I saw this morning that my cheap Chinese alarm clock had died. The first battery lasted six months; its replacement more like four.
The package of five replacement batteries cost only $1.80, with free shipping from Hong Kong to Uruguay, so no big deal. I put one in the alarm clock, set about setting the time, and suddenly the thing made a strange noise and the clock face turned to gibberish.
I wanted to take a photo, but couldn’t find my camera, and realized that if I’ve lost it, I might not particularly miss it. I’ve gotten kind of tired of carrying it everywhere. I neither have nor want a smart phone.
I grabbed our older point-and-shoot camera, but it wouldn’t turn on, even though the battery was fine just a couple days ago.
Then I sat down to my desk, and the UbiRock vibration speaker which inexplicably died a few weeks ago. Oh well, I mostly use headphones anyway.
Then I remembered the indestructible Westclox Big Ben / Baby Ben windup clocks I grew up with. I wonder if they still sell wind-up clocks? Indeed they do:
When Westclox alarm clocks were made in America you couldn’t beat ’em–or sleep through their alarm! Now they’re made in China, and the Baby Bens I’ve been buying last routinely from two weeks to four months. Then they just stop ringing, and sometimes stop telling time, whether the winder is wound up all the way or just a few turns. They stop without warning & on the day they do, you sleep in–miss work, miss your appointment, miss your plane. I’ve traded them in for a new one ten or twelve times. They never last longer than four months. I’ve finally given up. Thinking of a Baby Ben? Don’t waste your money!
hen I wondered why I even need a bedside clock.
Then I remembered Chicago, from a time when I did need to wind the clock and set the alarm every day. Does anybody really care?