austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

The earth says hello

Tuesdays are my early morning, relatively speaking; it's the only morning where if I do decide to sleep in to 9 am I'll run late for something. This naturally means it's hard to sleep early enough the night before, as pretty well everything will get me up. I blame that on awareness that I must not oversleep. I get the same way before plane flights too. So naturally last night someway through the middle a severe thunderstorm broke out. I like thunderstorms, except to the extent they might disrupt power or cable modem service, and would rather they were going on in the afternoon or evening instead. But I use a travel alarm clock, so I don't need power for short periods anyway.

The storm got pretty heavy, at least heavy enough to set off some kind of power flux, and while it didn't trip any circuit breakers in my apartment at least, it did set off ... something ... beeping. It sounded like a neighbor's alarm clock, assuming it was designed to start beeping on the loss of its settings and power. I figured it wouldn't be long until whoever owned it woke up and re-set it. Only ... it kept beeping. Not loud, naturally, not through the walls, but ... steady, and continuing. Whoever's it was, apparently, was gone for the night, and I hoped she or he wasn't gone for the week. While I tried to sleep, it didn't get much easier, and it wasn't stopped even when I did get up for the morning.

I stepped out of my bedroom and found that it was my phone doing the beeping.

Why my phone has a beep mechanism I don't know, and I couldn't figure out how to stop it. I think it may have been zapped in the storm, since I could get a dial tone or this beeping that I now realized was pretty much its ringing beep. The only way to stop it was to unplug it. I don't know whether I'll replace it; about my only use for a phone is the rare call for a taxi, when I'm going to the airport or refuse to wait for the 927 bus to the zoo. This month my Singapore Telecom bill was S$0.02, and as some of you may remember, I've had smaller bills. And I'm curious whether I should go to my neighbors and apologize for the thing beeping all night long.

Trivia: In 1772 Matthew Boulton finished a geographical clock -- showing which parts of the globe were in day and which in night -- and a sidereal clock -- measuring by the apparent motion of other stars than the sun -- which he priced at £180 and £275. Neither sold. Source: The Lunar Men, Jenny Uglow.

Currently Reading: War for the Union, 1864-1865: The Organized War to Victory, Allan Nevins.

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