In his article Cutting The Cords That Bind You, Ayal Hurst writes "Our bodies are electrical in make-up. Within and without, our beings operate like telephone circuits, sending impulses through the nerves to connect with and communicate to other energy impulses. We are all interconnected on the Great Energy Grid of Life, and thoughts travel with the speed of lightning around the grid, connecting one to another.
This isn't a blog about that kind of cord that binds us. Hmm! Instead, it addresses one of those little things in life that don't matter at all but are very persistently annoying. Electrical cords.
When I visit other countries, many of the tourists I travel with are overwhelmed and horrified when they see, in many cities, masses of electric cords above the streets.
Well, okay. After all, these places are very crowded and poverty is prevalent. The country doesn't have the money to invest in undergrounding the wires. Plus, with such low incomes, it's not surprising people tap into the city's electricity. But we don't have to look that far away to see the same thing.
Sometime during my twenty-five years of foreign travel, I had an epiphany. I don't think I could pinpoint it, or even remember which trip it was, but when I came home and tried to catch up on the cleaning that hadn't been done while I'm away … bam! There it was.
Do you have plug extensions in your house? Do you have masses of wires and cords behind your computer desk, some of them from older setups not even connected to anything? Overloaded outlets?
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Obviously, during the past twenty-plus years the number of outlets needed by the average household has multiplied until now, it would be a long exercise to list everything in your house you plug in with a power cord. And another fact of life is that most houses, even recently-built ones, don't have enough outlets for the average needs. The scant number of those provided are not located in the most functional locations and are not installed at the correct height.
THE SHARK TANK
Solving a Two-Pronged Problem
Considering all the innovative electronics and the accessories we have to be plugged into an electrical socket, including cars, you'd think someone would have come up with an effective and reasonable way to manage the deluge of power cords. When I say reasonable, I mean inexpensive enough to be within reach of most people who have this problem, easy to clean around, and easy enough for an fat old lady with severe arthritis in her hands to actually use.
There are a numerous products on the market … whether they are reasonable or not I can't say about most. Our best inventors are hard at work to solve the problems.
● Problem 1 - Increasing the number of outlets
During the mid- to late-twentieth century the common solutions were devices plugged into the current outlet, expanding two service receptacle into four or six, and extension cords.
Look at the size of the computer plugs we had to accommodate. (Below - right)
● Problem 2 – Managing the many cords
Managing the many cords of our lives depends on several approaches. The first is bundling them, binding them together, and then covering them up.
I've tried a few of these, in particular the Tidy Tube style. It took forever to get the cords inside the tube. Then, a few weeks later, I had to take them all out to get at one cord. By the way, they have the sidewinder in black, but I love the one that resembles a black and yellow snake.
● Problem 3 – Making the solutions more aesthetic
Keeping the cords separated and making them more aesthetic
I have to say, aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder. These first four products are samples of humorous or cute ways to keep individual cord separate and untangled. The second four are samples to making the cords look better or less detectable.
● Reducing the number of required Outlets needed
One way of accomplishing this is to have a charger that uses one outlet but can charge multiple devices, often at the same time. This approach is viable and useful. I found the one I had, just a flat surface, required a lot of fiddling around to find the correct position for the device in order to charge. It got to be a hassle, and I quit using it. Hopefully, other brands don't require that.
Okay. I've vented. I'm getting off my soap box now.