Thanks for the input i think it was the cold weather that we had. we had a span of 3-4 days where the lows were in the single digits. it must have not gotten any action and just gave up.[:@]
I think the d40 has a sleep mode to it. Which if it doesn't have any activity it shuts itself down until there is something constant to trigger it back on. Then it takes more power to turn on than just staying on. I've had hundreds of pictures with 50% life left and then I've had 20 pics with 50% left. Same temps, just different results. That camera boggles my mind sometimes.
it does have a sleep mode, i have tested it and it will take a picture at the first movement it detects while sleeping. but i did this when it was around 70 degrees. it must be cold blooded.