A Happy Birthday

You Can Eat Cake!I failed to mention in my previous post that it was my birthday on Saturday, and in addition to getting the aquarium all set up, we had a nice little immediate-family-only birthday party. Mary made me a very tasty cake (lemon cake with strawberry jell-o mixed in), and she and the boys sang “Happy Birthday” and gave me a gift – one which requires a brief explanation.

I have mentioned several times in the past my interest in radio-controlled clocks which synchronize themselves automatically with the atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado (the most accurate clock in the world), which is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Basically, what happens is that there is a very low frequency radio signal that is broadcast all over the country, with the exact date and time from the atomic clock. You can buy clocks (both digital and analog), which pick up on that signal and set themselves, then check it on a regular basis (usually once per day) to make sure they remain accurate. They automatically adjust for daylight savings time, too, which means you pretty much just turn it on and leave it alone.

Me and My Atomic ClockInaccurate clocks are a pet peave of mine, so I have said before that I’d love to change out all the clocks in our house with radio clocks that will set themselves. Then every clock in the house would not only show the exact same time, but show the correct time (down to the second). I got a portable radio-controled alarm clock at Christmas (from my father-in-law), and now I have a nice analog clock for my office. Two down, about a dozen or so to go…

So, anyway – it was a nice, low-key birthday. It was a lot of work setting up the aquarium, but it was fun work, and I was very happy with the results. And then I ate cake.

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