Originally published on 12 February 2007 as “Monday Methodology: Supplemental Alarm Clock”.
Last week we took a family vacation to Disney World. The place is packed with things to do, and we wanted to make sure we got in as much as possible – not to mention all the pre-arranged things like lunch with the Princesses, breakfast with Pooh, and Cirque de Soleil.
When I am traveling, I always have a fear of oversleeping. Perhaps it comes from my habit of hitting the snooze many times (which is only partially cured by keeping my home alarm clock in another room). Most hotels have now done away with the wake-up call, substituting a weak alarm clock instead. I am afraid to rely on this device, since I generally won’t get the searing jolt of adrenaline from an alarm clock that a ringing phone would inspire in me.
Enter my trusty PDA, and a program called Big Clock.
For the first three nights on vacation I set up my Big Clock program to ring every five minutes, and to keep ringing until it was turned off. I was able to get up on time, and get the family out the door for our wild adventures.
Why only the first three nights, you may ask?
It has to do with the flock of wild turkeys and ducks that started a cacophony outside our hotel room sliding door at 7:09 from Wednesday through the end of our trip. I discovered that a ringing phone doesn’t inspire quite the adrenaline level in me that two dozen ducks and four male turkeys will as they fight over their breakfasts.