, , , ,

Okay, the title should really be “Trees, Batteries and Weather” but how interesting is that? California is blessed with an extravagantly beautiful climate most of the time. Low humidity, cool summer nights and a not too frigid winter. Usually. I’m sure you noticed my whining last year about the abnormally high temperatures and incessantly long summer.

After the unnaturally warm winter of 2011/2012 followed by that insanely long, hot summer of 2012, this winter is a bit on the icy side, at least for Southern California. Most years find me in shorts on New Year’s Day. Not 2013.

This used to drive my Dad crazy when he and Mom would call to say Happy New Year. So he’d have to try to one-up me by going on about what a mild winter they were having, even if they weren’t (per the national weather service).

When I first moved here I used to correct him and remind him of the blizzard or ice storm they just had. That only made him go on about how great the weather was there, citing his examples left and right. He was such a stubborn Irishman that I finally just I let him “win”. My response became, “oh, that’s nice”. A comment that seemed to mollify him.

This year is definitely not the same weather-wise. At-home-wear has been long fleece pants and a heavy T-shirt with fleece hoodie the whole time. Our nighttime temps have sunken from their usual 40’s and 50’s into the 30’s. In fact last night 29F (-1.66C) was predicted as well as a frost warning. Bbbbbrrrrrrrr!

Part of the dead limb.

Part of the dead limb.

On a totally different note, the land lady final got the “ok” from the city to trim the Live Oak tree. It would appear that my call to City Hall and the codes department paid off. So Saturday morning at nine a.m. I was startled completely awake by a large thunk in the yard. The guys were here to trim the tree. And YES, there is a huge dead limb laying across the canopy, just waiting to fall. I wasn’t just seeing things.

View of part of dead limb.

Another view of part of dead limb.

Knowing I’d best move my car which was under the tree, I quickly dressed, ran out and moved it out to the street. When I got out I discovered I was still under the tree (it’s a huge tree) so got back in and tried to start the car. Nothing. Just a click each time I turned the key in the ignition. Not good. So I called AAA. Within 10 minutes a truck arrived. Yup. It was the battery.

The guy charged it. He also explained that not driving the car enough in very cold or hot  weather can damage the battery. Who knew? So he called the AAA battery truck. My car is a 13 year old BMW which I purchased used, 11 years ago. It only has 114,000 miles on it. That’s what happens when you work three blocks from your residence, which I did for five years.

As a side note: I didn’t buy the car for the prestige. I bought it because it’s a street-legal TANK on four wheels. After being hit by the semi-trailer-truck three times when driving a little sports car, I wanted something with some heft that wasn’t a SUC car (my term for SUV’s). BTW my little sports car was finally totaled by the insurance company.

Happily the battery person was equally prompt and checked a number of things out then proceeded to charge the battery some more. While doing that he attached another gadget to the battery that “read” the health of the battery. Kind of like an EKG for cars. It printed the results out. The battery was marginal but couldn’t be officially declared  dead yet. It might last a year or a few months.

Silly me, I asked if I just drove it for an hour or let it run, idling in the driveway, would that do it. No. It needs to be hooked up to a battery charger for a good five hours! When I pointed out that the battery was from AAA and only a few years old he said he’d need to see the receipt since they don’t keep records for more than a year. So to get a prorated refund, I have to find the receipt. 😦 Plus, AAA no longer carries the larger batteries BMW and Mercedes require.

In the interim I did take the car out and drove for almost three hours in hopes of charging it enough to get through the night so I could run errands. Luckily one of the stores is about 20 minutes away so I’ll get some more battery charging done. Then on Wednesday it’ll be off to my mechanic for new wiper blades, battery and radiator level checks. My, I live an exciting life don’t I?

After my drive, the trimmers were still here. I owed my friend in Wisconsin a letter so decided to pen one and enclose some photos. About 30 minutes into writing, I looked out and surprise, the tree guys were gone. They were supposed to trim the inflorescence covered with seeds that’s resting on the electrical wire to the house. I had hopes they’d get to that. Friday the winds had come up and the branch of seeds was bouncing quite vigorously on the power line. 😦

Called the land lady, nope, not coming back till tomorrow.