Last weekend I thought of that extra keyboard and decided to pair it with the iPad, because sometimes I want to post long stories on Facebook, and one-finger-typing takes forever. I looked high and low after finding out it wasn't in the closet. Finally I thought of a drawer where I put useful things (not a junk drawer) that have no other logical place. Things like the half-dozen brand new Craftsman pliers I bought Cliff a few years back because he kept misplacing his old ones. Every time he mentions not being able to find his pliers, I offer him a brand new pair (why do we say "a pair of pliers" or "a pair of pants"? It's a single item), which he never accepts because he wants to find his old one. I guess those new pliers will be a nice legacy for future generations when we're gone. But I digress.
I did find the old keyboard in that special drawer and tried to turn it on. Well, duh! It's been stored for ages, any fool knows it's going to need new batteries. I'll bet you can guess what happened next.
Alkaline batteries are prone to leaking potassium hydroxide, a caustic agent that can cause respiratory, eye and skin irritation. ... This out-gassing increases pressure in the battery. Eventually, the excess pressure either ruptures the insulating seals at the end of the battery, or the outer metal canister, or both.
Well, he tried unscrewing it, but it was obviously glued tight by the junk seeping from the old battery. So he put the thing in a vice, asked me to secure one end so it didn't push away from him, and fetched a dove-tail hammer.
Nothing! We worked with it for at least ten minutes.
So he got a dremel rotary tool with a cut-off wheel and started cutting through the sides below that cover (sort of fluting it?) in four places. Then he literally pried the sides back from the little button that held the batteries in. Rachel said, "That can't work; the batteries can't make contact!"
At this point, I agreed with my daughter: No way could this work. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.
With great effort, Cliff got those nasty-looking, white-powder-coated batteries out of their cave.
"Well," I said to him, "it was no good anyhow the way it was, so thanks for trying."
"Oh, it'll work." he answered. "Give me the duct tape."
What??? At this point it was all Rachel and I could do to keep from laughing. We were sure that poor, mutilated keyboard would never work again.
And the outcome? I'm using the keyboard with my iPad. It works like a charm.
I've often heard Rachel say, "My daddy can fix anything."
I believe she may be right. The result may not be pretty, but it'll work.