July 18, 2012 - Okay something weird is up. Maybe I should just call an astrophysicist or something; have things checked out.
In the course of one week and one day, electrical devices connected to you know who (if you don't know who, it's me -- your hero, Dandy Don Rush) have been crappin' out.
Two Sundays ago . . . I go to turn on my desk top computer in the evening (I had been on it earlier in the day working).
The lights flicker, the motors whirl and nothing. Nothing comes on the screen except the message, "No video image available (or something like that).
I check the patchcord on the work's laptop. Cord is good. I hook up the laptop to monitor that ain't working with the desktop. Said monitor works.
Groovy. My books are on the desktop computer and I can't get to 'em. Whatever.
Next, I scoot on over to The Oxford Leader office on Friday to drop off paper work from The Clarkston News office.
Fifteen minutes later I hop back into the Ford Escape turn the key in the ignition and, "click, click, click."
After being charged $60 to have the vehicle towed .43 miles to AutoWorks in Oxford to have everything checked out, starter, alternator, connections, etc, it was discovered the battery was toast. Gone. Caput. Funny, the battery was fine three months ago. (But, I am grateful my dead auto was less than a half mile from AutoWorks. The folks there did me a solid.)
This past Sunday evening I turn on ye ol' TV (I bought it in 1996) to watch 60 Minutes. Nothing. The clicker batteries good? Yes. Check. The power cord plugged in? Affirmative. Check. Power to that electrical receptacle. Yep. Check. Press the power button on the clicker. Still nothing. Manual press the power bottom on TV. Nada. No TV at Case d'Rush. Rats.
On Monday, I e-mail some files (three stories I proof read, edited and re-wrote at home for work on the company's laptop).
I then do routine cleanup of the laptop -- get rid of unwanted files -- and the computer screen starts to jumble and wiggle, back and forth and then nothing. Blackness. I turn it off and on, can hear the whirling of something in there, but nothing.
Neato smackin' frackin' keen. Four dead electrical things in eight days!
What the heck is going on? Why I am short-circuiting stuff?
Have I been bitten by some radioactive bug? Did I walk through a gamma-ray storm cloud? Why am I becoming a walking EMP? Do I need to confine myself within a Faraday Cage for testing?
You're asking: "Don, what the heck is an EMP? And, what kind of cage is that?" EMP is short for Electrical Magnetic Pulse. Right before nuclear detonation, an EMP will really mess up most modern day electronics. Faraday cages shield their contents from static electric fields -- and EMPs.
When I was a young lad I remember my dear old mother Shirley saying she couldn't wear watches with batteries, because the watches would only last a short while. She wore wind-up watches.
I know electricity is the lifeblood of our world. Without it many of our technological innovations would not be. Even our bodies wouldn't function without an electrical charge zipping through our cells, over our synapsis and out again.
So I ask: Have I inherited something freaky from my mother (aside from freckles, reddish, blondish, brownish, grayish hair and blue eyes) that is now blossoming?
Maybe I should have listened to Mom 40 years ago, instead of just thinking Dad bought her cheap watches containing even cheaper batteries?
And, if I have this new "power" shouldn't I use it for good rather than destruction? And, and . . . if I use this power for good, I'm gonna' need a cool alter-ego name, like "Electro" or "Short Circuit" or "Static Man."
I'd like you to put on your tinfoil hats and come up with some names for me. E-mail your ideas to me, Don@ShermanPublications.org
(And, if you have a pace maker or any other electrical device implanted in your body, stay clear of me.)
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org