This Year the April Fool is Me

I wasn't planning on writing an April Fool's post this year. Simply stated, I can't find anything humorous about telling a lie, making people believe it, and then telling them it was a joke. Too close to current reality...

AR-smokeA4a.jpgSo, on Saturday, at 5:30 AM March 30th when I was woken up by my fire/CO2 alarm beeping it's low-battery chirp, I did what anyone would do, turned over, went back to sleep and put "replace battery" at the top of my early morning "To Do" list. 

I got up, fed the cats (which is always job one upon arising) and then replaced the battery on the only smoke alarm downstairs with a nice fresh one. Game over, or so I thought...

On Sunday, March 31, 2019, early morning, I did not get a warm fuzzy deja-vu feeling when at 5:30 that same chirp emanated from the main floor of my abode.

DAMN! 

AR-smokeA1a.jpgAgain, I tried to tough it out till normal waking hours, but it was harder, so I got up, replaced the battery with a new Lithium one this time, but the chirping continued, unabated, but it was no longer coming from that smoke detector! Now the chirping was emanating from my wife's office which is just down the hall from where the alarm was situated. This was especially odd since the smoke detector in her office had been removed over two years ago - there was only the connector in the ceiling remaining. Electric wires, by themselves, have never been known to chirp intermittently...

So, I took the apparently working smoke detector down to the basement and pulled its battery, just to make sure that it was out of the equation. The intermittent chirping continued from my wife's office from what could possibly be the only known invisible smoke detector ever heard by human ears.

OK, I had to admit I was stumped...so I waited for my wife to wake up and add her brain to the act of figuring out what the heck was going on...

Once she was conscious, we both agreed that something in one corner of her office was chirping...and it seemed to be coming from the vacant spot where a smoke alarm would have been if there was one installed, A ghost smoke detector perhaps?

AR-smokeA2a.jpgThe only thing left to do was to take stuff out of the office to see if there was something else that could be chirping. This is a good place to mention, in passing, that my wife's office is never going to be photographed for an article on high-tech storage techniques. And that particular corner of the office closely resembles a game of 3D Tetris.

After several minutes of removing stuff with no success, except for the unopened envelope that contained an apparently uncashed $3758.56 reimbursement check from an insurance company to replace a roof due to hail damage, I looked up on top of her highest bookshelf, there under some papers I discovered not one but TWO smoke detectors! One had an empty battery compartment while the other, the one that I quickly discovered was chirping, had an old Lithium battery that finally dropped below that magic voltage setting to trigger the low battery chirp. It had been sitting up on top of that bookshelf for the last two years waiting, for that perfect time to begin its low-battery shenanigans.

I deal with complex signal chains and audio systems every day, so to be so completely flummoxed by something as seemingly simple as a smoke alarm system was humbling, to say the least. So, my takeaway from this was somewhere something in the universe decided I was getting a bit too complacent in my ability to quickly suss out and solve electrical problems, so it sent me a curve ball as a little April fools event...and to compensate, let me discover some lost money...

Two hours screwing around playing with smoke detectors and reading instruction manuals with no logical or rational explanations was a great way to spend the first several hours of March 31st...

May your April 1st be filled with things that delight you... 

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