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December 29, 2004: The sound of dinner

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Another day down in the old office in San Francisco, sorting files, lugging boxes to the dumpster, clearing the storage room not so affectionately nicknamed 'the bilge'. This room goes on forever and ever, curving around narrow little pathways in between and underneath and behind the huge ventilation pipes in the basement garage, and everywhere, in every nook and cranny had been stuffed boxes that we had to go through and then cart away. We filled the huge dumpster to overflowing and finally, somehow, it was done. My car and my boss's were stuffed with boxes of files to bring back to Sacramento (I sense a whole lot more scanning and archiving in my future).

When I got home, Richard had started dinner a head of garlic in the oven and burgers ready to be put under the broiler. Unfortunately, the burgers were a bit juicier than we'd expected a fact which was discovered when all the drippings started to smoke, followed shortly thereafter by the oh-so-lovely sound of every single smoke alarm in the house going off at once.

Here is when we discovered a very important thing. We have no idea how to turn the damn things off. Richard went racing for the stool and fumbled around at the closest one, looking for some kind of button, but nothing was there. Next I dragged the crate of owner manuals and warranties from the cupboard and frantically dug through it, hoping we might find the paperwork that came with even one of the darn things - something that might tell us how to turn them off - but no luck there either.

And then, as abruptly as they started, the alarms finally shut themselves off, all at once. So even though we never did track down any information on how to actually turn them off manually, at least we can be reassured that, should this happen again, at least we only have to endure about five minutes of ear-splitting screaming from half a dozen little machines attached to the ceiling in all the most inaccessible spots in the house. We turned on the exhaust fan and finished preparing our dinner thick layers of roasted garlic and slices of cheese over burgers which had shrunk dramatically during the cooking / house-smoking event. Despite the slightly smokey cast to the house, dinner was delicious.

This has been a Holidailies entry.

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