The Antique Clock

When we visited family in January up in Washington, I bought a mantle clock at a junk shop in Quilcene, Wa.

The clock was missing pieces and the finish was pretty trashed.

Turns out I FINALLY hit a good buy.

I was curious as to what it would take to get that bad boy running. Not make it PERFECT – make it run. We took it to a place in Hillsboro called Covenant Clock Restoration. Not a really fancy place, when we finally found it. In fact, it looked like any small, mom and pop watch repair store. It didn’t even SAY ‘Covenant’ anywhere on the building…

We set the clock on the counter and they guy across the counter actually LIT UP! He looks at me and says, “Where did you get this?” I told him I spent $20 bucks on it on a flyer at a junk shop. He said, “You’ve got yourself a VERY NICE CLOCK. Almost RARE.”

Of course I then lit up as I finally got something worth having. HUGE SMILE.

The clock is a Sessions Model 799, circa 1910 (1900-1920). Pre-Art Deco for sure.

This is much like the one we got. The face is a little different, but the shape, color and insides are almost identical.

The price for a TOTAL RESTORATION is $575, which we jumped on. It will look like the day it was made.

For your money you get:

A COMPLETE disassembly of the clock. Down to the last (tiny) nut and bolt. Cleaning and reassembly. Complete refinish of the wood exterior. Adjust all springs, gongs and a speed check/adjust.

Finally, we get a photo album of the ENTIRE PROCESS, with both before and after pictures of each part and process.

$575 + $22 purchase price = a clock worth $800 to $1000 on the secondary market.


When we go pick it up (10-12 weeks), we’ve also been invited to bring in our other clock that doesn’t work (the one that’s been in my family since the ’40s (allegedly) for them to look at. Since it’s already been ‘repaired’ by someone, they think it’ll just need a cleaning and oiling (No charge) while we wait.


This guy also told us it probably came out here via somebodies old Model T or train. He said there were still covered wagons making the trip, but I’m kinda leery on that one. He also gave us the history of clocks (the Church, of course) and what all the chimes mean, etc. A VERY INTERESTING MAN.

So, there you go. Interesting, huh?

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An Open Letter To PayPal

Yesterday, PayPal suspended my account because I had “Reached My Spending Limit”. I was confused, as I was spending MY money, not PayPal’s. It seems after you’ve used PayPal to pay for $10,000 worth of stuff, they then require you to “Verify Your Account” by, of two choices, giving them your personal checking account info, including checking account number and the routing info! I shit you not. Well, as most of you would guess, I’m not sitting still for this one. I’m NOT giving them my checking account info. Nor am I going to apply for a PayPal credit card. So here is an Email from PayPal Frank explaining what they’ll do for me after I barked at them on Twitter:

On 11/14/2012 3:02 PM, wrote:
> Dear Michael Fisher,
> Thank you for contacting @AskPayPal via Twitter. If you did not initiate this contact, please let us know immediately by replying to this email.
> I appreciate the opportunity to assist you via twitter today. I understand you are concerned about the unverified sending limit on your PayPal account and the requirements to become Verified with PayPal. I’m glad you contacted us for assistance.
> First, I want to let you know that a temporary override has been enabled to lift the sending limit on your PayPal account so that you can send any payments that need to be sent at this time. After 24 hours, the override will expire and the account will need to become Verified to continue sending payments.
> There are a few different options for becoming Verified with PayPal. One option is to add and confirm a bank account. Another option is to apply and be approved for a PayPal Extras MasterCard. Yet another option is to apply and use Bill Me Later for a transaction on your PayPal account.
> Becoming Verified with PayPal is a requirement for some features including lifting the lifetime sending limit on a PayPal account. Typically this limit is set to $10,000 USD. Becoming Verified with PayPal let’s other PayPal community members and sellers know that PayPal has received information to Verify your identity. A bank is one of the options because we piggy back off the fact that almost all banks complete identity verification when you open an account. They may collect information like your date of birth and Social Security Number. With a credit or debit card, there’s no way for PayPal to know what level of identity verification has been completed. It can be very easy to obtain a debit card or gift card without any identity verification required at all. For this reason, verification is permitted with a bank account or by obtaining a credit account with PayPal which automatically initiates our own identity verification process. It is not required to use our credit products. The only requirement is to have an active one linked with the PayPal account.
> I know some customers may use a separate bank account just for online purchases if they do not feel comfortable linking their personal bank account to PayPal. PayPal was created to protect customer information so no matter what option you choose, your information is safe.
> I hope this email was helpful to clarify the verification process. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. I’m happy to help!
> Sincerely,
> Frank
> PayPal Twitter Support
> PayPal, an eBay Company
> Copyright © 1999-2012 PayPal. All rights reserved.



Thanks for the response. It was the WRONG response, but a response, nonetheless.

Frank, let me tell you my point of view on this. It’s simple, really.

I created my PayPal account and LINKED it to my Capitol One credit card. When I applied for the Capitol One credit card, Capitol One verified me up one side and down the other. Capitol One verified my name, address, Social Security Number, Employment and length thereof, previous addresses, home and cell phone numbers AND CREDIT CHECK. Capitol One seemingly liked what they saw as they have allowed me the pleasure of using their credit card for years now. Not only that, but I have a ridiculous credit limit of $30,000. Imagine that – they have never met me, yet they’ll fork over 30 LARGE if I ask it. That tells me that I am a great guy and a very good credit risk. AND they give me travel miles. I’ve flown to places for FREE, I’ve done so much business with them. Nice!

I recently bought a Chevrolet Tahoe. When the credit guy at the dealership ran my SSN, he walked back out and said he’s rarely seen a credit score that high; he said I could go out to the lot and pick TWO cars to buy. He was joking, of course, but he was making a point – I’m a trustworthy guy and a very good credit risk.

I have a PayPal account. Over the years, I’ve spent, what? TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS through PayPal and PayPal have NEVER ONCE had an issue getting the money owed it. NOT ONCE. Now, however, I’m confronted with a specious and arbitrary ‘Spending Limit’. Am I not trustworthy? Have I misled PayPal in ANY regard as to my trustworthiness? Have I ever caused PayPal to not receive the funds due it? NO.

Now PayPal wants my personal checking account info. PayPal says that will ‘verify’ my identity. I guess $10,000 and years of quietly and happily using PayPal weren’t enough. NOW PayPal wants the info to my checking account. My checking account, UNLIKE MY CREDIT CARD, is not fraud-protected. THAT’S WHY I USE A CREDIT CARD AS A DEBIT CARD WILL NOT BE FRAUD PROTECTED. So, in the not unlikely instance that PayPal’s servers are hacked and my checking account info ends up on some IRC hackers channel, that money is GONE. Tough noogies. Unlike my checking/debit account, my credit card IS FRAUD PROTECTED. I won’t lose a DIME. And neither would PayPal. “But our servers are hacker-proof and encrypted!”, says PayPal. Really? Ask all the myriad companys that have has their systems hacked and customer information lost. As I choose to limit my exposure to theft, I have one credit card. And so does PayPal – My Capitol One Credit Card. PAYPAL HAS USED IT FOR YEARS WITHOUT COMPLAINT. Until now.

I don’t want a PayPal credit card. One is enough and I’m very happy with it. And so was PayPal.

I don’t want another checking account. Aint nobody got time for that. The one I do have works just fine.

In fact, PayPal is the ONLY company to insist on linking to my personal checking account. And while PayPal says that I can have a PayPal Credit Card as another method of ‘verification’, that just sounds like out-and-out extortion, don’t you think? GIVE US YOUR CHECKING ACCOUNT INFO OR SIGN UP FOR A PAYPAL CREDIT CARD – EITHER/OR. UNTIL SUCH TIME, YOU CANNOT USE PAYPAL AGAIN.

Oh, REALLY? Think again.

Here’s MY ultimatum: Remove the ‘spending limit’ on my PayPal account and we go on as we have for years, quite happily, OR PAYPAL LOSES ME AS A CUSTOMER.

I know one customer isn’t going to impact PayPal, but a guy has to do what a guy has to do. And I’m SURE I’m not the only one out there that feels this way.


Mike Fisher

[UPDATE: 11/15/2012] PayPal Frank has PERMANENTLY lifted the ‘Sending Limit’ on my account! We are, as before, able to use PayPal WITHOUT ‘linking’ to my checking account! All’s well that ends well.]

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New Story!

It’s a short story, but it needed telling. (Don’t tell Momma I posted this)


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Stream of Consciousness for 09/17/12

I hereby decree that Canada will henceforth be known as “Canuckistan”. BECAUSE THAT’S FUNNY.

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Stream of Consciousness

I’m thinking of just blasting out, as often as I can think of it, just anything to the Ol Blog here. It’s tough just coming up with what I think people will want to read. I have a bajillion nonsense ideas run through my head every day, but none of it seems to flesh out to anything lengthy and/or what I would judge as interesting to other folks.

So maybe I just start posting this nonsense and let The Great Unwashed Masses judge them in the raw, and when one strikes a chord, maybe THEN expand it and make it readable..

Who knows?



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My main computer died, so the WTF Camera and weather system are OFFLINE. I’ll be working on it this afternoon and hope to have it all back up tonight/tomorrow. I can still get email via my iPad so catch me there or on Twitter (@Comkey).

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Just Making A Post – BECAUSE I CAN.

In the vein of “I got a Kindle and have never looked back..”, that was the eye-opener into eBooks for me. THEN, I got an iPad. I GAVE THE KINDLE AWAY. Now I can read AND look up things (If you read Neal Asher, you’ll know what I mean), surf and check in with others!

As for series to read while waiting for some others to publish, here’s a list in no certain order or preference:

(First book in series is listed)

The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict – Stephen R. Donaldson – The opener into a 5-book series. Donaldson is an acquired taste, but I enjoyed the series. (These books are analog – I can’t find them ALL in eBook format)

Gridlinked – Neal Asher The first book in the Agent Cormac series. AWESOME author that completely captivated me. I owe somebody here BIG for tipping me off to this guy.

The Clone Republic – Steven L. Kent The Clone series is a fast read. The series is fun and easy to get through. Kent is a very friendly author so you might check out his blog (

Dauntless – Jack Campbell This series will grab you and not let you loose until you’re done with the series. I’ve even had friends of mine that DO NOT like mil-porn rave about this series. (This is the pen name of John G. Hemry. A VERY nice guy. Visit him at and write him. He WILL respond.)

Old Man’s War – John Scalzi If you don’t like this series, I’ll pay you for the books. That simple. (Visit John on his blog at . You’ll soon find he is very much deeper than the sci-fi he’s written)

Mutineer (Kris Longknife) – Mike Shepherd Local author that tells a good story. I feel this is almost YA, but I enjoyed the series and will continue reading it. Recommended.

The Battle at the Moons of Hell (Helfort’s War) – Graham Sharp Paul A great series that is similar to The Clone Series. Fun, fast and action-packed. Enjoy!

Star Soldier (Book #1 of the Doom Star Series) – Vaughn Heppner Another indie author I found on Amazon. Loved the series and will continue reading it.

Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns – Kevin J. Anderson Since everyone seems to be mentioning this series, I HAD to add it here. A sweeping epic that almost hides the ecocentric plot behind sci-fi will absolutely amaze. I LOVED this series. HIGHLY recommended.

Quarter Share (Solar Clipper Trader Tales) – Nathan Lowell A fun, almost YA series about the coming of age of a boy on a freighter plying the Deep Dark. No space battles, no sex (well, no REAL sex), no hard sci-fi. Just a great story told from a youngsters point of view. (

Midshipman’s Hope – David Feintuch This IS YA in my estimation, but this series by the late David Feintuch is an exceptional series about coming of age with a bit of 18th Century discipline thrown in to spice the story. Very good, quick series to read.

Starship: Mutiny – Mike Resnick A very cool series that I was sorry to see end. Just the perfect blend of swashbuckling, technology and humor that I love.

Soldier of the Legion – Marshall S. Thomas A GREAT series I’ve recently discovered! Along the lines of the Clone series, a long running battle against implacable aliens and another Human regime. The core group pretty much remains throughout the book but the day-to-day goals are certainly fluid. Technology is over-the-top and yet believable. The battle sequences are frantic and get you involved! A great series to read!

There you go, a few ideas. MOST of these authors I found right here, reading other readers recommendations! And for goodness sake, tell me what you think of my list. I KNOW I’ve forgotten many, many others. I’ll keep adding to the list as my senior memory dredges more great series to mind.

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ANOTHER New Story!

I know, it’s been way too long. I know. But, Twitter is keeping me VERY busy. I know.. I suck.

Anyways, enjoy the new story, and as always, tell me what you think!

The Rough Life Of A Telco Lineman


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New Story!

I’ve posted a NEW STORY. This is a story about youth and the lack of common sense. A lesson in what NOT to do, if you will.

It is titled ‘Lucky, I Am‘.


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Updated Photo Gallery ‘Frank’s New House’ with pictures of the progress he’s made this last week. Will have another update this coming Monday or so for the work we’ll do this weekend.


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