Monday, March 11, 2013

Come Monday...Fun With Atomic Clocks

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about,  websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time.  Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.”  This is subject to change, however.  In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while.  For rants promote change, and change can be good—right?  Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

Arlynda’s mother (my mother-in-law, I think) lives with us, and she loves atomic clocks.  Evidence of this is on full display in 27 places throughout our house.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a wee bit with that.  For I think there are actually only 5-6 atomic clocks, but in a house with merely 780 some odd square feet of interior floor space, it sure seems like 27.

One just like the one above hangs in our living room, and I must admit that it has provided us with hours upon hours of high entertainment.  Granted, it is not quite to the level of a keg of beer and a bug-zapper, but watching for the inside and outside temperatures to equalize holds our attention on a regular basis.

The inside and outside temperatures are displayed at the bottom corners on either side of the moon phase display, and it gets really exciting around here when one of them is at 66.6F and the other flirts with following suit.  Yeah, I suppose one would need to be a Jesus freak to get the full measure of that sort of fun, but I would think that it should make even a very enthusiastic atheist scratch their head over the display for a full moon showing a completely blacked-out moon.

The strange thinking behind the moon phase display is not the only thing that seems possessed about our two [SkyScan atomic clocks].  For when it comes to set them up, the party really gets to going.

According to the instructions, one needs to first place batteries in the outdoor temperature sensor unit (which is the white thing on the left in the image above) so that the temperatures are the first things the clock picks up after placing batteries in it.

I do not know for sure if the necessity for picking up the outside temperature may have anything to do with one of the temperatures possibly being around 66.6F, but I have my suspicions.  For that is the only easy part of the set-up process.

You see, one has 10 minutes to set the proper time zone before the clock starts picking up the [WWVB] time code radio signal out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and after that happens, no changes can be made.  Now, if you live in the eastern time zone, there will not be any changes to be made, but we live in the central time zone.

Oh, and this might be a good time to mention that our clocks do not always pick up the signal when they should.  In fact, there have been times when they have not picked up the signal for days, and after a couple of hours of waiting for the display to show that is not a couple of hours after midnight on the 1st of January on a fortnight in 1763, I just have to start manually changing things, which has never been accomplished before the clock starts picking up the radio signal, and this means having to remove the batteries and start the process all over again.

By the way, having to start the set-up process all over again would not be so bad if it was not for the fact that once one of our clocks starts picking up the signal, there is no longer any 10-minute window of opportunity available to manually set anything after removing and putting back in the batteries.  There is also no place in the house where they will not pick up the signal INSTANTENOUSLY after the batteries are put in place.  Hey, I have even tried sitting on a clock without any success to be had!

Yes, I finally learned my lesson and resolved to just let the clocks change automatically when the time came to spring forward into daylight savings time and fall back into standard time.  So, we now have 16 atomic clocks showing 5:36 a.m. CDST and 11 showing 4:36 a.m. CST at this particular time, which makes me want to act like a mosquito and provide some entertainment of my own.

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  1. Thanks for such a good laugh, I surely needed that this morning. Still laughing about the 27 (hA! hA!) BUT KNOWING HOW it could feel like it! I found it humorous really that my new phone didn't switch over with the time change, and can you imagine I had to go into my settings on an iPhone and correct it! Oh for silly right!!!! My daughter promises me that I only need to do that once- so hoping that my phone will still be working in the time change! :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Karen!!! But I thought all Apple products are supposed to be so intuitive? So, how did your iPhone not anticipate your desire for its time to match everyone else's in your area? Have you been being overly contrary about other things lately?

  3. It sounds to me like you need a college course in order to learn how to use one of those clocks. I like using the clock on my computer, cell phone or kindle. It's all taken care of for me even the time change twice a year

  4. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Ann!!! I certainly need something!

  5. Pretty cool video, maybe consider taking more classes myself!

    Check out my awesome travel blog soon :)

  6. I don't wear or own a watch...I haven't for years and years...and more years. I have one little clock that runs forever and two days on a double-A battery on my bedside chest of drawers . I bought it at Woolworths back in January, 1998 for less than $10.00 - give or take a few cents.

    And...we don't do daylight saving here in Queensland (all other states do)...and that doesn't alarm me in the least! I clocked on for normal time...the one time we did have a trial run back in 1989/90, I hated it! I was working two jobs at the time. Cooking in and running a pizza place at night, and working in a real estate office as receptionist/property manager during the day. I really can see no reason or rhyme to daylight saving. Hopefully, the status quo will remain here in Queensland re daylight saving.

  7. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Lee!!! Be assured that I have never been all that crazy about daylight savings time, and that sentiment grew to downright loathing after I got out there trucking from coast to coast. For under daylight savings time, California is the same as Arizona and during the winter, Arizona is the same as New Mexico because of Arizona being in the same time zone as California and staying with Pacific Standard Time year around while New Mexico is in the Mountain Time Zone and an hour ahead of Pacific. Oh, and there is Indiana being the same as Illinois under daylight savings time while being the same as Ohio during the winter because of Indiana being in the Eastern Time Zone and not changing while Illinois in the Central Time Zone and an hour behind Eastern.

    Please forgive me for not wanting to get into the county in Kansas that insists upon being in the Mountain Time Zone (with nary a hill over 20 feet above the surrounding countryside being within its borders) while the rest of the state is content to be in the Central Time Zone. For I feel like wanting to get my buzz on again just thinking about it! Oh, AND TWO OF OUR CLOCKS STILL HAVEN'T SWITCHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Tyler!!! (I think.)

  9. Thanks for stopping by, my dear Adullamite!!! After Mickey's big hand stopped circling years ago, I just couldn't bear the thought of replacing him, and I still can't.

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