Occasionally I drift away from the hustle and bustle of news, both current and the old fermented stuff. Beyond my back door lives a noisy world where lately our whole planet seems to have become hostile and very angry.
In my apartment, if I so desire I can create calmness, or at the flick of a button allow a little circular piece of plastic covered with digital information to create music, speech or movies with thunderous reverberations or tinkling of a fine misty rain falling against my television screen.
Digital is wonderful. In my lifetime numerous changes have taken place to produce music, including but not necessary in this order; 78's, 45's, 33 and a 1/3's, eight tracks, cassettes and CD players. I have no idea about the new gadgets people are plugging into their heads like MP3 and Apple something or others.
In this age of depositing digital chips in every conceivable doohickey, from the family car to the voting machine, a person begins to surmise perhaps something is missing and I believe it is ingenuity since younger folks feel like a rocket scientist with just a computer chip and a hand full of wires.
I ask you this simple question, who is in charge of clocks nowadays.
On my wall ticks away a rare made in Japan school clock that is over a hundred years old and by moving a tiny little weight up or down a pendulum it will keep perfect time for three days, then with a key I wind the antique time piece and forget it.
There once was a time when a clockmaker had to sit down and design a clock with multiple gears, little bitty axles, main springs and a brass knob to set the time. I am amazed how they designed just the right little parts to allow it to keep near perfect time.
Now likely you are wondering what brought me to the pinnacle of this story. It is the fact people (me) can be suckered into paying sixty five dollars for a RCA alarm clock that makes Inspector Gadget look like a quadriplegic. The ninety-five page instruction manual, printed in 32 languages, states all you need do is plug it in and the time magically appears. Well it did for about two days.
From that moment on the clock had a mind of its own, likely controlled by an evil chip implanted deep within the hunk of plastic. The alarm went off when ever it so pleased and resetting the alarm, well let me just say, was impossible. The background digital dial color kept changing, the CD player would start to skip and trying to move on to the next song became futile, as was attempting to use the volume control.
I took the monster back to Best Buy just before Daylight Savings Time began, since the time control was linked to an atomic clock, likely in Iran. I just knew it was a James Bond style bomb with its digital seconds flashing just before a ground zero nuclear detonation took place. Somehow it found a space on my night stand. While dripping in fearful sweat, the clock was unplugged and returned.
I thought perhaps the Best Buy clerks would smirk under their breath, hand me another clock from under the counter and shove me out the door, but when the young lady looked on the computer and said with sadness in her eyes they no longer carry that brand so perhaps I would like to find something else to spend my credit on, feel free.
For some unknown reason I rode my wheelchair back to the alarm clock section only to find a Timex clock for ten dollars more than the returned one. I could only stand in fear thinking of the devastation a more expensive clock could wreak upon humanity. I slowly backed away.
As I laid down my pile of DVD's on the counter in order to use my return credit, a back-in-time flash took me to grandma's house and thoughts of how I was lulled off to sleep with the loud ticking of her wind up Big Ben alarm clock. Waking up in the morning seemed so simple and safe for neurotics like me.
Now, if you folks will excuse me I need to get on ebay and find a Big Ben ASAP. Only one problem--there is a chip somewhere in the computer that remembers my previous visits.
Settle in, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your stay here at Shelly's. The pie is great, the coffee pot is always on and soon you will find this to be the best place in town. SOON TO BE AMERICA'S MOST READ BLOG