Posts Tagged ‘cleanup’

Equal Handed

10 November 2010

Dear J-

theVet is worried that the boy, now due in just over a week, isn’t going to get the same sort of treatment that figgy has: not only did we paint the room, we also put in new flooring and all kinds of fun decorations, from some framed prints of classic Ernest Sheperd Winnie-the-Pooh to a Chococat clock, while in the end the boy’s going to be lucky to have a room, let alone a clean one. The plan isn’t derailed mind you — I’m still counting on having the opportunity to paint and re-floor, just maybe once he’s here and I have some time for it during the day (fifteen kinds of optimism here, given that I haven’t had a chance to clean out the bedroom in years).

With that said we’re actually coming along pretty nicely. The last of the junk is leaving the room and it’s turning back into a blank canvas for us to muse on. Part of my secret plan is selecting colors tonight and picking up paint and supplies tomorrow, so I’m not sure if it’s serendipity or just laziness that got up me late enough to have to drive in to the vanpool, but it works out: I drop off the extra junk at the thrift store and get to swing by the hardware store to get some color swatches. The progress may seem slow, but it’s been measurable.

We were wondering why it’s been so much harder for this room and there’s all kinds of reasons and excuses we’ve come up with, frome the rudely obvious (my laziness) to the desperate (we didn’t start until later this time). And there’s all kinds of anecdotal evidence that makes me think that despite what your parents told you, there will be favorites — but I’ll qualify it temporally, there will be favorites at any one time — and the treatment isn’t going to be equal all the time. So what do you do? Recognition is half the battle, and though we’ve set a dangerous precedent, as long as we’re aware we can overcome.

Mike

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Clean Mind

8 October 2010

Dear J-

Cleanp of the room is going well*: I’ve just got a few things to sort out (should these things go to the dump or the thrift store) and I suppse that if I had the inclination or time, I’d find a buying audience on eBay for even the most obscure treasures I’ve unearthed (Panasonic CF-25 Toughbook? TRS-80 Model 100? TDA1540-based CD player?), but I’m beginning to suspect that without the elaborate justifications I’ve built in my head, there’s really no utility. theVet called an electronics recycling center, who said that if it’s older than five years, they usually can’t find an audience for it.

I will say this: I’m surprised by how durable some of the items have proven: forty-year-old receivers and twenty-year-old CD players are all making music for us even as I struggle with ideas to bring us into a wireless hub-centric model**. It would be nice if I or the house held up as well; still to-do after the room cleanup is repainting the room (though theVet isn’t planning on it, I’d like to do so), changing out the flooring, and maybe, if I play my cards right, a tubular skylight (this depends on whether or not I can get someone experienced in there). Furniture is going to cost some more as well; figgy seems rather attached to the stuff she has, and since drop-side cribs were declared the devil, we’ll need one of those too.

It’s all just money, and it’s worth more to spend it on people you like rather than waste it on junk you aren’t going to touch for years on end. I look at some of the things in that room and remember how happy I was buying it — well if it made me that glad, why didn’t I use it? Pride of ownership is overrated; I’m getting me some pride of divestiture instead.

Mike

* You know what would make it go better? If I didn’t keep finding reminders of the past: there are boxes upon boxes of photos, like everyone else has, that really need to be scanned and archived instead of taking up space all throughout the room; I could spend days going through those alone, to be honest.

* Okay, so here’s the plan: since I’ve ripped all my music to MP3s anyway, why bother with discs when I could serve that information to clients around the house? Problem is finding the appropriate client (although used gen 1 Apple TVs are almost dirt-cheap, though not by much versus a new gen 2) and a sufficiently robust server, as the iMac we’ve been using for the past five years is getting pretty glitchy. The real win would be in serving video (or, with an gen 1 Apple TV, getting one with sufficient local storage): no more worries about scratched discs.

Start Procrastinating

22 September 2010

Dear J-

“Getting started is the hardest part.” They sound simple and innocuous enough, but coming as they do at the end of the latest harangue about the general state of my desk I can’t help but feel wronged. If I had a place to put everything I wouldn’t be in this mess, but then again, if I had a place to put everything I’d be a lot less busy. Double-edged sword and all; I try to keep the most recent requests in a small pile, but that means putting off the rest of my work until next week and next week after that. It’s not always easy to devote the time needed to keep organized, but a few minutes a day wouldn’t hurt.

Likewise at home, the cleanout needs to start happening before much longer. If, as I’d projected, I would really want to pull up the carpet and paint the walls (and maybe even install a tubular skylight), all that takes time and money, which are in short supply at the moment; shepherd the resources, though, and I’m sure I could squeeze time out of the lazy bits I decompress during. An hour a day, maybe, that’s not bad, from now until the test; then afterwards, the time I spend studying can be spent fixing up the room and grouting the hallway.

Problem is it all sounds great on paper, but it’s the getting started in the intimidating face of reality — the room is so messy, my desk is so buried — that it’s easy to reassure myself with promises of tomorrow. Yeah, good time to start, right? After a while it’s already October and your time is eaten up by long hours at work, those best hours of your day spent somewhere else and not where you ought to. Enough. Today we’ll be able to take a baseline before and run it up against an after, to see whether this is truly possible, or whether I’m hoping for fruitless miracles here.

Mike