogger and see if I can update my reading list.

My husband and I went to a conference in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago. That was fun. We even got to eat pizza with Andrew, Terry, and Josh, our favorite KC residents.

The conference was called M7 (short for Mission 2007) and was sponsored by the USA/Canada division of the International Church of the Nazarene. There were around 4,000 people there, a much smaller venue than the General Assemblies that happen every four years. There were 240 workshops being offered in six time slots. It was difficult to choose six out of the 240, but I was pleased with the workshops I attended. The key words in their descriptions were either "spiritual formation" or "emergent".

I shared my four points for worship from my last entry with someone. That person noted that I am on my way to having an outline for a bestselling book.


I'm three points short of a full acronym. Maybe I'll conduct a contest to come up with the other three points. Tell you what. I'll give the winner 5% of my take off the bestseller when it comes out. Of course, if you have the other three points, you can simply add my four points to them and write the book yourself and keep 100% of the profit -- after tithe and taxes. (I presume that one of the points might have to do with giving and that tithing the proceeds of the book would be sort of a given.)

I'll pass on the notes I brought away from one of the workshops. They actually had nothing at all to do with the workshop. I copied them off the back of a t-shirt worn by a college student sitting a few rows in front of me.

Top Ten Reasons Why Dr. Martin Is the "New" Chuck Norris
10. He can watch 60 minutes in 20 seconds.
9. He knows the exact location of Carmen Sandiego.
8. He counted to infinity. Twice.
7. He doesn't wear a watch. He decides what time it is.
6. He knows the last digit of pi.
5. He can divide by zero.
4. He doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
3. He can win a game of Connect Four in three moves.
2. He can judge a book by its cover.
1. If at first you don't succeed you're not Dr. Dan Martin.

I do not know the identity of Dr. Dan Martin. Actually, I only know the identity of Chuck Norris because someone told me. I'm not sure I've ever seen him. I do know who Carmen Sandiego is but don't know her current location.

Anyway, I'm quite impressed by this list. Counting to infinity -- twice. Now THAT is an accomplishment.