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.