Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tick-tock part two

As you may remember from This Post , I recently bought a wind-up chiming wall clock on ebay. It arrived in less than pristine condition, so I sent it off to the local clockman, and after a few days, got it back. He told us a bit about the clock, that it dated to around 1900, was made in Japan for export to the USA, and that prices for these clocks has not gone up like those from, say, Germany, although in some cases they are the same mechanism inside. I've never pretended to understand any part of the antique market, and I knew when I bought it, that this clock was a small unpretentious specimen. What I wanted it to do, was run. Thus the clockman, and $85 later we have a functional clock.

Except it wasn't. Functional, that is. We tried three different places to hang it, since few if any of our walls are truly plumb, and used all manner of shims to make sure the clock was level in three dimensions. But alas, it failed in the fourth dimension, and thus a call to the clockman again. He had it for a day or two, and then called us to come get it. When we asked what was wrong with it, he asked, "What side of the road do the Japanese drive on?" and Norm said, well, like the English, they drive on the left. Clockman, he say the clock will work now that it has been wound. We had tested the winding CLOCKWISE like any sane person would do, and it was tight and we opted not to force it. However, it actually winds COUNTERCLOCKWISE, which would have been a nice thing to point out when he was giving us the history of the thing. It is now hung satisfactorily on the wall, and every Sunday night I wind it, along with the chimes (which do wind clockwise, go figure), and everyone is happy. If somewhat embarrassed.

Bumper sticker for today: "Not always right but never in doubt."

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