Confessions of a packrat

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They comfort me… (stockvault.net)

During our recent visit to my Mom’s, one of the new accessories we set up for her was a pair of over-the-ears bluetooth headphones. The headphones required a micro USB cable to recharge, but there wasn’t a cable in the carrying case. So I had to dig around in my computer bag for one, which I did eventually find, but it seemed to be the one and only micro USB adapter cable in the bag.

Which isn’t good, because we have lots of things that use that particular cable to charge. So when we got back I went to a site online where I have previously purchased reasonably priced cables, and I ordered a bunch of one-foot long micro USB cables (they were less than a buck). While I was at it, I tossed a couple of three-foot versions of the cable into my shopping cart (they were more than a buck, but not my much), just to cover all our bases.

I figured I’d put one each of the short cables in my work backpack, my personal laptop backpack, my travel computer bag (which is different), and Michael’s laptop backpack. And then I planned to pull out all of the chargers in my travel computer bag, count up all of the headphones and things we usually take with us on trips that require a micro USB connector, and make sure that I had enough of the adaptors and chargers in the travel bag to charge them all simultaneously.

The online cable source, as these websites often do, offered some suggestions of other items that were similar to the merchandise already in my cart which I might be interested in purchasing. One of which was a long micro USB cable that had flashing LEDs built into the ends. It was being offered as a “hot deal” marked down to less than two bucks.

Now, I know the reality is that the cables were being marked down because no one needs adaptor cables with flashing LEDs on each end, so people were buying cheaper cables without flashing LEDs. So the things had been sitting on shelves unsold for a long time. The company just wanted to get rid of them.

But I looked at the pictures of the cables with the lights on the end, and they looked cool and silly. I just could not stop myself from clicking Add To Cart.

And once I did, the website (recognizing a sucker when it had one), changed the suggested items displayed. And look! There was a ten-foot long lightning adaptor cable! Ten-feet! We actually had a need some time back for an extra long iPad charging cable, and I’d wound up buying a couple of ten-foot models. They worked great, and it was kind of silly and fun to, when I first got them, set one up on a charger on one side of the room and string it out to plug an iPod or iPad into it on the other side of the room.

And you never know when you might need a cable like that, so of course I clicked Add To Cart!

And look! They were now suggesting I might be interested in white iPod adaptor cables marked way down. I have been worrying just a little bit about those cables, because Apple is phasing them out, but we have several older iPods we use for various things around the house that use that adapter. One of those iPods that we still use (it plays wake up music from the far side of the bedroom at me every morning) is a 2nd generation iPod mini from 2005, and it still works great, so I have no intention of tossing it until it dies. And I fully expect the 2010 model iPod Touch that we use in the car to last at least as long as the mini has. I’m going to need those adaptors for some years, yet, and cables that are used frequently do eventually wear out. I just recently threw away one in the car (replacing it with a cable from my computer desk) because I had to jiggle it to get the connection to work. So stashing several away against the day when they’re no longer sold isn’t a bad idea, right?

Add To Cart.

So the box of cables arrived a couple of days later. I’ve distributed the cables to our various computer bags and such as planned. And I’ve used the silly flashing LED cable to recharge a battery case (it doesn’t just flash at both ends; the LEDs change color as they flash!).

But while I was stashing all those things away, I also pulled out some older adaptors and cables for things that we no longer own. I put those obsolete cables and adaptors in with the pile of dead headphones that I had found stashed behind my second monitor when I cleaned out my desk last month. And I carried them (along with some other things that need to go to the recycler) out to the car.

Did I go overboard with the new cables? Probably. Will some of these cables languish around, forever waiting to be used, and ten years from now get sent off to recycle? Most assuredly.

Am I going to be able to prevent myself from ordering extra charging cables the next time I notice a shortage of a particular type? Almost certainly not.

But you know what? I just plugged in the flashing LED cable, again. And it made me grin. I might have even giggled, just a little bit.

So I regret nothing!

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live in Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

One response to “Confessions of a packrat”

  1. Akriti says :

    i really like this post.

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