Everything — or nearly everything — runs on batteries. Rechargeable batteries. Laptops, tablets, Kindles, cellphone, headphones, cameras, mouses (mice have fur and make squeaky noises, mouses attach to your computer using USB transmission), GPS, clocks, flashlights, remote controls, electric razors, tooth cleaning machines, and a mind-numbing array of other small electronic devices I can’t remember until I need them. Even our bed has a remote control … and it runs on four rechargeable AAA batteries.


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 big 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 a power strip. Every strip is as full as the size and shape the chargers allow.


Power strips are mostly 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 3 devices that require electricity. Fortunately, I never use more than one at a time because only one will fit. The other socket is unusable. One charger blocks both outlets. Always.

black and white wires power lines

I don’t typically notice how dependent we are on batteries until I’m packing for vacation. An entire carry-on is allocated to chargers and batteries and that’s just for stuff we use while we travel: laptops, accessories, Kindles, phone, mouses, etc. 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 this. In fact, given the scandal of the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 batteries, it’s surprisingly timely.


Our world depends on electronics and those gadgets are dependent on batteries. All 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 society would disintegrate, becoming a jungle in which every person will fight to the death for a working battery.


Categories: Cameras, Computers, Humor, Life, Technology, Travel

Tags: , , , , , ,

34 replies

  1. The only place there’s anything resembling that weaving loom of wires is behind the hard drive where my computer, monitor, printer, modem and router are all plugged into (Actually, I just looked and something is plugged into the outlet the strip is plugged into… probably the modem). Thankfully, batteries for my camera (maybe once a month) and my hardly used cell phone (maybe once in a blue moon) are the only things I need to recharge, and that’s what I use the bathroom outlet for. It’s the only place I can plug them in where the cats won’t get the wires…


    • Most of the wire mess are camera chargers. Fewer these days as I’m gradually passing along all my spare equipment. I still don’t understand WHY each camera has to have a different battery than any other camera.


      • My feelings exactly. Batteries used to be uniform and companies built their devices to use standard batteries, of which there were many to choose from. You could find a replacement at the corner convenience market, supermarket, drugstore, hardware store and today, Batteries Plus. To get a battery for your cell phone or camera you have to go to a specialty shop or order it online. Many electronics stores only carry batteries to fit the model cameras they sell. It’s crazy depending on these things.


  2. I so agree- those strips drive me crazy with not being able to get the plugs in!! grrrrr…….


  3. We live in an old house with old wiring. Plug one thing more than the grid can handle and our entire house goes dark. It’s a delicate balance.

    From what I hear and read, the power strip is going the way of the Dodo soon, and everything will be powered by usb ports. New houses are being built with usb ports in the outlets as well as regular outlets, eventually old fashioned power strips will be usb power strips. I already have a usb power strip that i plug accessories for my computer into. It plugs into my computer. There’s also a usb port on my bed (which is adjustable so it’s plugged into the wall) that I use to charge my phone at night, and my Kindle whenever it needs it (luckily, they have the same jack). It’s better than trying to find a place on the power strip, that’s fersure. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard that blu-ray was going to replace regular DVD. About a decade ago. I have heard that tablets will replace laptops and everyone will do everything on telephones or phablets or tablets. I hear a lot of things and about 20% of them actually happen — partially and never as predicted. I’m sure many things will be USB because many already are, but electricity is at the root of all of it.

      USB doesn’t work without electricity. Nothing works without electricity. The internet is only available as long as the power is on. At the bottom of it all is electricity. Generated by oil, coal, water, sun, or wind. All my strips have a few USB ports on them, but if I’m going to hook them into the strip, it doesn’t matter much whether it’s to the USB port (powered by electricity) or directly to the electricity itself. Same thing, except one step more with the USB.

      Unless someone comes up with an alternative to electric power, we may use different paddles, but we’re all still in the same kayak.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t mean to imply that electricity was going away, just that it’s being streamlined. USB ports are way more uniform than plugs are. 🙂


        • I get that. What I think, though is that we aren’t — any of us, me included — really facing up to the fact that the bottom line has not changed and until it does, the future isn’t so beautiful. Because we will need more and more energy and we haven’t come up with a single viable alternative to fossil fuels.


          • It’s not that we haven’t found alternatives, but rather it boils down to politics and money. Companies came up with ways to use solar energy and wind, but the utilities don’t want to give up anything they make money on. This has caused a minor revolt in that industry to the point where people who’ve embraced making their own electricity are now being charged.., er.. punished for doing so. This is counter to the original purpose of self sufficiency. As a consequence, for instance, the solar industry in Nevada has pulled out of that state because of harassment by the power companies and local government. Go figure.., the Sun lives in Nevada and Arizona. The difference is Arizona is still exploring the use of solar power. California is milking the Santa Ana winds with acres of wind mills. What choices are there for the rest of the country., will we learn to harness hurricanes and tornadoes?


  4. Do we call this progress?


  5. I have learned another english word that I did not know – power strip. All the new stuff I only get in German and have no idea what the english say. Power strips are everywhere also here. The problem being that they now have to have this childrens safety thing and you almost need a hammer to fit them in. I try every holes until my plug goes with no resistance, which is not very often. I have never found a power point in a bathroom in england. apparently they are not wanted where there is water. My friend as to use her tooth shower in the kitchen because she has no power in the bathroom.


    • For a while, they wouldn’t put outlets in bathrooms here, but they invented some special versions that apparently are waterproof. But you get no more than one outlets with two plugs. Nothing fits in them properly. Every since this childproofing took over, I can’t fit plugs in sockets, can’t get the lids off medication, can’t use a lighter for a candle. It’s particularly ironic since nothing was childproof when I actually had a child. Now, when my GRANDDAUGHTER is 20, everything is childproof. Amazing our kids survived, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pretty timely since I’ve just bought two converters to take on a trip this week in order to charge phones, tablets, and cameras. When I travel in the car, I haul that dreaded strip with me to the hotel so I can keep track of them all in one place. 🙂


  7. And in the end of days, it will be the one with the biggest power cord who rules them all.


  8. Marilyn wrote; “Everything — or nearly everything — runs on batteries.” I might add, Including a few items that threaten to take the place of a meaningful relationship.., some of you KNOW what I’m referring to.


  9. Wow, that tangle of power strips and wires scares the heck out of me – although I admit I haven’t looked behind my own computer desk recently.


    • It’s not as bad as it looks. Remember, they are chargers and most of them are empty at any given time. I keep them plugged in for convenience, but they aren’t drawing more than a slight trickle of power. The bigger issue is finding the right charger when I need it. I never remember which one goes with which battery, so I have to keep trying till I get it right. I have since gotten two MORE strips and put them in the living room so I can have some space handy for the telephone and some frequently used cameras. That office has become a closet. An untidy closet.


      • After we got Puppy Cody, I had to start hiding power cords, chargers, and anything else electronic, or at least putting everything up high so she couldn’t reach. My other dogs never paid any attention to such stuff, but Cody loved (and still loves, unfortunately) to eat my cell phone if she can get to it, although at least now she leaves the power cords alone.


        • Bonnie chewed a little bit, but stopped quickly and Gibbs made a pass at one cord, then never again. Phew. A cord chewer is always in danger of becoming a dogburger.

          We had one dog — Tinker — that loved to eat ALL electronics. She cost us a fortune over her lifetime … and she lived a long life. You couldn’t leave ANYTHING where she could get it. It really made life difficult for us. I didn’t know HOW difficult until after she was gone. It took us a year to feel safe leaving anything out where the dogs might get to it.

          Liked by 1 person

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