Another factor of diagnosing T.A.S. is in *knowing* that you really don't need the desired item, but also knowing, in fact surrendering to the fact, that you *will* buy it anyway.
I was recently at a friend's where we spent some time going through his enourmous collection of tying materials - with the intended purpose of discarding the "useless" stuff, or giving it away to someone who can use it. There were many thing that were 30+ years old, chinese capes, for instance, anf those old chinese capes are just really horrible, and the newer ones are so mucg better - and cheap.
So they were placed in a bag to be given away. And on we went - talking about why sometimes we buy so much stuff. With natural tying materials, I too tend to buy "enough" when I see something really good - a quality that might never some back. Or when I find materials that are hard to come by today.
We ended up discarding lots of materials, which by a 20-year old standard were good, but it was interesting to see how the quality of standard shelf-items (not cherry picked pieces) had increased a lot. Fox tail, for instance, which is very popular here in Scandinavia. Those 20+ year old pieces that I also tied with (but have used up loooong ago) are simply not up to a shelf-piece-standard today.
We joked, and agreed that maybe we shouldn't panic, and instead accept that standards increase all the time, and not buy to stock in the same quantities anymore. And then, a few days ago I was visiting a tacklestore, and came a cross some really nice, snow-white mink zonkerstrips. I like white for zonkers (for instance, this fly also works very well with a white mink strip, especially in smaller sizes). So these were nice, really *white* and fairly thin cut, the skin was fairly thin and I thought: "Hmm, I better take 4-5 packs - you never know when you come across this quality again!" Mind you - this was after I had spent a day sorting through my friend's stuff.
But this was differnt, because the quality was perfect, I really do use maybe half a packa year, and so 4-5 packs wasnøt "overshopping", I convinced myself. I came home, and left one pack on the desk for a few flies this weekend, and put the rest in the box - together with the 8 packs I had already...
And what's the conclusion? I don't know... Maybe that I have enough white mink zonker for a long time, maybe to go through my own stuff soon, if not to discard, then simply to make a sort of mental inventory, so maybe, just maybe, next time I see a nice material, I'll (hopefully) only buy some if it's significantly better than something I have already.
Have a nice weekend!