did an exercise that gave me a lot of clues into how the clock will end up working. computers are so cool.
started using the other side of the breadboard. has liberated me from relying on the images so much and is forcing me to trust my intuition a bit more about what/how wiring will work.
working through the exercises in the book. also found a YT video today of a functionally similar project that answered a lot of the more mechanical questions I had about making the hands move.
ordered the arduino starter kit as per @emu's suggestion.
I broke a nail but working through this first exercise and making this light turn on was the most magical thing I've experience in a long time.