My magic atomic alarm clock at 6:34 p.m. on November 3, 2018, behaving not so much like a slave clock because it doesn't keep exact time. Trust me, there actually is a structure to this clock. It's not so magic that it is merely floating numbers in the dark. Although, that would be cool, wouldn't it?
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Slave Clock? Not So Much

My magic atomic alarm clock at 6:34 p.m. on November 3, 2018, behaving not so much like a slave clock because it doesn't keep exact time. Trust me, there actually is a structure to this clock. It's not so magic that it is merely floating numbers in the dark. Although, that would be cool, wouldn't it?
My magic atomic alarm clock at 6:34 p.m. on November 3, 2018, behaving not so much like a slave clock because it doesn’t keep exact time. Trust me, there actually is a structure to this clock. It’s not so magic that it is merely floating numbers in the dark. Although, that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

This post went live at 8:33 a.m. Central Standard Time on November 5, 2018. Let’s step back in time a moment, shall we?

Daylight Saving Time

I’m writing this on the evening of November 3rd, on the eve of the end of Daylight Saving Time for 2018. For those of us in the United States who follow Daylight Saving Time, it officially ends at 2 a.m. on November 4th, but who wants to wait up until then to switch back the clocks? Not this chick.

So, we can switch our clocks back an hour before we go to bed or, as is common in my household, we can wake up and feel confused about the time difference between our phones and the rest of the clocks in the house until we remember to fall back.

However, my alarm clock is a special case. Through the power of magic (because I can’t explain how it works), my alarm clock is tied into Coordinated Universal Time so that it automatically falls back or leaps ahead an hour for Daylight Saving Time. I guess that makes it an atomic clock. In reading about how atomic clocks work on Wikipedia, the explanation reads like gobbledy-gook to me, so I’m sticking with magic.

Master and Slave Clocks

Even though I can’t figure out how my alarm clock automatically changes time, it reminds me of the old-skool master and slave clocks. I purposely used “old-skool” in that sentence because master and slave clocks were often found in school buildings. There was one master clock on which the school maintenance workers could set the time. All the slave clocks in the building were connected to this master clock and when the master clock was changed, they would change, too. Pretty convenient, eh? A lot easier than having custodians running around a school changing all the clocks twice a year.

My alarm clock is behaving like a slave clock through its magical atomic motions. Only, it’s not quite being a slave clock because it runs fast by about 10 minutes. I can reset it myself (overriding its magical atomic motions) for the exact time on my smartphone (which is acting as a slave clock, too, come to think) and pretty soon it’s running 10 minutes fast again. I have no idea why it does this, but I’ve given up trying to reset it. I just mentally subtract 10 minutes when I check it for the time. My alarm clock obviously has a mind of its own. Who am I to try and change it?