Naval Observatory Master Clock

What’s wrong with this picture? I’ll let you guess (you may need to embiggen) but I’ll give you a big hint by recalling a story from my childhood dining table memories. We were the proverbial mid-century modern family who had dinner at the dining table EVERY single blasted night. I was served a BIG glass of milk every night. “Milk is good for children!” Roight? I don’t dislike milk and I am not particularly lactose intolerant (except for an excessive cheese-eating episode when I was like 18 months or so that I still remember – more seeze mom!) but an 8 oz. glass of milk for dinner? Yuck. I was a sorta “picky” eater but one of the things I would definitely eat was Minute Rice. So many times The Commander made that available for me if she thought I might not like some of the other stuff she had so expertly planned and prepared. I think partly by not being force-fed things I didn’t like at the dinner table and offered alternatives that I did like, I was able to evolve into a fairly adventurous adult eater.

And then there were the times when I was an older elementary age kid and would kick my little brother under the table. When he protested, I would try to blame *him* for kicking me. Oh man, I think this kind of behavior is a blasted *thing* among siblings. To this day, I’m not sure if my parents knew what was going on or not. In any case, bro, if you are still reading this, I am sorry and I love you. But I think by now you are far enough away that you aren’t reading. (Readers, don’t take this crazy stuff tooooo seriously.)

One day, long ago in that far away teensy-tinesy dining room, The Commander noticed a dead house fly that was stuck in our white lace curtains. She mentioned it and our dad said something like, “I’ve been looking at that for a month now”. Everyone totally cracked up laughing, including The Comm.

So, when I got home from Cubelandia today, the GG of all people was asking how to reset the clock on Gertrude, my super-duper double-oven stove. There had apparently been a short power outage today. I was dumbfounded. I have reset Gretchen’s clock about a gazillion times. You hit the “clock” button, punch in the time, and hit “start”. No brainer. He had apparently done that exact thing umpteen Brazilian times today without success. Turns out he was trying to enter the time in 24-hour time. Nope. Gertrude does not do that. Her time is reset now and her oven lights are turned out.

Once upon a time when I worked over that That Darn EPA, our computer operators had to dial a 1-800 phone number to the Naval Observatory Master Clock every morning. That is how they made sure the time was set properly on our real-time computer system. Nowadays, I use my iPhone and I bet the EPA does a similar thing.

3 Responses to “Naval Observatory Master Clock”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Good for your mom; mine did the same thing. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% adventurous but I do enjoy many foods that I didn’t expect to. I dislike milk and rarely drank it unless forced. Now I have milk in my mocha and that’s it!

  2. UU Says:

    Military Time

  3. l4827 Says:

    ‘That Darn EPA, our computer operators had to dial a 1-800 phone number to the Naval Observatory Master Clock’, ya know, I’ve heard something about this… The ‘Gould SAE’ system interchange procedure included a system time change stamp veneration step, designed to verify (within 1 second) relative to the national clock. I also have heard that there were some good ‘ol Boyz, (now rather old, ) who were on this like white on rice.
    I think that within a part of a second , is a good place, to begin meaningful measurements (shift points?).