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Monday, Nov. 26, 2001
Once again I have occasion to marvel at the simplicity of my alarm clock.

Ever wonder how some farmhand in the 17th century managed to rise at 4 am daily to do the milking, or the egg gathering? You can bet it wasn't because of some digital, two-tiered CD playin' clock radio affair with the built in alarm. Or even a Seth Thomas wind up.

There is no more sure way to rise when you want to than by letting your mind do the alarming for you. I read somewhere that early man, if needing to rise a little earlier than usual, would just drink extra water the night before. You know, the full bladder method. That tends to work pretty effectively as well.

My method, and I'm sure the method of countless generations before me, is to just know what the time is and allow my brain to absorb it. I used to have a little ritual before bed, to look at the clock, see that it was 11 pm, and acknowledge that I need to get up at 5. Say it a few times to myself. Then fall asleep. That was 30 years ago, and I don't have to do much clock watching anymore. Practice, it seems, has paid off. And on the other hand, when I don't need that early arousal, the mind apparantly gets all sympathetic with the body and lets it sleep until 6.

Yes I know, 6 am is still pretty early for a lot of people.

I don't have much use for watches, either, in part because I refuse to be enslaved by time. A lot of it is simplistic living - you rise at dawn and work til dusk. And what's in between is all work anyway. When something must happen at a particular time, just use your built in alarm. It works during the day too, maybe not right to the moment, but close enough.

And as a bonus, you never have to listen to annoying whistles, gongs or screaming morning drive guys on the alarm clock radio ever again.

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