bunt sign

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ah, electronics. Last night (or way early this morning, to be honest), I was lying in bed listening to the Solo Piano channel on the TuneIn Radio app on my phone while reading a book on the Kindle app, when I heard an electronic chirp that I couldn't place. I didn't know exactly where it was coming from, and I didn't have a clue what it meant. It was one of those two-toned double-note beeps, the kind you hear when your phone's battery is dying. But I had my phone in my hand it was fully charged.

So I got up to check it out. In fact, I got up no less than three times to try to see what was happening. I checked every electronic device in the house. I knew the sound couldn't be coming through the stereo speakers, because the amplifier was off. The computer was sleeping. None of the clocks, not the one on the microwave and not the one on the answering machine, blinked in that telltale way. I knew it wasn't the smoke detector, because I had bashed it in and removed the battery months ago, on another sleepless night.

The first time I got up, I used my phone as a flashlight. I even turned off the radio app to make sure it wasn't projecting sound across the house. (Well, how did I know whether it had a ventriloquist feature I wasn't aware of? A lot of these applications have a lot of features that I never get around to using.) The sound wasn't coming from near the bed, but it wasn't coming from very far away, either. I was mystified.

The second time I got up, I turned on every light in the house, and found a few other devices to check. Nothing, though, and I was stupefied. I went back to bed, but then I remembered that a few days ago I had turned on my old pay-as-you-go phone, the one my smart phone replaced, to see if it still had some battery life in it. I'd placed it on the bookcase in the bedroom and forgotten about it. I had also forgotten to turn it off. And the battery was now, finally, dying. So I got up the third time, turned off the old, useless phone (no credit left on it), and went back to bed.

It's not easy for me to fall asleep on a good night (if there is such a thing). The more times I'm get up and down, the harder it is for me to get to sleep. I think there's some constant multiplier that defines this phenomenon. It probably has a German name. I stopped reading and started listening to an audio book that I bought specifically to help me sleep. It's a book I've already read, and it's not a bad book, but the narrator's voice is very soothing. Or boring, I'm not sure which. But it's better than Melatonin sometimes. I only wish it had some way to sense when I was asleep so it could turn itself off.

17 May 2012

Fields, trees and clouds.

Lest you think my life is ruled totally by my electronics (a situation that's getting closer to the truth as time goes by), I also experienced a natural phenomenon yesterday that had me jumping out of my chair. I was sitting and chilling in the early evening and I glanced out the back door, where I saw a gray fox on the porch. It looked around curiously, then bounded off through the tall grass. It wasn't there long, but it was real. It's just that I've never seen a fox anywhere around here before. I didn't even know they roamed this part of the countryside (but now I do). It was one of the coolest things I've seen since all the ring-necked pheasants packed up and lit out for the territories.

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