Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Chess and Incessant Chirping and Birdhouses

It turned to overcast / wet on Monday, but last weekend was wonderful, sunny and hot. Perfect for our company BBQ on Saturday, which we hosted in our back yard. We had somewhere close to 60 people. My husband pulled out his chess set again. So far, this has been an annual tradition, each time we host the annual BBQ. Otherwise, he is just too busy, and when he plays with my son, it is on a smaller, indoor board. (Click any photo for a slightly larger view.)
Outdoor chess set
Outdoor chess set
The morning of the BBQ, our carbon monoxide detector downstairs started making a shrill chirp every 5 minutes. We managed to find the instruction sheet for it, and it had some confusing instructions on how to silence it for 36 hours by pushing the Test button in some sequence. We managed to set off our house alarm before turning it off. Then within the hour, the second CO detector started the same thing, and sure enough we set off the alarm again, trying to disable the annoying beeping. Happily for us, the alarm monitoring company offered to ignore our CO detectors until they could come and replace the units on Monday.

But then when I spoke to them Monday, they needed to order in the units, which wouldn't arrive until Wednesday, so they are coming tomorrow (Thursday) to replace them! In the meantime, I have been going crazy listening to these chirps starting up at wee hours of the morning, and stumbling through the house to try to disable them. I am sure they are not silencing for 36 hours, but something more like 12 hours.

The crazy thing is how they both started chirping to be replaced at the same time, and it is 5 years this month since we finished building our house. So the coincidence was just too compelling. Then I find in the product sheet the "Replacement Information" as follows: "This product is designed to work reliably for 5 years after the installation date. The End of Sensor Life will activate after approximately 5 years to signal that it is time to replace the alarm." Wow, talk about guaranteeing a repeat sale! At nearly $100 each, that amounts to $40/yr for the 2 units. I'd be real curious if there is a way to reset this device for another 5 years of operation (which I am very sure it is capable of), but when I spoke with the alarm company, it was not a technician but a call taker, who wouldn't know how to do such a thing - nor would she recommend it, of course. I guess I'll just be happy to get rid of that annoying chirping finally - at least for another 5 years!

Tonight I went with the kids to Michaels Arts & Crafts store, and picked up another paintable birdhouse. I love those, and couldn't resist, since it was half price. But then I already had a number of unpainted ones on my counter... So prompted by yet another one, and the thought that my whole family will be over for a BBQ tomorrow night (and would be sure to tease me about my set of unpainted houses), I encouraged my daughter to paint them with me. My son preferred to play with his new Bakugan.

I think they turned out pretty nice. Here they are, all lined up in front of our wacky colourful kitchen aquarium:
Painted birdhouses and birdfeeder
We painted all 6 on the left. The tiki room bird feeder was finished a while ago, it is just waiting to be hung outside. I was very impressed with my daughter's enthusiasm, and that she kept at it until they were all done.

Now I'll have work on getting them displayed outdoors. My dad came last summer to put up our first birdhouse (my son picked the beautiful rainbow colours, and I painted under his artistic direction), after it sat on my counter for quite some time. Good thing for lots of counter space, I guess. The photo is from Aug 2008:
Colourful rainbow birdhouse


Q said...

You and your family are so creative!
The yard Chess Board is fantastic.
Love your gardens....

Catherine said...

I've never learned to play chess~ but the large Chess board & chess pieces~very cool!
I'm sure very entertaining for all fo your guest also! :)

Joyful said...

The birdhouse in the yard looks amazing...and I love the Tiki birdhouse! So cute!

Crafty Gardener said...

I love your colourful birdhouses and hope you got them all set up in a display outside. The chess set is amazing ... what a lovely feature fro the garden.
Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. It is always lovely to meet another Canadian blogger.

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

I've always wanted to do birdhouses like that!

That chess set is AWESOME! We were somewhere earlier this year where they had a similar sized set. I can't remember where it was, but remember thinking it was so cool!

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