Sometimes it’s the little things about life, that will soon be forgotten because of their trivial nature, that hold my interest the most. That’s what’s on my mind tonight. A couple of things of no consequence in this big old world of ours but things that, none the less, I find interesting even if in a fleeting fashion. The first starts like this.

I have a bunch of battery chargers that I use. Mainly it’s three of them though. A single charger for all my double A and triple A batteries, a charger for my pocket sized camera, and a charger for my larger camera. The camera ones are a pain to store because each is basically a small plastic box (4″x3″x2″ or so) with a three foot electrical cord attached to it. The cord is heavier than the box so if I set the box on a shelf the weight of the cord will drag it off. Not even, “Can drag it off” but, “Will drag it off”. It’s inevitable. Plus all the cords get tangled up.

All that is not quite my small observational point. My point is actually dust. When using a charger I plug it into an out of the way electric outlet. It has to be an out of the way on or it would probably already be in use. The one I happen to use also has my alarm clock plugged into it. Since the alarm clock never needs to be unplugged and the battery chargers always need to be unplugged I’m always a little nervous about unplugging the wrong one. One simple observation keeps me from doing just that. The alarm clock plug has a coating of dust on it. And I keep it on there. Clean one: unplug. Dusty one: don’t unplug. How is that for a system?

My second little observation this evening is also about my alarm clock. It is one of those things that got to be real old without me noticing it. It is about twenty six years old now. I bought it when I went off to college. I already had a similar alarm clock that I left at home. It’s your basic red LED alarm clock from the early Eighties. It shows me the time, beeps when I want it too, and has a snooze button that I never use. That’s all it does. No radio. No weather station. No ambient noise generator. All it does is wake me up. I’m one of those people who is usually up before the alarm but it wakes me up when I’m not.

I’ve always wanted to replace my alarm clock. Everyone I know seems to have a fancier one. I have this strange alarm clock envy because other people seem to put a lot more thought into their alarm clocks than I do. It’s like I’m missing out on something. But, of course, I’m not. Every time I think about replacing my alarm clock I come to the same conclusion. I don’t want to. I want my alarm clock to do one thing. Wake me up at the appointed time. I want to turn it on and turn it off. That’s it. I don’t want to fiddle with it.

When a person’s alarm clock fails them it usually comes down to user error. A fancy alarm clock with all sorts of radios and such comes with all sorts of switches. Toggle the wrong one and you’re sleeping in that morning. “My alarm somehow got switched off”, is a normal excuse. Like alarms switch themselves off. If an alarm clock has too many uses it easy to throw the wrong switch. On. Off. That’s all I need.

“My alarm broke”, is the other excuse I’ve heard many times. How the heck to you break an alarm clock? Mine has been going fine for twenty six years. It sits there on the shelf all day doing nothing so it can’t break. With a fancy radio/alarm clock a person is always messing with it. Music on. Music off. Plenty of opportunity for something to break. I’ve had lots of music players break in the time that I’ve had one alarm clock. Don’t mix the two machines. It’s like mixing a photocopier with a car. It just makes the car less reliable.

Dust as a marker and alarm clocks. Two mundane things that don’t get much examination in this world. But sometimes I like to write about the mundane. It’s the only way it might get remembered. Or not. Even I don’t remember a lot of the stuff I’ve written about on this blog over the years. But that is the purpose of writing things down. So I don’t have to remember everything.