Radio (crack) Shack

Or, what happened to all the crap I bought?

Back in the late 70s when I was a teenager my first retail job was working at Radio Shack. It wasn’t an official job as I was paid ‘under the table’, but at the time it seemed official to me. I stocked shelves and in turn got paid in electronic components. To me this was the perfect job. Not only did I get a chance to hang out at my favorite store and browse the products, but I could pick out one component package for each hour I worked. Decades later I found that Radio Shack definatly came out ahead in their investment; this was like giving out free samples of crack.
This weekend I found a small cash of receipts that, for one reason or another, I kept from decades of Radio Shack visits. Finding these receipts gave me a feeling of slightly depressing nostalgia. There were dozens of receipts for hundreds of components, and I don’t have a single gadget to show for all the work. Where did all these parts go? Have I wasted all these years and hundreds of dollars buying stuff from Radio Shack? What is the point of it all?
I mentioned this to my lovely wife and as usual she demonstrated her wisdom and clarity of thought with three simple words. “It’s a Hobby”. Those three words seem to hold so much information. Basically she is saying that it is ok to piddle away my time and money without anything to show for it because it makes me happy and doesn’t cause any harm. Also I probably learned something along the way. So relax and don’t worry about it.

This defines all hobbies in one way or another.

Now I buy most of my electronic components from Sparkfun or Adafruit. And yes I keep the packing slips. In another decade or two I will probably find these slips of paper and wonder why I kept the damn things and what became of all the crap I made.

Hopefully my lovely wife will give me the same answer as before.

It’s a Hobby.


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