Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My father used to have an expression "what a dipstick!!"  usually he was referring to dumb people.... and I guess dipstick was as polite as one can get when referring to dumb people.  It is an expression I tend to use from time to time.. it just kinda slips out and I sorta smile cause I can hear my father's voice using the words.

Yesterday was my day to be a dipstick........  

It started with my house alarm system beeping at me at 6:30 am.  I checked the keypad cause if it is beeping no one is breaking in.. but something is most definitely wrong.  Now the keypad is a very useful thing - IF you read it.  Mine happened to say zone 4 battery low.  I assumed it meant the fire/smoke alarm.  So off I went at 8:00 am when the shops were open to purchase 2 9Volt batteries to fix the smoke / fire alarm.  

Now last year when I did it.. I managed to set off the alarm and had the fire department deployed to the house.  SO - being the bright spot that I am - last summer I wrote down everything I am supposed to do - like calling the alarm company BEFORE I remove the batteries.

So I called the alarm company.  A nice young chap said "oh yes - zone 4 motion detector" 

Did I listen to him?? god NO.. why would I do that??? I had already made up my mind it was the smoke/fire detector.  So he shut down my system for 30 minutes so that I could fix it (he didn't argue with me when I repeated that it was the smoke/fire alarm btw) 

I took the brand spanking new batteries out of the package and laid them on the table.  I took down the smoke/fire alarm and took out the old batteries and laid them on the table.  I picked up a battery and put it in the smoke/fire alarm.  Then I reached for the second battery ........... and............ there were 3 batteries sitting all nicely aligned on the table.  Which bloody battery was the new one?? did I know?? of course not !!  Did that stop me ..... of course not!!  I just barreled right on.. putting in a battery.  Installed the whole thing and went to punch in my code twice - 2 times - and read the keypad message which said........... zone 4 battery.  

So I called the alarm company and told them I had changed the batteries but that the message was still on the keypad.  They told me to do it all again - only wait for a bit before hitting the code... let the system reset itself.  So I did it all again....... and waited.  It didn't reset itself.

So now I am thinking about the mix up with the batteries....... maybe just maybe I didn't put in 2 new batteries.  How to figure out which one was which.  (of course I do NOT have a battery tester - and even if I did - I probably wouldn't know where it was) So I hopped in the car and ran back to the store to buy 2 more 9 Volt batteries.  This time when I changed the batteries I was VERY careful to keep all the batteries separated.  

I was still getting the same message.  By this time W had showed up for lunch.  He took the phone (cause of course I was back on the phone with the alarm company) and he took care of it............ BUT .......... as it turns out the fire/smoke alarm batteries did not need to be changed.  What needed to be changed - dear god in heaven - was the zone 4 motion detector batteries.  I didn't even know the motion detector HAD batteries for god's sakes !!

So the alarm company took me off line until I could get CRV 123 OR CR1 123 batteries for the motion detector.  Then W and I went off to have our Tuesday afternoon coffee with drakor.  

When we were leaving W asked if I wanted him to come with me to get the batteries then come back to the house to install them.  "No no" says I....... quite confident that I can do this.

So I then spent over an hour trying to find these damn CRV 123 or CR1 123 batteries in every damn store........ no one had them.. some even said they had never heard of them.  Finally in desperation I ran into a security lock company - explained my problem and he suggested I try a tiny wee electronics store across the street.  Now I have never been in there........ that's a guy store no??? what self respecting woman goes into a store like that??? they don't sell one thing that is colour coordinated for heaven's sakes!!!

BUT guess what ?? Yup they had the right batteries.. they were my hero !!

Home I went armed with my 2 little batteries for the zone 4 motion detector.

I put the batteries in - having made damn sure I kept the old ones out of sight of the new ones.......... flipped the cover back on... went to the keypad and punched in my code twice and waited.  FAULT message came up.

I called the alarm company .......... yet again !!

They had me punch in all sorts of codes.......... and still the fault message.  The guy suggested - politely - that perhaps the cover wasn't on tight??? I groaned.  Of course the cover was on tight !!!  I am not stupid (I thought to myself) as I looked up at the cover and realized one side was not fitting into the base ............ 

So I told the guy to hang on I would do it again........ grabbed a chair and climbed up....... took the cover off and for the life of me could NOT get it to fit on tightly.  (by now I was sweating bullets and feeling stupid.. and asking myself if I really needed this damn alarm system)

He kindly offered to send over a technician (probably while thinking what a dipstick this silly woman was) BUT I asked him to hold off till I tried it again.. I would call him back.

I stood there - teetering on the chair on my tippy toes - trying to figure out how to get the damn cover on........ I finally looked at the little clips on the cover.. and looked for the clip holes on the base.  OH DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!!  I had been trying to put the cover on upside down !!!

So .......... finally ....... I get the cover on... tight....... punch in my code 2 times .............. 


still got a FAULT code.

I called the company back.

The patient chap had me punch in codes to bypass the entire system but nothing happened.  (Apparently he can see what is going on at his end) He asked - so very patiently and kindly - if perhaps I was punching in the wrong code??? 

I said of course not!!!  My code is an important date ...... I know the date.. therefore I know the code.  He asked - again every so patiently and kindly - if perhaps I could be mixing up the numbers???

I was getting more flustered.. and was spluttering... I said I would call him back.... as I punched in the code one last time......... et voila it worked!!!!  He said well done!!  Like I had mastered some major skill !!!  

I had the right numbers for the code - but for some reason totally beyond my comprehension I had mixed up the numbers............ just call me "dipstick"

Last evening W - having heard all about this stupid saga....... sent me a cartoon that had been in the morning paper.......... at least that made me laugh.......... 

BUT I still feel like a dipstick !!


  1. Well if YOU insist dipstick....

    Personally I say well done, it isn't easy that an alarm company doesn't write down the Zone codes, now THEY are dipsticks...

  2. We all have those 'dipstick' moments.
    The key is to make sure they are few and far between! lol =)

  3. I won't call you a dipstick, if you don't mind. Those of us from the UK use the word in the same way as you do but I have in the past been led to believe that it is a euphemism for a part of the male genitalia AKA trouser snake, dong or plonker(that one's also used for someone not running at full mental capacity). As a spanko I would feel good with dunce though :)


  4. Oh dear! What a day for you, I am so sorry you had to go through such loops. I think you did very well - I'd have smashed the alarm off the ceiling by now as I would not have had the patience. The most important thing is that you've got your alarm working eventually. In this case I'd say it's the result that's important, rather than the method. :-)

    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my little blog and thank you too for your very warm welcome!

    I am itching to put up my second post but my Dom's not said I could. LOL!

    Oh that cartoon strip is great! And so true. :-)

    All the best x

  5. Anonymous8:37 am

    Don't you just love those moments? I have done similar at work- punching in codes for other things (like my social or bank acct. into the security system. DOH!
    Glad it allworked out for you in the end - and hey, now you know for next time.


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