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“‘. . . and clover, over and over / Crimson and clover, over and over. . .’

The sweet melody of Tommy James and the Shondells suddenly fills my bedroom. It’s 6:45 and it’s time to rise and shine. Well, at least rise.

There will be no visible shine until after a shower and two cups of coffee. And even then it will be more of flicker than a shine.

My clock radio has been performing its duties since the mid 90’s, a solid timepiece with a speaker as scratchy as an apartment intercom. But it’s not the sound quality that saves it from the trash; it’s the little clock’s reliability.

It’s never failed me. Not once. I may have forgotten to set it and for that I take full responsibility. But when I have punched my desired digits, it’s executed its task beautifully.

Some of you may rely on a significant other for a morning nudge. But I warn you, be careful, human error is unavoidable. She may promise you that she’ll pull off the sheets right at 7:00, but if her sister calls from New York and they get chatting, you might become an afterthought. Try explaining to your boss how Liza’s new man made you miss the performance meeting.

Then there are those of you who sleep with the curtains open to the east, ready for the sunrise to wake you softly from your slumber. This method is fairly inefficient, especially in the cloud cave of Vancouver. But if your granola can wait, who am I to tell you to abandon your faith in Ra.

And then there are the ‘lucky’ few of you who are able to wake naturally, right at the desired time. To you, I offer my condolences. For you, my friend, are the product of unconscious stress. Your body releases a hormone called adrenocorticotropin, as a product of your anxiety. You may feel privileged to be free of an alarm, but your nervous nature has your internal clock in a full mount. Try releasing some of that stress to free you from subconscious submission.

No, the best way, I figure, is to partner with a simple bedside box. You set it and forget about it; confident it will perform its task in the morning.

Just remember to add a nine-volt battery in case the power fails.”

Old Faithful

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