Friday, November 04, 2011

Houdini Admits setting Fire to the Magic Castle
I have been close to home nursing a cold for the last week. And I'm having trouble sleeping as well.  I thought the two problems might be related and have concluded that they are.  The hot tea and honey toddy that I prescribed for myself turned out not to be an herbal tea, but a regular caffeinated black tea. The box looks like it would be an herbal tea and it is full of cinnamon and other favorings that make it good for the throat. But the amount I have been drinking and the nearly illegal caffeine level of the concoction was not a healthy balance.  By the time I got to bed each night I was more wired than the animatronics at Disneyland. 
That to say,  last night I spent some of the early hours of the night browsing apps for my iPad.  Sometimes I find some obscure tool that does something interesting; Sometimes the browsing just puts me to sleep.  By the way, the number of clocks and calculators for sale as iPad/iPhone apps is staggering. I didn't realize so many programmers think it's important not just to know the time of day, but to be entertained by the information as well. What is time if it is not identified by flames burning through the display, or ice crystals forming on the inside of the screen? Some clocks even display the time in symbols that take a code book to decipher. 
As I was wading through a group of such  clocks, I stumbled on a Ghost Meter.  It was in the utilities category rather than games or entertainment and was released on Oct. 31st of this year. It suckered me right in. It was too new to have any ratings or comments. It was only a buck so I couldn't resist. 
The Haunted House at Corporate Beach, MS
It is themed out like an old style wooden radio.  It reminded me of something you might find as a prop in the game Myst. There is a dial that calculates the strength of the "ghost" and lights that illuminate when it encounters what the meter determines is a ghost.  I think I liked the retro look of the device as much as the supposed use which in the description and instructions is very vague.  I am not sure what it is actually registering. I do know that it will display a dialogue box when there is magnetic interference, like the compass app does, and there is no particular pattern to what ever it is registering. 
However, I down loaded it, and what is an app if you don't instantly find out how it works. So in the middle of the night, or early morning, in my wizard bath robe, I walked through the darkened house with a ghost meter, trying to determine exactly what I had just purchased.  Fortunately Sandi was asleep and Taylor was gone for the evening.  I looked like the very ghost I was tracking, with this long druidesque robe, my face lit only by the flickering light of an app driven iPad, wafted through the dark and silent house.
I suppose I should be encouraged by the fact that the house seemed relatively free of ghosts according to my new meter, until I got to the hallway.  There is an occasional cold chill that will come down this hallway and the lights will occasionally flicker at night. I still believe I encountered the essence of my Father in Law in that Hallway a few months after he died.  I guess if I thought my house was haunted this hallway would be grand central. 
The ghost meter went crazy in the middle of the hall. It lit up like a Christmas tree, the dial pegged at the top and the display counted a ghost. It also sounded an alarm that scared me and I panicked  trying to turn down the volume.
I walked out of the hallway and the meter went back to scanning, no other hits.  There were occasional spikes in the meter but nothing like the hallway. I was mostly trying to figure out what this app was reacting to.... if anything.  As I headed back to bed the meter lit up again when I walked the hallway. 
Back in bed I put on the headphones and turned up the volume.  It scans sounds too and sometimes through the static I would hear something I thought I recognized. 
It registered nothing while I was lying in bed. Then I decided to try and contact Houdini.  Why not? He has been on my mind recently with the Magic Castle fire and Halloween.  There was nothing at first, but just as I was about to give up the dial spiked. I whispered...."Houdini" and it spiked again. I did nothing for a minute thinking it was a coincidence.  It spiked again when I repeated the name.  I assumed that it was Mr. Houdini and we were in communication.  Finally I asked the spiking meter if the presence of Houdini had set the fire at the Magic Castle.  The dial pegged, the alarm sounded, it lit up again and counted ghost number two on the counter.  I jumped so much Boo the dog growled in her sleep. 
I did not give the ghost meter a chance to display again. Nor do I really know what the meter senses, just as I was turning it off the dialogue box appeared again and said there was magnetic interference.
I think this is as close to a confession that we will get from the specter arsonist.  As far as I am concerned Houdini confessed.  I don't think that the ghost meter is allowed as evidence in court, but to me the case is now solved.
As you were,

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