Don't Be Alarmed

June 6, 2010

If you're any kind of stalker at all (and I concede that you have, at times, outstalked even me), then you know that I went to see the ol' hometown over the weekend. You know, catch up with the family, eat some delicious foodages, spend too much time in the airport. The usual spring venture - fly up early on Saturday, come back even earlier on Sunday. (I like fast)

As you probably know (and should if you have ever traveled anywhere), the night before departure is a short one, what with the last minute packing and stuff... and the morning of is an early one cuz you have to get to the airport 3 days early to get through security. always there for each otherI can deal with all of that because I'm used to getting up rather early anyway (some people get 15 minutes of fame.. I get 15 minutes of sleep!). But other than the usual distractions waking me in the middle of the night (I'm a light sleeper), I usually sleep pretty well.

Ya not this time.

At about 1:30 in the morning I heard a very loud, very annoying, very startling 'BEEP'. and then nothing. And about 5 minutes later, there was a double beep. Yup the ol' 'BEEP BEEP" (and I assure you, it was not a roadrunner type cutesy beep). and then nothing. So I lay there waiting for the next beep, or to drift off to sleep, and was promising myself that if it beeped again, I would get up and fix whatever it was and if it didn't go off again, I would donate all my free time to charity and live a good clean life (oh the promises we'll make for some sleep).

Well, it beeped again (so much for clean living) and I fell out of bed. (It wasn't really a jump, or even a climb, so... I'm gonna go with fell) I knew from experience that the beep was the pending death of a smoke alarm and not an actual fire. The problem with the intermittent beeping of a smoke alarm is that it echos through the house - and you can't be sure which alarm it is until you get it to beep while you are standing under it. Fortunately (if there is a fortunately in this story), it was the alarm in the bedroom and I found it on the first try.

So there is Dee in his sleeping attire (avert your eyes, ladies) dragging the giant foldable ladder out of the garage around both cars and through the house, then setting the beast up in the living room. Not a pretty sight and not a quiet activity (but then, the smoke alarm wasn't really quiet either). And as i was disconnecting the soon to be dead alarm, it let out a scream, which must have done something in the wiring because all the other alarms in the house answered. I thought maybe it was calling for reinforcements and I would soon be attacked by mutant smoke alarms. (it was 2:00 in the morning...)

I did manage to get the alarm undone, disconnected, debatteried and tucked away without any damage to myself or the alarm. And the whole thing only took about half an hour (writing this post about it is actually taking way more time than that) and I was able to get back to sleep, right before getting up to go to the airport.

My brother told me the problem was that Arizona doesn't have daylight savings time - so we don't know when to change the alarm batteries. (haha) I did find the problem when I was hooking the alarm back up... just a loose wire. So I checked the wiring in all the alarms (yes, I turned the breaker off before working on them; safety first!), and replaced the batteries. And while I was doing that, I started thinking about the alarms that go off in our own lives (you didn't expect a post without me thinking, did you?), the episodes we might have, and how best to get through them.

Our instincts are there to keep us safe - our alarms should go off if we need to get out, when there's trouble. That's by design and it's a good thing. We should just expect with such an awesome system that once in a while there is going to be a false beep - an alarm for no apparent reason. Maybe the sirens go off just to tell us that we need to be checked out a little, to make sure we are properly grounded maybe. And it's good to have someone there to reset us. Preferably someone who won't panic and isn't afraid of the noise.

So here's the deal. You can always count on the ol' Dee to help you quiet those alarms in life. If you just need to have your batteries recharged/replaced or if you're in need of a full rewiring, I'm your man. I'm even good for a little checkup once in a while. and I promise not to panic or run. I'm here, all you have to do is beep at me.

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