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Trebuchet
2010-Oct-24, 12:04 AM
Now that I've retired, I've gotten up the nerve to try to clean up a home office space that has been neglected for a few years. Ok, more than a few. One of the things I've left til last is the desk drawers.

The one I'm currently working on contained, in addition to the expected Pens That Don't Work:
Never-activated credit cards that expired in 2006.
My business cards from my last job, using a phone number from about 1995.
And cards from the job before that, which I left in 1989.
And cards from the job before that!
Deposit slips for our bank account, with a number that was changed about 10 years ago.
Deposit slips from a previous bank that no longer exists.
A drafting machine wrench. (Anyone know what that is? Anyone?)
About 15 large plastic paper clips.
Covers for ISA slots on computers we haven't owned in years.
Little stickers to write-protect 5-1/4 floppy disks. (Disks were in a different drawer.)
A little block of wood, about 1.0" by 5/8" by 3/8". What on earth was that for?
Keys to FSM knows what.

And there are about three more drawers like that one. Oh my, it's been too long.

Time to quit for tonight and get dinner, then watch Bull Riding. Anyone else watch the PBR?

swampyankee
2010-Oct-24, 12:18 PM
I do remember drafting machines! Of course, my pocket calculator is older than most of the students in the education classes I'm taking.

ngc3314
2010-Oct-24, 07:44 PM
Not close to retired, but did some archaeology while moving offices a year ago.

Russian grammar review cards handwritten in college circa 1975.

Liquid-ink pen and pantograph lettering set. Drawing compasses, 360-degree protractors (still occasionally useful in planning spectra).

Machine aluminum whatsits designed to show what we'd learned in the week-long machining class we had to take in grad school (mostly so we wouldn't design physically impossible widgets). Small front-surface mirror made to practice aluminizing during that same quarter.

Campus parking map circa 1987 (no longer remotely helpful).

Set of microfilm spools with high-contrast shots of all the Lunar Orbiter photographs (definitely from a previous life).

NASA Goddard IUE observer's badge (with only a three-digit serial number).

And, alas, my HP-55 ceased functioning after having the finicky alignment of its power cord disturbed during the move. I suppose 35 years' use made it a good investment.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-24, 07:53 PM
We've moved. Last night was a search for the bag of my shoes, the missing box of kitchen implements, and two missing library DVDs. I found my shoes.

I also found a couple of boxes of Graham's army clothes, a box labeled "another cunning way of saying books," actually about a third full of books, my bathrobe which has been missing since we had the flood in December, a box of Gwen's mother's art which also included a poster from the classroom of a teacher who died when I was in her class, the box with my light-up Moon, and several boxes now labeled "misc. stuff of Graham's" and so forth which didn't get gone through more thoroughly because I was on a mission. At least now I know which ones need sorting.

Salty
2010-Oct-24, 08:00 PM
I'm an amateur anthropologist, who's bookshelves reveal, among other things: 1959 and '60 Yearbooks from Sophomore and Junior years in Senior High School and my 1961 year book from MCRD San Diego (Marine boot camp).
On another shelf in the back room, are the published books of one Thor Hyerdahl, except for published papers.
One of the shelves on that same piece of furniture has one Jewish English translation Holy Scriptures, one Holy Bible and two English interpretations of the Quran.
Right beneath that shelf, among this and that, is a 1952 PTA handbook from my Mother's effects.

(On a shelf in the garage are boxes containing my Apple //c computer and the Epsom MX80 printer it was connected to. The little computer was one of the original 1984 models, that can't be upgraded. I was still printing out papers in 2000 with that. I never got around to contacting the Smithsonian to see if they wanted a working '84 Apple //c).

And, right here on my computer desk in the living room is the Microsoft Windows 98 for Power Users. Oh, I can't find my textbook from a junior college class on Windows 95, back before the turn of the century/millenium.

I am still contemplating that I had no special feeling, when the century and millenium changed. A really big event, there. Maybe it's too big for me to grasp.

Trebuchet
2010-Oct-24, 08:03 PM
That's the value of a move.

To all my younger BAUT friends, I say this: Move your primary residence every five years, whether you need to or not. Otherwise stuff will accumulate without end. We've been in this house 30 years. I'm now realizing that's perhaps 25 too long.

Unfortunately, about half the stuff from the drawers is now spread all over the top of the desk and the floor, waiting for me to figure out how to arrange it. Of course, there are still three more drawers looming in the other desk. And the boxes of stuff from my work desk!

Gillianren
2010-Oct-24, 09:03 PM
Actually, my goal is to buy a house so we never have to move again. I hate moving. It's tedious and painful--in my case physically--and I'm still not planning to get rid of 95% or better of my stuff. Going through boxes occasionally has the same effect for less trouble.

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-24, 09:11 PM
... Move your primary residence every five years, whether you need to or not. Otherwise stuff will accumulate without end. ...
Or just buy a bin trash bin and use it.

It's ever again refreshing to realize how little one actually needs after having done a tabula rasa to the house and to have the feeling of freedom, not of loss.

Trebuchet
2010-Oct-24, 11:45 PM
Or just buy a bin trash bin and use it.

It's ever again refreshing to realize how little one actually needs after having done a tabula rasa to the house and to have the feeling of freedom, not of loss.

That's the feeling I'm hoping for. Eventually. Right now, I'm looking after FOUR houses -- our main home, our vacation home, my parents' place (for sale! Anyone need a house in Tacoma?) and my mother-in-law's. She lives with us since a fall about 4 years ago but isn't quite ready to part with her house. At least my parents' house is empty. Of course, that means a good portion of the contents are in my garages. Oof!

Atraveller
2010-Oct-25, 12:27 AM
Or just buy a bin trash bin and use it.

It's ever again refreshing to realize how little one actually needs after having done a tabula rasa to the house and to have the feeling of freedom, not of loss.

For nearly twelve years I lived out of two duffle bags (and one of those was full of survival gear) and averaged well less than three months in any one place. It is amazing how liberating not having any "stuff" can be.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-25, 12:53 AM
To me, it isn't liberating at all. It's horribly, horribly depressing. I like having stuff. I like my books, movies, music, computer, sewing machine (brand new!) and assorted accessories and projects, and so forth. I like my cat quite a lot, too, and he's got stuff of his own. Certainly you wouldn't want him to give up his litter box.

Nowhere Man
2010-Oct-25, 03:08 AM
"Three moves is as good as a fire for clearing out stuff" is how my friends put it.

As for urban archaeology, try this article. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8042281/Parisian-flat-containing-2.1-million-painting-lay-untouched-for-70-years.html)

Fred

Salty
2010-Oct-26, 09:11 PM
"Three moves is as good as a fire for clearing out stuff" is how my friends put it.

As for urban archaeology, try this article. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8042281/Parisian-flat-containing-2.1-million-painting-lay-untouched-for-70-years.html)

Fred

I've nothing like that in my house nor garage. That's sure something else.

I, also, am tired of moving. I forget if I've had 40 residences and 60 jobs from 1970 to 1993 (when I moved in here) or if it was 60 residences and 40 jobs. Whichever, I like to think that I am done moving. One thing I don't have is a yard full of vehicles. I drive 'em until they no longer work and scrap them. My '86 Ford E150 van was there from '02 to '08; I finally realized that my dreams of fixing it up were never going to come true and called the wrecking yard to come get it.

I do enjoy watching the TV show about the two men that drive all over, buying collectibles from people. Some of the things they find are fascinating.

Middenrat
2010-Oct-27, 03:39 AM
Thanks to Kleindoofy for reminding me of 'the liberation', years overdue. It seems every article you unburden yourself from frees up corresponding space inside your mind (being very much at a premium in my case).
Just because a thing has value doesn't mean it isn't worthless.

Noclevername
2010-Oct-27, 06:46 PM
I could start a thread on "refrigerator archaeobiology"... I'm pretty sure it's developed its own ecosysytem and evolutionary fossil record by now.

Nowhere Man
2010-Oct-27, 11:04 PM
From a comic strip in my college newspaper lo these many years ago:

"Fellow apartment mates! The time has come to clean the refrigerator! Every time I open the door, something inside pulls it shut again!"

Fred

Atraveller
2010-Oct-28, 01:59 AM
I could start a thread on "refrigerator archaeobiology"... I'm pretty sure it's developed its own ecosysytem and evolutionary fossil record by now.

You really should read Douglas Adams The long dark Tea Time of the Soul (along with being one of the funniest books ever written) it has a refridgerator as one of the characters in the book...

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-28, 04:03 PM
To me, it isn't liberating at all. It's horribly, horribly depressing. I like having stuff. I like my books, movies, music, computer, sewing machine (brand new!) and assorted accessories and projects, and so forth.
I like having stuff too. But my last apartment was close to being a candidate for the TV show Hoarders, so I have to be careful about accumulating too much stuff. I still have my journal that I wrote in from 2001-2003 in my top desk drawer, though.

danscope
2010-Oct-28, 04:51 PM
I am sort of ( sort... it's a pun) going through my cellar, which has a museum of wood. If it is organized, I will have access to what I need, when I need it. Right now, there is a content of 27% kindling, usefull for the fireplace in the living room. I need to get into the proper mood so that the decision making process is less painfull and more expedient. These archeological forays often take up quite a lot of time !
Last time, I found my 1/2 " drive electric ratchet wrench (usefull for driving lag bolts etc). I thought it had been borrowed and couldn't remember who the culprit was .
At least you find your tools ! :)
Dan

rigel
2010-Oct-28, 05:02 PM
I was recently looking for some keys to vairious doors. Found a lot that did not fit anyuthing. Also found 5 1/2 floppy discs, a slide rule and various manuals to appliances I don't have anymore. There are still many unopened boxes (>20yr).

Trebuchet
2010-Oct-28, 05:31 PM
I am sort of ( sort... it's a pun) going through my cellar, which has a museum of wood. If it is organized, I will have access to what I need, when I need it. Right now, there is a content of 27% kindling, usefull for the fireplace in the living room. I need to get into the proper mood so that the decision making process is less painfull and more expedient. These archeological forays often take up quite a lot of time !
Last time, I found my 1/2 " drive electric ratchet wrench (usefull for driving lag bolts etc). I thought it had been borrowed and couldn't remember who the culprit was .
At least you find your tools ! :)
Dan

If you find my 3/8" drill bit, which disappeared right in the middle of trebuchet building when I needed it, please let me know! I did recently find my missing 1/4" drive ratchet set that had been missing for two years. About two weeks after I found one in my late father-in-law's basement. Which happened about two weeks after I broke down and bought a new set.

You should see my museum of hardware from my larger treb-building days. Chains, shackles, hooks, winches, and lots and lots of assorted nuts and bolts. Along with about 700 pounds of barbell plates.

Today is the day I tackle the second desk. I can't even see the desk surface for all the old computer hardware on it.

danscope
2010-Oct-28, 06:42 PM
Yes, I know the feeling. And .... to the untrained eye of inexperience, there is an alien valuestructure. What great fun to build a competitive
trebuchet and enjoy it's glorious performance !!! :)
BTW, That electric ratchet I found costs almost $300 ! You hate to re-purchase these tools... in a big way .
I had someone criticize the threaded rod collection, kept standing in my shop, a couple of weeks ago. Then, that same person , when helping me move my new boiler into position and.... removing the old one , marveled at how I put wood under the boiler and a couple of pieces of threaded rod (1/2 " ) under the wood making a little egyptian railroad , easily moved with a few flatbars .
Sometimes hording pays . Within reason.
And yes, I still keep and use 3 1/2 floppy disks. I still find them convenient . :)
Best regards,
Dan

Gillianren
2010-Oct-28, 07:17 PM
I like having stuff too. But my last apartment was close to being a candidate for the TV show Hoarders, so I have to be careful about accumulating too much stuff. I still have my journal that I wrote in from 2001-2003 in my top desk drawer, though.

I've got my entire stack of diaries from seventh grade to college around here somewhere. And, yes, I've gotten rid of plenty of things in the last month. On the other hand, some of them, I've wanted to get rid of for years and had to wait for Graham to be willing to rid himself of his old army clothes.

Trebuchet
2010-Oct-28, 08:12 PM
I don't think I've got any of my old army clothes, other than a field jacket I can no longer fit into. But then Graham's service was a bit more recent than mine!

Second desk is cleaned off and all drawers emptied. Of course, the top is now re-covered with stuff from the drawers. I'm finding the stuff divides roughly into thirds -- 1/3 recycle, 1/3 trash, 1/3 keep for further review. I can barely walk around the office because of that last third. I'm taking a semi-enforced break right now because the 96 gallon blue recycle bin is totally full, as is the indoor bin I need to dump into it. The truck comes today but hasn't been around yet. Also, my eyes hurt from the dust.

I did find my old Post bamboo slide rule, which served me well all through college. It doesn't have a lot of scales but works so smoothly it was a joy to use. I'll be keeping that for the museum.

As a result of this project, I've determined there are a few things we will never again need to purchase during our natural lives:
Printer Paper
Inkjet photo paper
Envelopes, of pretty much any size.
Stick-on labels.
Printer labels.
Scotch Tape
Ballpoint pens and refills
.5mm mechanical pencil lead
Post-It pads
Other scratch pads

Yay, I hear the recycling truck!