Life, photos but not the universe

Life, car remote and variables.

The car’s remote key has stopped working.  Ah.  Battery.  I thought.  So I took it to Timpson’s who changed the battery.  Then I trotted hopefully back to the car and it didn’t work again.

Well, not to be defeated and also not to be drawn into replacing a key at exorbitant prices, I looked it up on the internet.

If you type in “why doesn’t my car key remote work?”, you get a fantastic range of responses from

I just have to drive the car around two or three cycles (of using a new battery) and it works again“,


You have to press both the “open” and the “lock” button on the remote, at the same time, if the previous step (don’t worry about it) failed. Keep the buttons held down for about one minute. If the car lights go on and off, you were successful in resetting the remote. (Some makes of cars may also beep the horn. Then what? – no answer.)”


just make sure you’re able to get into the car before the person gets there. Vag-com goes through the ob2 port, so you have to have access to the inside of the car to re-program your key fobs.”  

Also,worryingly,  there was

Insert the new battery while seated in the car, as the next step should be done soon after the new battery is in place. Turn the car on and off, eight times, in under 10 seconds. Leave the car on. Press any button on the remote, for a second, to synchronise the remote.”  

It’s much too late for that one to work (even if I could understand it – leave the car on??  On what?).  However, I am hopeful about

Key on, in ignition but don’t start the car. Hit the unlock button on the fob a couple of times. Fixes it for me every time.”  (Except that I did wonder how many times was ‘every’, and why.  And now I think about it some more, what does he mean by ‘key on’?).

My favorite was

I noticed that the battery in my retarded flip out key was dieing slowly and it stopped working unless i was right on the car and pressed the unlock button multiple times. I went to walmart, took my key apart at the counter, put a brand new battery in it (#1620). Tried to unlock or lock car doors. nothing. pressed buttons multiple times. nothing. started car. tried buttons again. nothing. did the manual reprogram (door open, hit door lock/unlock, turned key 3 times and open/closed door 3 times). Doors locked and unlocked, but still nothing. took key apart and put the battery tester to it. battery has full charge. bent out the tangs on the battery contact and the board. put it back together and NOTHING! what is wrong with this stupid thing? also to note, it’s the only key i have!!! thank you in advance for any ideas.”  The note of despair and hysteria in the query so exactly fits the feeling you get when one of these so-convenient-when-they-work, electronic gadgets, doesn’t.  And I love that he tells the whole story, complete with details of where and how he replaced the (#1620) battery.  (It’s a bit like my potatoes).

The over-riding impression I get is that, as with many mechanical devices, there’s a superstitious feeling about the cures.  You must press it exactly six times or a few times or at least once.  You must get into or out of the car or both – in a very particular order.  It’s like,”well I tried turning the computer off and then I tried turning off the printer first but then I remembered that last time I did it the other way round and it worked.”  And of course, if all else fails, take it apart and then put it together again.

It also all reminds me of the instructions I read for getting the phone to work (after it was struck by lightning♠) before calling out BT.  They were all about identifying variables and eliminating them one by one. (Is it plugged in?).  It also all reminds me of our friend who has assured us that the way to make the car key remote work, is to hold it up to your ear for a moment and then try again.  He says it works every time.  (He doesn’t specify whether it matters if you’re wearing glasses or not).  I tried that too.  It didn’t work – but I can’t remember if I tried with or without glasses.

Meanwhile, the USB hub, attached to my computer, broke.  I kept getting messages saying that a USB device was malfunctioning  and to prove it, the wireless mouse was getting erratic (it sometimes disappeared altogether). Then my hard drives (on which I store photos and back-ups) disappeared, one by one, from the window that tells you what you’ve got attached to your computer.  I deduced that the hub was the problem by plugging the various hard drives into the computer’s regular USB ports and lo and behold, they reappeared.  And  now I’ve got a new USB hub and everything works again.  I didn’t even need to hold the mouse up to my ear to make it work.

Actually, life is all about eliminating variables to get a solution, don’t you think?  One of the variables I worry about is that, while the car key will still unlock the car, in the old fashioned unremote way and will also start it, if turned in the ignition, for how long will this relatively happy state of affairs continue?

Anyway, as I’ve now got my photos back, here are some.

A hill in Wiltshire.  It’s a very photogenic hill and can be seen from all over the county.


A large white horse, apparently sneaking past the small cafe garden where I had a wonderful lunch with the delightful Ziggi and her lovely daughter.  (Really, there is a horse)


Some water, in case you haven’t seen enough over the last few months.
Some more water with a star in it (you have to look larger to see it though)


Not literally.  Well not the actual phone anyway.

April 30, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. When my mother had her first remote controlling key, the garage chap showed her how to use it – on, off, on, off. So she became comvinced that you had to click on and off a couple of times every time you used it. The poor car got hopelessly confused and sometimes it jammed, sometimes it set the alarm off. In the end, I offered to do it for her because if the choice was between what I said and someone else said, the other person won every time!

    Lucky you, seeing Ziggi and daughter (Baby Doc, I suppose?). I miss you all very much.

    Comment by Z | April 30, 2014 | Reply

  2. Darling Z, any time you want to stop over here, you’re welcome and I’ll give you something better than burnt cheese on toast next time. Wish I didn’t have to miss your party. (If Mrs Middle could have the baby a couple of weeks early I might be able to come!) xxx

    Comment by Mig | May 1, 2014 | Reply

    • Well, if you can, it would be lovely. No notice at all would be needed, just a message to say you’re on your way and need a bed!

      Comment by Z | May 2, 2014 | Reply

      • You’re so lovely : )

        Comment by Mig | May 3, 2014

  3. It was certainly easier when you only had to wind things up….and….I was also wondering if you may be the reincarnation of Constable?

    Comment by rosie | May 2, 2014 | Reply

  4. Thank you rosie. And I have been thinking Klee? Kandinsky? Klimt?

    Comment by Mig | May 2, 2014 | Reply

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