September 09, 2004

On the Road

"Good Morning. I'm Michael Summerthwaite. We're going to do some meditations. Begin to breathe slowly . . . that's it . . . nice and slow . . . "

Nothing like being woken up at 5:14am by the sounds of the harmonies of New Age synthesizers, bubbling brooks, and the voice of Michael Summerthwaite telling you it is time for your morning meditation.

I thought it was the TV, but no, it was this damn "Dream Machine", an alarm clock on steroids that the hotel provides its guests. It has a built-in CD player with a hotel-provided CD of "soothing" audio to help you sleep -- ha! It may be a "Dream Machine" but to me it was a football, and as I reached for it my intent was to throw it out the hotel room's window and see how far it might go before it hit the ground. Ah, it seems the hotel has anticipated this reaction from its guests: the damn Dream Machine is bolted to the table.

Why is it these devices are so poorly designed? Sure, at first glance, with all its sleek lines and curves, one could see how it might win an Industrial Design award. But when it comes to being woken up by one at 5:14 in the morning, the only thing I care about is how to shut it off. And it's always impossible to find the TURN THE NOISE OFF button. Even in full light, it's hard to figure out. I never trust something called "Snooze". I suspect it means the damn noise will start up again in 10 minutes. Best thing to do is pull the plug. At least the hotel management didn't bolt that into the wall.

Posted by brian at September 9, 2004 07:00 AM


But I still prefer it to the phone ringing in an endless series with no-one on the other end you can politely tell 'Yes, I am awake now - please stop ringing me'...

Posted by: Fodd at September 11, 2004 01:08 AM

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