Tuesday, 26 September 2017

09:19 – It was 60.7F (16C) and mostly clear when I took Colin out at 0725. He let me sleep in this morning, but eventually he couldn’t stand it anymore and started licking my hand to wake me up.

Barbara and I both had dentist appointments yesterday to have our fangs cleaned and sharpened. Hers was for 1145 and mine for 1230, so we rode in together. We got there around 1130, and I was surprised a few minutes later when they called me in. As it turns out, Dr. Flowers had hired a second hygienist, so they ended up being able to treat Barbara and me simultaneously.

I ended up with the new hygienist, Kayla. She’s 22 years old and has always lived here. She’s getting married next May to a guy who’s also always lived in the Sparta area. They’ve already bought a house, but they won’t move in together until they’re married. They plan to have at least two children and maybe three, and Kayla said she wants to have them all before she’s 30.

We ended up finishing about 1240, only 10 minutes after the original time of my appointment. This was our first dentist visit since our COBRA dental insurance expired in March, so I was curious what the charges would be. They ended up being $134 for each of us, which was noticeably less than it would have been down in Winston.

I got an interesting email yesterday from a woman who asked what brand of rechargeable NiMH AA and AAA cells we used and how many we stocked. The brand is easy: Eneloops, whether they’re branded Panasonic, Sanyo, or AmazonBasics.

The first batch I ordered was three years ago. I bought an 8-pack each of AA and AAA AmazonBasics High Capacity, which at the time (and maybe still) were Eneloops. They were manufactured in Japan, although some of the AmazonBasics rechargeables at the time were Chinese. I avoided those. I also avoided US brand names like Energizer and Duracell. Their rechargeables seem inferior to the Eneloops, probably not least because they want to protect their alkaline battery business.

Since then, I’ve ordered Panasonic Eneloops in either standard capacity or the Pro version, which is higher capacity. They’re all LSD (low self-discharge) models. The difference is that the Pro versions have higher capacity, but are rated at “only” 500 charge cycles (versus 2,100 cycles for the 4th generation standard-capacity models).

As to how many you need, I told her that was completely up to her. I suggested at least one full set for each of their devices, along with maybe 20% extras. At this point, I’m still using up our stock of Costco Kirkland AA and AAA alkalines, but as we run out of those, I’ll replace them with NiMH cells in everything from flashlights and lanterns to remote controls to radios.

As to rechargers, any name-brand smart charger seems to be fine. You’ll want at least a couple of these, and you want ones that charge cells individually rather than requiring that you charge them in pairs. Ideally, I’d want at least one charger that can be plugged into a 12V auto receptacle.