Check the alarm upon arrival – Hotel tip

I don’t know if it’s the maid setting the room’s alarm clock as a prank, or the occupants prior to my stay. In any case, too many times I have been abruptly awakened to a blaring alarm or loud music booming at my head from the nightstand.

Not the best way to start off a relaxing vacation.

Therefore, it’s become my custom to check — and turn off! — the room-provided alarm clock when I first arrive so there will not be any surprises at dawn. Or worse: at pre-dawn.

[Photo: Flickr | Robert S. Donovan]

SkyMall Monday: Voice Interactive Travel Clock

Some people prefer their favorite radio station. Others opt for an impossible-to-ignore beeping. For some, it’s the sunlight pouring through their windows. For parents, it’s often the screams of children. Whatever wakes you up, it’s imperative that it’s at the correct time. Being late for meetings, flights or circumcisions can lead to embarrassment, fees and foreskins. But what happens when you travel and you need to be roused at a specific time? Sure, you could rely on the hotel’s alarm clock…or the alarm on your watch…or a wake-up call…or the alarm on your phone…or a call from your spouse, but who wants to take the risk of those things not working? Surely, there must be a better way to ensure that you are up and at ’em on time. Thankfully, SkyMall knows that your watches, phones and spouses are about as reliable as Tiger Woods. So, rather than leaving things to chance, they’ve come to the rescue for people with places to go, people to see and penises to snip. And that’s why SkyMall Monday is thrilled to endorse the Voice Interactive Travel Clock.Watches are stuck to your wrist and can be muffled by pillows. Phone batteries die. Wake-up calls are contingent on you knowing what to do when that ringing sound emanates from the phone. And the alarm clocks at hotels are most likely covered in semen (like everything else in your hotel room). It’s best to bring your own alarm clock that doesn’t require the use of your hands (since it, too, is probably covered in semen – like everything else in your luggage).

Think that there are plenty of alternatives for waking up that don’t require you packing your own alarm clock? Think that packing an alarm clock with standard buttons and switches would suffice and that an alarm clock that responds to voice commands is gimmicky and useless? Well, I bet all of your belongings aren’t even covered in semen. Liar. Let’s take a look at the product description:

Unlike the confounding bedside clocks found in many hotel rooms, this travel alarm clock operates by verbal commands, making it as easy to set up as a wake-up call. Its advanced speech recognition technology responds to 10 spoken commands such as “set time,” “set alarm,” and “today’s date?” with clear and accurate verbal answers.

It’s the alarm clock of the future…today! I bet it would look great next to a bowl of Dippin’ Dots. And lest you think that Gadling doesn’t know about the future of alarm clocks, we were working the voice interactive clock beat months ago.

Look, you can say that a voice activated alarm clock is a gimmick. But you can also explain to the Greenbaum family why their mohel was late to little Shlomo’s briss. I’m guessing that won’t go over so well. Best to keep your hands clean and your alarm set with the Voice Interactive Travel Clock.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

SkyMall Monday: Day Clock

Welcome to SkyMall Wednesday. I mean, um, Tuesday? No, wait, SkyMall Friday, right? Fudge! SkyMall Monday! Wow. You’ll have to forgive my absentmindedness. It’s been a crazy few days, what with all the holiday shopping, snow in New York City and MTV’s Jersey Shore revolutionizing television as we know it. It’s just so hard to remember what day of the week it is, let alone what time of day. I’m a frazzled mess. This is no small problem. I’ve missed medical appointments, dinner dates and, perhaps worst of all, Quacker Factory on QVC. This madness has to stop before I end up missing flights or trying to go to Chik-Fil-A on a Sunday. But how can one be expected keep track of what day it is? There’s, like, what, 12 days in a week? That’s a lot of days. Frankly, I’m at my wits’ end.

Thankfully, SkyMall knows that there are people like me out there. People who are so overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of life that simply keeping track of the calendar is an impossible situation. And thanks to their innovative thinking and bold research methods, I’ll finally be able sing “Eight Days a Week” with confidence thanks to this major scientific breakthrough. Because now we have the Day Clock.Did you know that Tuesday comes after Monday? And that there’s a Thursday? That’s a funny word. I wonder if that bar down the street knows that Hersday isn’t really one of the days of the week (though it should be, since ladies seem to be able to drink for free before 8:00pm on that mythical day). Anyways, presuming that it’s not running fast, my Day Clock tells me that it’s Monday. And that’s why you’re reading SkyMall Monday today. It’s all falling into place (but you ladies will have to pay full price for your drinks tonight).

Sure, I know what you’re thinking. “But, Mike, I always know what day of the week it is. I have more calendars than I know what to do with. There’s one on my wall, computer, smartphone, cellphone, desk and tattooed on my secretary’s lower back above that dolphin.” Well, not all of us live in a lap of luxury with multiple calendars and tramp-stamped secretaries. Some of us wander aimlessly through life clinging desperately to whatever buoy we can find that will moor us to the days of the week.

Lest ye doubt the necessity of such a macro level clock, feast your eyes on the product description:

Do all of your days seem the same? Do you have little trouble keeping track of the hour and even the date but the day always eludes you? Then you need a DayClock. It’s uniquely designed to keep track of weekly events like your golf day, card night, movie night and so much more. Ideal for vacations and cruises when it’s easy to lose track of the day.

Much like companionship and hope elude me, the days of the week seem to pass through my grasp like so many grains of sand through an hour glass. And much like vacations and cruises, wearing the same pair of sweatpants for months on end can blur the days of the week into one endless trip to Old Country Buffet.

If you’re struggling to cope with the challenge of remembering what day it is, then I cannot recommend the Day Clock fiercely enough. And if you order now, it will arrive in ten business days. So, by, um…uh…Smurzday, you’ll finally be getting your life in order.

Until then, have a great weekend!

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

SkyMall Monday: TimeMug

People are always shocked to learn that I don’t drink coffee. They say, “Mike, you attack the day with the vim and vigor of a boy one-third your age. Certainly, you must caffeinate yourself every morning.” People are also surprised to learn that I rarely wear a watch. They say things like, “But, Mike, you are as prompt as a man with one-third the level of OCD that you possess. Certainly, you must have a precision timepiece.” Well, the fact of the matter is I do not need coffee or watches. I’m high on life and my body clock is more accurate than the U.S. government’s atomic clock. But, for those of you who are without these natural gifts there’s the TimeMug.

The TimeMug finally puts a clock face where you’ve always needed it: on the side of your insulated travel mug. How many times has this happened to you: You’re sipping your cup of coffee, realize you need to know the time, check your watch and spill your coffee all over your trousers? If you said, “at least seven times,” then I’m amazed that you have the motor skills to access this website. Regardless, who needs the time and their coffee separated? By combining their powers, there’s literally nothing that can stop you from being on-time and alert.*

But what if you’re a fashionista who needs a TravelMug that matches your couture lifestyle? Well, for you there’s the TimeMug Rhinestone Collection. Wouldn’t it look handsome in your Bentley’s cup holder? Yes, it would.

As always, let’s rely on the official product description to seal the deal:

With two rhinestone timepiece options and so many dazzling colors to choose from, there’s a TimeMug right for everyone.

The good people at TimeMug understand that the only things that matter to consumers are colors and rhinestones. It’s like they can see into our souls. So, put down your Bedazzler and get yourself a TimeMug.

* Any number of things could still prevent you from being on-time and/or alert including, but not limited to, traffic, insomnia, “Irishing up your coffee,” rabies and explosive diarrhea.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Global Time Travel Clock

Unless they can add and subtract, like, really well, globe-trekkers are frequently wondering what time it is. Why bother with annoying old math when you can simply rotate a bezel and get the right time?

Brookstone’s $30 Global Time Travel Clock is so smart, it knows the time anywhere on earth. Simply turn the dial to learn the precise time (and day of the week) in any of the planet’s 24 time zones. Don’t have nocturnal vision? Brookstone didn’t think so. That’s why they gave the clock a backlit screen. Just touch the clock face, and the screen lights up.

Also boasting a built-in super-bright LED flashlight, you can even use the clock to make sure that noise you hear isn’t the sound of your hotel’s doorknob slowly twisting…