From North America
by Peary Perry
several weeks of frustration I have finally managed to reset all of the various
clocks and timing devices in our house, cars and office.
In thinking back
to earlier times, it seems to me that when I grew up we might have had one or
two, at the most, clocks of one sort or another. The clock in our car could be
reset by just pulling out a knob and turning it in one direction or another. The
old windup alarm clock was just as easy. Very simple and very uncomplicated. Also
very low amounts of stress involved in changing over twice a year when daylight
savings time came around.
Not so today. No, there are clocks and timepieces
in every nook and cranny of my house and my office. The thermostats have clocks,
the phones have clocks, the answering machines have clocks, and the computers
have clocks. I'm surprised the toilets don't have clocks. Every year at this same
time I find myself in a total state of perpetual confusion since I can't remember
if I have set this particular clock or not. So during the night when I get up
to go to the bathroom, is it three in the morning or four? Do I have three hours
left to sleep or only two? Is the alarm clock set correctly? There is almost no
panic in the world like that of getting up an hour later than you wanted or setting
the clock incorrectly and waking up an hour earlier than you planned. I've done
both. Anyone who travels and has spent time in hotels knows what I'm talking about.
Those clocks are never correct. I'm always amazed at how many are set to go off
at 5:30 PM…who is asleep at 5:30 in the afternoon? What are they doing asleep
anyway at that time of the day? Don't they have a job? You can't even check into
your room at that time since someone called 'housekeeping' hasn't finished cleaning.
What, didn't they think anyone was going to be there the next night? Is this a
big surprise? Can you imagine what kind of a personality is hired to change all
of the room clocks at one of those giant hotels in Vegas? There's a job you'd
never guess on the old "What's My Line?" program.
The easy ones to fix
are the windup clocks and the oven. I do those first. They take on the position
of a sort of time central at our house. I use them to verify my sanity and every
clock is eventually matched up to them at some point or another. Of course by
the time I manage to get everything set correctly, six months have past and it's
time to start all over again.
your house is anything like ours, you have a junk drawer somewhere to keep all
of your warranties and instructions for various appliances. You can probably throw
that instruction manual to that eight-track tape player away, but hold on to the
book showing you how to reset the clock on your answering machine. This simple
device can be adjusted by pressing the record button at the same time as the pause
button and lifting the receiver while inputting the correct time in ZULU numbers
to correspond to the atomic clock in Washington. Do not change any of these steps
otherwise you will not pass 'GO' and you will be forced to start all over again.
My stereo has a clock that tells me the time in military time format.
The buttons are so small I am almost at the point where I need to drag the thing
out onto the porch and get the magnifying glass out so I can read the lettering.
Of course when you unplug the thing to take it out to the porch you have to reset
the clock all over again, so there you have it. You must keep a twenty five foot
extension cord plugged in at all times to allow you to move this device anywhere.
The clocks in my car are an entirely different animal. Somehow they are
programmed through my radio requiring me to push and pull several buttons at a
time in order to adjust one hour. The owner's manual hides the instructions for
time changing under some strange category, which I can never remember such as
'preparing the flotation devices'. The people who design these are truly members
of Satan's family.
Of course I'm just being cynical and could make
this into a positive experience and treat this like a game…sort of like an Easter
egg hunt. Maybe I'll actually count all of the clocks and timing things when we
do the next go around in a couple of months.
Gives me something to look
forward to….as if I need anything else. Which leads me to think…why do I need
a clock in my thermostat anyway?
© Peary Perry
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