Thursday, February 10, 2011

That Mysterious Box of Cables

I’ve learned that I have a severe weakness for electronic gizmos that do, well, stuff.  In fact, most times that I find myself in a “shopping” environment I gravitate towards anything electronic and will attempt to buy gadgets that I already have, except the newer ones with more “features” and or blinking lights.  I don’t think this weakness makes me particularly unique, in fact, what I think it makes me is:

A guy

My dad is the same way, so I guess I could blame him a bit, but I look around and well, most dads are that way, so he’s totally off the hook.  Still it’s fun to reminisce about the attic in my parent’s house which became a graveyard for printers, scanners, fax machines and mysterious cables that no one cablescould reasonably identify.  All guys have a “location” for those cables and cords that came with the electronic stuff.  The vast majority of these cables won’t ever get used and will, in fact, probably never leave their plastic wrap and/or twisty tie.  This is only partially because we don’t really know what they all do.  It’s also because the odds are off the charts that we already have a cable exactly like the one that came with the “new gadget.”  The Mrs. HTF asks me frequently to “organize” (by which she means throw away) the plastic tote that houses my cable stash.  I’ll poke around a bit and then put the lid back on realizing 3 things at roughly the same time:

1. I don’t know what many of these even do or which gadget they came with

2. In spite of #1 – it’s guaranteed that someday, somehow I will desperately need one of these things to save the world and/or to transfer video

3. I think there’s a game on the TV I need to watch now

Of course, this is a totally rational reaction to the problem.  I’ll probably address it later by spending a crazy amount of money on a newer version of whatever that comes with cables that aren’t compatible with the older version, thus rendering those old cable obsolete.  Too bad I’ll never be able to ID the old ones, but that’s beside the point.  Now I have something newer to play with.


rlsecor said...

I will vouch for the fact that this particular weakness is carried on the Y chromosome. You may want to have your support system at your side before reading my next comment. Ready?

Someone (and i'm not saying who, Matt) in our house has recently discovered REALLY CHEAP cables on They've been showing up once a week. Who knows what they're for.

If it gets real bad there might be a 12 step group for it, or you could go on Ellen, Oprah, or I know Dr. Phil. I've seena girl who had 800 baskets in her house.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. Now I am definitely going to donate your "important" cable box.

agm said...

Really Cheap Cables = Title of my next album

I'm usually 10 years behind the times on the latest electronic stuff--my sister usually just instructs me on what I "need" or "must have" or "should get."

Regardless of that fact, I still have a Rubbermaid bin full of cables. I have no idea what they belong to. There are also some telephone wires and cords and old cell phones thrown in there for good measure.

So the other day I had to set up my new cable box with my Tivo. I was very confused because the instructions with the cable box showed how to hook it up to your "VCR." What is one of those VCR things and how do I get one??

So I spent, no joke, two hours trying to figure out how to hook everything up when I suddenly remembered the Rubbermaid stash (title of my LAST album). After spending another couple of hours wrestling around with those cords, & at some point ending up with everything being shown in black and white (??!), it kinda works. I'm not sure how I did it & I now can't change the channel when the Tivo is recording, but now I'm TOTALLY scared to throw out anything again from that Rubbermaid bin. I even save all the little twist ties that tie up the cords for....I'm not sure what reason. In case I run out of ones to close my loaves of bread??


P.S. I had to laugh the other day - had a training course where the last Power Point just said, "FIN." Was that a shout out to the agm or just the work of a frustrated attorney who moonlights as a European avant garde filmmaker working in Power Point??

P.P.S. Also going on during that presentation - someone forgot to mute their phone on the conference call and either had a lot of gas or was asleep the whole time. I'm not sure. The moderator kept asking everyone to make sure his/her phone was muted because we were hearing a lot of "feedback." Hhahahah New favorite slang term for snoring and/or gas.

Kevin said...

Ha I have a similar drawer. My wife keeps urging me to chuck that stuff since "I never use it", but you never know when a 4 ft. coaxial cable will come in handy (maybe to thwart burglars or tie up the kids when they're misbehaving?)!

I did manage to 'thin it out' recently, but it took lots of heavy breathing into a paper bag and lots of wincing to get the job done. I think I threw out 3 whole cables! :)

Michaela Stephens said...

My husband has 3 large drawers of cables to various tech-geek stuff. My strategy for dealing with it has been to label with a sticky tag every single new cable that comes into the house, no matter how obvious it is what it goes to. Because I know that sooner or later, whatever gizmo it belongs to will fall out of favor and then be neglected and we'll forget what the cable was used for.

Thus, printer cables.. labeled.
GPS, digital camera, power supplies, scanner, router, etc.etc.etc. cables allllllll labeled.

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