Monday, March 12, 2018

1916 Not Your Grandfather's Clock


Your grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, so it stood 90 years on the floor.  But this clock -- the actual clock in the picture --
is different. It came from Radio Shack about a million years ago.  Instead of a pleasant chime, it has an obnoxious squealing alarm “ring” guaranteed to awaken the entire neighborhood and good to use if you need a defibrillator and there isn’t one handy. It also sets itself.  Sort of. It gets messages in its head. Well, in its antenna.

There was no instruction pamphlet. The various buttons on the side are marked with their main functions: alarm, set, that kind of thing.  But the buttons, pressed in combinations,  have other functions and it’s impossible to remember them.

This particular clock self sets only if it’s sitting near a window and facing east. So with each change to or from standard time, it gets put on the window sill, the “set” button gets pushed.  The clock sets.  And that should be that.

Though it’s in the Eastern time zone, it liked to set for either Pacific or Mountain time.  That means fiddle with the buttons until you hit the right combination and it reverts to Eastern.  This can’t be: the buttons change functions between time changes.  But it sure seems so.

It’s been dropped a few times and this most recent time, something broke and now the battery compartment is held together with duct tape.

How many times has someone said “you still have that awful, ugly thing?”  Or “aren’t you ever going to get rid of that thing?”

Nope.

It is a monument to early technology.  It’s an artifact.  It is a 20th century version of an unearthed third century scroll and as difficult to comprehend.  It’s feral.

It knows when February has 29 days and when it doesn’t.  But it refuses to change with the coming or going of Daylight time unless it’s perched on a window sill and facing east. And when it works, it tells time, date and temperature, evidently with rigid accuracy.

Like the clock in the song “My Grandfather’s Clock,” the expectation was the thing would die when Radio Shack went belly up.  It didn’t.  Maybe that’s because a handful Radio Shacks still exists, though you probably haven’t seen one since the last time you were on a successful fossil hunt. Maybe the clock waiting for me to go.

SHRAPNEL:
--There’s a special election for a vacant congressional seat in western Pennsylvania tomorrow… in the district where the former occupant preached anti abortion while urging “the other woman” to have one. The district is important to trump who has campaigned for the Republican candidate in one of those misshapen districts that almost guarantees a Republican win.  But the Democrat stands a chance and that’s scaring the president.

--The president’s… um... acquaintance, Stormy Daniels, ageing porn star, is on a “Make America Horny Again” tour, thus extending the life of an adult entertainer beyond the normal five years.  We advise caution if you plan to attend.  Wear a surgical mask and after the show discard it in a parking lot wastebasket before re-entering your car.

--The president believes Putin about not spying and that Kim won’t continue nuke tests during and after their meeting. Really? So fake news is being overtaken by fake beliefs.

--American Idol has returned to the small screen and it’s even worse than you remember.  Screaming “singers,” sob stories, the ever-present Ryan “I am Everywhere” Seacrest, and a Blake Shelton wannabe who talks like Kermit the Frog.  The only high point is judge Lionel Richie, who can speak with both warmth and authority to a bunch of no-talent kids and whose smile and intent are genuine.

TODAY’S QUOTE:
-“Does that mean I can write my own prescriptions now?” --Willie Nelson on accepting his honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. Quoted by Carole King on the MusiCares Award program on AXS TV.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
All sponsored content on this site is parody.
© WJR 2018

Your grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, so it stood 90 years on the floor.  But this clock -- the actual clock in the picture --
is different. It came from Radio Shack about a million years ago.  Instead of a pleasant chime, it has an obnoxious squealing alarm “ring” guaranteed to awaken the entire neighborhood and good to use if you need a defibrillator and there isn’t one handy. It also sets itself.  Sort of. It gets messages in its head. Well, in its antenna.

There was no instruction pamphlet. The various buttons on the side are marked with their main functions: alarm, set, that kind of thing.  But the buttons, pressed in combinations,  have other functions and it’s impossible to remember them.

This particular clock self sets only if it’s sitting near a window and facing east. So with each change to or from standard time, it gets put on the window sill, the “set” button gets pushed.  The clock sets.  And that should be that.

Though it’s in the Eastern time zone, it liked to set for either Pacific or Mountain time.  That means fiddle with the buttons until you hit the right combination and it reverts to Eastern.  This can’t be: the buttons change functions between time changes.  But it sure seems so.

It’s been dropped a few times and this most recent time, something broke and now the battery compartment is held together with duct tape.

How many times has someone said “you still have that awful, ugly thing?”  Or “aren’t you ever going to get rid of that thing?”

Nope.

It is a monument to early technology.  It’s an artifact.  It is a 20th century version of an unearthed third century scroll and as difficult to comprehend.  It’s feral.

It knows when February has 29 days and when it doesn’t.  But it refuses to change with the coming or going of Daylight time unless it’s perched on a window sill and facing east. And when it works, it tells time, date and temperature, evidently with rigid accuracy.

Like the clock in the song “My Grandfather’s Clock,” the expectation was the thing would die when Radio Shack went belly up.  It didn’t.  Maybe that’s because a handful Radio Shacks still exists, though you probably haven’t seen one since the last time you were on a successful fossil hunt. Maybe the clock waiting for me to go.

SHRAPNEL:
--There’s a special election for a vacant congressional seat in western Pennsylvania tomorrow… in the district where the former occupant preached anti abortion while urging “the other woman” to have one. The district is important to trump who has campaigned for the Republican candidate in one of those misshapen districts that almost guarantees a Republican win.  But the Democrat stands a chance and that’s scaring the president.

--The president’s… um... acquaintance, Stormy Daniels, ageing porn star, is on a “Make America Horny Again” tour, thus extending the life of an adult entertainer beyond the normal five years.  We advise caution if you plan to attend.  Wear a surgical mask and after the show discard it in a parking lot wastebasket before re-entering your car.

--The president believes Putin about not spying and that Kim won’t continue nuke tests during and after their meeting. Really? So fake news is being overtaken by fake beliefs.

--American Idol has returned to the small screen and it’s even worse than you remember.  Screaming “singers,” sob stories, the ever-present Ryan “I am Everywhere” Seacrest, and a Blake Shelton wannabe who talks like Kermit the Frog.  The only high point is judge Lionel Richie, who can speak with both warmth and authority to a bunch of no-talent kids and whose smile and intent are genuine.

TODAY’S QUOTE:
-“Does that mean I can write my own prescriptions now?” --Willie Nelson on accepting his honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. Quoted by Carole King on the MusiCares Award program on AXS TV.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
All sponsored content on this site is parody.
© WJR 2018


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