Thursday, October 26, 2006

Two months 'til Boxing Day

So I walked into A.C. Moore today to pick up some last-minute Halloween stuff, and walked out with a bagful of Christmas decorations. Aaaaagh.

I have photocell-activated battery-operated LED candles in all the front windows of my house. They've been there since even before I bought the house, to give the place a lived-in look. Sort of. The clock radios that go off to NPR and talk radio throughout the day help, too.

The candles have a switch with three positions: off, on, and flicker. Right now the candles are set to "On" and activate whenever it gets dark enough, burning with a steady glow. Halloween morning I plan to go over the house just after sunrise and set all the candles to "flicker." Then, as the sun sets that evening and darkness falls upon Nanticoke, all of the candles will begin to flicker - something no one in the neighborhood has ever seen the candles in my windows do before.

Back in 1995 I worked until after 7:30 at the plant on Halloween night. I was doing data collection and analysis for the CD replication lines, and I was trying to meet everyone on every shift face to face so they would know that there was someone behind all the charts and graphs. The shifts changed at 6:00 and I stayed for another hour and a half or so, doing my song and dance and meeting some of the people who would be gathering data for me. Back in those days I parked my car in a side lot and entered and exited through the main entrance to the plant. As I was walking down the corridor to get to the lobby to leave for the night I noticed something was wrong: the fluorescent lights in the hallway and in the lobby itself were all flickering and strobing, and more than half of them were out. What little light they were giving off was dim and somewhat purple.

"What's this, something special for Halloween?" I said to the guards as I passed.

"Something wrong with the electrical system," they shrugged. They had no idea what had caused it.

Then I walked out of the plant, and into our pitch-black parking lot. Whatever had happened to the lights in the lobby and the corridor leading up to it had also taken out all of the lights in the parking lot. On Halloween.

I never did find out what was wrong with the lights.