16 March 2016


The toasty temperatures have continued. The table below, from the Blacksburg office of the National Weather Service, illustrates how extraordinary this trend has been. Alas, over the coming weekend, a cold front will overrun the land and perhaps snow will fall on Sunday. Today it hit 75F on the farm under a brilliant, unimpaired sun.

"and in other news..."
Sleep cycles get stranger and stranger as you age and sound, deep sleep seems a bygone concept, at least on a regular basis. Out here in the country, sounds such as coyotes celebrating a kill only 75 yards from the window is scarcely a lullaby. Worse, when the dogs go screaming yellow zonkers at 2;10 a.m., and although you expected to find Freddie Krueger at the door, no cause could be detected. The adrenaline burns off in an hour or so and perhaps a fitful sleep returns. Now, imagine if you will, this happening three consecutive nights. Ghosts? Boggles? A trail camera mounted on a porch post the fourth night revealed the answer:

And other causes of insomnia:
The following night Rufus the Dogge woke me up about 2:00 a.m. (what is it about 2:00?), a little distressed by something, clearly not needing to go to the bathroom... then I heard it, that piercing electronic BEEEEEP from downstairs. Oh crap, the carbon monoxide alarm! Opened a couple of bedroom windows, took a deep breath, skittered down the stairs, threw open two doors then looked at the detector, which has a readout of ppm of CO. But instead of a number, it showed ERR. Error? Alright, punch the reset. ERR. Off to the internet for the solution... or, if my bleary eyes had been more able to focus, the words on the back of the detector: "Seven years after the initial power up, this unit will 'chirp' every 30 seconds to indicate that it is time to replace the alarm."
Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display

It is my most earnest hope, dear reader, that your nights are spent in deep and restful sleep. I have a vague recollection of that state.

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