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Amparo Bertram

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03:36 pm: Haunted for Halloween
This past week has been full of weird, unfortunate, and sometimes inexplicable events.

It started around Monday, when I went out to check the garden and discovered that one of the branches of my persimmon tree had broken, despite my attempt to brace it with a bamboo pole. Judging by the half-eaten fruit on the ground, I suspect that a squirrel climbed out on the branch to get at the persimmons, and the added weight was too much for it. I pruned off the broken branch and set the green fruit on a bowl of apples in the house, in the hope that they might still ripen enough to be edible.

On Tuesday, I was looking in my living room display cabinet, when I noticed that a couple items had fallen over. I suspect it was probably caused by the earthquake back in August and I just didn't look closely at them until now. When I opened the cabinet to put them back upright, however, I discovered a Japanese figurine that was twisted 90° clockwise. I suppose it's possible the earthquake did that too, but...turning it without knocking it over?

It's really creepy. Prankster with access to my house? Ghost? I'm trying not to think about it. Especially at night.

While I was at work on Wednesday, I was informed that I would have to come in on Thursday (my day off) for a sudden training workshop. My day off would be switched to Saturday instead.

I got home after work and checked my email, only to find a notification from Kickstarter thanking me for backing a game. Now, I had looked at the game's campaign page and clicked the "remind me" button, but I had not pledged for it. I loaded up the Kickstarter page to check, and sure enough, it had me listed as a backer for the game. That REALLY freaked me out. Coming after the display cabinet incident, I started to wonder if I really did have a ghost. I changed my password (in case my account had been hacked) and canceled the pledge.

I then needed to do a load of laundry, since I had used all my uniforms for the week but still had to go to work the next day. When I went to take the laundry out of the washer, I spotted a significant puddle on the floor underneath the door (it's a front-loading machine). At least it's the cement floor out in the garage, so I'm not too worried about water damage, but I don't want to use a leaking machine. I called up to have a service person sent out, but the soonest someone can come is next Friday. It's still under warranty, so I won't have to pay anything for the repair, but it's an annoyance.

Thursday was uneventful. Yay?

On Friday, I was trying to relax by watching some saved up shows on my DVR, when there was a minor electrical disturbance. (It was enough to reset the digital clock on my oven.) The DVR rebooted. Then rebooted again. Then rebooted again. After the third reboot cycle, I called the company for assistance, but all they could do over the phone was try rebooting the machine from their end. Three more reboots, and the customer service person scheduled me for a service call the following morning. The DVR continued to cycle through reboots all day until I finally unplugged it at 6pm. Was this the result of an ordinary problem with the power company, or a case of the ghost striking again?

Fortunately my internet was unaffected...

The service person came on Saturday morning and informed me there was nothing he could do to fix the DVR. He could only swap it out for a new machine. That meant I lost all the shows I had saved on the DVR memory up to that point (which was a significant number). He didn't have any substitutes of the same model, so I ended up getting a free upgrade with nearly double the memory. I would be more impressed if I didn't now fear I could lose the memory at any moment with no warning.

I called up megory to chat, and I did solve the mystery of the Kickstarter pledge. It seems that I checked Kickstarter back in August using her computer, and the computer remembered all my login information. When she opened Kickstarter to pledge for the game, she did it under my account instead of hers. Oops.

I'm crossing my fingers that my haunting has now run its full course and nothing else around my house will suddenly break down or otherwise go crazy.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:October 13th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
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Wow, I am so sorry about the old DVR. I worry about that with mine, sometimes, but then I remind myself that I rarely go back and watch the hundreds of hours of shows stored there. (Series 3 of BBC's Sherlock being a notable exception.) Still, an upgrade! Woot!

And for your peace of mind, I am particularly grateful you got the KS mystery cleared up.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 13th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
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I remind myself that I rarely go back and watch the hundreds of hours of shows stored there.

I'm mainly upset about missing the ones that I hadn't gotten to watch yet. Most of the network shows I can catch using the On Demand service, but there are some things I'm recording from cable syndication or premium channels.

And for your peace of mind, I am particularly grateful you got the KS mystery cleared up.

Yeah, I was really worried about that for a few days.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:October 13th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC)
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there are some things I'm recording from cable syndication or premium channels

A lot of these shows are available online (might need a username/login for your cable service, depending on the channel). You have to put up with commercials, but at least it's a way to catch up. Losing an old DVR sucks. :(
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:October 13th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
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Glad you got the KS mystery cleared up! That sounded really freaky.

I had the endless reboot thing happen to one of my first TiVos (also unfixable; fortunately I didn't have too many programs stored on it at the time). I wasn't around when the malfunction occurred, but I first noticed it after coming back from a summer vacation, and I'm pretty sure a lightning strike got it. Do you have your major electronics on a good strong surge protector?

Hope the week takes a turn for the less spooky!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 13th, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
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Do you have your major electronics on a good strong surge protector?

I don't think I have any surge protectors, just power strips.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:October 14th, 2014 02:22 am (UTC)
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I have industrial-strength surge protectors on most of my delicate electronics now, they really help. (Sadly, the Tivo was not protected at the time it got taken out.) Maybe it's not such a big problem in CA, but I have lost so many things to electrical surges, especially when there are thunderstorms.
[User Picture]
From:amilyn
Date:October 13th, 2014 03:52 pm (UTC)
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I feel like I ought to say some kind of incantation in your general direction...but I can't even think of one.

Just...universe! Stop messing with the Pod! Smooth sailing from here on out.
[User Picture]
From:kirbyfest
Date:October 13th, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
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Never hurts to do some sage-burning.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 13th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! No major mishaps so far this week, which is a good sign.
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