austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Well, the big bad wolf was really gone

I had stopped at the Freehold Raceway Mall, now Waldenbooks-free and not yet Borders-equipped, to pass time before yoga and wandered in through my usual route to find ... the alarms were going off. They've got this really phenomenally annoying siren and it was drowning out all the sounds one might hear once one left Sears. There were no signs of evacuation or barely audible warnings being made over the speaker system, but there also weren't signs saying that due to construction (or the testing or whatever they do) there might be false alarms. There weren't many people around, so perhaps they had left, but then store clerks hadn't gone and nobody seemed to be closing up shop. If there were more people I could say whether this compared to the casualness with which Singaporeans faced an alarm in Plaza Singapura, but this was more abstract. I wandered in closer to the video store and encountered ... another alarm, at a more annoying pitch. Apparently they work in tandem to make ignored alarms all the more agonizing.

But faced with alarms that were signalling perhaps not the presence of danger but certainly the presence of an irritating sound, I retreated to the safety of Sears, where I discovered most of the TV sets were showing this endless loop video about the glories of HDTV and how it makes soccer matches look like you actually watched soccer, except for one which was showing Over The Hedge. I also noticed one of the mutant Disney brand themed license combination TV-and-DVD players bills, this one in Cars motif, bills itself on the label as an ``analog DVD set''. I believe that's for children who want a warmer picture experience.

Eventually I checked back and the siren had ended, happily, and I got to the video store where I found (a) the ten-box set of Special Collectors Edition DVDs of the various Star Trek movies (b) cheap enough that even accounting for the couple that I already bought, this was a good price. Unfortunately, the cash registers were throwing some digital fit and didn't feel like warming up, registering my club membership, or scanning much of anything, which the cashier attributed to it just being a weird day. All I had seen of it was aimless sirens and balky cash registers, but I grant this could be symptoms of a weird day. She laughed at quite a few things I said, which I hope I had said as jokes.

Trivia: Thomas Edision laboratory's first carbon filament light bulb was demonstrated in Menlo Park, New Jersey, on 21 October 1879 with a bulb that could burn for two days. Source: A History of Mechanical Inventions, Abbott Payson Usher.

Currently Reading: The Sixth Great Power: A History of One of the Greatest of all Banking Families, the House of Barings, 1762 - 1929, Philip Ziegler.

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