Country Living Series

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The time is... IL 68

At long last, our bedside clock radio gave up the ghost.

This el-cheapo gizmo has worked through thick and thin for nearly 25 years. I remember buying it after a previous clock radio got soaked from a rainstorm (rain blowing in the open window) back in 1990 shortly after Don and I were married. Over the years the alarm stopped working, then the radio stopped working, but as long as the time display worked, we didn't care. (We set our own work hours so an alarm usually isn't necessary.)

This little clock even worked after getting soaked from a massive squall that came through last summer, when the wind blew so hard through our bedroom window (accidentally left open) that it soaked the carpet six feet into the room.

But two days ago, at long last, the time display died. Suddenly we were getting such creative times as "F99" or "IL 68."

Okay, time for a new clock -- especially after I unplugged it and this happened:

Don must have patched the cord together a decade or two ago and I'd forgotten. I guess he could patch it together again, but is it really worth it? We decided it was time for a new clock. No complains -- we've gotten our money's worth. A quarter-century is certainly a decent lifespan for electronics.

After a quick trip to the hardware store, Don came home with the cheapest version they had.

Seems to work just fine. As long as it tells me what time it is in the middle of the night (I have a tendency to get up at 2 am unless I can see otherwise), I don't care if the alarm or radio functions work (which they do).

I guess paying $12 every twenty-five years or so isn't bad.


  1. Contest for a Heifer Calf in Washington State

  2. I have a GE alarm clock/radio that I bought while I was in the Army back in 1987 and I still use it. It's the old kind with a dial tuner. It's like an old friend from way back.

  3. Konked out after 25 years?!? They just don't make 'em like they used to.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  4. I doubt the new one will last 25 years! My parents were married 60 years ago and are still using the same automatic toaster they got for a wedding present. It is awesome!

  5. We have two of the exact same kind you had, Patrice - still going strong after more than 20 years! :-)
    Lara R.

  6. Patrice,

    I love it when a clock radio lasts 20+ years.
    Nice replacement clock radio, my concern would be the light maybe to bright while trying to sleep. In the past, I've created a cover to throw over the clock to dim the light in the bedroom making it easier to sleep.

  7. I used to work the customer service desk at a discount retail store (like a smaller version of WalMart). One advantage of working at the service desk was that you get a feel for the various brands and their quality.

    I remember people asking me which of an item I would recommend, and I always went with the least expensive version that I never saw -- if I never saw it, it wasn't being returned on a regular basis.

    There were a few things I saw very frequently. This one particular beach toy, for instance. It got to where, when someone brought one in to exchange, I'd tell them, "Do yourself and your vacation a favor, and spend a few more dollars on the other brand. If you do, you won't have to come back to me again."

    There was one particular brand that I saw with positively disturbing frequency. It didn't matter how inexpensive or expensive the item was, if it was GPX, it was trouble, and I was going to be exchanging it or refunding it over and over again.

    Now... it's been 19 years since I worked there. Maybe GPX has improved. I have no idea. But if your new clock starts acting funny, it's probably not a fluke, and you might want to go a few more dollars for the brand next to it.

  8. Your win the award for the most boring blog ever. Pictures of biscuits and posts about freezers and clock radios. Yawn. Please get real lives and stop documenting every burned out light bulb and fart you come across. You have great potential (I've read a lot of your stuff), but you're wasting it on the mundane. ZZZZZZZZZZ..............

  9. Had to laugh at loud at the title of this post! Growing up, my parents had one of the first digital alarm clocks made, from Radio Shack. It was a giant beast. It would flash nonexistent number/letter/mystery symbol combos as it approached its twilight years. This prompted many exclamations from my sisters and me, such as, "Oh dear! Is that the time? E:84! I'm late for my appointment!" My parents still have the clock stored away somewhere and I've already claimed it for my inheritance :)