Farmer File

As I began to write a column about collecting antique radios, I realized I had left my eye glasses, um, elsewhere, not in the home office where I sat, blurringly looking at my computer.

Hence this column. Later for the old radios.  

Not sure where I had left the spectacles, I began a familiar trek around the house. If we had wall-to-wall carpeting, my path of looking for lost stuff would be visible in the carpet.

First, I checked my pockets, then my desk, then a bookshelf, then my pockets again, the book shelf again, pushing books around in case the glasses were hiding.

I found a pen and a bookmark. No glasses. Same with the desk drawers, behind the computer, a nearby windowsill. No glasses. You may know the drill. I looked and looked, in the fridge ice maker, the dog’s food bowl and under a dusty book of Khalil Gibran’s wise old sayings.

Maybe good thoughts would help, so I thumbed through the Lebanese prophet’s work for the first time since my sophomore year in college, when I carried it instead of a pocket protector, hoping to impress a girl.

The only pithy Gibran comment I recalled was, “Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’”

At that moment I’d rather have found my glasses than any particular truth.

For many of us, searching for stuff is a regular feature of daily life. Like flossing.

Time goes by fast enough without being wasted, lost or frittered away searching for things that never seem to stay where we put them.

Car keys, TV remotes, wallets and purses, even household pets can and do get misplaced, displaced or forgotten. Finding them can take valuable time from one’s “To Do” list. And that includes losing the “To Do” list.

In trying to find a solution, I had two ideas.  First, I’d think of a gizmo or gadget to find things for me. Pondering that, it occurred that maybe, just maybe, before I spend hours inventing a way to save the day, I should make sure someone else had not already done that — invented a non-quixotic solution.

After all, someone already invented a way to find our missing smart phones, be they in my other jeans or somehow left behind in another zip code. Just phone the phone.

A quick visit via Google dumped a download of device websites on my desktop, accompanied by a blizzard of opinions as to how well they work. Or don’t.

“Don’t waste your money. They didn’t work,” one cranky consumer opined. But another customer was thrilled.

“We’ve had great success with this product. The transmitter’s range detected keys left inside the car in our garage one level below.”

One fence-sitting buyer of a locator device wrote, “You may get a worthwhile unit or you may not, and you don’t find out until you have an emergency.’

All this suggests there’s room for someone to build a better mousetrap, so to speak. If that is you, congratulations. But be careful not to forget where you put it. There’s probably no app for that.

A serious note: A free smart phone app reminds people never to leave their babies in the car. It’s “Baby Reminder” in the iPhone app store. It’s free.

don@donfarmer.com

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