Go Ask Your Father: Battery Life, Erosion, Frostbite, and Lotion on Dogs

Has anyone had a Fitbit challenge with a friend where the winner is the one with fewest steps? Lounging on the couch all morning watching the Olympics I had just 744 steps by lunchtime. I would have had less had I not had to make breakfast for and play games with Bang. Now that I’ve put some laundry away and put some in the wash, I’m up to 2,789. That’s okay, though. I had 16,000 yesterday. I’ll be teaching gym all next week so I should have no trouble making up for this one slack day. We all deserve a slack day now then, right? I’ll justify my slackness by telling everyone I deserve it. I think there is a lot I deserve, but I’ll set for a slack day.

Why do batteries die in the cold?

It sucks to be a battery. They’re either working or they’re dead. There’s more to life than just working all the time. We need to play. Sometimes we need batteries to play the things we want to play. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. I just learned that there is actually a thing as AAAA batteries. There are also button batteries, lithium-ion batteries. There are 9 volt and 6 volt and car batteries. There’s even that battery Elon Musk had built in South Australia that can power 30,000 homes for an hour. I can’t even imagine how many A’s come after that one. Anyway, I had my GoPro out doing a timelapse in -10C. The battery was fully charged when I left home, but soon after recording started it started telling me the battery was low. Soon after that it died. This happens because when battery terminals are connect there is a chemical reaction that gets the electrons flowing (science 101: electricity is the flow of electrons). Cold temperatures cause the chemical reactions to happen more slowly. The battery will then run down until it can’t keep up with the demand and it dies a slow, quiet death. When you warm it back up it will resume working normally.

What is erosion?

It’s what the kids do to my nerves every day. They erode them until there’s a landslide and I start motivationally speaking to the selective listener. Erosion is the slow, wearing away of a landform. Water has been eroding land and rock since it got it. Rivers wear away at its banks. You may be familiar with a meandering river. When a river cuts into its bank, the water nearest the bank moves faster and thereby takes more material with it. The bend in the river gets bigger and bigger until the water is able break through and meet itself on the opposite side. The grand canyon was the ultimate meanderer. Rain has been eroding more than farmers patience for millennia. Glaciers of millions of years ago (about the time my parents were in college) eroded lands across the world. Wind has eroded sand dunes and buttes. I like big buttes, I can not lie.

What do you do if you get frostbite?

The boys go out in the Canadian winter and 10 minutes later they’re complaining of frostbite. Dudes, toughen up, walk it off, then go play some more! Kids these days aren’t as tough as we were. Just like I’m not as tough as my parents were. They had to walk to school in 3 feet of snow, up hill both ways! Seriously, though, should you find yourself a survivor of a plane crash high in the Alps and feel the effects of frostbite set in, here are a few tips. Protect the area from further damage. Tuck your frostbitten area into your armpits. Good luck doing that if it’s your feet. DO NOT rub the frostbitten area or put snow on it. When you finally get out of the cold, immediately remove wet clothes. Gently warm the frostbite spot. The key word being gently. Don’t hold it up to a fire, heat lamp or heat pads. These can cause burns. Instead use warm water (not hot). If there’s any chance that the effected area will freeze again, DON’T THAW IT! When you get rescued, get your ass to doctor. You’ll probably need some pain medicine. If you had to eat a friend to survive, go see a therapist.

Do dogs need lotion?

DW laughed and laughed when Bang asked this one. He had been acting like a puppy while she slathered him with post bath Johnson & Johnson. Long story short, yes, dogs could get lotion. They can get dry skin, too. They can also get poison ivy and get Calamine lotion to relieve the itch. However, if the dry skin isn’t bothering the pooch, it shouldn’t bother you, either. If dry skin is bothering your 6 year old son pretending to be a puppy, put lotion on him.

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