Sunday, August 31, 2008

Strange Things Are Afoot At The Circle K

A couple of really weird things happened in the past few days.

The first one happened on the way to work Monday morning.

I was headed north on 291 when I glanced down at my dash and saw that all of my analog gauges were DEAD! No speedometer, no RPM, no temp, no battery, nothing. In place of my digital odometer, was the cryptic message "no bus".

But the jeep was still moving. It wasn't a catastrophic failure.

Just to see what would happen, I turned my headlights off (I always drive with my headlights on to increase my visibility to other drivers). All of a sudden, my gauges were back! I turned the headlights back on, and the gauges were still there!

Whew! WTF?

My first thought was that this was the first symptom of an irreparable electrical failure that would ultimately leave me without a vehicle, unable to get to work, jobless, unable to pay rent, and homeless. Shuffling along Independence Avenue with the crack whores and drug dealers.

That's the way my overly analytical mind works. From a single fact to absolutely worst possible case in a nano second. Because that's just how I fucking roll.

When I had more time to analyze the situation, I came up with a couple of more rational explanations.

The first scenario was that maybe I had a fuse going bad. That's possible.

But then I remembered that when I renewed my tags back in May, I failed the safety inspection because the driver's side high-beam was out. I had to rush out to O'Reilly's to get a new headlight. The O'Reilly's guy looked up my make and model and determined that I needed a Xenon bulb.

In a blatant attempt to up sell, he informed me that if you have a Xenon bulb on one side and a regular bulb on the other, the Xenon bulb doesn't last as long. It burns out faster. This makes some customers not like Xenon bulbs.

I passed on the attempt to double-dip my wallet and went out to the parking lot to install my new headlight and get my tags.

In the process I noticed that the passenger side headlight was, in fact, a regular bulb...not Xenon. Whatevies. I had just paid over $700.00 in personal property taxes and I just wanted to get my fucking tags. Wasn't really in the mood to spend anymore money.

But now I'm wondering if that could be the source of my "no bus" incident. Especially since switching the headlights on and off fixed the problem.

Maybe I won't wind up homeless and penniless, shuffling along Independence Avenue after all.

Maybe I just need to cough up $8.00 for a new fucking headlight from O'Reillys!

The second incident was extremely bizarre.

It involved on odd sound in the home.

It was a constant, semi-high pitched hum.

My first explanation was that it was coming from the H/AC vents. I had recently shut off every vent in the house except the ones in my bedroom and bathroom.

My bedroom faces west and sits above the garage, so it is hard to keep cool in hot weather. I was trying to force all of the AC upstairs into my bedroom and I thought that might caused a woodwind effect from the air blowing over the vanes in the vents.

Hey, it's possible.

But the really weird part was that the sound stopped if I turned on the water in my bathroom sink. It started up again as soon as I turned the water off.

What. The. Fuck?

I went downstairs for something and noticed that the sound got louder. Following the volume led me to the downstairs bathroom where I had a running toilet.

I've had problems with that toilet for some time now. I can't seem to get the float adjusted right and it tends to run.

I took the cover off the tank, fixed the float, and the sound immediately stopped!

In the most bizarre confluence of unlikely household circumstances I have ever encountered, the interaction between the waves generated in the tank by the running water and the phonograph needle effect of the float on the surface of the water seemed to be causing a sound to resonate through every water pipe in the house.

Fucking freaky!

I challenge all of you musicians and acoustic/vibration subject matter experts to tune your running toilets to make your water pipes sing and publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal.

Because I would LOVE to know how the fuck that could happen on its own, at random.

No comments: