Now and then I prattle on about all the stuff I have and that needs to go. Today I’m deliberately missing out on all kinds of social fun so I can deal with some of it. And I’m writing about it because that’s what we do.
(Social fun. Well, people are over at a hidden beach by the river and I know it’s an incredibly fun and relaxing scene because they are all beautiful people BUT I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT. I’ll just keep telling myself that. I’m feeling very isolated today. Nothing special going on tonight. Argh.)
Item the First
I acquired these thin film delay lines when designing a clock system test board for some computer chip or other. I didn’t know exactly what I would need and so ordered an assortment. I don’t remember if I used any of them but somehow they wound up in my personal collection. Fifteen years later I really want to make space but I really don’t want to just throw them away. None of the electronics component resellers want them. Today I wrote to some guy who advertised that he bought shit like this, or at least didn’t say he didn’t. But he didn’t want ’em either. I’ll, I dunno, keep ’em. Maybe they can be glued onto a hat.
Related crap for potential “art” are these development systems from just before the smartphone era, when we were marketing a concept called a Mobile Internet Device. It was just a little over pocket sized and was able to connect to wi-fi and do internet. At the time, it seemed pretty neat. We thought maybe folks would actually want to carry internet access around with them. Then one of the engineers came in with his brand new iPhone. Not being a gadget guy, I thought, eh, another gadget. But of course what it really meant was our business model was completely wrong. The company never did recover that lost opportunity, despite several years of hard effort (of which I was a part).
Item the Second
My grandmother had this print for twenty years and my dad after that, and then me. I like it but I can’t keep everything. I just put an ad up in Craigslist. But frankly I can’t be bothered with shipping something like this, so if no one local wants it, I’ll just store it away.
It’s a lithograph of an 18th Century Japanese silkscreen depicting the arrival of the Portuguese.
Item the Third
Dad took BBC Music Magazine and collected a boatload of their CDs. The local CD-buying stores are not interested in them. I’ll see if anyone else is and if not, well. I dunno. They take up space and once they’re gone I’m not going to regret losing them. I love classical music, but really. There’s 236 of them.
Their value is reduced even further by the little white sticker you see in the corner. Dad catalogued all his music, every record, tape, and CD. Stuck a number on it and entered it into a spreadsheet. Some of the records that I could have sold were actually rendered valueless by this. When he first showed me his system, rather proudly, in say about 1982, I suspected it was something I would never do, but I didn’t say anything. Now I know it’s something I would never do and am annoyed that he did it. But it made him happy. If he had a bit of the OCD then many such things made him happy — after he was gone, I found a Kodak paper box full of perfectly sharpened pencils — and happy is a good state, so I’m not THAT annoyed. Just, you know. Geez.
Item the Fourth
I have an ancient Allied Chemicals box loaded with the lab glassware my father used when getting his PhD in the early 1950s. Someday I have to catalog the contents and find out online what they’re worth. A friend said they were worth a lot more during the crystal meth craze, but I missed that one.
Item the Fifth
In 1979 my father bought an Apple ][+ computer and I have it and it works and it takes up too much space. For years I thought I’d use it someday in some weird techie art project but technology has advanced so far that it would be far more work than it’s worth. Once I go through the box and catalog exactly what’s there, I’ll find some retro Apple enthusiast — hopefully.
Item the Sixth
My father was with his second wife when I was from ten to eighteen years of age. After that he was happily single for 35 years until he died. Before she died a few years ago, his second wife lived not too far from me. One day she took me to her storage unit and had me take away all her old slides and 8mm movies. I was collecting my father’s at the time too, and my uncle’s, and both my grandfathers’, and had this idea that within a few years I’d be going through them all, cataloging, digitizing, discarding, etc.
May never happen. Meanwhile hers were in my storage until I emptied it, and then in my attic. It gets ridiculously hot in there so I took them out today. Stacked them outside my office and went shopping. Came back to find the two top boxes had tipped over and tumbled down the stairs, strewing slides and negatives and movie reels all the way down to the bottom floor. I just finished putting them all back in their boxes. I’m sure my ex-stepmother had stored them in a very neat and logical order but that’s over with.
I don’t want them anymore. I will write to her three daughters and see if any of them want them. If not, well. It’s really hard to throw shit like that away. Someone … somewhere … ?