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What do I do when the batteries stop?
What do I do when the batteries stop?
(Post from 11-17-04)
Okay folks, it's time for me to go into a rant. Grab a cognac, get comfy, this could take a while. How is it that we have information systems that can reach the other side of the planet and back in seconds, telephony networks that allow me to speak with Astronauts in real-time, satellite connections that can broadcast cable stations from Bangladesh to Bangor, Maine, but nothing to effectively combat the limited lifespan of a battery? Some of you might be tempted to say, "Well, what about backup batteries?" It is to you people I say, "How was growing up on the small bus?" Allow me to explain. Batteries, or at least the more popular batteries (Nickle-Metal-Hydride, Nickle-Cadmium, Lithium-Ion), all require use or climate-specific containment to remain useful without corrosion, erosion, or leakage. The concept of having a backup battery available when your primary stops working doesn't allow for either of those two conditions unless you store the electronic device in a freezer bag with baking soda in your freezer!!! We can essentially transmit out thoughts, feelings, beliefs, gossip, propaganda, anecdotes, and intellectual flatulance around the world and back but only so long as the Energizer Bunny keeps going. (Now the world don't move to the beat of just one drum!)
Now you might ask, why did I go into that little rant? Well for two reasons: 1. I'm dealing with a very dear family member who is having some serious problems going on because he primary battery isn't there and her backup battery is corroded, 2. I had a very good conversation last night interrupted by a dead cell phone battery that wouldn't recharge.
First, my very dear family member (my mum) has lost her primary battery (her modus operandi, if you will). That has been, at least as long as I've known her, raising me. Well, I'm grown and capable of taking care of myself now. Now she's got to rely on her backup battery. Unfortunately a bad climate, poor storage, no real place to vent, and getting burnt at both ends had depleted that backup battery. Her backup battery is her own drive to accomplish, thrive, excel, sustain independent adult living. That has been beaten to death so much so that it just doesn't deliver any juice. So back to my question, "What do I do when the batteries stop?"
Second, I was engaged in a nice conversation with this lady I'm seeing and the conversation stopped. I didn't stop but I suddenly got the impression that no one was listening anymore. The signal died and our cell phones disconnected. Not knowing if it was just a dead cell phone battery or something more ominous I call back and leave a message. No call. Was it something I said? That can't possibly be because I didn't say anything controversial. But still we were talking about a controversial topic so tempers can fly. So what happened? I didn't know because I never got a call back last night. We spoke this morning. There was no ill-will. It was a dead battery and it wouldn't take a charge enough to talk again that night. I spent time that night thinking that I had offended and I possibly killed something good not know ing what I did. It wouldn't be the first time, but I like to think I've gotten better at that sort of thing. Nope, nothing of the sort. Battery died and the backup battery source didn't work. So back to my question, "What do I do when the batteries stop?"
In the first situation I think I've waited too long to either jump start the batteries or give up on them. In the second situation all I had to do was wait and the batteries came back to life. It's the time in the middle, when the batteries are out, that the uncertainty and anger happen. It's the time in the middle, when there's no power to keep the communication going. It's that time, that can make all the difference. Well that and when (or if) the power comes back.