I don’t like things going on in my house while I’m sleeping. I hear my refrigerator doing its own maintenance when I leave the room. No one has ever fully explained to me what those noises are, but I believe that life in your kitchen should end at bedtime. My gas water heater has séances in the basement. The water softener is saying something all the time — something salty, no doubt. I wonder about my vacuum cleaner, but at 3 in the morning I’m just too scared to open the closet. I also have my suspicions about my son’s old Xbox, but I won’t make accusations against a game with that much fire power.
I’m pretty hard on my appliances and after they’ve put in a good 12-14 hours, I think they should get the rest of the evening off. Plus, I can’t afford the overtime. When I hear noises in my house after midnight, it better be the cat or a burglar. I don’t want my dishwasher on time-and-a-half.
In the evening, I also hear my computer grinding away. I know it’s up to no good and the result is that I’ve lost a great deal of trust in its operation. I am convinced that when the sun goes down has a hidden life. I thought there was something going on between my computer and the water heater, and now I’m pretty sure my printer is also in on this. My printer already had me on alert because it always has a little hissy-fit before it actually prints.
As a result of all this, I am concerned about my computer’s reliability. So every once in a while, I test my email by sending a message titled TEST. The other morning, instead of TEST, I simply typed my name: DICK WOLFSIE. Then I sent it to myself — or at least I thought I did. By mistake, I also sent it to 300 people on my newspaper column email list. When these folks opened the e-mail, all it said was DICK WOLFSIE.