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Weirdness in Illinois

October 2006

We live in a home we had built in 1987. Illinois is known for its cornfields, and that's exactly what was there prior to this suburban development; soft rolling hills and corn as far as the eye could see. We have no idea about what could have occurred there, then to make things so strange, now something IS there and it mostly likes electronics.

We get weird, garbled voice mail and at least once a week both the fax machines will start up when the phone rings and no fax is being sent. The one in the family room will record sometimes when the mood hits it just right. There'll be women laughing and talking to each other. Other sounds, none of which we can understand or there will be beeping noises at odd times. I play computer games and there's one game I like that has 6 CDs. It's a long game and it only plays on one of our computers, the one in the family room.
I've played this game maybe 6 times, and no matter what I do, whenever I get near the end of the game and really need the # 5 CD (can't finish the game without it!) that 1 CD is gone. At first I thought my partner had taken it to be mischievous. She can be when she wants to, and she doesn't like gaming. But, it started nagging at me that she doesn't know I'm even playing this game. I normally play that game when she's not home, and I'm doing laundry down there. This has happened four times and it's extremely frustrating.
The last time the CD went missing, it was gone for three months, and I had begun to think it was lost forever.
It turns up in the oddest places, too.
Once it was in a DVD case with a movie on the floor of one of the bedrooms, UPSTAIRS!
This thing likes to mess with the DVD/tape recorder/player upstairs, mainly. Monday I had the timer set to tape CSI Miami on tape. I had to go to the train station at nine to pick my partner up. We Watch the CSI shows faithfully, but sometimes I have to set the recorder to record while we watch something else, or at times like Monday when we're not home. It's set to tape stuff every day and once a week, too. Because this 'thing' won't leave the clock alone, I actually set it to record just before 8 pm to tape.
When we got home at 9:20, I went straight to check that it was recording. We had a late dinner while waiting for the show to end, so we could watch it from the beginning. When we sat down in front of the TV the show started. Then to my amazement and chagrin, the ending of a court show that only comes on at noon, cut in. To make the machine record what I want, I'm forced to set it to start an hour earlier than I really want it to. Earlier, when I set it for 1pm, it normally would have begun recording at 2pm. This is the game I have had to play with this machine for a few days now. I set it to record Montel Williams at 1pm (and it should have started taping at 2pm. Instead, it started taping just before 1. The recorder fixed itself, and I missed Montel Williams. I know it's possible I could have messed something up, fine, but how in the world could that have caused it to overlap a show that hadn't even come on yet? How is that at all possible? I know it was recording when we got home, because the first thing I did was to check; it was lit up, softly humming and the counter was counting down. I want to know how it even remotely could start taping a 9 pm show and interrupt it with a show that was only on TV at 12 pm the same day? This recorder can dub from tape to DVD and vice-versa, but the DVD was write protected, a commercial movie, so that can be counted out. Why does this thing constantly mess with the clock on the recorder?
Sometimes it just triggers the thing to tape stuff at weird times and that can be funny except when it erases something I don't want recorded over, but this other thing bothers me. It's 9:49 am now, the recorder insists its 8:49 am. I give up.

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