Friday, September 25, 2009

ROAD TRIP! (The Battery Crisis)

We awoke on the second morning of our journey to the ethereal sound of chirping birds and a light, cool breeze wafting down from the mountains. More accurately, it was the third morning and the only thing we could hear was the air conditioner in our room which, coincidentally, was also providing the breeze. But that sounded good, didn't it?

One of the adventures I forgot to mention from day one was the great charger chase. In her haste to leave, Kristina had not had time to charge her camera battery the night before. I had brought along a power inverter so she plugged in her charger and attached her battery... and the indicator light started blinking in a most peculiar way. She fiddled and cursed and stressed out and thought she had gotten it to start working. In short order, the peculiar blinking pattern again emerged.

This cycle of fiddling and blinking, blinking and fiddling continued for several more rounds after which Kristina reinserted the battery into her camera only to discover that it was not, in fact, charging. Panic began to set in. She was, you see, the official wedding photographer. A dead camera was not an option (although she could have used mine or the bride's). We were approaching Laramie and I calmly informed Kristina that universal battery chargers should be readily available. I had purchased one several years previously at Wal-Mart.

When we got to town, we immediately sought out said superstore and made a bee-line for the electronics department... only to find they didn't sell them. All they had were chargers for standard-size NiMH batteries. Panic returned.

It was fortunate that we had arrived in town at a time that the Staples just up the road was unlocking their doors. We went in and found a charger that seemed appropriate but seemed to have been made exclusively for Kodak camera batteries. Again, there was panic, this time accompanied by hyperventilating if memory serves me correctly.

I knew there had to be a universal charger somewhere so I kept looking. Tucked into a corner, hidden by other product displayed more prominently, I spied another likely candidate. This one, by Energizer I believe, was actually labeled a universal charger but did not specifically state any particular compatibility.

The people at Staples went above and beyond, obviously aware that we were in crisis. They brought the charger up to the customer service counter, opened the package, read the instructions and attached Kristina's battery. Joy of joys, the status light blinked appropriately, indicating that our search had ended, blood pressures could reduce, and we could be on our way.

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