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Saturday, August 5, 2017




                                                                               NO BEEP...
                                                                             NO BEEP...
                                                                             NO BEEP...

Saturday, 9:00 AM,  65 degrees F at the ferry dock, 60 on the back porch.  Wind variable and very light,  the sk is clear, with some haze, the humidity is 79%.  The barometer is falling some, now at 29.98".  It looks like a nice summer week ahead, with highs in the high sixties to mid-seventies, mostly clear or partly skies, and a chance of rain on next Wednesday.
   Thursday night we were invited to dinner with friends, and while we were enjoying a glass of wine before dinner we heard a familiar sound; an almost inaudible, un-locateable little "beep."  Our host, who was doing the cooking, said somewhat nervously, "now which annoying gadget is that?"  We all listened attentively, checking off things on our own mental lists, and all hoping our evening wasn't going to be marred by searching for a secretive, o-so-difficult-to-find and deal-with smoke detector.  
   It was finally found to be a freezer door that was not tightly closed. Going home after an otherwise delightful evening, we heard  a very faint "beep" emanating from somewhere in the truck.  Where was it, what was least it could not be a smoke detector; so we tried to forget about it until we got home.  When the plaintive little sound followed us into the the house Joan determined it was something in her purse.  Her telephone was  telling her she had neglected to listen to a message.
   All the beeping proved a considerable prod to my memory, and I found this post from August 5, 2010 :
                                                      BEEP NATION
   The other night I awoke to a faint, periodic beep. I lay there staring at the ceiling, trying to analyze the source. Microwave? No. Toaster? No. Stove? No. Coffee maker? No. Key’s left in a vehicle? No. Truck backing up somewhere? Unlikely, at 1:00 AM. The refrigerator does not beep that I know of.    What was that annoying sound? Thankfully, upon close inspection it was not the dreaded smoke alarm, which when the batteries are low emits a constant chirping until the battery is replaced, even if the battery is removed, the alarm dismantled and put outside on the back porch and the door closed.
   What was it? After considerable triangulation and with Joan’s (now also wide awake) help it was found to be a small room thermometer which had sat unobtrusively and quietly on the dresser for some years, but was now emitting a kind of faint terminal distress signal, like a foundering ship at sea sending out a last, desperate short wave SOS.
    I removed the batteries to ease its pain, and it fell silent, mercifully, at one o’clock in the morning.
What is it with these beeping devices, each emitting the same tone, same pitch, same periodicity, until it all becomes a meaningless annoyance?
   Shut up and let me sleep!

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