I have a date!!

I'm going to spend some serious quality time with my toilet on Saturday. I've really been putting off this "date". You see, my toilet runs a bit. Not in a noisy way and not in an obvious way, but enough. I didn't even notice it until the day I forgot to flush before I went to work, but when I got home from work the water in the toilet was clear. Hmmmmm..... Dilution is a great thing, but I don't like wasting water or money.

I actually bought the replacement parts several months ago, but thought I had fixed the problem with some adjustment of the float. Nope. The toilet has recently been making noises not completely unlike a toddler grinding its teeth as it re-fills the tank and today it once again failed the "didn't flush before work" test. I really can't justify putting it off any longer. On the other hand, if I do fix the toilet on Saturday I can continue to avoid painting the hallway bathroom. w00t!

Here's hoping the date goes smoothly with no unpleasant or embarassing episodes in the middle.

The Magic 8 Ball
Remember my freebie MicroSoft Magic 8 ball from last November? The one that couldn't decide between two answers at a time? I asked it tonight if I should workout. It said "NO". I am mildly entertained that I believe the Magic 8 ball when it tells me what I want to hear, but I keep asking it until I get the right answer if I don't like what it tells me.

I'm working out anyway.

Cruft Control
Cruft is the stuff that collects on your hard drive. This can be orphaned or abandoned files of your own creation or the stuff that is left behind after software is deleted. The New Hacker's Dictionary formally defines it as follows:

cruft /kruhft/
1. /n./ An unpleasant substance. The dust that gathers under your bed is cruft; the TMRC Dictionary correctly noted that attacking it with a broom only produces more. 2. /n./ The results of shoddy construction. 3. /vt./ [from `hand cruft', pun on `hand craft'] To write assembler code for something normally (and better) done by a compiler (see hand-hacking). 4. /n./ Excess; superfluous junk; used esp. of redundant or superseded code.

I am particularly interested in definition 4. I am really good about keeping my computers de-crufted. I am less good about the gathering detritus of belongings. I don't mean to be a packrat, I just fail to get rid of things that I no longer want, need or use. I'm going to work on combatting that as a short-term goal. There isn't any reason for me to hoard things I don't use or don't particularly like.

I've been reading "The Way to Practice" by the Dalai Lama again. As a result, I've been pondering the motivations behind various behaviors. One of the negative behaviors or practices mentioned is covetousness, which got me thinking about my inability to regularly de-cruft in real life.

Part of the reason I gather things is because I want people to think I'm cool because I own X. This, of course, is silly since I very rarely ask people over to my house. (I don't like people in my private space.) The very few people I would invite over don't care what I do or do not own.

I imagine part of my gathering behavior is a defense against a potential future shortage. For example, I want to be prepared in case I can't get any more yarn. (You never know when there might be a global yarn shortage.) It has also only been very recently that I have had much disposable income to even spend on fun stuff. During times with very little spending money, I would struggle to make the most of my money and also to carefully use whatever I did purchase to maximize its use, function or value. Because I put extra value and energy into the item, it can be hard to get rid of it now, even if it's past its useful life or no longer suits my needs.

I have also been considering how much stuff I have in light of the recent cyclone in Myanmar, the earthquakes in China and the tornado we had here in February. Many many people lost everything they own. While I think that experience would be very traumatic, a tiny part of me thinks it would be a really easy way to pare down my belongings. This really struck me as a sign that it's time to let things go.

Thinking about my belongings in general has given me a good reminder that my value isn't grounded in my stuff, I'm a whole lot more comfortable getting rid of excess stuff. I'm also a lot more relaxed about not wanting to keep things just because I paid for them. If I'm not using it and it doesn't have great sentimental value, it can be given away (if it is useful and in good condition) or thrown away (if it's not useful or in bad condition).

Ordinarily a task like this would be delegated to a weekend and I'd try to get through the whole job in 24 hours of actual working time. Realistically there is absolutely no way I can go through all my belongings in a weekend and determine what I need to keep and what I need to re-purpose. I think I will pick a single room or area, then work on it two or three nights a week for 15-30 minutes at a time, until it is done. That should allow me to remain focused, instead of getting distracted or overwhelmed by the job. I shouldn't get bored or burned out either. Hopefully the smaller bits of regular progress will be enough to keep me motivated and keep me working toward the end goal of a de-crufted, uncluttered, weeded out house.

Mutant Daisy!!
I'll be saving the seed from this one separately from all the rest, just to see if the mutation was heritable. I might end up with a whole plant full of odd flowers!


kruhft said…
removing cruft from your drives is good to keep them clean and tidy. of course, if others think that what is on your drive and remove it for you because they think it's for your own good...they might have another thing coming, if you know what i mean...


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