Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ah, Spring!

The days do not break as early as we were used to because of that archaic process called daylight savings time.  It does not save any daylight time as far as I can see, it just moves it to  later in the day.  And yet, alas, I still rise early and it is dark at the windows.  I sit with my laptop in the quiet house, thinking my thoughts and waiting for the sun or the writing muse, whichever is bravest to come first.

The sun is just now providing a candlelight glow at the edge of the ridge at the end of the river.  I sigh and return to some important sentence when I hear "chirp."

I cannot help but smile at the joy that some little bird, probably one of the perky wrens, was sharing and beginning to celebrate the season of spring.

"chirp."

I get up to warm my coffee and glance out in the early dawn but cannot see the tiny brown bird anywhere on the deck.  He must be near the feeders.

"chirp."

I wonder why he has not moved into his early morning intermezzo.   No female is going to be impressed with this tentative peep in the cold morning.

The sun lights the backyard and I still cannot see the wren.

"chirp."

I am beginning to get a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach and I head down to the basement.  The "chirp" is much louder there.  I move toward the closed door of the guest bedroom waiting for the chirps over-rhythmic return.

"chirp."

And then I know!  Spring with its routines and opportunities for maintenance is at last here in all its glory.  I look with resigned hatred at the white plastic disk attached to the fragile fiber tile in the hanging ceiling.  I grab a nearby chair and  painfully craning my neck try to turn the plastic disk succeeding only in shifting the ceiling tile out of its frame.  I whisper something unladylike under my breath and head back upstairs for my small stepladder.

After carefully avoiding nicking walls I once again reach the smoke alarm and begin the tedious process of figuring out how to remove it and then open the battery case.  It sounds oh so simple but it took me 5 minutes of slow and carefully applied pressures to get at the 9 volt battery hidden inside without tearing apart the ceiling and/or falling off the ladder.  I take out the battery making sure that I can memorize how it was installed.  There is no snap to this alarm's battery...just little slotted unintuitive holes!!



 I have remembered to bring a new battery which I install and then return the disc to its frame.  I wait.

"chirp"

Now I am beyond help and glad that I am the only one home or I might maim or kill someone.

I try to read the raised 7 point font white print on the white background  in the inside of the battery casing with no luck.  I even color over it with a crayon...sort of like a person in mental therapy would do before they are given their meds.  That does not help except for breaking the point on the crayon.



I say some more unladylike things and without the care that I should use unscrew the plastic case from its frame moving the ceiling tile cockeyed.  I remove and then reverse the battery installation and then wait.

"chirp"

I go upstairs and get the can of air from my computer desk and return to the scene of  waterloo and proceed to blast the hell out of it.  No bug, fleck of dust or other alien entity could possibly remain.  I wait.

"chirp"

I go back upstairs and talk myself out of bringing down the bourbon from the high cupboard and instead check my emails and work on some photos. 

"chirp"

After the chirping begins to resonate nastily between my ears, I return to the bedroom basement and pull the little  ##**%%%-^^&&@@  off the attachment to electricity. 



"silence"

I have killed it.  Yes, I will have to do something about that, but right now I am thinking about a design on a voodoo doll for the inventor of this piece of %%$ and later getting ready for beach week with the kids.



23 comments:

  1. Good one... you had me hooked at "chirp". I've learned to change all the smoke alarm batteries when the time changes after tearing apart the house one year trying to find the One.
    Love your Awesome masthead picture.

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  2. If those dead-blamed things weren't so essential, the aggravation of them would have had me throwing ours out the window long ago. Good luck with yours.

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  3. I hate it when this sort of thing happens! SO disappointing that it wasn't just a bird. I'm sure I would've followed the same set of fixes.

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  4. Funny and so true. and I LIKE your new blog banner. very cool

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  5. When my parents were living on one of my visits they wanted me to kill a cricket behind a chest in their bedroom that wouldn't quit chirping. Said they'd used almost a whole can of bug spray. I went to the bedroom to move out the chest and see what I could find. I didn't have to. Immediately I knew the problem, an exhausted battery on a smoke alarm on the ceiling above the chest.

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  6. Very well told. We can all relate. And I had the sound effects while reading. Frank's parrot, Lucy does a perfect imitation of the smoke detector chirp and she was serenading me with it as I read. I think she's psychic.. or maybe psychotic.

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  7. Ha, me too last week.
    Only I lost patience much sooner than you and ripped the whole thing off the ceiling after the third attempt to screw the lid back in failed.

    These things may save our lives in the case of fire but they probably see many of us off long before a fire could do so.

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  8. Oh oh, I have killed mine too and have a replacement in its box in the linen closet, since DST went away last year. Thanks for reminding me.

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  9. I have a built-in, electric-only alarm. The trouble is that when the power goes off, it emits a very annoying series of beeps/chirps/indescribable noises. It keeps going as long as the power is off, every few minutes, and my nervous-nellie little dog goes out of her head! I asked an electrician friend about removing or disabling this system, and he can't find out the source without ripping out walls!

    I also have 3 battery-operated alarms. They are a pain to change, but at least I can silence them!

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  10. I hate when they chirp. It drives me crazy. I ripped ours out of the ceiling the last time it happened.

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  11. That early bird was no feathered friend! How aggravating! I became annoyed just reading the "chirp"s.

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  12. OMG! I am laughing so hard! I love, love, love the crayon part and thanks for that tip because I never would have thought to do that.

    My Mom took a hammer to one of hers that my brother had placed in a very difficult place where she could not get the cover off.

    Damn! I may have to re-apply my make-up! LOL!

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  13. I have had this happen in my bedroom and not much sleep that night. At this time have to call someone to climb a ladder to the 14foot ceiling. Now try to do every Fall and also have ceiling fans cleaned in vaulted great room.
    As I continued to read
    thought you had a bird in the house :)

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  14. Been there done that.

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  15. Oops!

    And how annoying. Enjoy your beach week.

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  16. Very complecated.

    I turned to G and asked if he had replaced the batteries in the smoke alarms. Thanks for the reminder. Nope, he hadn't.

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  17. Haha! Stupid thing. This reminds me of a Friends episode when Phoebe couldn't get her smoke detector to stop chirping. hehe!
    Not what you want to be doing on a quiet morning, is it? Bah!

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  18. hahahahahaha....i felt your descent in to madness...lol....smiles...i am rather glad there was not a hammer in sight...lol...

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  19. I once had a boyfriend who lived in an apartment that had loud central air and for many months whenever I slept over I happily thought it was a roaring creek!

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  20. too blasted funny! from utter relaxation and appreciation to utter frustration. :) congrats on your POTW!

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  21. So funny. I've felt the same way about those things. Ours usually start chirping in the middle of the night and I can never figure out which one it is! Congrats on the POTW!

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  22. Great and very funny post, congratulation on POW.

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  23. Oh you made me laugh! I absolutely hate those things!! I've said plenty of unladylike words and smacked it a few times. Once when the darn thing went off in the middle of the night, I just slammed shut the circuit breaker.
    Mind you the next morning, I had to call someone in to replace it, since there was a defect somewhere in the wiring.
    Wish they would make it easier to replace batteries.

    Congrats on your POTW award!

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