Thursday, May 2, 2013

House Gremlins

Yesterday was a very strange day. From the time I got up until well after the time I went to bed weird things kept happening. It all started in the morning when I went to plug something into the electric outlet in the bathroom and nothing happened. At first I thought the little heater I was plugging in was broken, but then I noticed the charge light on my electric toothbrush wasn't on. No big deal. Jay gets back in two days and he can fix it then.

In the afternoon I had taken the dry sheets off the clothesline and was making up the beds in the guest/stash room. Fergus came up to me and bumped me with his nose, which is a rather endearing trait he has. It means he wants immediate attention. Unfortunately this time he got more than he bargained for. As soon as his nose came into contact with me he got quite a big static shock and yelped like he had been mortally wounded. Then he spent the next fifteen minutes looking at me in a way that made me feel terribly guilty.

Later in the afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table working on something. When I got up from the table I didn't notice Jenny, who was at my feet. I stepped directly on her tail and there was a repeat performance of the earlier yelping/guilt episode, just with a different dog.

Not long after the dog tail incident the Internet quit working. Our router can be finicky, and sometimes needs to be unplugged then plugged back in again to kick start it. I followed the usual procedure with no luck. Totally ignoring Einstein's observations about insanity, I tried this repeatedly for the rest of the evening but never did manage to get the Internet up and running. Thankfully I could still connect on my iPad through the 3G network, so wasn't totally lost. Which makes me think Einstein should have come up with a witty saying about addiction.

The top award for the House Gremlins' activity goes to the final entry for the day. I was almost asleep when a piercing sound came from the hallway just outside the bedroom. It was the smoke detector. However, there was no smoke. That didn't seem to matter. It kept up its shrill noise for a good three minutes. Worse than the noise was the reaction of the dogs. (They hate the smoke detector, and when I accidentally set it off when cooking they get so scared they end up peeing on the floor.)

It stopped on its own, which was good since I had no idea how to intervene. I was almost asleep again, and, you guessed it, the alarm sounded again. The first time it happened I was scared. This time I was mad. I headed downstairs and met David, who didn't look any too happy either, coming upstairs. You see, our alarms are hard-wired in, and if one goes off they all go off. We agreed on three things.

  1. There wasn't a fire.
  2. We had no idea what was wrong.
  3. We had no clue how to fix it.
Having come to these rather unhelpful conclusions, we both headed back to bed. There is a corollary to Einstein's observation, which is that not doing anything and expecting a different result is also crazy. The alarm went off again. The good news here is by then I was so wide awake there was no worry about my sleep being disturbed. I decided to do what we all do now when presented with a problem we can't solve. I Googled it. On my iPad using 3G because the Internet still wasn't working. It turns out I am not the only one who has had this happen.

The culprit is most likely one of two things. Dust or spiders. Well, it's not like we live in a dust-free house. We don't. But the alarms are in the ceiling. Our dust lives down at our level. Which can only mean one thing. A spider has crawled into one of the detectors. And I think I know which spider it is. The one I wrote about in this post hasn't been spotted in my car since I returned. Which means it probably made its way into our house by hiding in one of the bags I brought in from the car.

And just for the record, here's my April Self-Imposed Sock of the Month club instalment, finished on the evening of April 30.


Biscotte & Cie Felix, colourway Princese et 7 mailes



28 comments:

  1. Uh-oh, sounds like that spider is stalking you. Someone (not you) needs to track it down and take it out (either meaning). We had a similar problem with smoke detectors in our last house. The one in the basement got dust in it (maybe from dryer leakage???) and set them all off. As for the pet related gremlins, my wife could commiserate...or perhaps some of our pets could. When we had a cat, my wife stepped on it all the time. In her defense, the cat would spread out in the middle of a high traffic area and not move. When my wife was carrying a laundry basket, well...sorry Mr. Fluffy! I hope the gremlins depart very soon.

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    1. The false alarm thing is surprisingly common. When I Googled it I wasn't even sure anything would come up in the search. I needn't have worried.:-)

      Poor Mr. Fluffy.

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  2. PS - Without involving any major appliances!

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    1. Ha! Have I mentioned on the blog that we finally broke down and bought a new dishwasher? I am hoping the Hammond appliance curse has been broken.

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  3. OH MY GOODNESS what a terrible little day! I never know if it's great when everything clumps up in one day like that, or terrible. But your comments about Einstein still cracked me up. :)

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    1. The funny thing about yesterday is all the bits between the gremlin activity were quite nice. Clumping is okay as long as it just lasts one day. A week of clumping is more than I can handle. :-)

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  4. Hmm, it sounds more like you've turned into your own little force-field. Maybe you became supercharged in the last day or two!

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    1. Now that you mention it I wonder. :-)

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  5. Oh dear it sounds as if there are gremlins around. I hope today turns out to be less eventful!
    Sarah x

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    1. So far today has been quite dull in comparison to yesterday. I am worried about tonight though. That's when spiders are most active, and I don't want a repeat performance. I need to get a good night's sleep!

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  6. Ruth (no longer in Ottawa)May 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Sounds like you could use a house elf to put everything to rights... A couple of years ago, when a nasty little thunderstorm caused a power brown-out, our smoke alarm started to speak (undecipherably, of course!). It took me a while to figure out where the eerie little voice was coming from. I was never so glad to have the power fail completely as I was that day, as it finally shut the danged thing up. My SIL had a story to top that one, though - her smoke alarm was bilingual and spoke undecipherably in both official languages.

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    1. A house elf would be lovely. If you have one to spare please send him/her my way.

      That is hilarious about the bilingual smoke alarm!

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  7. Oh dear. I don't even want to know if it's the spider, I'm getting shivers thinking about him. I know your day was not very fun but this post was really enjoyable to read. I really like the way you write. :)

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    1. Thanks for the compliment about my writing, Jennifer! Actually, it was a good day. It just had these odd little moments sprinkled throughout. Although I have to say, the smoke alarm thing was very annoying. I have been exhausted all day due to the sleep I lost last night.

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  8. That does sound like an odd day! we had issues with a smoke alarm recently, it KEPT going off, repeatedly (and once at 3am) when there was obviously no fire. Changed battery, kept happening, changed smoke alarm KEPT HAPPENING. by this time I was freaking out and actually rang the fire station, who sent up a lovely crew to check it out. They replaced the alarm and it went off!! They suggested that the only thing it cuold be was THREE faulty alarms and I should buy another. Which I did and it has been fine ever since. but there were a few sleepless nights, and a daughter who screamed the house down petrified of fire. (she has since decided she wants to be a fire fighter when she grows up!)

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    1. Three faulty fire alarms is unbelievable! And your poor daughter. If she has since decided she wants to be a fire fighter when she grows up she must have recovered from the trauma. It is such a horrible noise. Even when I knew there wasn't a fire my heart was racing the first time it went off.

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  9. Wow, what a day! Our doxies could commiserate with Fergus and Jenny - they've endured the same traumatic events.

    I hope the alarm problem gets taken care of soon, AND that the spider keeps its distance from you!

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    1. Last night passed without incident. My tall son came up to the house yesterday and took down the smoke detector in the basement. That seemed to take care of the problem. And no sign of that spider!

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  10. Poor Kristie, your gremlins have really been busy. Some of their mischief is just irritating, but hard-wired fire-alarms that have gone out of control are a serious sleep hazard. I love the way you make such an amusing post out of a pile of annoyances. :-) May your weekend be peaceful.

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    1. Last night was better - the gremlins slept, and so did I!

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  11. Apparently, smoke alarms have a limited life cycle and will beep repeatedly or go off when they are dying

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  12. No amount of new batteries or electricity will help. I have one beeping now that needs to be replaced

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble with yours too, Daisy. My son took down the one in the basement and that seems to have solved the problem. At least I hope it has! I think the spider that crawled in was able to escape. Although, that leaves the problem of where the spider is going next...

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  13. The fire alarm thing ... so very not funny. The thought it might be the spider ... very funny indeed. Let's hope he gets bored soon and heads off to bother someone else.

    Actually my dachshunds eat spiders ... a job of Jenny maybe?

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    1. The spider has vacated the smoke detector, which is great. Not so great is it is now wandering loose in the house. I will tell Jenny to keep an eye out for it. :-)

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  14. Oops, that should of course say *for* Jenny.

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  15. Ahh, sorry to hear you had "one of those days"... Yesterday Christopher kept finding himself uner my feet, even though he is bigger than a dof, and a lot more vocal when I step on his toes...
    Cute socks...as always!

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    1. Poor Christopher! How are things? I've been missing your blog posts.

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