Dad Vs. the Alarm Clock

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP*

Dad smacks the "Snooze" button on the clock.  Gotta go back to bed.  Don’t want to go into work today…

Zzzzzzzzzzzz…… Sleep blissful sleep.   Quiet happy sleep.  Sports cars.  Hamburgers…..

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP*

Glancing over at the clock only a minute had passed, and the clock was blaring away trying to get his attention again.

Only one way to deal with that.

*SNOOZE BUTTON*

Back to happy land.   Zzzzzzzz……

And no sooner was Dad off juggling torches with Panda’s than…

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP*

The mighty slab of meat that was Dad’s hand came up to the beast and numbly tried to find the teeny tiny "OFF" button for the Alarm.   That seemed to be a challenge.   Dad’s fuzzy eyes stared at the Ultra-Wake-O-Matic-DigitalPhonic-MegaClock 3.0.   The Micronic quarter inch button marked "OFF" was pressed, only to find the entire system powered down.

It seemed like a good buy at the time.   Dad vaguely was aware of the events of the day where his old "Big Ben" failed him because of his inability to rewind it, or remember to rewind it.   Or perhaps the cat was sleeping on it that morning.   It was all a big fog.

But he did remember drooling at this baby at the time.  "The Ultimate Alarm Clock – Guaranteed Nevur Fayl!"

Those gleaming Neon letters called out to him.  An Alarm clock with a 1 Terawatt, 9.1 Surround sound Speaker setup with 2 Gigawatt 1 Hz Subwoofer.  It would wake the Dead, perhaps even get them up to have breakfast with the kids.

Five different types of numeric displays with Built in Screen Saver.  Holographic, Wall Projected, Floating in Water, Laser Drawn in mid air and Classic LED.   Even a tiny little Analog clock on the side.

The Clock had more buttons than a panel at Mission Control.  It had IPV4/V6 Ethernet, Arcnet, Token Ring, Fibre Optic, Serial and even a legacy IEEE-488 interface. Covered in a classic woodgrain style like an old Blaupunkt stereo with Dad’s signature engraved in shining gold letters on the side.

Truly, she was a thing of beauty.  How Mom didn’t kill him the day it entered the house, nobody is quite certain.

Well the clock seemed to be "malfunctioning".   Only one thing to do to resolve this.   Contact the lifetime 24 hour a day, 7 day a week on site tech support.  Dad would only pay for the Premium tech Support, nothing else made sense.

Dad grabbed the hammer on the side of the Clock and smashed open the glass shield stating "Break Here and Press Firmly for Emergency 24 Hour a Day 7 Day a Week On Site Tech Support"

Bit’s of glass tinkled onto the dresser table below as feverishly cracked open the never used Emergency System.

The button was pressed.

Dad paused tensely waiting for Klaxons to sound, Lights to glow and impressive things to happen.

Tensely, Slowly, a piece of paper fell out.

"At the time this device was released, this option was not out of Alpha testing.   *oops!*"

Dad stared blankly at the small scrap of paper challenging him.  He blinked several times in disbelief.   "Alpha testing."  Well then, only way to fix this problem.  It was time for Dad to play "Operation"

Calling it "Operation" was the most accurate word.   For like in the game "Operation" every time you hit the wrong side, you got a sharp buzz.   Dad working on Electronics, well it was an awful lot like that game.

Just ask the Stereo downstairs or that poor helpless 35 inch tube Zenith.  There was also the neighbour’s Microwave that nobody speaks of.  Everybody was surprised Dad’s hair grew back after that.

Rolling out of bed, Dad instinctively went to get the one thing he KNEW would fix the problem.

"To my SuperCraft MicroSharp 10,000 piece toolkit!"

Yes, Dad never did anything lightly.  He had a toolkit that contained every possible bit, socket, adapter, extension you could imagine.   Even a few that didn’t exist.

Stumbling downstairs into the basement Dad placed his palm upon the biometric scanner and took the Eye scan to unlock the toolkit.   Latches released as if guarding Fort Knox.   Dad obtained the small pouch which contain all the special bits always used on Electronics.  Tamper proof and Security bits only meant for true Electronics professionals….. and over zealous Dads.  Running up the stairs, Dad slowly examined the prize.

No screws to be found.  Nothing.  Nada.    Truly a well designed system.    

Carefully turning the 350 pound gleaming tribute to manhood over, Dad looked again.  Not an entry point to be found anywhere.  But beside the tiny 1/16 inch serial number, a tinier 10 digit number with a message"

"Dear customer, in the absence of the 24 hour a day 7 day a week tech support, please contact this number"

Dad blinked "{TECH SUPPORT!}" his mind cried out.

He dialed the number.   First round he hit Texas, then transferred to Singapore.   The representative determined it was closer to a software issue rounding that call to Sweden which bounced to California due to a national Swedish holiday.   California re-transferred the call a final time to Winnipeg Manitoba in Canada.

"Hello.   The Ultimate Alarm Clock – Guaranteed Nevur Fayl Alarm Clock Tech Support.  How can I help you Eh?"

Dad explained the problem.  Snooze kept going off.

"Ah, I see.  You’ve yourself the classic firmware don’t ye know.   We’ve release thirty seven updates since you bought that.   You just have to initiate the update sequence Eh?"

Dad nodded numbly.   "Firmware.  update."

"So all you have to do is press these twelve keys simultaneously, F1, ALT, OFF, SNOOZE, RESET, 2, 6, JABBERWOCKY, BING, TONG, ZING, and FM.   That will trigger the automatic update."

Realizing Dad only had Ten fingers, a solution was required.  Toes.

Dad nimbly climbed onto giant Alarm Clock, getting into a position only a trained Yoga of Fifty years could meet, pressing those twelve buttons at once.  While pressing the ear to the phone.

"Update" went the Alarm clock as the internal Raid 50 array sputtered to life shaking like a Chihuahua on Coffee.

"Crack" went Dad’s back in response to his attempt at “Alarm Clock Telephone Yoga”

"*Flash!*" went the Camera as Mom snapped another one for the family album.

*KLUNK* went Dad as he fell off the "The Ultimate Alarm Clock"

He Blinked and looked.  Fixed.  It was worth it.   His gleaming prize.  Repaired and with only a few bumps and scratches.   Dad smiled like a warrior from a fierce battle.

Dad quickly reprogrammed in all the settings, time zones, classic Wake up sounds, favourite stations.   He quickly set the alarm to see if snooze would work.

The clock hit it’s time.

*KLIK*

"*Wake up Eh?  Wake up Eh?  Wake up Eh?  Wake up Eh?  Wake up Eh?  Wake up Eh?*"

SNOOZE

Dad stared at the clock.  It waited patient and 10 minutes later.

"*Hey you still sleepin’ Eh? Hey you still sleepin’ Eh? Hey you still sleepin’ Eh? Hey you still sleepin’ Eh?*"

He blinked.   The firmware was from Canada.
   Oh well.

Clock worked 🙂

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad and Dad’s Everywhere.

Sean
The Energized Tech

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