A charge to keep

Normally, the ideas I have for making my life simpler and easier come only after a long period of doing things the hard way. Last week, though, I had two good ideas right away. They were small ideas, but they made me happy.

I was in Costco and saw this atrociously overpackaged1 set of rechargeable batteries with charger.

With the sun setting earlier every day, I’ll be using my bike lights more often; some extra batteries and a charger for my office would come in handy. The price was right, so I bought the package and took it to work.

The charger came with a teeny-tiny manual2 that contained instructions that are pretty obvious (1. Insert batteries into charger; 2. Plug charger into wall) and a teeny-tiny table to help you interpret the charger’s not-so-obvious indicator lights.

My first good idea was to take the teeny-tiny manual to the copy machine, blow the table up to a readable size, and tape it onto the front of the charger.

Now I don’t have to remember

  1. what the lights mean; or
  2. where I put the teeny-tiny manual.

My second good idea followed from the first. Recognizing that’d I’d almost certainly misplace the teeny-tiny manual, I went to Sanyo’s web page for the charger, downloaded a PDF of the manual, and put it in my ~/doc folder, where I keep manuals of all sorts.

Now when the table taped to the charger gets torn or smudged beyond legibility, I can print out a new one from the PDF.

Not exactly earthshattering brilliance, but I was glad to have had these ideas before I found myself needing to know what the lights mean.


  1. The picture on the package memorializes the tree that gave its life for it. 

  2. The manual is as frugal as the packaging is extravagant. 


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