Monday, October 21, 2019

AHhhh! - This is What Happens When You Don't Follow Procedures

What works for me, the key to living in small places, or just about anywhere, without going any more crazy than I already am, is organization.

Now I'm not saying this works for everyone.

Take The Wife for example. Give her a flat spot and within the hour she'll pile random crap up on it and sometimes a piece of that crap ends up going missing for months.

We have also lost important papers and Netflix mailers because when she needs to make a list, despite the stack of fresh little notebooks in her drawer, she grabs the nearest thing available instead and starts writing. Right-side up, upside down, sideways, whatever fits.

She tries to organize all these little scraps on the way, but when we get to the store it's not unusual for her to hand me a stack of crumpled bits and pieces of random papers, once including a check we were supposed to deposit and was now written all over, for me to sort through and try to organize so we aren't running from one side of a mega-mart to the other and back again as we work through the "list".

After nearly 40 years I've rubbed off on her a little and now keeping track of the car keys is only a part-time job, not the full-time, call-in-search-and-rescue job it used to be. But that has only gone just so far and certainly doesn't apply to her little flip-phone which tends to wander off into all sorts of strange nooks and crannies that often require me making multiple calls on my own phone while wandering around, inside and out, to ferret out the latest hiding place of hers.

Organization doesn't have to include logic.

Take the lowest shelf of the slide-out pantry in The Van for example.

On it you will find an eclectic, logical-less collection of stuff. Small jigsaw puzzles for those rainy days, (100 piece puzzles for waiting out a passing storm, 300 piece puzzles for a soggy afternoon.) a bag full of the dried soups I often use as part of lunch during hikes, and a couple of chemical cold-compresses because, as we are about to establish in the next two posts, I am an Idiot and sometimes Idiots end up getting hurt. (See here for a notable example)

So there doesn't have to be logic to organization, just as long as there is consistency which allows me to be able to quickly find each of these objects because they are always right where they belong.

Except when they're not. . .

On the first morning of this latest camping trip, as I was preparing to do some biking, I discovered an issue. An issue that was the direct result of me not following my own procedures for organization.

I have, as shone in the photo above, these clips by Peak Design. The one on the lower right pretty much permanently attached to the waistband of my pack and the other one to the water-bottle/sunscreen-bug juice carrier I sling on the handlebar of my bike.

There's a matching piece, a base, that attaches to my camera via the tripod socket, and the base then slips into the clip.

That way my camera is secure and out of the way as I'm hiking or biking, but with a quick, one-handed press of that little red button on the clip, the base, and camera, slides off and into my hand.

I can just as quickly slip the camera back into the clip when I'm done.

Except today that base wasn't were it belonged. - Because I didn't follow procedures.

When it's on the camera the base blocks the hatch to the battery and memory card, as well as preventing the camera from standing flat on it's bottom, so I don't leave the base attached to the camera all the time.

When not on the camera I slide the base into one of the clips. (Organization doesn't always have to follow logic, but sometimes it just makes sense.)

Well - most the time anyway - Every time except this one!

The instant I saw the base wasn't where it was supposed to be, I knew just where it was.

Can you see it there on my "computer desk" out in the barn?

The barn that's some 500 miles away. . .

Yep, right there where I put it last May when I got back from a trip to Michigan and went to extract the photos of said trip from the camera.

In the intervening months I looked at that base countless times and, for some reason I still don't understand, rather than simply walk it around the side of the barn to The Van and put it back where it belongs, I convinced myself that when I headed out on the next trip and picked up the camera, which lives there on the "desk" between trips so it's handy, I would also pick up the base.

Except that I didn't.

For the bike trip I was getting ready to take when I made this disappointing discovery, I just threw the camera in the small pack that goes on the rear-carrier, though instead of just stopping and unclipping the camera from where it hangs there on the handlebars when I wanted to take a shot, I had to stop, climb off, and zip open the carrier. Enough of a pain to remind me every time of my lapse in organization.

Fortunately I carry a couple of left-over neck straps in The Van and with one of them was also able to weave it through the straps of my pack and fashion a functional, though not near as convenient, way to carry the camera on my hikes.

The men in The Wife's family have an uncanny knack for shooting themselves in the foot.

No! Seriously! It goes back for generations, and I'm talking literally. It seems like a right of passage or something.

And now, after all these years, I guess a bit of her family genes rubbed off on me when I wasn't looking and I managed to shoot myself in the foot this time, figuratively anyway.


  1. LOL ... great post. Glad to read that my brain cells might not be as far out of calibration as I accuse them at times. You need to come up with something for use to use, eat, drink or rub that is 100% guaranteed to work ... that would regenerate brain cells in the lobe of memory and dissolve procrastination. Organization is a good thing to keep sane. I agree.

    1. I hear that booze doesn't actually calibrate brain cells, but does make it so you don't care. . .