Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Being a Good Citizen

On the way home from work tonight, I passed a just-happened accident (minor fender-bender, I think) on the Dumbarton Bridge and called it in; I got a name-check on the next "Traffic on the Eights" on KCBS when they reported it. Fortunately for me, it was late enough in the commute that it didn't slow me down.

(I was heading home so late I'd been on the phone with Lisa for hours, first dealing with the Vanagon issues, and later because she just wanted me to stay on the line while she rode out the 50 mph gusts of wind that were buffeting the trailer. Even with the bracing stands in place, the place shook noticeably, and she was worried. Power was out all over Mehama, although this didn't affect her because the trailer has batteries. Indeed, she wasn't certain power was actually out until she looked outside and saw that the street lights and neighbors' lights were out. But I digress.)

We're watching the Ashes Test series (Cricket, England vs. Australia), 3rd Test, happening in Perth. Today is Day 2 (of a potential five). I think I'm getting this Cricket thing, thanks to Cheryl's tutlage and being able to actually watch a full-length five-day match. Anyway, when they took their lunch break, we had dinner and went out for a short walk.

Our usual evening walk takes us down to the train station, past a small office building. This is a rather odd building. They rebuilt it a couple of years ago, but aside from what appear to be an office or two on the upper floor, all of the so-called businesses on the ground floor are just empty shells with signs in the window. They have been lately doing some more construction, so maybe they will finally have some real businesses there.

As we approached the building, I heard a high-pitched sound. I thought it was their burglar alarm. Fremont police won't respond to these things -- most of them are false alarms -- so I was going to ignore it as well. Then I realized that there were strobe lights flashing in the building as well.

Turning to Cheryl, I said, "That's not a burglar alarm; that's a fire alarm!" I'm on the building safety committee at work. If the alarm ever goes off, I'm supposed to toss on an orange vest, tell people to leave, and sweep my part of the building to make sure people get out (while keeping myself out of danger, of course).

There was no obvious smoke or fire, but I decided to go ahead and call 911. The Centerville station of the Fremont Fire Department is just around the corner, and it didn't take long for a fire truck to appear. They poked around the building, and let themselves in using a key that appears to have been secured to the building for this purpose.

The guy who lives in the house next door to this office building came out and said that the lights and buzzers had been going on for hours, so presumably the place wasn't really on fire. We all agreed that it was a strange building, and that we couldn't figure out why they kept having so much construction with no actual obvious business happening in it.

I figured that they didn't need me around anymore -- if they need to talk to me for any reason later, my mobile phone would have been caller-ID'd to 911 -- and so we headed home to watch the second session and some surprisingly good batting from England's tail-enders.

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