Sunday, 25 August 2019

"At the Double-Tones, It's Exactly..." - Or, IS IT??


When the bulk of your working life has revolved around 'split-second timing', you develop some pretty serious habits/quirks. Sometimes, it's constantly checking the current time - even while at a dinner with your spouse... Other times, it's the daily worrying that your watch is actually synced to (network) time.
As with many others who've done the same work I have over the years, I've had to constantly rely on 'split-second timing'. People would laugh at me as I'd freeze mid-stride - waiting for the exact second to sync my watch with the television network ID, or the 'double-tones' on a news station, for example. But later, they'd look in amazement as a song I was playing on a bar music system would end JUST as the TV logo signalled the start of a Leaf's game.

Well, today I decided to stream 680 News on my computer and was rather bothered because when I heard their 'double-tones' and habitually checked my Apple watch, I was already two full minutes into the new hour! HOW??? My watch is always driven by network time - ROGERS network time - as is 680 News.

My world stopped and OCD kicked in. In my head, I heard screeching tires, a submarine dive klaxon... a needle scratching across a record (a-la WKRP's Dr. Johnny Fever, just before shouting out, "Booger!")... I started twitching.... The whole mess...
Ok, so I was just folding laundry today - hardly something one needs to have such exact timing for. But it really started to bother me. How could my Apple watch be so far off? I even went to "www.time.is" and sure enough, my watch was correct. Then, how could the new station I've come to depend on, be so far out?
Then it hit me... This wasn't live radio I was listening to. I was streaming that which began as a live broadcast and then goes through who-knows-what to get on their site for us to stream... All of that process introduces some amount of digital delay - and I did have to pause the stream a couple of times...
*Whew* all is as it should be. Lambs gently floated back down from the sky to their field, trees perked up, birds chirped...and that submarine re-surfaced. I put my med's (a bottle of rye) back in the cupboard and went back to folding the laundry. I should have it all folded in another 10 minutes - or so...


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