Kinsler column: Follow me in merry measure Mark Kinsler Published 10:00 a.m. ET July 7, 2018 “I suppose you set that to annoy me,” muttered my short spouse as “Joy to the World” rang out from our living room. She was right: at Kinsler Hi-Fi I used a Four Roses Whiskey Christmas record to demonstrate turntables and startle customers. The latest Yuletide enthusiast is an oval, wall-mounted ‘Joyful Nostalgia Oak Musical Clock,’ fashioned by the Rhythm Clock Company. Each hour it plays one of 18 tunes: please select from Hymns, Classical, or Christmas. The choice was obvious. As its song plays the clock performs acrobatics in which the dial magically splits apart to reveal a rotating inner sanctum of gold musical notes. Yellow lights flash to the rhythm of the music as a crystal crown revolves beneath it all. Then the tune ends, the dial closes up, the lights go out, and all is quiet for another hour. Inside, the repairman encounters a three section planetary gear system, three dial segments that run on rollers along tracks, a three reduction gears, two limit switches, a motor, a circuit board ornamented with two microprocessors, five light-emitting diodes, a phototransistor, a quartz clock movement, a loudspeaker, and a pair of size D batteries. Some two dozen delicate wires, each one eager to break, run through this inner world. So I took photographs like I was on assignment for National Geographic, gradually digging down to the broken reduction gear axle, which I rebuilt in brass on the third attempt. Then to my great delight I discovered that the clock’s hands stalled at ten minutes past the hour. Exploratory surgery revealed a tooth broken off a tiny, irreplaceable gear. It took an extra week and several attempts to adapt a new quartz clock movement using some of the old parts. After its observation period the Joyful Nostalgic Music Clock will go back home, but meanwhile it continues to perform for us each hour. Our friend Gracee, bright and funny at age 16, put it well: “I find it strangely mesmerizing,” said she. Mark Kinsler, email@example.com, is a science teacher from Cleveland Heights who lives in an old house in Lancaster with Natalie and the three cats.