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Nov 1 / Jonathan

Too many clocks

Some future civilization is going to look back and find our obsession with time and clocks mighty peculiar.

It’s time to reset the clocks again, now that we’re no longer saving daylight. I lost count this morning, but I can reconstruct some of it.

  • Three setback thermostats. OK, these are justified; they need to know the time, and in return I save a surprising amount of energy.
  • Various computers. They’re considerate enough to change time on their own, and to pass it on to an iPod and printer/fax. The printer wants to timestamp faxes. I’m not sure why the iPod wants to know what time it is; I guess it assumes that it might be my only timepiece. Ha.
  • I’m happy that answering machines timestamp messages, so I can’t complain.
  • Car clocks. Traditional, I guess, but…
  • Cameras. I like having my photos timestamped, so I’m not complaining.
  • Our kitchen radio is a recycled bedroom alarm clock. I don’t need the time from it, but if I don’t set it, it blinks at me.
  • Water softener. This one uses its clock to do its regeneration cycles in the wee hours of the morning. OK.
  • Cellphones do themselves.
  • A small collection of wristwatches, alarm clocks and one wall clock. Dedicated to telling time, so you can’t blame them, but why do I bother to wear a watch?
  • Kitchen oven and microwave. They seem to have a fantasy that I’m going to prepare some elaborate dinner ahead, put it in the cold oven, and program it to cook it later. No chance.

That’s not all of them, but I’m tired of making the list. I long ago got rid of a coffee maker with a clock in it. I will say this: electronic clocks have gotten considerably easier to set over the years. None of the clocks I set this morning presented more than a few seconds puzzlement over how to accomplish the required task.

Still. Two people. Well over 30 clocks. Crazy.

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