When I was a young lad, it was not uncommon for cars to fail to start when you turned the ignition key. I'm not saying that this was an everyday occurrence, you understand, but if my mom tried to start the car and all we heard was a "graunching" noise, then we weren't outrageously surprised.
Things have become increasingly reliable over the years, to the extent that the thought a vehicle might fail to start rarely crosses one's mind. Thus, you can only imagine my doubt and disbelieve when I happily climbed into my new (secondhand) truck last Friday… and turned the key… and absolutely nothing happened (see also Just call me “Tracker Trucker Max” [Click Here], Now I’m “Truck-less Tracker Trucker Max” [Click Here], and My new moniker is “Tracker Trucker Max Esquire” [Click Here]).
Fortunately I still had my faithful little Kia sitting in the drive, so I set off for work mumbling and grumbling under my breath.
By some strange quirk of fate I'd arranged to meet my father-in-law for lunch that day. When I arrived at the restaurant in my Kia, he inquired as to the whereabouts of my truck. I explained what had happened, and also that I was going to wait till the following day and then get my son Joseph to help me push the truck into the drive so I could jump start the little rascal (the truck, not Joseph).
In response, my father-in-law delved into the tool box on his own truck and emerged clutching a yellow object that he said would make things a lot easier. It turned out this was a sort of "jump start in a box" type thing. Well, color me surprised.
Now you are probably already aware of these products, but I'm not really much interested in cars and trucks and suchlike – apart from their ability to transport me from point A to point B (and back again) – so I was completely unacquainted with the existence of these little scamps.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the next day I used this "jump start in a box" thingy to start my truck, which I then took it for a 15-mile drive to charge the battery (I was working on the assumption that I'd left a door cracked open or a light on that had drained my battery).
I ended up at Barnes and Noble, where I popped in to check the bargain shelves for anything of interest. When I returned to my truck … the battery was as flat as a pancake. Fortunately, I'd had the wit to bring the "jump start in a box" thingy with me, so I re-jumped the truck and meandered my way over to the nearest auto-parts store. They attached a special meter to the battery and informed me that it was as dead as a dodo – it had gone to meet its maker, as it were – so they installed a brand-spanking new battery for me and I headed on my merry way.
I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with the whole concept of these "jump start in a box" thingies (do they have a proper name?), so the first thing I did was to drive over to my local Lowe's Store to see what they had to offer in this department. They had an entire rack of this type of product (how come I've never noticed them before?), and I ended up purchasing a Stanley PPRH5 450-Amp Professional Power Station with Built-In Air Compressor:
This little beauty is GREAT!!! In addition to the 450 amp/1000 amp peak jumper capability, it also comes equipped with a 120 PSI digital piston-driven compressor. Once again, it’s not like you need this capability very often; on the other hand, my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) is a realtor specializing in new construction, which means she spends a lot of time driving around new developments. In turn, this means she has a habit of picking up nails (not her, but her car's tires) resulting in slow leaks (again, I'm talking about her tires). The bottom line is that it will be really useful to have this portable air compressor at our disposal.
But wait, there's more, because we get a lot of thunderstorms around here, and it's not uncommon to lose power for a couple of hours. Of course we have candles and suchlike, plus we have a supply of batteries, but losing power can still be a pain ("Especially if you've failed to charge your iPad that has all your music and videos on it,"
he said, bitterly).
So I'm really happy with the fact that my Stanley Power Station provides a high-powered ultra-bright LED emergency light along with two 120-volt AC outlets and a USB power output, all of which I am sure will come in very handy in the not-so-distant future. Now I'm just waiting for someone to say "Excuse me, do you happen to have any jumper cables,"
so that I can proudly whip out my Stanley (hmmm, maybe I'll have to re-think how I say this…)
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