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The problem with time

December 7, 2021

Well, the problem isn’t with time itself. Time just does its own thing. The problem is timepieces. I’ve had this problem before. As annoying as that problem was, it’s nowhere near as annoying as this one. 

The last time there was a power failure my twenty-year-old Sony radio alarm clock did not, as it always had before, reset itself when the power came back on. It just blinked and it was no longer possible to set the time on it. Blink, blink, blink. Annoying as sometimes the alarm on my phone isn’t enough to wake me up. 

So, a couple of weeks ago, when I was forced to go to town for a dental appointment, I took the opportunity to buy a new clock radio. I bought the one that on the box looked the most like the old Sony. This was a Timex. Fair enough, probably just fine. Wrong. It was a cheap, lightweight piece of plastic crap. Whilst it was possible to set the alarm on the Timex, it was not possible to set the time. (Before you ask, yes, I did read the instructions.) It started at 12:00 and could not be budged. Yes, the time changed accordingly, but out by eight hours. I knew it was unlikely to last as long as the old Sony, but did it really have to be such a piece of shit. (Why is almost everything a piece of shit these days?) At some point I’m going to have to go over as a foot passenger to return it. Buggeration.

Oh, well, I thought. Much as I like to be awakened by the radio, if I can’t have that, I still need a back up alarm clock. Yesterday I went into a shop on the island and bought one. Came home, plugged it in and – hallelujah – it was possible to set the time. An hour later I noticed it was ten minutes fast. Oh, I suppose I hadn’t set it correctly. I reset it. By the time I was ready for bed and looked at it again, it had gained two hours. Reset it again to the proper time, estimated how much time it would gain overnight and set the alarm accordingly. I was out by half an hour. Overnight it had gained three and a half hours when I’d guessed four hours. At least the alarm woke me up (early), but this is clearly unacceptable. Back to the store today.

And then there’s this timepiece.

A friend gave it to me for my birthday a while ago. It hangs on a pillar facing the bed and reliably tells me the time when I wake up in the morning. I really like this clock – not least because once upon a time I had a crazy little black cat in my life. Unfortunately the mechanism by which it was turned into a clock isn’t terribly robust and it turns out it is impossible to replace the battery without applying some pressure on the hands at the front, which somehow misaligns them, so the hour hand flops forward when it gets to the top and blocks the second hand going forward. I’ve looked closely and cannot see any way to tighten anything up so the hour hand does not flop forward. I like looking at the cat clock in the morning when I wake up. The last time this happened, the first time I’d changed the battery, I was able to take the clock to a clock maker on the island, but he’s retired now, so I think I’m screwed. There really is no point in having a clock hanging there that simply does not tell the time.

Meanwhile, I’ve just done a Google search and it seems one of the best clock radios available now is this Magnasonic.

It looks exactly like the old Sony! So I’ve ordered one, but the earliest it will arrive is December 23rd. The saga (problem) it seems will continue for a while.

What time is it?

From → Blog

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