austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Entered school when I was two, PhD'd that afternoon

And a most happy PhD'versary to dearest bunny_hugger!

We've got a mantle clock. It's a charming one and we like the sound of its ticking. As far as that goes, it's in good shape: wind it once a week and it carries on in this vein for more than a week, giving us a margin of error in case we aren't able to get to it the right day.

The chimes, though, that's an issue. The half-hour chime we'd had disabled by bending the striking hammer out of the way, because it was at a tritone relative to the main hour chime and would sound horrible being struck with the hours. The hour chime had been fine, but the mechanism started slipping. If we wound the chimes to ``enough to last a week'', the chimes would slip and go crazy, excessively fast and sometimes excessively many hour strikes. Winding it so little that it didn't go crazy would last only a couple days, making it all the harder to remember.

In the absence of the chance to find a clock shop that could repair it, we let the chimes wind down. We'd expected the chimes to just stop sounding, and for the most part, they have. The last gasps of the winding, though, have lasted much longer and more strangely than we expected. There'll still be the occasional single strike on the hour, and the half-hour strikes which shouldn't even be possible have been happening and we have no idea how. More, the clock's picked up a habit of putting this strange, halfhearted extra little hour chime, at nothing like the hour. If it were at the quarter-hour I might think it was a misbegotten attempt at doing a quarter-hour chime, but (a) the clock was never designed to chime at the quarter-hour, and (b) it was way fast for that anyway.

It's absurd to think that the clock might be literally haunted, but, the way the sounds are coming so long after the last winding, and now at such weird and arbitrary moments, makes it hard to say with certainty that it's not.

Trivia: About a quarter of the insecticides and a tenth of all herbicides and defoliants in the world are used to support cotton crop production. Source: Big Cotton: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map, Stephen Yafa.

Currently Reading: What Makes This Book So Great, Jo Walton.


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