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Friday Slide Show: Ode to the Extension Cord Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

18 December 2020

We have to begin by apologizing to all those young parents who took our advice and watched the Memphis Ballet's free online performance of The Nutcracker. We've heard that it required a number of costume changes by the resident prima ballerina. And we don't mean Mom.

To make up for it, we're presenting our own lower-overhead ballet today. It's an Ode to the Extension Cord, whose virtues we celebrate this time every year. Twisting, twirling, stretching, looping -- just like a real ballerina. And also just like a real ballerina, quite electrifying.

Perhaps we exaggerate.

But we did a little research. And these 50-foot SO cord are professional, too. The 'SO' is an acronym in which the 'S' identifies it as 600 volt service cord and the 'O' indicates it has an oil resistant outer jacket.

What's it for (if not ballets)? We consulted our panel of electrical experts and found this definition repeated in several places on the Web:

SO cord is a portable cord, also known as portable cordage or flexible cord. SO cord is a power cable with multiple conductors used for functions requiring flexibility. The cord may be used for power tools, machinery and other hard wired and extension cord applications.

You know, an extension cord. And how did we come across it?

After we bought Strathmore Photo Cards from Flax's at Fort Mason, we thought we'd walk out to the end of one of the piers to take a few shots.

The minute we left the store, it started to rain. And we'd just told the clerk we didn't need a bag. Brilliant.

So we stuffed the two packs of cards under our jacket and took out our Nikon D200 with the 43-86mm Nikkor still mounted on it (we just can't get enough of that combination). What's a little water to a Nikon body, anyway?

We took the obligatory shot of Alcatraz and a couple of the bridge and then decided we were wet enough to come home honorably. On the way back to dry land (as it's called euphemistically), we hung close to the side of the warehouse and there at our feet we stumbled across this colorful cord dancing in the rain.

We thought it would make an amusing series. So we started lining up shots every few feet (well, every 50 feet exactly). The finale was a bit of an anti-climax, but it brought a smile to our face nonetheless.

Now just imagine the music is The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy played on the celesta, a sort of piano that uses bells instead of strings. If it sends a shiver down your spine we'll consider amends have been made.

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