Crazy Eights

Husband and I received a lovely clock for our wedding almost 35 years ago. It plays Westminster chimes, and has traveled with us from Winnipeg to Indiana to North Dakota.

The clock worked quite well until last year, when it just stopped. We took it to the nearest clock shop in Fargo, where they told us that the innards were all worn out and it needed new ones.  We had a choice of digital or traditional.  I like to wind it, so we had them install new inner workings from Germany. It keeps time again quite well, but it has some quirks that I find alarming.

Some days, randomly, at  8:00 am and/or 8:00 pm, it chimes  continuously for up to three minutes. It plays the Westminster chimes over and over, and then plays variations on the Westminster chimes. When it has got it out of its system,  it rings eight times and gets back to its quiet ticking. It only happens at 8:00.  Some days it doesn’t happen at all.

I don’t know what to think about this.  Ghosts?  Odd German clock maker humor?  Who knows?   I don’t feel like driving it all the way to Fargo for a repair, so we will just put up  with the “Crazy 8’s” and see what new Westminster variations we get.

Tell about some infernal machine problems. What do you think it feels like to be in a time warp?


29 thoughts on “Crazy Eights”

  1. I designed and built an arts and craft style grandfather clock. To adjust the hour hand you simply rotate it around the soundle so the spindle itself does not turn. I have done this severl times but the clock slowly turns back so the four ringings of the Westminster chimes and hour ring 5 minutes early.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Speaking of yesterday: I have pain in my left lumbar, which I have not felt alone for 2-3 years. Isn’t that wonderful. It means much of the pain is gone from the right side, where they did the ablation.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. My car has so many idiosyncrasies it’s scary
          It’s got so many miles and so many dents it doesn’t make financial sense to do anything but keep it moving down the road but a lot of baling wire and tapping 3 times is called for

          Liked by 1 person

  2. About twenty years ago I bought a table lamp with a left and right side, each side with its own pull chain switch. For about a decade it worked as expected. Then the left switch went on strike and refused to turn on (except for a brief time when It came off strike and functioned normally). After being normal a month or two, the left switch went back on strike.

    That was okay. I still had the right switch. Then it became flaky. It went on strike, leaving me a lamp with two sides, two switches . . . but no light. Then the right one began working again. Then it became independent again. Now it works most of the time, but only when I pull the chain three times. I can sometimes trick it into lighting up by pulling the chain in a certain way, but it mostly wants me to pull the chain three times before it gives light. How does an off/on mechanical switch even know how to count to three?

    I love that lamp. It makes most other mechanical objects in my apartment seem dull and predictable.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Sandy has an antique lamp of her grandmother’s with whom she slept, or upstairs in her part of the house. This week I am rewiring it because the switch is flakey scary. I will not be able to make it work the same because that switch is no longer sold. She will lose a dim glow in the lower of the two globes. But she is fine with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. my House has a screwy air flow set up
    Whoever did it set it up with 2 zones and they are east and west not first floor and second floor
    When it’s hot up stairs it’s cold downstairs and it can’t be figures out. The amount of time and energy spent to try to fix it is nuts

    Wp is challenging but it’s free
    I imagine if it decided to be a monthly charge based model it would be better prepared to get the bugs out
    It will require a competitor that offers bug free programs in order to get them to care. Right now it’s no big deal. No other option exists for free

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The chiming clock is very interesting. I just got my mom’s cuckoo clock rebuilt. It’s an authentic West German Cuckoo from sometimes in the 70’s. She still has the box that it was mailed to her. A nephew in the Army back then and stationed over there bought it and mailed it too her. When we were still RR1 and his Social Security number was part of the return address.
    But why your clock should only and randomly play the extra chimes… that’s really curious. Unless, I suppose, you knew enough about clock mechanisms then presumably you’d be able to say why it does that.

    Ach: infernal machines. Top of my list is the knotters on the baler. They’re a fascinating piece of machinery. And when they’re working they are amazing. And when they’re not they are the worst piece of junking piece of crap piles of sh*t that has ever been cast. I read the manuals, I watch videos, I adjust the billhooks, I tweak the knife, I check and adjust the hay dogs, I get a bigger hammer, I change twine and still, every 5th bale doesn’t tie on that one side. And the dealer says “Yeah… straw is hard to bale. Sometimes it just doesn’t.”.
    Nothing ruins a good day faster then knotters not knotting.

    I cut some oats yesterday. The John Deere 800 swather is a machine I purchased last year. It’s from the 70’s. This one is in really good shape. But it’s scary; there are so many belts and chains down in there… Lord help me if something breaks. It’s one of those kinda machines where it has to be half dismantled to replace things… So I just pray it keeps working.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Renee: my folks had exactly the same clock shown in the photo. They liked it so much they bought a second one just like it. In an antique shop my mom found a wall clock that chimed. They ended up with four clocks that chimed.

        My dad got all four clocks working and chiming, but he never got them synchronized perfectly. One was always a bit fast; one was always a bit slow; only two clocks agreed on the chiming melody; none agreed about what the time was. My parents came to dread the passing of each hour, for one by one the clocks would start banging through its chime cycle, and the total effect was insane. They eventually silenced three clocks, leaving just one to chime.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Knotters. Oh, damn knotters. We used old binders for our oats. What a mess the levers could get in. Like a big hard to get it set of tangled typewriter keys.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dad talked about wire tie bales but I missed those. I did find some old old Wire tied bales at the bottom of the hay loft.
        If I have to get out and go back and manually tie every 5th bale, it will be almost the same thing!


  5. Here you go, Renee on time warp. This is the opening of a short story set in part in a backwoods bar. This man, long dead, would be identified instantly by many folks still alive. I did notice the time warp in the Hamms clock, which he said very few people did. I suggested it was because I was one of the few people who came in and left sober. He told me I had to work on that, and slightly smiled.

    The Hamm’s Beer bear clock, yellowed and brittled by decades of sun from the nearby window, said 11:12:06 for four seconds. Then it lurched to 11:12:10. The second hand had been producing this warp in the space-time continuum every minute for a decade and not one customer had noticed.

    Perched on his stool under the clock and near the old brass cash register on the bar, Lardbutt looked out the front window over his gravel parking lot scattered on both sides of paved County Road 47.

    At 11:14:11 Lardbutt announced to the empty bar, “Old Timo’s late today.”

    A voice from the back of the room answered, “I betcha he conked over in that big empty house a his.”

    Lardbutt labored himself off his stool to draw a large tap beer and set it on the bar next to the till. He returned to his stool to watch his parking lot. Turtle Freeberg hiked his bent body up onto the stool and sniffed the beer. “What kind a beer is this?”

    “It’s potluck. If you’s gonna keep comin’ in through the storeroom, you’s gonna drink whatever beer I put in front a you.”

    Liked by 5 people

  6. OT: the y redid the Target store here. Huge change in merchandise, which is not aimed at our age group. I am startled how much their minimal grocery store works. Not sure why. Sort of a time warp back to neighborhood grocery stores. It now plays rather loud music not aimed at our age group. The Red is gone. Only red is on employees.
    But here is the kicker: it now has three roundabouts in it. No kidding. I had not been in there until now. My wife was waiting for me to spot the roundabouts so she could laugh at me, although she is terrified of the roundabouts out on the streets, which are spreading like ringworm.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The fix-it clinics in which I participate afford the volunteers many opportunities to interact with infernal machines.

    One feature of some modern machines is that they have a safety mechanism that is supposed to keep the machine from operating in an unsafe condition. The mechanism fails, and the machine stops working. The usual fix is to bypass the safety mechanism. Often that means the machine just comes on whenever you plug it in. But at least it isn’t going to a landfill.

    Liked by 2 people

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