This is the third post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong and I have selected this one because despite being written seven years ago…our lives are still run by batteries and power boards. They keep promising us the ultimate prize of a battery with eternal life, but let’s face it they have built in obsolescence. And interesting that we now have devices that have built in batteries that cannot be changed…when they die so does the device and has to be replaced at great cost….
Charge (Batteries) 2012 by Marilyn Armstrong
My world runs on batteries. Mostly rechargeable batteries. Three laptops, two Kindles, two cellphones, three cameras, four mouses (mice have fur and make squeaky noises, mouses attach to your computer using USB transmission), two wireless keyboards, GPS, various clocks, flashlights, who-knows-how-many remote controls, electric razors, tooth cleaning machines, and a mind-numbing array of miscellaneous devices I can’t remember off-hand.
To keep the world running, I have to charge things that recharge and keep a stack of AAA and AA rechargeable batteries ready to go.
I have never lived in a house that had enough electrical outlets for things like lamps and televisions, but with all these chargers to accommodate, I own dozens of power strips. Everywhere you look, and in many places you would never think to look, in every room, power strips keep the chargers charging and other electrical devices functioning. The strips range from high-end hubs with surge protection to whatever was on sale at Walmart when I needed another strip. Every one of them is full. Or, more accurately, as full as the size and shape the chargers allow.
Power strips are designed by people who don’t use them. I have come to this conclusion based on the stupid design that presumes you will never have anything larger than a lamp plug that needs a socket. Not even a vacuum cleaner cord fits properly, much less a laptop power supply.
No room is left on either side that would make it possible to fit more than two or three chargers in a strip theoretically designed for half a dozen plugs. There’s no allowance for odd-shaped power supplies that will use half a strip.
I don’t understand why chargers have to be so inconveniently shaped, or why they can never make a 3-pronged plug that will fit into an outlet without a fight. Why do most chargers require that you insert them at the end of the strip. No one ever seems to consider that there are only two “ends” and only one without a cord in the way. There’s some kind of Murphy’s Law that say if you are going to need two wall outlets, both devices will need to be on top or on the bottom.
I have 2 electrical sockets in the bathroom and 2 devices that require electricity. Only one can fit. The other socket is always unusable. The one charger blocks both outlets. Always.
The first day we moved into this house, two events occurred that have since defined our lives in the Blackstone Valley. The toilets backed up and the power went out. The toilets backed up because the crooks who sold us this house backed their moving van over the pipe that runs from the house to the septic system and crushed it. The power went out for the usual reason: heavy rain, high wind, and lightning. Getting to know my neighbors meant figuring out how to find an electrician and plumber before I’d unpacked.
I don’t notice how dependent we are on batteries until I’m packing for a vacation. Half a carry-on is allocated to chargers … just for things we use while we travel: laptops, accessories, a pair of Kindles, his and her cell phones, mouses, portable speakers and more. I used to pack this stuff carefully. Now I just shove the chargers and wires in a bag and untangle as needed.
If you think our civilization will endure, remember: We are entirely dependent on devices that run on batteries, most of which need to be recharged from an electrical outlet. Without electricity and batteries, life as we know it would end in about two weeks. A month maximum. After that?
Our world will be a jungle in which every man, woman, and child will fight to the death for a working AA battery.
I’m reading comments on this blog and suddenly I remember that Garry’s Kindle is still waiting to be charged and is probably flat by now. And that the “land line” phone is still charging and I need to take it out of the cradle, and that my cell phone is still charging and shouldn’t be. So many batteries, so few outlets.
- Why you should always pack a power strip with your notebook/tablet (18.104.22.168)
- How To Make Your Phone’s Battery Last Longer And Hold More Juice (makeuseof.com)
- Scientists develop lithium-ion battery that charges 120 times faster than normal (elonmusktesla.wordpress.com)
- Hurricane Green: Tips from a Floridian (uloop.com)
©Marilyn Armstrong 2012
About Marilyn Armstrong
I’m a blogging anarchist, a blogger without goals. A writer, photographer. I don’t have a primary focus nor do I want one. I have a lot of interests and write about whatever catches my attention or is most on my mind. Or in the news.
I’m a bit of a geek and I love my high-tech toys. I enjoy writing about computers and other high tech devices. Especially cameras!
Serendipity is about everything. What I think about. Read. Big and little stuff in my world. It’s what I hope you’ll like to read about. Think about. Laugh about. I will show you pictures of my home, my valley. I will do my best to capture the seasons and how sunlight filters through trees.
About the book
Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.
One of the reviews for the book
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve been following Marilyn Armstrong’s blog “Serendipity” for a couple of years and figured any book written by her would be a winner. I wasn’t wrong. Admittedly, this book is hard to read in spots because it deals with Marilyn’s long-term struggle to exorcise the demons of her childhood and young adulthood. Throughout the book, she tries to forgive her father, and at times her mother, for the abuse she and her brother suffered. After surviving such a childhood, she was then beset by ill health. Many others would have simply given up at that point, but Marilyn fought her battles.
Years later, she decided to build a teepee so that her granddaughter could have a private place, but that teepee became Marilyn’s temple instead. I found myself rooting for her at each step of the construction of the teepee, which had become Marilyn’s symbol for inner peace. Marilyn also deals with her decision to leave the Jewish faith and convert to Christianity, a heavy subject indeed, but one she handles beautifully. I would definitely recommend this book – and should any producers be reading this review, can also envision it as a thought-provoking screenplay.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/12-Foot-Teepee-Marilyn-Armstrong-ebook/dp/B008AA3BHQ
Find more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21228963-the-12-foot-teepee
Connect to Marilyn
My thanks to Marilyn for allowing me access to her archives and I hope that you will head over to explore them further. Sally