Outside of potential insurance rate increases, there can be no doubt that the recent power surge that fried numerous home electronics was in fact a boon to our household. Several older items were suddenly replaced by newer, sexier items. This was not the result any real upgrade in quality so much as it was just moving to newer things. New things are better than old things, generally speaking, in the world of things that you plug into a wall.
The list of new electronic family members is extensive, but I have to say I think my favorite addition has been the Dream Machine. Despite the exotic name, the Dream Machine is really just a clock radio. But it is 10 or maybe 20 times better than any clock radio I have ever used. For one thing, it plays CDs. OK, that’s not that big a deal, but it’s still new for me. More than that, I can plug my iPod into it. Again, not that big a deal, but new to me. I could also tout the Dream Machine’s ease of use, it’s intuitive method for setting alarms and the time, but all of that pales in comparison to the real beauty of the Dream Machine, which is its snooze function.
First of all, it lets you snooze in nice, round, 10 minute increments. No more of these bizarre 7 or 9 minute intervals that other clocks make you suffer through, purportedly to keep you from going back into a deep sleep. Maybe people who design those clocks don’t understand the meaning of “snooze”, but I sure do. To snooze is to sleep, and every minute counts. And nothing’s worse than trying to do multiplication tables of 7’s and 9’s when you keep getting jolted out of sleep just before the REMs start coming on.
Ten minutes. There oughta be a law.
But here’s where the Dream Machine really earns raves: Instead of making you parse out your snoozes 10 minutes at a time, the Dream Machine lets you bank your snoozes. So let’s say your alarm goes off at 6:00 AM each morning. Rather than snooze till 6:10, then 6:20, then 6:30, maybe 6:40 or even 6:50, the Dream Machine lets you simply hit the button five times at 6:00, and then you hear nary a sound again until 6:50.
But it gets even better than that. Let’s say you think you only want to snooze from 6:00 until 6:20. You wake up, you punch the button two times, and away you go. But wait! You suddenly realize at 6:08 that you don’t have to be up at 6:20 after all. Instead, you can snooze all the way until 7:00. Rather than wait for that 6:20 alarm to wake you up, you can simply tap that button four more times to bank another 40 minutes, all in nice, round 10 minute increments.
I love you, Dream Machine.