It is a pity how everything we have and use depends upon some measure of electric power.

The easiest to see is the cell phone, which is powered by battery. Beyond that just everything else is powered by batteries.

That is nothing new. Can you recall when the telephone always worked? Even when the local power was out the telephone worked.

Even then the telephone system was run on battery power.

Last year at the big box store I watched a customer search around a widescreen television for the “power” and other buttons normally seen on the right side. They weren’t there. There is no way to change the power, volume, channel except via the remote.

If the remote gives out you have to have another on standby.

This is just backwards from when there were no television remotes and any change required a walk to the television set.

At the rate we’re going the two remotes required to run the television set at this house will have short lives since they are dropped every day. As of this writing they are held together by rubber bands to keep the remotes together when they hit the floor and to prevent escaping batteries.

I sat down and tried a make a list of things around this house that do not run on batteries. I got as far as a ballpoint pen.

The most fun I’ve had with low power came from a tiny transmitter/receiver powered by a 9-volt battery, which used to be called a transistor radio battery. The transmitter put out about a third of a watt of power but worked just fine.

On a camping trip I used a small solar charger to boost up the batteries on my mobile phone and free current felt good.

The old crank-type telephones used dry cell batteries as did early broadcast radio receivers.

Batteries have been around for a very long time. There is speculation that a pottery jug found in Iraq was actually an early battery; in fact it is called the “Baghdad Battery.”

There were no electronics 2,000 years ago that needed power, so what was it for? Maybe electroplating one metal with a thin layer of another more valuable metal.

Some experts suggested that ancients might have electroplated silver objects with a thin layer of gold.

I can believe that.

Crooks have been with us a long time, only now they are on television.

Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at joenphillips@hotmail.com.

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