I have not thought of this song in many, many years. But for the enjoyment of everyone on this Monday, here’s ABC with “When Smokey Sings”. It’s been nearly 35 years since this song was in the Top 5.

One thing I notice about music videos from the 80s: they’re not quite as polished but the performers generally don’t look as grubby as they do in the typical 21st century music videos.

Now get off my lawn and listen to the music.


I was asked to not pull wire through all the walls for the school clock collection, so I took a different approach. I’m a bit obsessed with clock accuracy. I like all of the clocks top show the same time; the microwave, the oven, the wall clocks, everything, have to show the same time all the time. I’ve always been this way. Hence, my interest in these old school clock systems.

I wanted to put one of my clocks in the kitchen but no wires are allowed. The sturdy, all metal construction of these clocks from the first half of the 21st century prohibit the use of the Atomic clock radio controlled clocks that are popular today (the radio signal cannot get through the metal housing). I’m always hesitant to convert these clocks away from their electrical roots, but sometimes you do what you need to do.

This clock now has a battery quartz mechanism that synchronizes to our wifi network several times a day. I had the movement shipped from China and installed it today.

I don’t think it’s going to handle Arizona’s lack of Daylight Saving time very well but I’ll deal with that in November.

I’m pleased with the new hands that came with the movement; I needed to trim them back just a bit for the size of this clocks, but they look like they belong and probably other than my obsession, no one will even notice.

I’ll probably convert a couple more of the clocks I have in the collection. It’s not my ideal approach to maintaining these clocks but I enjoy the aesthetics very much so I’m pleased.

Time keeps marching on.

Backyard Stroll.

Springtime is beautiful in our back yard. We’ve been inviting hummingbirds and other flying friends into the area with our various feeders. It was a tradition started by the previous owners and we are continuing the practice.

The Palo Verde tree is particularly enjoyable. I enjoy the sound it makes when the winds blow across the desert.


My husband and I drove northwest of the city to do some exploring. I wanted to check out Marana Regional Airport and get a feel for the landscape out in that direction.

While driving around we stumbled across the remains of a Boeing 747-300 situated not too far from Pinal Air Park, where many no longer airliners are landed in the desert. This B747 was a mile or two away from the boneyard.

A quick Google search revealed the 747 was purchased to become a retail establishment. I found this article online with more information: Not quite a sky mall: Tucson inventor setting up shop in old airliner.

I look forward to doing more exploring out in that direction, both from the ground and the air.

Not Alone.

I have several geeky hobbies. Master-slave school clock systems from the first half of the 20th century. Computers of all sorts, especially older technology. Early point of sales systems. Roads. Washing machines.The list goes on and on.

For many years I thought I was the only one on the planet with this weird combination of hobbies. Ultimately it comes down to at the very least a passing interest in things that are networked, connected, and/or structured. With the advent of the Internet, especially the past 15 years or so, it turns out I am very much not alone with these interests. I find comfort in this.

Over 20 years ago I was contacted by my now good friend Tim in Cheyenne, Wyoming. His home is wired with a school clock system that worked very much like what we had when we lived in Upstate New York. Recently I was contacted by Nathan near Ottawa, Ontario. His interest in early point of sale systems very much mirrors my interest. We’ve since combined forces, so to speak, and are trying to figure out what cash registers Kmart Canada used in their stores up until the chain went out of business. They’re nothing like anything I’d ever seen in a Kmart in the states back in the day. We’ve seen a few hints and pictures but have never been able to find anything definitive. It’s a fun little challenge.

I’m curious about the sharing of these various hobbies with others. We all seem to be men of a certain age, and a certain sexuality. I find this fascinating. I’m curious as to what in our genetic wiring predisposes us in this direction.

As Mr. Spock says, “fascinating”.

PS. If you know what make and model cash register is pictured above, let me know.


Be still my geek heart. As an “Ancient Geek” by today’s standards, I still love me some command line fun. Here’s the current weather forecast displayed in all its Command Line glory. Shout out to


Our new home has nite lights wired throughout the hallways and stairwells. These little lights have LED bulbs, are fit into a standard-sized outlet box, and have downward pointing shades so the walkways are illuminated. When we moved in they were all wired to standard three or four-way switches.

There’s three circuits of these lights. The third circuit illuminates the stairwell that goes to our guest room. I was going to replace the switch this evening; when the project was completed then all three sets of lights would be controlled by home automation.

Except the stairwell bannister passes directly in front of the switch in question. There is a one-inch gap between the wall and the bannister. I decided tonight was not the night to tackle this. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to take the bannister off the wall to swap out this switch.

There are several interesting design choices in this house and this is one of the examples. At times we’ve found the wiring to be equally creative, but we’re getting that part figured out.

I just don’t understand why someone would install a switch and then place a bannister directly in front of it.

The Safe Way.

My husband and I will be officially fully vaccinated at the beginning of next week. The entire family in our Desert Compound will be fully vaccinated effective the 19th of this month. I am happy that we’re all getting our shots. It was not an easy feat to accomplish in Chicago; it was easy to accomplish here in Tucson. Apparently we got here at just the right time. There are people here in the city that we look forward to meeting in person.

We stopped at the supermarket after dinner this evening to pick up a few things for meals scheduled for the rest of this week. The Safeway wasn’t particularly busy, but most everyone was wearing a mask, whether they were a shopper or an employee. There was one man flinging packages of hot dogs around the display case that wasn’t wearing a mask. To be honest, he didn’t look too happy to be rearranging packages of hot dogs. I can only assume he leads a miserable life (judging by his expression) and isn’t really concerned about his longevity, therefore no mask. I wouldn’t expect him to have any regard for his neighbors or other people in the stores.

It’s not that hard to wear a mask. I mean, it’s a piece of cloth across your mouth and nose anchored to your face by straps around your ears or head. At no time do I feel deprived of my life, liberty, or my pursuit of happiness. I can still recite the Pledge of Allegiance through the cloth that is providing some protection for those around me. I can still sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” if I so desire.

With so many people opting to not get vaccinated or wear a mask in public the burden of common sense falls onto the folks that care about the society, themselves, and the longevity of the species. Like the folks that completed the group project on time while everyone else in the group goofed off and made fun of the smart people, we’re left with the chore of dragging the idiots through their miserable lives.

I sound cranky about this. I’m frustrated but not cranky. I just figure I’ll out live them and will ultimately have the last laugh.

I’m Ready.

Marvel Studios Celebrates The Movies. Just take my money. These 5G shots were worth it.


Mr. Majestic here keeps an eye on the wild life around the back side of the house.