Okay, so today’s new thing might sound a bit hokey, but when you take into account what happened the last time the back-up battery in my home alarm system expired, you’d be really proud of me, too. This sooooo counts!
I mean, the alarm system came with my house, which I bought back in 2003. At that time, the house was just a couple of years old. I never bothered to get the master code from the previous owners, because, you know… details. So, we just never used it. Sure, the neighbourhood was a bit sketchy when I moved in, but since then, it has been gentrified, which I always thought meant that was when the gays moved in and classed the place up, bringing in cutesy shops and cafés, which is great for property values. Since then, my best friend, who happens to be gay, which I guess makes me a fag hag, has set me straight, so to speak. Although I’m still a bit fuzzy on the exact difference between his ‘Webster‘ definition and mine… but I digress.
Anywho… The original battery lasted quite merrily until early 2008, when all of a sudden, these intermittent beeps started occurring, from seemingly out of nowhere. At first, they were only chiming in a few times a day, so I did what any happy first-time homeowner would do, and blissfully ignored them. Then, the beeps started piping in every minute or so. That was when I discovered the magic of the ‘Reset’ button. Sweet! That stopped the bloody beeps… for a while. But like when the cat came back, the very next day, the beeps started up again. This game of Reset button versus the beeps continued for a nice long while, until… the blaring siren went off when we opened the door, essentially trapping us inside. Doh! While a towel stuffed inside the mouth of the siren softened its harshness somewhat, we were truly at the mercy of the phone number on the security panel. Crappity crap!
Well, the lovely folks at the alarm company agreed to come out in short order to replace the battery and reset the master code, on the one teensy weensy condition that we sign up for monitoring services for a year, at the low, low price of $252. When they’ve got you by the proverbial marbles, this seemed like a completely reasonable price to pay to silence the demon, and try to convince our neighbours that, in fact, we did belong there, and were not going to dramatically reduce their freshly inflated property values. Then, once again, the fine print caught me up a year or so later, when an invoice came in to renew the monitoring services. Apparently, that wasn’t a one-time only get out of jail fee, but, in fact, I had signed something in the heat of the moment that was a so-called ‘contract’, which I had forgotten to cancel in writing. Total spent to date on the blasted battery: $504.
Which brings me to today. Now, I’ll be honest, the intermittent beeps have been back for, well, a while. Like, maybe six months? Dunno. I’ve never been particularly close with the whole space-time continuum thingy. In any case, I was fairly certain that Groundhog Day would be upon us in short order, and now that I am subsisting on savings, I needed to be a little more prudent about these types of unnecessary expenditures that I should be putting towards absolute necessities, like Daily Deal Tips. Enter the internet. Long story short, I figured out how to open the security panel, take a photo of the battery, and buy a replacement at The Source for a whopping $60 (on-line, estimates were closer to $20, but this is still a far cry from $252, plus the inevitable 100% memory penalty a year later). I was then even able to handily disconnect the old alarm system battery and replace it with the new one. Ta-da! The yellow warning light instantaneously vanished from the evil panel, which has since remained magnificently silent. I followed up this coup de grace by playing the good citizen and properly disposing of the dead duck at my local Household Hazardous Waste depot. All in all, a job well done, and certainly worthy of a night of good clean Canadian violence, um, I mean fun, at the Toronto Rock Lacrosse game (aka Hockey Without Pants). Solid entertainment – primarily for the people-watching, like this dude. Is it a mullet? Or is it a mohawk? You decide.