Sunday, November 24, 2013

How Does it Feel to Have a Pile of Junk?

My mom is doing major renovations on our house, so last weekend I was home organizing, cleaning out, and throwing out old stuff so that they can start moving the remainder of the dressers and such. Basically, I was told to claim anything worth saving, or else it was all getting donated or tossed.

I started off by uncovering a picture of this young stud, who apparently had high aspirations of going to Harvard.

I'm something of a hoarder, so I found everything from clothes that no longer fit to projects from 8th grade social studies (A+ obvs). But I was amazed at how much stuff was around everywhere, especially video games, CDs, and DVDs. I remember getting all that stuff in the late 90s through the mid 2000's and thinking hoe cool it all was. (Retrospectively, I'm thinking of how expensive it all was...sorry Mom!). I couldn't bring myself to throw away good  CD's or DVD's that were still in good condition, but realistically I'll probably never use them again, thanks to the Internet, and specific applications like iTunes, Spotify, Netflix, and OnDemand. Technology by its nature is always making relics of the stuff that came before it, but I have to think the Internet is one of history's ultimate predators on existing technologies, because of how widespread its reach is. What other technologies have made paperweights of stuff that was once considered the latest and greatest?

Cars / Carriages

Before cars, you thought you were awesome if you had a nice lightweight carriage and 2 healthy horses to pull you around. Now horse-drawn handsome cabs just carry a certain charm because they're so antiquated. That would be like driving around in a Honda Civic in a hundred years just for the fun of it.

Plumbing / Privys / Outhouses

We take it for granted now, but you couldn't always flush your troubles down the toilet. You had to bring em outside, even in the dead of winter, to the outhouse. Sometimes when I wake up I can barely bring myself to walk down the hall and use the nice plumbing. I can't imagine having to hop out of bed and throw on 7 layers to go outside and go to the bathroom.

Coolers / Salt/ Refrigerators

Before refrigerators, you had to keep all your stuff on ice or salted. Coolers and ice are super-valuable in any situation, but I imagine they were even more so when you had to put more than just beer in them. And the best meat-salters had to have been like rock stars back in the day, only to be rendered chumps when Fred W. Wolf invented the modern refrigerator. This point in history also opened up room in the cooler forever, though, so for that Mr. Wolf, we thank you.

Mental Math / Written Math / Calculators

Technically the Sumerians were rocking their Abacuses in 2,000 B.C, but the first calculator as we know it emerged around the mid-1800's. I bet people that were great at mental math thought they were pretty slick until the calculator took off. I, for one, abhor any sort of math, so I'm glad I was born when I was.

Hands / Baseball Gloves

Further proof that our ancestors were probably tougher than us, in the early stages of baseball most players didn't wear gloves and even after they were invented, players were skeptical of using one. Even catchers went bare-handed. I can't imagine catching a fastball from a major leaguer without a glove. I'm sure the guy with the toughest hands, even if he wasn't the best fielder, was much-revered before gloves took off and people realized you actually had to be good at your position.

So there's my blog within the blog. Speaking of baseball, another thing I uncovered was about 500 baseball and basketball cards from my youth. Those really have nothing to do with technology and everything to do with being 10 years old. But somehow I feel like the idea of trading in valuable cards isn't popular anymore? How does one trade those in today or make money? I'm not just throwing that question out there...I'm looking for an answer. If anyone has any information, let me know. In the meantime I'll be sifting through the junk, and taking an occasional trip down memory lane.

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