Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Charging Stations

   In the course of rearranging and reorganizing over the past couple days, one thing we needed to deal with was our charging stations. These are areas we've designated for charging our phones, game controllers, laptops, etc. (I know, I know, people think I want to drag humanity backwards two-hundred years. The truth is, I just want to take the real wisdom and truth from the past and apply it to the wisdom and truth of the present. I'm all for technology, innovation, and efficiency, just not at the expense of ourselves or Ma Nature. But I digress...) We have tried to set up convenient locations to charge things without having vampire power constantly running up our bill.

   We have a HYmini with four small solar chargers (the solar chargers our ours, the HYmini is actually borrowed, but that's a whole other story). We can charge our phones and anything else that has a USB power connector. That sits in one of the south-facing windows in the living room and usually works great for one phone at a time.

   For game controllers and/or two or more phones, we have a single power strip (with a surge protector) with all the various chargers plugged into it. The catch is, you have to remember to turn the power strip on when you want to charge something (not too difficult) and then remember to turn it off when you're done (a lot more difficult, it turns out).

   While reorganizing I was faced with the question of what to do with a one-foot tall, light-up Las Vegas  sign. The sign is plastic and a little tacky -- it lights up just like the real thing -- but my wife and I got married in Vegas and this was a wedding present from some dear friends who were there for the celebration. Be it what it may, it will always possess a place in our hearts and our living space.

   How do we remember to turn off the power strip when stuff is done charging?

   ...and where should we display the Vegas/wedding sign?


   Two questions solve themselves. I set the Vegas sign up on the charging station power strip so that it lights up and flashes whenever the power strip is on. Testing so far has proved the solution to be solid. Don't get me wrong -- the Vegas sign holds sentimental value that continues to make it a part of our lives. It just happens to also make a great visual cue that can't be missed.

   Re-wiring the office / music room / studio will be a whole other story...

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