My Clock: A Christmas Story

I love clocks. I love everything about them: I love how they look, I love how they sound, and I love the idea that I can actually know what time it is for even a second, because I have absolutely no time sense.

I don’t know how to describe it, actually. They’re just fascinating to me. At the risk of sounding like a lunatic, I catch myself gazing at them. Every time my mom’s cuckoo clock goes off I try to get the kids to see it and they just roll their eyes at me. I absolutely view “going to the clock aisle at Target” as a valid way to kill 30 minutes. My memory is pretty poor in general, but I still remember taking apart my first alarm clock. It was powder blue with like the old style bell on the top. I still remember what the grease felt like on the cogs.

As much as I enjoy modern clocks, mechanical clocks are vastly cooler than electrical clocks. There’s just something…steampunk about all those tiny gears. It’s endlessly fascinating to me that something can be so precise and detailed using only technology that we knew about a hundred years ago. It feels like magic.

So when you put all of this together, there is one type of clock that is the biggest, awesomest, granddaddy of them all (you see what I did there?): the grandfather clock.

I have wanted a grandfather clock for as long as I can remember. My grandma has one and it is just the absolute best. The sound is definitely part of it; those Westminster chimes give me chills.

Last year I decided that the only thing I wanted for Christmas this year was a grandfather clock. I thought maybe I could coordinate everybody, pool money, find someone to haul it, possibly find a clock repair person if necessary. However, as Christmas got nearer, and I started looking at used clocks online, it was a little overwhelming. So many choices. How do you know which ones are good and which ones aren’t? What if you drive to all over the midwest and all of the clocks are broken or something?

So I decided it was all just too much and grandfather clocks needed to just remain in the realm of dreams. Unbeknownst to me, Sara had already been contacting people and, long story short:

(Bonus audio on that video is because I told Alex you can count the chimes to tell the time…he made it to 19!)

It’s been about a week and I have not gotten tired of the chiming yet. Never has a clock been so fussed over. As soon as I get home I check to see if I missed it just chiming or not. I have fiddled with the pendulum several times to adjust the clock speed faster or slower, and I check it against my watch nearly every time it chimes to see if it needs further adjustment. I mean, obviously the newness will wear off at some point, but as of now my only regret is that the chime is not louder!

So that’s how I came to own a grandfather clock, and to have all of my wildest dreams suddenly come true!



bacon stuff

Some bacon lover sent me a link to a product that combines two of my loves, bacon and clocks. Well, it turns out the baconation group over there on cafepress has tons and tons of bacon merchandise, including such fantastic slogans as “The power of bacon compells you” and “Love, Peace and Bacon Grease“.

And, to complete your wardrobe, why not buy some delicious looking bacon keds:

(Shoe link courtesy Sara)

Data Mining

One of, if not THE main reason I moved to wordpress from livejournal was that livejournal didn’t offer the ability to see statistics. And the best part about those statistics are seeing what searches on google are leading to hits on my blog.

These statistics are not at all what you would expect, but they are fascinating. For example, the most frequent search item that people use to find this blog is ‘clock’. Searches that involve that word have landed on this blog more than 1,070 times. I just can’t fathom that! I’m sure there are entire blogs devoted just to clocks. As far as I know, I have only really mentioned clocks two times, and in passing at that. How far down the list must my blog be that people are finding me?

After clocks, my next two most searched for items are running neck and neck at just over 200 hits each. Kate Micucci is narrowly beating out searches related to the Mario ? box. The first I feel okay about since I actually took time and energy to write up an informative post. The second I feel a little bad about, since my post is really just a summary and link-through to another post. Still, at least in those cases I’m fairly sure that the searchers got what they were looking for, as opposed to all those clock people.

Sometimes when I look at the search results, I know exactly which post of mine the person found. For example, when someone for some reason searches for ‘smell my gas’, well, I know I happen to have a post with that name. Same goes for ‘phantom pig‘, though I’m not sure why anybody is searching for either of those things. Or when I see one for ‘job hunting secretly’, I chuckle to myself thinking, “Oh ho buddy, have I got a post for you.” I’m always glad when I feel like I have satisfied a request. Another example, I know the person who searched for ‘awesomest man ever’ definitely found what they were looking for.

Sometimes I know which post they found, but I’m not really sure if I have satisfied their request. For example, requests like ‘larp babes’ or ‘hot larpers’ obviously led them to this post, but it doesn’t look like they found what they were looking for. Or ‘what do hipsters eat’ obviously led them here, but were they wanting to learn how to be a hipster or were they just generally curious? Like, “What the heck DO they eat?”

Some posts I really, really hope they DIDN’T find what they were looking for, or else I would get a little self conscious, like the person who found me by searching for ‘fat man at baseball game’. I don’t *think* I’ve been to any baseball games lately, but hey they found my blog didn’t they? The same goes for 15 or so hits I’ve received on ‘odd looking people’. I mean, I’m not so attractive, but I hope nobody would describe me as “odd”. But here they are on my blog! (j/k by the way, I know those hits go here)

Some search terms are very specific to where I have no idea what they were searching for at all, much less how in the world they ended up on my blog. Take, for example, the search for ‘picture of 6 rings march 14,2009’. 

Then there are the very odd searches, like ‘zombie solution stuck in a building‘ or ‘how to explain a picture to a dead rabbi’. Aside from having no clue which post on my blog could have possibly fulfilled the search criteria, do you think someone communes with the spirit of a rabbi who died before the invention of the camera? And this person thought maybe he’d find someone in a similar situation on the Internet whose advice he might ask?

I think one of my favorite search items was ‘pickle pops and cancer’. I am SO vindicated on that one! Unfortunately, I haven’t had any hits on ‘nun skin‘ yet.

Cuckoo Clocks

My mom and dad had this cuckoo clock that my uncle had sent from Germany when I was very little. It is quite something to behold, resplendent with a deer head, crossed rifles and not one but TWO dead animals hanging by their feet. It looks almost exactly like this:

Complete with the dead rabbit and chicken.  On the hour (and half hour) a tiny wooden bird comes out through the door and emits a pleasant “cuckoo!” The counterweights are large metal pinecones. Yes, it is hideous, but it is somehow beautiful in its hideousness. It may even be worth some money. And now my mom wants to get rid of it.

As I’ve stated, I love clocks. When the sad little clock downstairs fell off the wall and broke (an accident, I swear) we wanted to get a clock that Evie would enjoy. We toyed with the idea of getting a cuckoo clock, but we ended up getting a “birdie clock” similar to the one my grandmother has with different bird calls on the hour.

Now I admit that the grotesque hunting clock doesn’t exactly fit with our decor. There is no “hunting lodge” room in our house. That being said, there has to be a place for it somewhere in our house. I’d hate to lose such a old, well constructed clock*.

So please leave some comments and help me convince Sara this clock is worth saving!


*Note that I have no reason to believe it is old or well constructed and is probably a knock off to begin with.

Happy Father’s Day

In honor of my very first Father’s Day ever, Sara was gracious enough to sleep in and let me spend some very early quality time with my daughter!

Evie got me a frame and some paper and some special non-toxic baby finger paints to make me a picture to hang in the dining room.  We haven’t made it yet, I’m not sure when we’re going to.  Sara bought me a wall clock.  I’m not quite sure where to hang it yet since it is too nice to go in any of the rooms that currently don’t have clocks.  A clock might seem like a strange present, but you have to understand that I love clocks.  I couldn’t even tell you why.  Big huge wall clocks, like this:

I don’t know what it is about clocks exactly, but I just like them and I always look at them at Target or where ever (for some reason Target has good clocks) and it was a good present.  One time we wnt in a clock store and Sara practically had to drag me out.

Anyway, since it’s Father’s Day and all, here is a really good game to waste some time on.  It is a 2D / Flash version of the console game Portal.  I know Meg was the first person to tell me that I personally would really like Portal, but I have since heard from many sources that it is a really good game.  Since I don’t have an XBox 360, I guess I will have to settle for the Flash version.  I haven’t beaten it yet, but I’m somewhere in the 30s.