Einstein was Wrong

Einsteins is quoted with saying the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I now beg to differ.

So a month ago I bought a pack of AA rechargeable batteries from Amazon.com to start using in my wireless mouse and keyboard. I figure I’d start being more environmentally friendly as I probably throw out about 40 AA batteries a year. I was kind of psyched about my purchase because I researched to find the best rechargeable batteries around and discovered that most rechargeable AA batteries need to be used right away after they are charged. If they sit around too long for over a month they start to discharge and you need to charge them up, so you constantly need to keep these batteries in the charger. So I was thinking about my total household scenario. Our remote controls, pen flashlights, wireless devices probably amount to about 20 AA batteries, so I’d need to purchase about two sets of 20 batteries, one set to use and the other to be in the battery chargers as standby. That started to look clunky and pricey.

Then I discovered these Sanyo Eneloop brand batteries (Man I should be giving a referral link to Amazon for these batteries, but alas I’m too tired to do this right now) that you could charge up, take out of the charger and not use for a year without worry of loss of power. So the brilliant consumer that I am proudly realized that I only needed to purchase a single compact charger and simply adopt a household procedure of 1) all used up batteries get put into charger 2) all charged up batteries get put into small container in closet 3) whenever you need a battery just grab them from the bucket.

So I was kind of obsessed with trying these new Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries. When batteries in my wireless mouse died I got excited. Whoopee! Like the geek I have been at heart I eagerly tried out my hard researched Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries. My mouse comes to life and then dies. Hugh? I take the batteries out and pop them back in. The mouse comes back to life and then dies. These batteries are supposed to be precharged, but I decided to stick them in the charger. I plug them into the charger, and the charger doesn’t seem to work!

Eventually, I put in a set of new akaline AA batteries and the mouse came back to life and all was well. So much for the rechargeable battery idea. I start to get very frustrated. I find out that rechargeable batteries are rated at 1.2 volts while regular akaline batteries are rated at 1.5 volts. I thought drat, this suck, now I might have to return these batteries. And so for the past three weeks I’ve been putting off returning the defective battery charger along with unusable rechargeable batteries. The only problem was I needed to find a box to return them and it seemed hard to find a box.

Then last night I had a dream where some of the things that were niggling me started to come to life. In particular I had a dream about these batteries that I needed to return to Amazon soon or else I’d be stuck with some $40 of new batteries never to be used, because they don’t work and I was too tired to return them. In this dream I was struggling to find a box and I woke up wishing wondering why these stinkin batteries just won’t work. But my dream inspired or more likely taunted the frustrated tired me to try something, something insane, according to Einstein’s quote.

So I searched the internet on other people’s experiences with rechargeable batteries. Everything I was reading was of the opinion that these batteries should always work. And then I visited the Apple store and they were selling rechargeable AA batteries for use in a wireless mouse and they were rated at only 1.2 volts, just like the Enelop brand batteries I had. Then I read about other people initially getting frustrated and concluding that it was the lower voltage of the rechargeable batteries at fault. But then others countered that argument. Finally, I read where the one frustrated person tried one more thing and suddenly he was doing well with his rechargeable batteries. And so in frustration I challenged Einstein’s definition of insanity and put those rechargeable batteries into the mouse, and the mouse suddenly worked! I don’t understand why, because a couple weeks ago I tried many times to get them to work with no luck. (Notice I’m using words like “luck” telltale signs for someone to accuse me of insanity) Now suddenly for now reason these batteries were working well.

To top things off, I started to think about the defective battery charger. And then my eyes caught on to a small paper strip that was covering one part of the battery charger. I don’t ever recall seeing this before. My analytic Electrical Engineering trained mind immediately lit up and said “Dugh?!, Paper blocks electricity, Why didn’t I see this so many times?” I then removed this protective strip and suddenly the charger was working.

So all I can say is this. I repeatedly tried to get these rechargeable batteries to work and they repeatedly did not work. In my small moment of instanity I stilled continued to try. And then suddenly it worked. I tried to do the same thing over and over again, expected different outcomes, and sure enough different outcomes happened. So one could say Einstein was wrong, I was sane, and if at first, second and third something doesn’t succeed try, try again, or maybe I was insane and like the song by Seal goes, “We’re never going to survive unless we get a little crazy”

Oh, by the way I managed to get that amazon link working. Click the advertisement below to order your own set of eneloop batteries along with charger. As long as you’re only interested in AA batteries get the below 🙂


… And after you order the above you can then just order as many extra AA batteries as you need by clicking below for more 🙂


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