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#165314 - 01/27/09 07:07 PM Ad Infiinitem, or make do...
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
More and more, I have come to realize that while necessity may be the mother of invention, desire is the mother of excess. I've noticed that my new home is quite cluttered with, as the late George Carlin would classify it, "Stuff". I believe that I have acquired so much "stuff" now that most of it is no longer of any use, simply because it is buried under piles of other stuff that I haven't found a suitable storage location for yet. Because it is not being used, I probably don't need most of it anymore, but on the off chance that I might have to use some of it at some point, the paradox then is what stuff do I get rid of and what stuff do I keep. Some of this stuff is expensive, and also won't last forever, so not only does that make it harder to get rid of, but it makes me think I may need to get more expensive stuff to eventually replace the expensive stuff I have before it is no good anymore. Which brings up another problem, upgrades. What do I do with the stuff that I've replaced with better stuff? The original stuff worked fine, and is still good, and cost me money, but because I have new and improved stuff, the old good stuff is no longer useful either.

I have the same sort of problem everytime I try to pack for an adventure. I only have so much room for stuff, but I can't make up my mind on what all I need to bring with me. There are somethings, like underwear and socks, that I always know I have to pack along, but what about all the other things I might need? I would prefer to go hiking with a 40 lb backpack, but somehow I end up with a 60 lb load or more because I just can't leave home without grabbing one more item that I could possibly use. Then I end up with 80 lbs in a bulging pack and spend the next two hours trying to determine which things I would likely need the least. It is a nightmare!

I need to start thinking like a minimalist. I got rid of a lot of stuff when the kids left for college, but then my wife and I replaced what was taken with other stuff. Most of it is convenience items. For instance, I upgraded from a hand cranked sausage grinder to an attachment for my kitchenaid so I wouldn't have to work so hard. Then I upgraded to an independent motorized version capable of grinding much more meat so it didn't take me so long. Then I needed a sausage stuffer because the motorized grinder took too long and too much effort to stuff the casings with, then I needed a meat mixer because with all the meat I was grinding it was too much for my hands to work at one time. I went from one tool that took up a little space to three pieces of equipment that fill one whole cabinet. I make so much sausage now that I give most of it away. My reasoning: if I am going to work to make sausage, why work so hard to make such a small amount at one time? Is it saving me any money? No, in fact if you amortize the cost of all the equipment and the losses I am taking on giving away all the extra sausage I am making, it is probably costing me three times more than what I would pay at the store. Of course, now I can claim I am a sausage making master, and that my sausage is superior to the store bought stuff because I know what I put in my sausage and it is all good. Do you think anybody would pay three times more for my sausage than what they would have to pay at the store? A drunk Conan would say, "Lot on your knife!" All because I thought making my own sausage would somehow be better than those Johnsonville things?

My conclusion is that sometime in the future I expect to sell all my sausage making equipment at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar, retaining the original hand grinder I started with just because some day I expect to be showing off to my grandson some novel skills that will make him think I am a god. We will then eat the stuff we made together and pronounce it good and he will have one more fond memory of his childhood, just like I did with my Grandad.

Besides, taking care of all that stuff all the time is becoming a real chore. If I don't then it rusts, or rots, or just plain goes bad somehow, and becomes worthless anyways. I never have enough time to do anything with most of it, because I have to work all the time to pay for that stuff and to get more stuff.

I feel a life lesson coming on here. Does catharsis apply to a pile of stuff?

_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#165316 - 01/27/09 07:19 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: benjammin]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
I should introduce you to my good friend eBay. I have been selling stuff all Winter, and padding my savings account with the proceeds.
_________________________
Gary








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#165317 - 01/27/09 07:21 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: GarlyDog]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Ebay scares me on many levels. I need to find a chick like in the movie "40 year old virgin" That will help me sell it all. It'd be like an estate sale. ha ha ha
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#165323 - 01/27/09 07:47 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: benjammin]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Maybe you are waging a private war to save the environment?
More than 80% of the stuff people buy is in the dump 3 months later.
Thank you for your brave, but futile, effort to preserve the future viability of our landfill sites.

Hmmm, not eBay, maybe Craig's List?
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#165324 - 01/27/09 07:47 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: benjammin]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
I know how that feels. smile If you started with a Latin saying, there's another one. Non multa, sed multum. Which you could paraphrase as don't try to do too many different things at once but concentrate on one, get good at it and invest your resources there.

Ebay is not a bad idea. It's a great place to buy and sell second-hand stuff. It has issues but for the most part, they're blown out of proportion. I never had a single truly bad experience but I did pay attention to the people's feedback and track record. So caveat emptor (or venditor in your case)... wink

Anyway, I've been in pretty much the same situation and I sure don't regret selling the stuff I no longer needed. I didn't make much profit (if any) but my apartment just suddenly felt a whole lot bigger and nicer after getting rid of the junk. So that's worth something as well in my book.

I'm sure you have plenty of stuff you'd be happier without. Just as you have stuff that might seem superfluous right now but maybe you'd miss it if you no longer had it.

If making sausage is something you enjoy, who cares if you can buy the "same" thing cheaper at the store? There's more to life than just money. You know the sausage from the store won't ever be the same because nothing can compare to real wholesome homemade cooking. Of course, I'm biased because I like sausage a lot but what the heck. smile

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#165330 - 01/27/09 08:06 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: Tom_L]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Sausage making was a proper venture for me to expand on my culinary experience, but I could see where it would turn into a chore real quick, just like any hobby that gets out of hand. For years I just dabbled with it and made small batches just to play with flavors and such, but last year I really got it in my blood to see just how far I could go with it within my economic means. A few hundred pounds of sausage later, and I have a number of decent recipes, good equipment, and a dent in my savings account. I also have friends that have one more good reason to hang around me. As you suggest, somethings in life aren't about the bottom line in the profit/loss column, as not everything we do is recompensed in dollars.

Of course, I am still waiting for Sue's order. I've never tried goat sausage before. whistle smirk
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#165333 - 01/27/09 08:14 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: Tom_L]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Originally Posted By: Tom_L

I never had a single truly bad experience [on eBay] but I did pay attention to the people's feedback and track record


I have never had a problem either. I have conducted over 200 transactions on eBay.
_________________________
Gary








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#165335 - 01/27/09 08:20 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: benjammin]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
I am sorting my gear and camping stuff, sending excess to friends who want it. Trying to free up storage space.
_________________________
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

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#165336 - 01/27/09 08:21 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: ]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
An involuntary tactic:

Lose the home and live on a small sailboat. Not much room for stuff equals not much stuff.

Not sure I would recommend it.

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#165339 - 01/27/09 08:51 PM Re: Ad Infiinitem, or make do... [Re: dweste]
MichaelJ Offline
Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 114
Be careful. I've more than one person tell me that NOT buying to support the economy is un-American.

As for getting rid of some stuff. Ask around, Craig's List, and the fore mentioned ebay ; there might be people at work or living next door interested acquiring. There is also donation. I stumbled upon a bunch of lab equipment that I salvaged. When I hadn't used it after 3 years I gave to a local high school, and they were very happy to put it to use.

Maybe Doug can start an exchange corner or something.

http://www.getmilked.com/comics/AndInThisRoom.html

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