Irish Proverb: The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Whenever I describe things around my house as being “in orbit,” what I’m referring to are things that go together, but for some reason never seem to find one another. They just kind of circle one another around my house for varying periods of time.

Take, for example, my Atari 2600. At last count I had four or five Atari 2600 systems stored away in tubs out in the garage, but no power supplies for them. Recently while digging through a box of cables and odds-and-ends in the closet, I found an Atari 2600 power supply. Score! To hook an Atari 2600 up to a modern television you need a small RCA-to-Coax adapter. I have a couple of those, but they’re upstairs stowed away in a drawer. Another drawer in the same room holds my joysticks, while the games for the system are on a shelf in another room.

For some reason none of these parts ever seem to end up in the same place at the same time. Sometimes I’ll pick one of the parts up and move it to another room, and occasionally some of the parts will even end up in the same room together — drawn together, by gravity. In my mind all of these little bits and parts are always circling around the main item that needs them. That’s why I refer to them as being in orbit. I used to call this phenomenon “circling the drain,” but stopped as that implies they are about to be trashed. So, “in orbit” it is.

We own two or maybe three pairs of hand-held two-way radios. Two of the three sets are rechargeable and consist of two radios, one base, and one power adapter (each). The third set uses AA batteries; we bought them when we couldn’t find all the parts for either of the other two sets. For some reason, these radios, charging bases and power supplies have been orbiting one another for years. I don’t think a complete set has ended up in the same room since we’ve lived in this house (two years now). Every time I see one of the radios or chargers I pick them up and move them to where I think the other parts are, but by the time I get them there the other parts have moved as well. It’s maddening. I have gone as far as to designate a single spot in the garage where I am trying to collect all the radios, chargers, and power supplies. So far, it hasn’t worked. I’ve considered throwing every one of them away and buying a new set, but I know they would eventually end up in orbit as well. I really don’t know how this happens.

The obvious solution is to simply “put things where they go,” although many of these things don’t have a designed place until they come together. Until then I suppose I’ll just sit back and enjoy the show.

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4 Responses to “When things are “in orbit” …”

  1. Mom says:

    Trade secret: 1 and 2 gallon zip lock bags. All parts of an item are stored together. (Won’t work for the Ataris but it will for the radios) Now granted you may never be able to find the bag, but if you run across it, all its pieces will be there. I’ve had to resort to this for cameras, mp3 players, etc., for the same reason. Got tired of digging through the tub for the right cords, chargers, etc. Lord help me if they don’t get back into the closet though; I’ll never find where in the house I put them!

  2. Mom says:

    Oh yeah. I forgot. LABEL THE BAG!

  3. ladyjaye says:

    To Rob’s mom: that’s a great idea! :)

  4. ubikuberalles says:

    I figure you could get a tub and label it “Atari 2600 Stuff” and put it in a central location (Star Wars room maybe?). Every time you encounter something Atari 2600 related, you put it in the tub. Once the tub gets nearly full you start organizing it: separate the consoles from the power supplies and joysticks, put all the power supplies in a ziplock bags (like your mom said) and then put the ziplock bags in the tub to keep things separate.

    That’s more or less what I have been doing. Well, not lately, so I need to get cracking on my stuff too.

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