I got a satellite clock for my birthday a few years ago. Sometimes they’re advertised as “Atomic Clocks,” but since they run on a little nine-volt battery, and since most people are a little skitzy about having nuclear plants in the home, that’s just a sales gimmick. Like a giant restaurant chain that calls its food “home-cooked.” If it tastes like the same crap I get at home, why would I go there? I want something better than home-cooked, thank you very much.
They sell atomic clocks in the fancy gadget catalogs, the kind that mainly sell gadgets to store your gadgets in as well as motivational plaques that cost $300. Just what I want over my computer, a large picture of a beautiful sunset that reads, “Because.” It would have motivated me more if the boss had given me $300 instead of the stupid plaque. The only thing the plaque did was motivate me to get into the motivational-plaque business.
Anyway, atomic clocks get the time from a satellite and sync it with the clock. They keep perfect time and change automatically from Standard to Daylight Saving and back. Every time our electricity goes out, we set all our other clocks from the atomic clock. Because it runs on a battery it doesn’t rely on our spotty electricity, and I haven’t changed the battery in three years. I just saw an online ad for one of these clocks – it sells for $11.