March 19th, 2014

krazy koati

Just like the watch John Cameron Swayze displayed last night on the old TV

We've got a lovely clock which sits on the mantle and we enjoy its ticking and its hourly chimes. (It would have half-hourly chimes too, except the half-hour chime is for some reason mis-tuned and would make a horrible sound.) A weekly winding and it's good for that comforting regular sound.

Except that it's a little broken. The chimes, on winding, run loose, with the sound being struck several times a second. If they're wound to full, they can even start ringing in a mad frenzy, dozens of times (``It's 93 o'clock''). It can take a couple days to loosen up to the point they chime about right. If we don't wind them up far enough that they start slipping, then, the chimes wind down in just a couple days, certainly not as much as the week they're supposed to take.

We had this problem before and bunny_hugger's father took the clock to a shop which recommended one possible fix that would fuse something or other inside the mechanism and which might fix it, at the cost of it chiming one too few times (which we could work around for everything but noon and midnight, by setting the chime ahead one hour), or we could just replace the whole mechanism with a quartz clock and get an electronic tone for the chiming.

We haven't decided just what to do, although I'd really like to try getting the clock fixed properly if we can. I believe it's hurt my father-in-law's feelings that I don't accept his preferred clock shop's opinion, but I do feel like before we do something irreversible we should have at least a fresh look at the clock (their diagnosis of what to do in case the clock breaks again was made a year ago), either by the same eyes as before or by someone different. Anyway I'm hoping we can find a way to get the clock up to speed.

Trivia: The earliest published rules for baseball put the bases at ten to fifteen paces --- 25 to 38 feet --- apart. By the 1820s and 1830s this distance had risen to 36 to 60 feet. Source: Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search For The Roots Of The Game, David Block.

Currently Reading: Up Ship! A History of the US Navy's Rigid Airships 1919 - 1935, Douglas Hill Robinson.