Thursday, November 14, 2013

Technology Is Great- Until It Isn't

My parents got one of those combination locks on their front door a few years ago and I love it.  Even though I don't live there, I love being able to go in without having a key.  It's great for when I'm watching the office in the summer and I'm in the garden and someone needs to register or something.  I can just punch in the numbers and enter, instead of carrying my key at all times or running to get mine.

It's also very handy when they are away and I bring in the mail, water the plants and get the newspaper.  And eat any leftovers I can identify.

We loved the idea so much, k-ster and I put combination locks on two of our doors.  They are different brands and look very different from each other, but they are very convenient.  Again, I love being able to go for a run or be in the campground mowing and know the house is locked but I can just type in a code and get in.

It also put an end to me locking k-ster in the house which I did on a few occasions because our old lock was one of those that you needed to have a key on the inside of the lock to unlock it.  It happened on several mornings and he wasn't amused when he had to use his key to get OUT of the house.

K-ster also put one of these in the shop that is used by a few different people, where having a key is just impossible.  It's really convenient.

Interestingly, not one of these 4 afore mentioned locks are the same style!  It's like we are demoing a bunch of them until we find just the right one!

This is one of the two that k-ster and I have.  I'm not thrilled with how far out the knob goes and you punch in the code and then turn that knob to open the lock.  But, it's better than the other one that we have which is very big and makes an awful noise as it opens the lock for you.

Recently, my parents were out of town and I was bringing in mail, watering plants, eating food and ran into a little snafu.  One morning, as I punched in their code- wait, let me digress.  You get to choose your own codes for these locks.  My father was super tricky with his code and it's one my family won't forget but most people would.  K-ster and I were also super sleuthy with our locks, and in fact, I just recently learned that he made it so he uses one code and I use another and never the twain shall meet.  As long as the door opens, I don't really care.  And there is yet another number for the one at the shop.

If you can keep all of these numbers straight, then you pass a senility test.

Back to my story.  I punched in my parents' code and it flashed a red light and there was little beeping alarm noise.  I figured I had bumped another number and I did it again.  Same thing.  I did it again.  Same thing.  Now I was afraid I was actually senile and was jumbling all of these codes together.

I was also afraid if I kept doing it, there might be a lock out option that wouldn't let me get back in for 24 hours or something.

So, I did it one more time, had the same red lights and beeping but realized I was hearing a little unlocking noise and the door was able to open.

I called my father that night and we assumed that the battery was dying.  Since they were going to be away for a few weeks, I thought that rather than fuss with the battery, I should just get the key.

And that was where the road took a very winding path.

Because when you have the joy of keyless entry, well, you don't have your key handy.

So, my evening went like this:

My father said he thought my key to my house would open his because it was a master.  That is WAS, like past tense. He forgot that I no longer have the same lock on my door and therefore,  no master.

No big deal, isn't there still a key hidden somewhere?  Oh, maybe, but not for the current front door lock on their house.  Not to worry, it probably works on the back door.  But no one knew where the hidden key might be.


Wait, the woman who works for us should have one, right?

Nope, she just uses the code.

Foiled again!

K-ster suggested I go over and get the garage door opener and bring it home.


Except my mother's car was with them!

Oh, by the truck was there!  Excellent plan, k-ster.

My father called back to tell me where he thought the key to the new lock might be and I could hear my mother in the background saying she was pretty sure it wasn't there.  Not to worry, I'll just get the garage door remote from your truck, dad!

No deal, his truck is newer and has the garage door programmed into the visor so he doesn't have a garage door opener in his truck.  Modern technology, you know.

Foiled again and again!

Not to worry, my mother knew where to tell me to look in the house for the door opener.

Before I traipsed to their house to look for keys and remotes, I thought maybe I should think about where my own key to my own new lock might be.  Thankfully, it was just where I thought it should be but then k-ster realized he couldn't find his.  And did either of us have a key to the other combo lock that we added a year later?  Did it matter as long as we had one key to one lock?

On my key chain, I have 3 keys:  my classroom door, the Cultural Center door and a mystery key that doesn't go to anything I tried that night.  I think it's to my sister's house but then there's one on my special "get locked out of the house" keyring that I thought was to her house.

Whose houses do we visit that we have these mystery keys?

In the end, we discovered a weird assortment of keys that we have and most of them don't go to anything either of us can figure out.  Some don't look like house keys and there's a very serious set of 4 that look like they belong to a bank.

So, modern technology is a wonderful thing until you need it to work like old fashioned technology.  Then you need a degree in engineering to figure out how to make that happen!

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1 comment:

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