Decrepit Smoke Alarms

17 years old smoke alarm

We moved into our current house in the fall of 1999. Today it would be 17 years at this house. The old smoke alarms came with the house and others have kindly reminded me that they are long overdue. These alarms are hardwired into the house’s 120V electrical circuits. With no batteries to replace, I thought they would just last forever. I did not know that they have a limited life span of 10 years.

Newly installed Kidde dual purpose smoke alarm

This fall, I did some research on replacement possibilities and settled for the Kidde brand. Costco also had a convenient 3 pack on sale. One of the three alarms also detect carbon monoxide gas, so that’s great, because I can now get rid of my old plugged in carbon monoxide detector as well. They arrived a long time ago, but it was just today that I had some free time to install them.

The installation process was much easier than I thought. With a Robertson screw driver, it only took me about 5 minutes to take the old one out and installed the new one.

When I tested them, I was also pleasantly surprised that when one trips, the remaining two alarms sound off as well. That’s a feature that I didn’t expect to have. Another feature of these new alarms is that they actually voice out in English that either fire or carbon monoxide gas has been detected. That was pretty cool too.

With these types of devices, I firmly believe in keep it simple and stupid (KISS), so Nest smoke alarms are out, more things to break and diagnose. All in all, a pretty productive morning prior to our Christmas Eve dinner.

Casper Mattress

I heard a lot about the Casper mattresses online, especially from podcasts that I listen to. They were always giving away discount codes and praising how wonderful the mattresses were.

We had our old mattress since 2004, so I think it was time for a change. This was a traditional mattress and certain parts were so worn out that hills and valleys on the mattress were clearly felt and seen.

We finally took the plunge and ordered a King size version of Casper for our master bedroom. It arrived on November 28th, but did not get the chance to open it and sleep on it until the night of the 29th. Why the delay? The mattress came in a tall box and I had a false understanding that it may take some time for the mattress to regain its shape.

Casper King Size Delivery Box
Casper King Size Delivery Box

Well, this concern turned out to be unwarranted. When I open the box, I found the mattress was folded in half and was rolled up, held together with a white cloth like material. When I tore the material away, the stored potential elasticity of the mattress cause it to unrolled itself. The mattress was also sealed with a plastic bag, and I made short work of that. Once the mattress was freed of its packaging constraints, it just literally sprang into its original King size shape in seconds. Pretty impressive to watch!

A couple of first impressions! Some people may not mind the synthetic smell that was immediately evident once the mattress broke out of its plastic wrappings. It was bearable but not likeable. Luckily it was a pretty good day, so we opened our windows and air out the mattress. Second, when I finally lay on the bed, I thought it may be too soft to my liking. I like my bed nice and firm.

I thought the softness of the bed was disappointing at first, and was concerned whether I would sleep well on it. On the first night as I lay on the bed, it felt different, like sleeping in a hotel room, something new. I toppled and turned until I found a position that finally allow me to enter into a state of slumber. To my amazement, I had a great first night sleep. The mattress is soft, but supports your body comfortably and firmly once you lay on it in a horizontal position. It is much softer than a traditional mattress if you sit on the edge of the mattress. The softness is balanced to conform to the contours of your body, especially when you sleep on your side. There were no uncomfortable pressure points.

It has now been four nights, and each night I slept straight through to the morning. This was not the case with the old mattress. I typically get up in the middle of the night. Maybe we are still in the honeymoon period with the mattress, but so far I like it!

We kept our old mattress just in case, but I think we are now convinced and the old mattress is on its way out. Oh, the smell subsided and I didn’t even notice it last night. Many people asked me about this mattress, so I hope you’ll find this impression useful.

As I finish this article while laying on the very mattress that I’m writing about, I am really enjoying the snuggly feel of it.