Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Clock Setting Blues

"Well, we did it again."
Sometimes you heard those words in the newsroom when a copy boy dropped off a stack of papers still warm from running through the big presses downstairs. They meant we had started work at 7 a.m. with dozens of sheets of paper with nothing on them but ads and a huge amount of white space. Six hours later we had filled up all the empty space and now there was a complete newspaper. We had done it again.
That's a little like setting all the clocks twice a year. Ahead in the spring, back in the fall, on and on it goes. Why can't we just stay on Daylight Savings Time all year? Think of the man hours it would save.
In Europe back during WWII we were on British Double Summertime. That meant the clocks were two hours ahead or two hours behind, one or the other. I can't recall that it changed from one season to the next but maybe it did. I believe I would have noticed if it had because it would have screwed up things like guard duty. While the fighting was going on the German pilots didn't give a damn what the clocks said, they were always there to drop bombs shortly after darkness settled in. Bed-check Charlie, you could set your watch by him.
Now that I no longer have to worry about Charlie, I have to worry about clocks. It's downright amazing how many of them we have. I normally don't notice except to occasionally glance at one in passing. But on clock setting days they seem to come crawling out of the woodwork. A visitor would think we are the most time-conscious people on the planet, and we aren't. So why all the clocks? I haven't a clue.
A few of these clocks, but not many, are set in the old-fashioned way by just turning a little knob. Most are electronic so it's more complicated. Far more complicated because each must be set in a different manner. After struggling with one for fifteen or twenty minutes you finally get it right and move on the next thinking you have it all figured out and the rest will be easy. Wrong. In six months you have forgotten that each has a completely different way of being set.
The cuckoo clock in the hall is especially troublesome because both the clock and the cuckoo have to be set. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with the bird. He has a mind of his own so at 10 o'clock he may call out nine times, or maybe eleven. Then he will shape up and get it right just long enough to prevent being strangled by the irate man of the house. If that happened it would please the hamster, Mr. Zip-Zip. Whenever cuckoo sings out he stops in his tracks, certain a monster is approaching.
So now as Sunday morning winds down all the clocks have been set and the semi-annual task is complete. Yes, we did it again.


Blogger morgancraft said...

I thought I had it easy. My two household clocks are electric with battery back-up, and both are easy to set. My wristwatch is only slightly more stubborn. The clock in the car takes longer until I remember the right knobs to push and to hold. And I haven't been around a cuckoo clock since my grandmother's in the Bronx. Maybe Santa will bring me one, because nine or eleven notwithstanding, I do miss that little bird.

Usually I depend on my computer and cell phone for the correct time and therefore did not worry about changing them. Wrong.

Computer seems ok, although I update the internet time every once in a while to be sure - a hold-over habit from the days when I got serious-looking error messages telling me the way to know if my computer was about to take a flying leap into the void was if the time was incorrect. But I always wondered, how would I know?

So I don't trust these things, but assumed my cell phone would adjust itself just fine without my help. Wrong again.

I had to call the cell company to figure this one out. Silly me, I assumed since the (expletive omitted here) thing is governed by a satellite, it would get some mysterious message in the wee hours of the morning whispering into its little 21st century ear telling it to set itself back. Nope. It had to be "powered down" (or turned off, for those of us who still speak Engligh). Then I had to remove the battery, count to 15 (where did the operator come up with 15?), put the battery back in, then "power up" (or turn on, per previous note).

If I got an extra hour's sleep, how come I am so tired?

Love your blog, Dick.


1:16 PM  

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