Electronic Destruction Field (EDF)

Apparently I’ve picked up a magnetic field of some sort that causes inexplicable equipment failure.

First, my doorbell blew up on Friday. I mentioned it briefly as a Facebook status update but here’s a little more detail: I got home on Friday to an annoying buzzing sound and the smell of burnt plastic. After searching around, it turned out to be the doorbell ringer—which didn’t really do anything when I tried to ring it. I cut the power from the breaker box and disconnected it until somebody can come fix it (under the new home warranty). I’m hoping this will be the worst thing that happens with the house ;-). It hasn’t given us any other trouble.

Then, today, I was feeding a whole crap-load of coins into a CoinStar machine at our local grocery store. It occasionally told me to stop and let it catch up, which I did when it told me to, and then I resumed feeding it coins when it told me to. About 3/4 of the way through our coin pile, it started to tell me to stop much more often (like every few coins, instead of every few hundred). Then it stopped counting coins entirely and told me to seek assistance. The clerk came over and cleaned out the coin back-up, but the machine’s computer kept complaining about its ‘self diagnostics’ and eventually they said, apologetically, that they couldn’t fix it. I got a receipt for the coins it had processed already, and the rest will have to wait.

What mysterious piece of electronics will fail next when I come near it? I’m betting on . . . hm . . . clock radio, followed by a traffic light.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.