On the Enavu.com blog today there's a new tutorial talking about smart date parsing using just the normal natural language you use every day.
Have you ever tried task.fm ? task.fm uses something called “Natural Language Input,” and it’s very interesting. To put it simply, you enter a natural language input such as, “Pick up my kids from school tomorrow 3pm” or “Pool party this Saturday at 4pm.”
They suggest using the strtotime function to handle some of the difficult work. There's a snippet of code included showing it in use and an explanation of how the function would handle the parts of the sentence "I am going to go to the beach at 3pm tomorrow".