The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Useless crap-but it is all interesting!

I accumulate stuff.
I hate to use the term hoard.
Perhaps I should.
We moved out to the farm a couple years ago.
We once lived in a big old farmhouse. We had a deal with a retired farmer. If we kept the lawn mowed and didn't bug him we could live there for $225 a month.
After he put in a new well I started paying him $300. We lived there for something like eight years.

It was very cold. The house was built at the end of the 1800's. The walls were not real thick. We burned a lot of wood. But, it was the sort of house that had character. There was a fireplace the previous renter had built out of bricks from another 100 year old house. There was an old 1950's enameled woodstove with a Magic Heat exchanger and the sound of the fan put us to sleep every night. The wind whistled and the house creaked. In the summer a climbing rose tried to grow through a little hole in a window pane that I had to keep taped shut. There were little stained glass panels around the windows. The farmer's grandmother had painted black squares around some of the door knobs so that the devil or evil spirits couldn't find their way into the house.
There was a big old crooked walnut tree in the back yard for Sadie to climb and apples trees and roses and a wild mess of dandelions and daffodils would grow up every year. I wish so much that place was mine. But, it was not nor would it ever be.

We had lots of room and we filled it. I've been renting the barn for storage and we have been trying to cut down on the collections.
Today we went after a pickup load of junk to be burned, and a pickup load of cool stuff to be sorted through.
I have, two complete darkrooms with enlargers, a box of Interview Magazines from the 1980's. Popular mechanics from the 1940's, Motorcycle magazines from the 1970's and 80's, old text books, boxes and boxes of other books, some very old, some not so old. Old Mad magazines, old toys, old tools, a box of dishes you got from buying shreaded wheat in the 1950's, more old tools, a box of telegraph insulators, an antique bicycle, a box of old Daily Strumpets, more Daily Strumpet coffee mugs, a disk drive for a Mac Plus and there is more.
To store this stuff in our surplus 30ft trailer I had to move an old cider press, a 1970 Triumph Motorcycle, more toy trucks (structo and tonka), boxes of old photos, and a roll of photographic back ground paper I've had for 20 years.
Somehow I've got to stop, this is all interesting stuff! I have a 1942 Almanac-sans cover, I have Silver surfer Comic books, Love and Rockets comics, LP records-From Joe Ely, Johnny Cash, Hank Sr., to the other extreme, The Damned, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Dr. Feelgood, The Clash, Ian Tyson, The Beatles, James White and the Contortions... I have three turntables, two tube amp receivers, three tape decks, a reel to reel, four cameras, Penatax K1000, KX, ME Super, two small olympus and XA and another rangefinder, and a GAF instamatic, oh and a medium format that is somewhere, I haven't found it yet. Should I get attacked by Axis forces i have a WWII surplus range finder and an aircraft spotters guide. No Betty Bomber will take me unawares!

Sadie will just call the scrappers when we die...

This was our old back yard-

This is our new back yard. Sadie is well off the training wheels by now. That was from 2006.


  1. You collect things about like my wife. I call her a maximist while I am the quintessential minimalist. Problem is we don't have a barn to pile stuff into. Nothing gets under my skin more than her unloading a bunch of crap, only to load it back up to haul to Good Will six months later to make room for more useless crap well never use. By the way, the old house you described sure sounds nice.

  2. I like interesting old stuff. And I tend to bring it home. I just need to learn to say no. Not having the storage is a good thing. Goodwill is one of my downfalls.
    The old house sounded nicer than it was. This manufactured home is warm and does not have wood heat. There is no wind blowing through the house. That is very nice.
    Selective emories are nice things to have.


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