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Friday Cat Blogging

Excise on Ice

Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: Another cold spell and Excise has been in rabbit mode all day. None of the outside cats have come out. If it's clear, it's cold. When it warms up, it rains.]

Friday Ark


1 hipparchia { 12.14.13 at 8:12 am }

everything in my house is already growing mold on it in anticipation of yet MORE rain.

i keep meaning to get photos of 8- or 9-cat huddle that appears occasionally in my house these days, but then i’d have to take my mittens off to work the camera. :)

2 Badtux { 12.14.13 at 11:48 am }

I wish you guys could send some of that rain my way. We’ve had a remarkably dry fall and the winter is looking no better. I can’t water the lawn right now because the neighbor who shares my display has put up a spectacular Christmas display (it delights his little one so I don’t mind that it sprawls over onto my side too), so the lawn is going to start looking crunchy soon if we don’t get any rain… :( .

3 Bryan { 12.14.13 at 12:13 pm }

The camera would at least work, which is not always the case of film cameras with mechanical shutters in cold weather.

The rain has been spotty today, but the temperature has certainly climbed with a wind shift. I keep putting on and then taking off layers of clothes some days.

4 Bryan { 12.14.13 at 1:08 pm }

Badtux, I would love to send at least half of this water somewhere else. Every time one of these fronts moves through it sucks water out of the warm waters of the Gulf and it passes over us.

A wind change is all that is required for 20°+ temperature shift in an hour, which happened early this morning. You go to bed shivering and wake up sweating, or vice versa.

5 Steve Bates { 12.14.13 at 7:15 pm }

We have constantly changing weather in Houston these days. If my peg-leg were not annoying enough during stable weather, it is a damned nuisance when the barometer is all over the dial. About the time one weather system finishes passing through, another is brewing. Our cats alternate between rabbit mode as Excise displays above, and agitated dashing about, grooming like crazy, fidgeting and (in the case of Lily) meowing plaintively. [Added note: yes, Lily has been "fixed."] (Lily is so big that I am glad I never met her daddy in a dark alley.)

Neither of our cameras works well enough at the moment to offer mother-and-daughter cat pics. In my case, those AA rechargeables, the best rechargeables I’ve ever owned, have finally given up after 5 years of hard use. Of course they are no longer manufactured. I understand they’ve come out with some new ones with a new virtue: substantial shelf-life after you charge them. But I haven’t gotten over to Batteries Plus to see if I can buy some. If it weren’t for Batteries Plus about a mile from here, I’d just web-order them, but I always talk myself out of doing that in favor of buying them in person, once again delaying potential cat pics…

6 Bryan { 12.14.13 at 10:29 pm }

The hibernation to hyperactivity Jekyll-Hyde transformation is fairly jarring at around 3AM, as well as the lack of noise from the heaters.

One of the best things about the Nikon is the lithium ion battery pack that will charge from a USB port if I leave it connected after downloading pictures.

7 Badtux { 12.15.13 at 12:25 pm }

Steve, I’ve retired all my old-style NiMH rechargeables in favor of the Sony Eneloops because though the old-style rechargeables held more total charge, they didn’t hold it for long, so they were always flat when I need them. The Eneloops (and their competing extended-life NiMH batteries from other vendors) will have 80% of their original charge after a year. So when I get back from a trip I circulate them through the charger and then toss’em in the battery drawer, and pull’em out when it’s time to go on the next trip.

Bryan, lithium batteries are indeed a boon. Just don’t leave them on the charger after they’re charged. That’ll brick them. Did that to one of the expensive 18v batteries for my Makita power tools, forgot it on the charger after it charged, it ended up going through multiple discharge/charge cycles over time until it bricked. What I like most about the lithium batteries is that their discharge is *very* slow. After a year I can grab one of the batteries, sling it into the hand tool of choice, and be at full power. Then when I toss it on the charger afterwards, it’s not 5 minutes later that the charger beeps to let me know it’s fully charged again. Cool!

8 Bryan { 12.15.13 at 12:52 pm }

I run my Lion’s down before I put them on the charger. With a notable lack of outlets, and a dislike for the power company, nothing with a transformer stays connected longer than necessary. My tool batteries get topped just before use after a long break, but I’m waiting for them to charge to go do something. I developed my battery habits with NiCads, so it is generally don’t charge until dead, and then fully charge.

9 Steve Bates { 12.16.13 at 7:35 am }

BadTux, thanks; I’ll check into Eneloops. My basis for customer loyalty to Batteries Plus is my gratitude for their treatment of Stella. The lady has probably 30-50 decorative watches, one for every outfit in her closet. Every couple of years she carts them over to B.P., where they change ALL the batteries… a task that could easily fall to me to perform if B.P. were not so accommodating. It’s worth it to me to pay slightly higher prices on most of my batteries to patronize a business that relieves me of a task I genuinely loathe.

10 Bryan { 12.16.13 at 5:01 pm }

I change my Mother’s watch batteries and it is preceded by locating the tiny screwdrivers and magnifier to get the old one out, then a search to find a compatible replacement. After all of that I have to get the suckers back together. The bloody batteries are often more expensive than the watch.

11 Badtux { 12.18.13 at 12:34 am }

Bryan, what you are doing to lithium batteries will shorten their lives. Lithium batteries do not have memory, so you do not need to discharge them fully before charging them. The charging curve for a lithium battery is an inverse logarithmic curve where there is a large inrush of current when the battery is fully drained and being charged, that then tapers off over time. The problem being that the more current flowing through the battery, the more heat, and the more that the internal chemistry breaks down over time. There’s been research done on these things and basically keeping the battery between 20% charged and 80% charged gives you the longest life. I’m too lazy to rig up a current meter so I know which it’s approaching fully charged and can take it off the charger, so I just let the charger tell me it’s charged, and take that hit to its life. But I don’t discharge it below 20% either.

Steve, if they’re going to change 20 watch batteries, yes, they’re worth being loyal to. I had a watch that went dead so I tried to change its battery. The new battery didn’t work either. The watch itself was dead, the new battery was fine (took it out of its card fresh and brand new, measured out on the voltmeter). Oh well, some watches just die for no reason, sigh. But anyhow, it was a major PITA, and if someone is going to do that to *twenty* watches for you, well.

12 Bryan { 12.18.13 at 10:40 pm }

They run down when I use them in the saws cutting trim and molding. The drivers/drills are OK, but the saws really suck up the power, so I don’t have much choice, because they are a hell of lot quicker and easier to use than dragging in my miter saw or big circular saw for wood smaller than a 1″X4″. They make it very easy to go outside to make the cuts without having to run extension cords.

I understand what you’re saying, but what I do with tools determines when I can recharge.