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By GrandpaRalph
April 7, 2003

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I Forgot to set the clocks last night for Daylight Savings Time, so let's do it now. Please join me.

Starting upstairs in our bedroom:

Digital Alarm Clock: Press "Clock" button first, then "Hour" button.

That was easy. Proceed to 17 year old daughter's room:

Digital Alarm Clock: Press "Time" and "Forward". Minutes start moving ahead slowly at first, then more rapidly. Luckily, I let up in time and complete the last few minutes one at a time.
Stereo Boom-Box: Press "Clock" and "Hour".

Proceed to 16 year old daughter's room:

Digital Alarm Clock: Press "Clock" and "Set Hour"
Stereo Boom-Box: Press "Clock" and "Hour"

Walk downstairs to living room:

Mantle clock above fireplace: Turn clock around, move thumbwheel.
VCR: Look at front panel for "Clock" buttons. There aren't any. Look for VCR remote control. Not on tables or TV stand. Aha! Here it is, under the sofa cushion. Shake dried popcorn bits and slivers of hard candy out of the buttons, aim at VCR, and press "Power". Find TV remote control, turn on TV, and tune to Channel 3. Press "Menu" on VCR remote. Highlight "Clock" using up/down buttons, press "select", then enter time using numeric keypad, then "Quit". Turn both electronic boxes off.
Danbury crystal and gold clock received as a going away gift from work, that sits on piano: Turn around to find battery compartment. Open battery compartment, which hides thumbwheel, and adjust time. Close battery compartment.

I'm getting tired, but I know the journey has just started. On to the kitchen:

Under-Cupboard digital clock/tape player: Press "Set" button, then "Hour" button.
Wall mounted phone with digital answering machine: Base unit has 14 buttons, some with intelligible names, others with descriptors like "set/ringer" and another that says "find hs". I don't know what a "hs" is, but its comforting to know that it can be found. I press menu. It says "Sunday, April 6th, 10:38AM." This is of course wrong, because daylight savings time has made it 11:38AM. I press "Menu" again, and it displays my "security code". Another press lets me know I have 4 rings before the answering machine picks up. Another press and I discover that incoming messages are limited to 4 minutes. Finally, another press and it says, "Done". " I am NOT done," I holler back.... "How do I change your clock?" GrandmaSue enters the room and says "Calm down, I'll change that one. You'll never get it."
Microwave: In rapid succession, because I DO know what I'm doing on THIS appliance, I press "Clock", "1", "0", "4", "0", "Clock".
Stove: Press the center button below digital clock display that says "Set". Rotate the same button, as the minute display changes rapidly. Overshoot slightly, rotate knob backwards to bring back to correct time. Press "Set" again.
Coffee Pot: Press "Time" and "Hour" simultaneously.
Toaster: The only control visible is a lever labeled "dark" on one side, and "light" on the other. The toaster's clock is obviously calibrated only in broad terms, referring to night and day. I nudge the control a little toward the "light" side.

Move to Den/Office area:

3 of my 4 computers are here, and I power up just the old "Windows 95" machine for now. Finally, after about 3 minutes, I get the notification screen that Windows has automatically adjusted the time on my computer for Daylight Savings Time; Please verify that the time is correct. I click "OK", and it displays an analog clock that is roughly 4 minutes slow. I click on the appropriate "^" button, and close the window. I stand in awe for a moment, wondering how Billy's programmers way back in 1994 or so knew that daylight savings time would take affect on April 6th in 2003. Then, since I know this little miracle occurs whether or not the computer is actually plugged in, I began wondering how many of these old boxes-o-silicon chips are sitting in landfills now, but which had nevertheless performed their little daylight saving time ritual, and are just waiting for someone in the future to dig them up, apply power, and press "OK". I assume my other 3 machines did their duty properly, and choose not to verify the correct time at this moment.

Move to Family Room:

VCR:Perform ritual similar to previous VCR, but of course the sequence is just different enough to make things difficult and semi-confusing.
Automatic-set-back thermostat: Despite the fact that this thing is smart enough to control 14 different temperature profiles, 7 for the heating season and 7 for the cooling season, it can't set its own time. I'll bet it could have if Billy had written the operating system. Press "Set Clock", ("Minutes" displays) Press "Set Clock" again, ("Hours" displays), press "Time Forward" (hour changes) Press "Run Pgm".

Move to Basement:

4th Computer is here on an old desk. It was my Mother-In-Law's first machine, which got bequeathed to me when she needed more power to surf the web and download Great Grandchild photos. For the cost of a $6.95 network card, it became the machine that finally filled up the last plug on my network router, and is generally where I take the Dam classes, since nobody else in the house is likely to be disturbed. I decide to verify the clock when I take class 12, which should be soon now that kitkatklub has published a fine set of notes.
Analog Clock, battery powered, in laundry area: Move thumbwheel switch located on back of clock.
5th Computer: 5th Computer? I had forgotten about this old Packard Bell 486 Windows 3.1 tower sitting on the workbench, amidst all the discarded printers, keyboards, and mice. The "A-Drive" slot seemed to be grinning at me, as I stared at the box, wondering how many "OK"s I would have to click, given the years and years that the box had been sitting there switching back and forth between time seasons.

The house is done. Let's go outside:

'99 Expedition: Press RDS control until "CLOCK HOUR" is displayed. Use the SEL control to manually set the time. Press "^" to increase the hour. And yes, I had to get the owner's manual out to do that.
'97 Mountaineer, '96 Explorer, '94 Ranger: My Ranger is the simplest, with intuitively understood buttons on the radio. As I am doing my daughters' cars, it occurs to me that they have newer, lower mileage vehicles than me. How fair is that? Oh well, at least they were cheap, being salvaged-titled wrecks that were resurrected by a friend who does outstanding body work.
'89 Jacuzzi: It would be a stretch I suppose to say this thing has a clock, but there is this rotary knob with the numbers 1-12 (AM) and 1-12 (PM) next to a set of 96 pull-out switches that control the timing of the heater and filter. I set the knob to the correct time, and change the filter/heat time to two hours, starting at 6:00PM.

I go back up to our bedroom where I started this marathon, lie down on the bed, and pray that the 3-6 inches of snow and ice we are supposed to get tonight and tomorrow don't undo half my work by causing a power failure. That would probably lead to an "OT: The old generator" post, depicting the life and times of my 20+ year old Briggs and Stratton powered 3KW orange behemoth.

Staring across the room, I see one more clock that has not been set. My dad's wristwatch. Dad passed away a little over two years ago, and although I don't wear a wristwatch since I quit working, I kept his on a bedroom shelf where I could see it. The battery in it finally gave out about a month ago. I guess I'll just let it rest.

Ralph


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