Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

January 14, 2014

Purging on

My dump run was 660 pounds of old door and trim, the vinyl and underlayment pieces for my hall and powder room and a lot of accumulated household trash. Nice to have it gone but there's a lot more.

I've been in this house for 20 years. 20 years of accumulated stuff. We really do expand our stuff to the space we have. And then some. I've been clearing out the family room, my main room that I've lived in for all that time. I cleared out the bookcase, cleaned it and moved it to a corner of the new living room. I put back about half the books but they probably should be gotten rid of.  I have a lot of gardening, field guides, and construction books but nowadays, when I want to find out about something, I google it. I learned a ton from those books. How we have changed how our minds learn. It used to be that one had to have a library or go to a library to learn about something. Not anymore.  It is mostly all on the web or can be gotten in a digital format that weighs little and takes little space.

I decided that my old stereo should go. I had a nice pair of speakers, a receiver, tape, and gasp, LP player because I still have a library of old vinyl LPs. I found the manuals for them too along with the manuals of several old and long discarded pieces. This stuff is over 20 years old! The tape player hasn't worked right in years so it can go to the recycling center - more loading up the van. The speakers are big and the receiver still works so they went to Goodwill. I haven't used the stereo in years because I now use a smaller much more modern unit.

I still have a VCR and old CRT TV. I thought I had a few Jane Austen shows on VHS tapes that I would like to copy to DVD but in the purge, I found that I had already bought them on DVD so those went to my neighbor who wanted them. In my cabinet, I had a ton of old movies that I had taped off analog TV. I have not had the VCR running in years and years now, so they all can be dumped. The picture quality won't be worth trying to copy them. I couldn't get the VCR to show on the TV anyway so they both went to the van to be taken to the recycling center.

That leaves some old cassette tapes and the LPs. Before I retired, I bought one of those all in one LP, tape record to CD machines that also has a radio in it meaning to digitize the old media to CDs. I hadn't ever started that project. But now, I will. I moved that unit into the new living room along with the cabinet and started it. It works pretty well altho using a program like Audacity to clean up the recording and convert it to MP3s is time-consuming. I got a pack of CD labels and used the on-line Avery program to make some labels for the CDs. That works well but I do have to pay attention to which tracks actually recorded on the CD. Sometimes, the machine adds extra tracks with nothing but static.

Pulling out the furniture that had been there for so many years is rather disgusting. The Asian brown marmolated stink bug invasion that started a few years ago left quite a collection of their carcases under it. I have a big computer Armour that has quite an accumulation of computer stuff. Most of that will be trashed because it is old now. I even found floppy disks and zip disks.  I don't think I have anything that can read the old floppies anymore.  I found a zip drive so I will have to see if there is anything on those disks that I've been wondering where they got to.  If my Win 7 computer can run that thing.  Funny how we went to technology after technology trying to squeeze more and more data onto portable media.  Now even CDs are old school and terabytes of data storage are cheap to get.

I have had a big old computer armour that I no longer want or use. After I cleared it out, my neighbor said she wanted it so she sent her son and husband to haul it out. Yay!! In my mind, having someone take it out was worth giving it away, even if I could have gotten a few dollars for it.

When I stripped the ugly wallpaper, I got a surprise that almost all of it came off easily. All the wall paper in the rest of house is like it was put on with super glue and is a horrible job. I  stripped the trim, and scrubbed the walls about 5 times to get the old paste off. The old carpet is pulled and the van is loaded up again for the dump. Then it is patching it all and then painting.  It is amazing how much bigger a room looks with white walls and no ugly wall paper.  Then it is onto the kitchen rehab before I lay the flooring in the back part of the house.

I kept getting stink bugs coming out of the mantel as I was stripping it. These are the invasion of the Asian ones that hit the east coat.  I finally pried it off the wall and found hundreds of them behind the mantel! Yuck.  When I put the mantel back on, it is going to get plenty of caulk to keep that from happening again!

Purging is an exercise in self control. As I go thru this stuff accumulated thru my life, I have to resist the urge to keep it because once I wanted it and used it. I keep reminding myself how long it has been sitting around unused. It is time to clean it out and pass it onto someone who will use it or just trash it.

Got a beautiful full double rainbow - horizon to horizon today! Couldn't get the whole thing in one pic. The sky was a perfect prism.