Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Time Zone

Of all of my possessions, the oldest may be my clock-radio. I don’t remember getting it but it is at least 20 years old. It may not be so unusual to keep something of sentimental value for many decades. Most of my belongings of that type sit in dark boxes in my parents’ basement over 2000 miles away. But my faithful clock radio sits on my desk next to my bed where it reliably tics away the seconds and wakes me up in the morning just as it has done for so many years. The shelf life of electronic devices has become so short it seems as though your average mosquito will live to see at least three new formats for recording music but the clock fulfills such a simple need that cannot really be improved upon. Every time I packed up my belongings I reasoned that I would certainly still need an alarm clock and the one I had was as good as any so I might as well take it with me.

Well, maybe it’s not quite as good as any anymore. The buttons for setting the time and alarm have sunk into the clock so they can no longer be pressed without the aid of a tool. I use a bent paper clip or a pen. Power outages are frequent here in Haolewood and resetting the clock can be tedious, but it still works.

When I was a kid I used to worry that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. Knowing how long I had been lying in bed not sleeping made me worry more which only made it harder for me to get to sleep. It was important that I NOT know what time it was but I couldn’t manage to avoid looking at the clock. Sometimes I would just turn it around but later I taped a piece of orange construction paper so that it hung down and covered the clock’s display and could be folded up during the day when there was no need to hide the time. That orange construction paper stayed with the clock for years. Mostly I sleep pretty well these days and if I wake up and don’t want to know what time it is I just don’t look.

The buttons are getting worse. A day will come when I’m no longer able to set the clock and I’ll have to replace it but my curiosity about just how long an cheap clock radio can last compels me to continue this experiment until the bitter end.


At 3/14/2007, Anonymous Sara said...

I have one like this too, that I got in 7th Grade. For some sentimental reason I really like it, but Brian doesn't (probably because I have to reset the radio signal each night due to its age) so he banished it to the guest room. With as little use as it gets now, it may last forever!

At 3/14/2007, Anonymous judy said...

I still get anxious if I can see the clock at night, so I traded the elderly one in for one with hands. No music though - just beeping...I dream of the combination of the two.


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