Back in 2007 I sold a bunch of slave clocks on ebay to a school in Wisconsin. As I was looking through old photos on a hard drive this evening, I was reminded of the fact that I had designed a custom clock face and put my little one-man business logo on the clock face.

I worked with a company in Dassel, Minnesota to get the clocks produced; the clocks were a square version of their “All Sync” clocks that would work with pretty much any clock system found in a school built from the mid 1950s and onward. The clocks could run on either 24 or 110 VAC. The school in Wisconsin was looking to replace some of their clocks but not all of them and couldn’t afford or even find replacements for their antiquated system. They were searching through clocks on ebay they found what I was selling and asked if they could buy a bunch of them. I was happy to oblige.

The clock was face design was a modern take on the clocks that were in the elementary school I attended back in the ’70s. I thought the face turned out well and now I’m wondering if the clocks are still running in the school that bought them.

As modern time and signaling systems hit the market in the early 2010 and many schools starting moving to wireless systems, it didn’t make financial sense for me to stay in replacement clock game.

As mentioned in the previous blog entry, I’m such a dork.


I remember I was in elementary school when my dad first let me behind the counter at the family hardware store and lumber yard. It was in the mid 1970s and while cash transactions were recorded on a very early 20th century cash drawer that required hand written receipts as well as recording transactions by hand, the adding machine on the counter was quite nifty.

It was identical to the one pictured above: a Sharp Micro Compet.

The display was groovy. Though not shown in the photo, the zero was represented by the bottom portion of the “6” or the “8”, resulting in this half-height number. Unused digits to the left of the number being displayed were filled in with this zero, all eight digits were populated at all times.

It was an adding machine and not a calculator in that the addition and subtraction functions worked as an accumulator instead of doing arithmetic. It’s the accounting way of doing things and if you’re unfamiliar, think of it this way. You have a bucket. You add things to the bucket by pressing whatever number and pressing plus or minus. If you wanted to add two things twice (2+2), you’d hit 2 += 2+=. If you then wanted to subtract one, you’d then hit 1 -=. The display would read, in sequence, 2, 4, 3, as you completed each operation.

You’ll also notice the combination of multiplication and division on one key. The result was dependent on which equals key you hit: 2x÷2+= would result in 4, 2x÷2-= would result in 1. Even at a young age this made a lot of sense to me.

Per the Wikipedia page, this calculator was the first mass produced calculator using integrated circuits. It sold for $395 in 1970 and came with a leather cover.

My grandfather invested in good technology from time to time.

I remember checking my math homework from 2nd or 3rd grade with my father’s assistance. He cautiously watched me work the keys on this technological marvel; probably because it was so expensive. I can still remember the first time I entered a number on that adding machine and being so entranced with how it worked.

It’s no wonder I became such a dork.


Here we are getting ready for the weekend and we have absolutely no plans. They’re predicting severe storms for Illinois but I feel like it would be irresponsible for us to go chasing storms, what with this COVID-19 and the like going on. Illinoisans should be limiting their activity to essential travel only and with the my idle knowledge of weather, chasing storms seems like it falls in the non-essential category.

I suppose I’ll just watch the storms from the balcony. That is if the storms make it to the north side of Chicago to begin with.

I’m finding my motivation to be lower than normal, even though working from home is the normal mode of operation for me. Nothing has really changed in our lives except that we’re not going out as much as we usually do and the streets are much more quiet than usual. Still, knowing what’s happening in the outside world, and the Federal government’s reaction to it, is yanking down my energy. Thank the universe for leadership like that what’s being displayed by Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot. I trust them. I absolutely do not trust anything coming out of the Trump administration.

In that way, nothing has changed.

There were such better candidates for the GOP ticket back in 2016. It still boggles my mind that someone as corrupt and morally bankrupt as Trump ended up representing the party that touts itself as the “party of law and order”. There’s nothing resembling any sort of moral compass in his administration.

Rosie O’Donnell had it right 13 years ago.

Nevertheless, here we are in the middle of one of the biggest crises to his the country in a very long time and we are ill prepared for it. We will get through it, but we will not get through it unscathed.

I hope whatever voters are left standing come November are able to make smarter choices.


Watching television tonight it felt like this week’s episode of “Schitt’s Creek” was more disjointed from reality than usual. It was then I realized the episode was taking place in a world where people could walk next to one another without worrying about being contagious. Groups were gathered in various scenes and people were having a great time.

In a way I was reminded of what it was like watching 1990s sitcoms at the end of 2001. I feel like we’re rapidly moving from something that was to something that is. And it’s not better.

I feel like there’s a lot coming at me: concerns about money, concerns about my family, both here and back East. Concerns about work. Concerns about the folks on my team at work. Are we ready for what the future holds? Can our existence whether any further upheaval?

I told my husband I want to put life on pause for just a few moments so I can catch my breath. I’m thinking we might have to make the car a quarantine-mobile, with all inclusive meal service, and I might have to go find an open lot or a beautiful prairie view or something to catch my breath. Despite walking nearly five miles a day and getting as much fresh air as humanly possible at the moment, I feel like the world is closing in.

It’s a side effect of not flying. I realize that’s part of it. Watching flight videos, while I found them initially helpful, I’m finding that I’m now envious of the pilots that made these videos before quarantines became so chic here on planet Earth.

We will get through this one way or another. I’d like to think we’ll be the better for it, but I’m not confident that we will be.

I envisioned a new world come 2020. This is not what I envisioned the experience to be.

House Party.

Apparently there’s an app called House Party that’s the new bees’ knees of the isolation set. I know nothing about the app or what it’s for but I do love Jeno’s Pizza Rolls, especially the Chili Cheeseburger flavor.


The railroad bridge near us is undergoing reconstruction. At the major intersection up the street are a bunch of signs showing people a reasonable detour to their destination. The signed detour takes folks over major streets that are designed to handle the extra traffic, not that there’s a lot of traffic on the streets these days. Yet, cars and trucks of all sizes barrel down through, ignoring the posted detour and end up at the barricades. They then try to maneuver down our street, which is a very narrow, one way street. They make a lot of noise and risk sideswiping the vehicles parked along the street.

Read the signs.

But no one in today’s American society really reads signs, do they. Stay home to stop the virus from spreading? “I need to get my nails done”! Don’t wipe out the supermarkets, there’s plenty to go around. “I need 96 rolls of toilet paper this week!”.

I’m so very tired of having to accommodate rampant stupidity.

Beyond the fact that Trump is a rambling moron at every press conference, and the fact the news media continues to cover him live when he brings absolutely no informational value to the table, I’m really tired of having to accommodate my life to a reductive existence to make sure all the stupid people are able to stumble through this crisis, or life for that matter, unimpeded.

I was hopeful folks would become sensible and do smart things, kind of like what we read about happening during the two World Wars, but it seems like selfish will continue to win and stupidity will prevail and anyone with more than a handful of IQ points to rub together will have to put up with the folks running around in a panic over toilet paper while worshipping a spray tanned moron.

God help us all. Follow the signs.