So, I headed down to the local Service Merchandise and for $15 bought this:
And she's been with me ever since.
Over the past 17 years, my alarm clock has woken me up in Lenox, MA, Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus, Ohio, Washington, DC, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA. Many times, these wakeups were not very welcome at all. As a result, the gratitude I have shown my alarm clock over these years has included: being slammed with a pillow/ fist/ book, being tossed to the ground, being thrown across the room, and all sorts of other abuse.
Of course, my alarm clock endures this with nary a complaint. Every minute of every day for the past 17 years it has performed its job down to the second. (Think about that for a second - those red LED lights have been on for 17 straight years!). Amazingly, it shows no sign of burning out or slowing down.
In any event, I felt it high time I recognized the distinguished service my alarm clock has performed over these years. $15 well spent indeed.