After a little more than two and one-half years of service my lovely Toshiba Satellite notebook computer needs a new battery. The original, standard battery isn’t holding charge as it once did and only runs for a little better than an hour. Since the machine still works well, I invested in a new extended-capacity battery; I ordered it last night and it should arrive early next week. I’ve a speaking engagement next week and want to be sure the Toshiba has enough power to get through the entire presentation without needing to be plugged in. I’ll be speaking to an astronomy club about the state and future of Stephens Memorial Observatory. I’ll also get a look at another Ohio observatory I’ve not seen before. Yippie!
Fortunately I had nothing scheduled for the office Tuesday morning. When I went out to move my car to allow She Who Must Be Obeyed to get her car out of the garage I got a bit of a surprise: my car's battery was d-e-a-d. Weird! The car had no problem starting up Monday night … no problem whatsoever. No lights left on. No tampering. Yeah, weird! Many drivers have experienced a battery whose power was so low all that happened when the key was turned was a death rattle. Not my car, oh no! Two dashboard lights barely lit. This battery was so low it could hardly light two tiny light bulbs! I cleaned the battery terminals and got a buzz and rattle from the car. Going nowhere. Fortunately the drive to our garage door is on an incline so I put the car in neutral, released the brake, and coasted backward to park the car on the drive. Not a bad job, either, since the power steering was out as was the brake power assist — you've really gotta work at it to steer and stop! She got her car out of the garage and, after a change of clothing, I jump-started my car from Hers and drove it to the dealer. Technician testing showed my old battery had two ( 2 ) amps of power available!! Of course they had batteries on hand and, oh, by the way, you need your transmission fluid flushed and replaced. The "dead battery" wound up costing us, well, it cost a lot! I guess they've gotta pay for the nice PC they have for us customers in the waiting room! Heh, heh, yup! An Internet-connected PC, and a nice aquarium, and clean surroundings. Costly but it makes the ordeal of automobile repair a little easier for those of us hiring it done. The car starts right up now and it actually seems to be shifting better even though it wasn't shifting roughly at all before. Got to work at 12:30. Now we're hoping She has no problem with her battery — previously scheduled to be replaced this coming Saturday!