Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mr. Upstairs and the Fan Light

I must preface this post by stating that I really like my upstairs neighbor. He's a really good guy and a great neighbor. That said, taken out of context, the stuff we hear from his apartment can lead to some really good stories. The best one is about the Fan Light.

The Ghost Light -- a True Story of City Living

Several years ago, we installed ceiling fans with lights and remote controls in the kids' rooms. We did this ourselves after investing in a Milwaukee hammer drill and, also after having watched a maintenance worker install 3 others in the apartment.

We waited to install the fans until the heat got too hot to bear. We were going to wait until Little Squid had out grown the stage that might have him lassoing the fan but we'd still be waiting and springtime can get pretty hot.

Amazingly enough, they went up pretty easily and spun fairly smoothly. A year later, however, Squidette's started exhibiting some alarming behaviors.

Squidette would go into bed around 8 PM, turn out her light and go to sleep. Mike and I would turn to our own beds about an hour later. As a general rule, we'd all remain in our bed for the night.

One night, I woke up around 10:00 PM as I noticed a light in the outer areas. Thinking that I had forgotten to turn one off, I staggered out of bed only to realize that it was Squidette's light. Hmm, I thought as I looked for the remote and turned it off. Maybe she was sleep lighting? Returning to my bed, I forgot about it until the next night. When it happened again.

Mike and I discussed it and started to wonder what our daughter was up to. We spoke to her about it and she was, as expected, clueless.

Going on with our day, we repeated the same patterns and, at about 10:00 had the same outcome. The next night I unplugged her light before she went to bed.

Thinking on it for a few days, we suddenly had an aha! moment as we heard Mr. Upstairs doing some more work on his apartment. He'd been working on it all summer and had done some major demolition and relaid all the wooden floors, doing some lovely work -- he invited us up to see and even gave us a bottle of wine as a "sorry for all the noise."

What if, we thought, Mr. Upstairs had installed a ceiling fan / light with remote control? The local Home Depot had one major brand of this fixture and all of the remotes came set to the same default. We'd left Squidette's fan on the default setting while changing Little Squid's setting.

If Mr. Upstairs had installed a fan with remote and had not changed his settings, could he be triggering Squidette's light? After all, his fan/light would be on his ceiling, but Squidette's was under his floor -- closer then the ceiling.

Bumping into him a few days later, we asked. Yup, he'd installed the same brand of fan / light with remote. Nope, hadn't changed the settings. We explained the problem and politely asked him to do change the settings. He looked at us as if we were weirdos and we went our separate ways.

A few days later, we changed the settings on Squidette's remote.

I really do like my upstairs neighbor -- we got closer a year or so later. One day I will share these stories with him ... or not.


Anonymous said...

We had a garage door opener just like that. We lived by the airport and certain airplanes would trigger the door to open. I have NO idea what they were doing, but up the door would go when one would fly over too low. Shocking to hear your door go up in the middle of the night!

Oldpatterns said...

You've been tagged!

Go to my blog for the rules. http://oldpatterns.blogspot.com

Dave Daniels said...

Doncha love neighbors? I wonder if there's a universal remote for crying infants? Even though I sleep with ear plugs because of the nightclub across the parking lot outside my bedroom window, it's the infant upstairs that can wake me from a deep sleep. WHY??? I do NOT have any maternal/paternal instincts??? Pass the remote, please.

Susan said...

A friend/coworker discovered that her remote car thingy could also cause another coworkers trunk to open. She'd wait until the girl was just about to back out of her parking place and pop it. The other girl had no idea what was going on but finally caught us laughing upriorously..or however you spell it and the trick was over.