Things with "a mind of their own"

Most people have a few such objects around their house or at work.
Mine are:

  1. My car’s headlight flip-up panels. These things work most of the time, but once in a blue moon, they absolutely will not flip up at all, and then I make a terrifying drive in the dark with people staring at me for not having my flippin’ headlights flipped up. Car Guy has checked it over and of course they work perfectly for him every single time, no matter how often he flips them.
  2. The automatic sprinkler. My brother and I worked on these bastids for days. Got them new solenoids, new batteries, new actuators, new wires. And still the damn thing resets its time whenever, and then the water comes on way off schedule.

What non-organic beasties are acting up in your domain these days?

My automatic door locks. They keep locking and locking and locking. My husband keeps bugging me to let him get it fixed but it is going to cost $500.00. Sorry but that is just highway robbery. Plus, I have kind of gotten attached to it. As I walk away from my car it is like it is obsessive-compulsive…am I locked? am I locked? am I locked?

my car has OCD, now if it would just develop a compulsion to wash itself

I’d say the Windows boxes here, but that’s just too obvious.

The home wireless net is rather capricious, as is the DSL bridge. It often goes comatose around dinnertime, leading me to think it’s being affected by a neighbor’s microwave oven.

Used to have a TV that had some nanny genes in it. It would randomly decide that I’d watched enough TV that night and shut off.

Another long-ago discarded item was a desktop radio that didn’t like my taste in music and would jump to another preset station or change the volume.

Our CD ROM drive was possessed. The drawer would open and shut of its own volition, sometimes when no one was anywhere near the computer. The ghost seems to have gone away now.

My DVD players (TWO OF THEM! Different brands!) like to play chicken with me. I hit the “open” button, then go to put the disc on and the tray closes. Do it again, this time it’s in-out real fast. Again, this time it waits a bit and still closes when I don’t tell it to. Closes on the disc not seated right, opens back up, stays there. I swear they snicker at me. Other people love to watch the show of me putting the DVDs in.

Or cordless phones, which use a similar frequency. I switched from Netgear to Linksys wireless router, which has been much better for me.

I have this same problem with my CD player! The little six-disc changer tray opens and closes at whim. Then two days ago, my daughter put a CD by Pink in there. The tray closed partway, opened, closed completely, opened and the CD was GONE*! We disconnected the player and tipped it upside down to see if we could get the CD out, but it no longer seems to be in there (nothing’s sliding around or rattling.) So this weekend it’s off to the repair shop, if I can find a repair shop.

(* Personally, I think this was a comment on my daughter’s taste in music.)

I have the same problem with one of my DVD players (which, I suppose, is what one gets when one buys a $35 DVD player). In addition to playing chicken with me, it occasionally decides to forget about the end of the movie, we should watch the beginning again! Luckily, it’s the DVD player I keep in the bedroom, and I’m usually asleep before it decides to do a special replay. But occasionally I’ll wake up five hours later and discover the movie in the exact place I last remember seeing it, which can be somewhat disorienting in the wee hours of the morning.

I also have a coffeemaker that thinks the counter could use some caffeine on occasion. Some days, perfect cup of coffee. Others, I get half a cup and the kitchen counter joins the Coffee Achievers. I’ve actually watched it happen, and I still can’t figure it out.

My iron decides on a whim whether anything needs steam. Luckily, I don’t use the iron much.

My first car, may he rest in peace, had a complicated routine toward the end of his life. In order to start the engine, any combination of the following activities may have been required: rolling down both windows, rolling them back up, turning the headlights on and off, opening the passenger side door and closing it, turning the dome light on and off, honking the horn (no more than once), and (the only absolute must of the process) kissing the steering wheel whilst professing my love for the car. Newcomers to the vehicle were always amused.


Could you accidentally have pressed the “sleep” dealie? It can shut the TV off after a certain amount of time.

My old PC - a Hewlett Packard - had some serious issues. It would make these horrible rebooting sounds in the middle of the night.

So I’d turn it off at night - power it down properly, from the Start menu, blah blah blah.

It would turn itself ON and start chugging away again. Freaked Me Out.

My nemesis is the change machine at the laundromat. It will almost always take a twenty and can be reliably depended on to take ones, even if they look like they have already been through the wash. But fives are always a gamble–even crispy brand new ones may be spit back with that peevish little whirring sound that means you ain’t getting any wash done this morning.

My Hair. And I’m quite certain its not using the mind we theoretically share.

my toaster

I never change the setting. Somedays the toast is perfect, the next day charred to a crisp or not toasted at all. I hate my toaster, but it looks cool.

Same here. I’m convinced that my upstairs neighbors are running some kind of bizarre wireless hub upstairs, somehow powered by an enormous Tesla coil. Somedays, seemingly at random, I’ll either get no signal from my wireless router, or it’ll just decide to disconnect itself from the DSL connection and force me to reset the entire thing to be able to reconnect.

Speaking of HP…my mom has one of their printers, and this thing pulls crazy stunts almost every time she uses it. Every once in a while it acts perfectly normal.

I don’t know if it’s my computer, my ISP, or a combination of both but I get kicked offline every three to four hours and it gets a bit annoying, especially since the 'net is the only thing I have to keep myself entertained with in my apartment and am on it pretty much from the time I get home until I go to bed for the night.

I’m reminded of this article.