The Boring Word About Beep and Blink

September 24, 1986

We have become a world of digital timepieces. Slowly but surely glowing digital faces are taking over my life. At first it was the kids’ watches. Then it was the new clock radio in the bedroom. Now it is the microwave, VCR, the stove, the living room clock, the telephone unit. There are numerous other items that have digital clocks such as washers and refrigerators but so far we haven’t needed to purchase any.

You can walk through my house at night without turning on the lights by following the glow of numbers. When the power goes off (even for a microsecond) everything reverts to 12:00 and begins to blink. It reminds me of the TV shows my kids watch that involve laser lights. Some of the clocks blink in blue, some in red, others in green, orange or yellow.

As I move from one to the other trying to reset them I fumble with buttons and dials, all of which differ from each other. By the time I have figured out how to reset a clock to 10:05 its no longer that time.

To reset a watch you must always carry a straightened paper clip or other small sharp object. If I do get the time right the date will be wrong. And the seconds? I don’t even try. If I can get within five minutes I just let it go and remember if its running ahead or behind.

The solution is to have a son or daughter along.Today’s youth may not know how to wash the dishes but they are very good at resetting watches. My kids consider a good digital watch one that not only tells the time but gives military time, has a stop watch, the date, a calculator and an alarm. I’ve grown accustomed to little beeps telling me the hour has arrived. My sympathy goes out to the high school teachers who have 25 or 30 watches going beep as the hour approaches.

This year my daughter had to have an old-fashioned watch with numbers and a second hand for her nursing work. It was a long search but we finally found one. Now all she has to do is learn how to tell time all over again.