Timekeepers fall back

NOW that we've got the little mnemonic device ``Spring ahead, fall back'' all memorized, the hardest part of going off daylight saving time is getting all our high-tech timepieces duly adjusted. The easiest was the wristwatch; not only is it analog instead of digital, but it actually ticks. How quaint. Then the kitchen clock. A little adjustment to a knob on the back, the hands obligingly swung around backward, and -- presto! -- back to standard time.

Even the clock radio in the bedroom wasn't too hard. Except, that is, for having adjusted the wake-up time instead of the display time, and then, this mistake discovered, having to go through the cycle an extra time after overshooting the destination the first time.

But the real challenge is the little liquid crystal display number stuck with Velcro to the dashboard of the car. It cost only $3.99 at the local discount house, but adjusting it requires a consultation with the owner's manual. This must be dug out of a bundle which includes the directions for the food processor and the warranty on the television set that went to the tag sale last month.

Now -- do we press knob S2 three times and S1 twice, or is it the other way around? Why has the thing stopped blinking? For the moment, it must be on Hong Kong time.

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