My Dog Ate My Homework (or a buttefly flaps its wings in Hong Kong)

I try not to post items of a personal nature here, but this is too good. I'll see if I can apply it to engineering or security somehow....

Last night, my finger was hanging off the edge of the bed. The cat decided to play, so attacked the finger. We played for a little while like that. Then she fell on my alarm clock (I guess) that sits by my bed on the floor.

The alarm clock is battery powered, so it's LCD. So it has a backlight button. When the cat fell on it, the batteries got jarred just right or something, so the backlight wouldn't go off. This really annoyed me, so I picked up the clock and shook it, and the light didn't go off. I looked at the display: "88:88:88". So great, something really got jarred well.

So I took the batteries out and popped them back in. The clock receives a radio signal from the atomic clocks, so I set the timezone, but it never could get a radio signal to set the time. So I manually set the time.

I meet with some guys on Friday mornings. One of the guys knows I loaned a car to somebody, so would need a ride to our gathering. The phone woke me up 20 minutes after my alarm should've gone off, and my buddy said he was on his way and would wait outside for me - but he was like 2 minutes away.

Still sleepy, I was still trying to figure out why my alarm didn't go off. My clock said it was one hour earlier than it really was. So what had happened was when I set the timezone, I neglected to set the DST flag. And in the middle of the night, the clock picked up a signal and (correctly) set the time for one hour ago.

And to top it all off, I have a calendar event for my regular meeting. It's supposed to send me an SMS in time for me to get up and make it to the meeting. But that message didn't come today.

Talk about the planets being in alignment.

So if there's anything we can apply here to security or engineering:

  • Better (in this case, atomic clocks) isn't always better.
  • DST is a waste of time. It's there so there are more daylight hours. How does changing our clocks change the tilt of the earth or the rate of its rotation?
  • Sometimes, two points of failure aren't enough (alarm clock and SMS message).
  • Cats ruin everything.