Friday, December 20, 2013

news from "the world"

I don't get out much.  You may or may not know that about me.  I'm currently unemployed, so if we need groceries and Stephen's schedule will allow it, he does the shopping on his way home from work.  Otherwise, I get to make a special trip for shopping.  If I don't make a special trip for shopping, I don't get out much.  We live in a small town at present.  There's not anywhere to go or anyone to see without a special in-the-car trip.

Having *enough* money to cover all the necessities means rarely having excess money for luxuries.  So we've seen TWO movies in theaters this year.  We go out to eat maybe? once a month.  If we just need a reason to GET OUT, we'll head to Walmart to peruse the pet aisle and Blu-Ray deals; we'll see if Dollar Tree's got anything fun, because you know, "for a dollar, I'd watch monkeys f***."  Maybe while we're there, we'll stop in at Game Stop for giggles.  There's not much else to do in that particular shopping center, but it gets us out.

So today I had "adventures."  As a Voice Actor, I needed to send a CD to one producer in particular, and I didn't have an appropriate envelope.  Also, I had a Mega Millions ticket I needed to cash in - yes, I won a WHOLE DOLLAR out of the $650M jackpot, so I wanted to trade that dollar for a ticket for the next draw.

I head over to the Dollar Tree/Walmart "complex" to see what I can get with my pocket change - SCORE! 6 brown kraft envelopes for $.74!  For the lotto, I drive home by way of the CVS, which I discover does NOT sell lotto.  Back in the car to the gas station only two doors down (because it's on the way, not because I'm lazy!), where I make my big exchange.

And then, the "adventure" begins.  My car won't start.  I put the key in and turn it, and all the lights and warnings ("you're about to start your car" noises) do all the what-the-what, and then, NOTHING.  Tracy Chapman starts singing at me, but my engine is not idling.

  • back in 2008 when I bought my new car at the North Hollywood dealership, those RAT BASTARDS upsold me on the "Prevent-A-Start" system, after failing to sell me the much more expensive Lo-Jack.  I was in LA, and I thought it might be a good idea to not just leave my car ripe for the picking.  PAS is, in fact, a PIA.  There is a key fob with two squishy buttons, labeled "1" and "2".  If you DON'T use the "valet" setting, then you MUST press the "1" EVERY TIME you start your car.  Eff that.  I use the "valet" setting, which allows me six starts before I have to press the "1" and then the "2".  Back to today:

I press the buttons on the key fob, and turn the key.  Nothing but lights, buzzers, and Tracy.  I press the buttons on the SPARE key fob, and turn the key.  Same outcome.  I turn the key WITHOUT pressing buttons; same outcome.  I take the car out of gear and try the multiple combinations; same outcome.  I "wait" (a whole ten seconds, probably) and try again.  Jack Diddly-Squat.

There is a sticker in my window telling me my insurance offers roadside assistance.  I call the number... it will be an hour before my rescue is there, and it doesn't sound like I need a jump, and oh, by the way, there's no evidence of roadside coverage on my insurance plan, so what credit card would I like to put this $62 charge on? (?!?!?!?!?!)  I very politely disconnect myself from the phone call and go inside the gas station to see if they sell the watch batteries I need for my PIA key fobs.  They don't, but there's Big Lots and a Radio Shack across the street (HIGHWAY), so...

I remember that I don't have to cross the street (highway) if CVS sells 'em - so I walk over there!  And they do!  So I buy two packs, to replace the batts in both PIA fobs.  Not that I NEED batteries, mind you.  When I press the buttons, the little red light comes on, so I know there's juice.  Just like when I turn the key and Tracy Chapman starts singin' at me again.  I KNOW there's juice.  But I buy them anyway, because I really want my car to start, and for it to be a simple fix.

It isn't the batteries.  Stephen has called to let me know he's on his way home, and I inform him of my sitch, in case he needs to swing by to get me.  I really don't want to have to leave my car overnight sitting at the front door of a convenience store.  Nor do I want to have to tow it at night.  Nor do I want to have to PUSH it to a "better" parking spot.  Stephen asks if I have a manual for the PAS - I don't.  He asks if I have any Honda phone numbers - I do; it's the LA dealership, but since I used to always use their service department, maybe they'll forgive my being on the wrong coast.

  • Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Thank You VERY MUCH, Mr. Mechanic Man, who points out to me the "Emergency Start" kit in the little brown envelope that lives in my glove box, and for talking me through the process of DISENGAGING the PIA!  
Now I just have this whole system and four new batteries I don't need.  Yay!  At least Stephen had a good day. ;)


  1. My. You DID have an adventure. I'm glad you and your vehicle made it safely home. I really, really, really hope your lottery ticket wins big, too, 'cause, you know, dayum.


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