Divestment: Week 6

Posted on September 24, 2008 by Steve

9/18: Mailed Growing Up Hockey to Lee.

9/19: A stack of paperbacks from the Penguin 60s series was hidden behind some books on the shelf. (See what Suck had to say about them. Remember Suck?) I grabbed a pair while packing for Toronto, but started reading "Bartleby," got involved in the story, and didn't finish until after midnight.

9/20: Left Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (which included "The Lightning-rod Man") in the lobby of the Sheraton Centre Toronto.

9/21: Four Essays by Michel de Montaigne was missing and presumed lost at the Cincinnati airport, but later appeared in a jacket pocket. From all my frustrating experiences searching for lost objects, I would think that unwanted items would be only too happy to disappear. Instead, they are unpleasantly clingy. Left it in a parking garage after a Five Guys lunch the next day.

9/22: Driving home Monday evening, I noticed a pile of junk on the curb in front of a neighbor's house. There were four chairs, some countertops, and a computer table, with a large sign saying "FREE." I confess that I drove by a second time to see if there was anything worth taking, and fortunately was not tempted. But I got an idea. A few hours later, under cover of darkness, I made a deposit.

  • Akai receiver, with backlit needle gauges for FM signal strength and tuning.
  • Akai amplifier. Surprisingly heavy. Volume pot very scratchy, otherwise sound.
  • Teac dual cassette deck.
A little hard to let the vintage Akai units go, but I am buoyed by hopes that they will get some use in someone else's home. No rain forecast until Thursday.

9/23: Left "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 5" CD in a portable toilet.

9/24: Propane tank that had been sitting in our backyard for ages. None of the neighbors wanted it, but I finally got "Bob K." to pick it up after posting a message on Freecycle.

Divestment: Week 5

Posted on September 17, 2008 by Steve

9/11: Returned a fluorescent shop light to Home Depot for $9.21.

9/12: Wrapped up Irrational Man in plastic and set out to stash it in the center of a circular cloverleaf at the intersection of 495 and 123. There appeared to be an open area there which would be undisturbed for some time.

There was a light rain and going was slow due to thick undergrowth, but I eventually made it to the edge of the asphalt-ringed island. Climbing up from the edge, it seemed tranquil in the woods despite the constant growl of traffic. The noise provided some cover, and I flushed a group of deer (a "mob," to those who enjoy faunal collective nouns) by walking right into their nap area. I saw some getting up twenty feet to my left and heard others to my right. Trying to follow them led me to the edge of a clearing where I made an unexpected discovery which forced me to scrub the mission.

Standing in the drop zone, unmistakable in safety orange vests, was a survey crew. One of them was looking my way, so I gave an awkward wave and continued rooting around through the brush, as if I had lost a contact in this No Man's Land. It wouldn't do to dump my package just anywhere, or to deposit it in plain sight of witnesses, so I headed back. On the way I picked up an orange golf ball, a disheartening reversal to the divestment project.

9/13: Threw away the pieces of a battery-powered crib mobile which the kid used as monkey bars.

9/14: Two waffle cones, tough as cardboard, in the back of the pantry, delicately packaged in a box with a styrofoam liner. Ate them.

9/15: Two large cartons for some stroller accessories with associated packaging materials; trashed.

9/16: Another failed divestment day. A desktop computer at home is suffering from the dread boot hang after mup.sys syndrome. I spent more time Googling than testing and convinced myself that the power supply was going. So I picked up a $20 no-name 500W power supply at MicroCenter and swapped it out. No change, and no old power supply to junk.

9/17: Left Reality, Man, and Existence next to a bible at the dentist's office.

Divestment: Week 4

Posted on September 10, 2008 by Steve

9/4: Conscientiously dropped an old iBook battery into the recycle box at Circuit City. While browsing Red Dot specials, was spotted by a friend working in the store. He showed me a deal on a TV wall mount, which will likely become the first item acquired on this project, but it will later allow me to divest a desk that is crowding our bedroom.

9/5: While hauling the kitchen garbage out, I spotted a jug of whey protein powder on top of the refrigerator, left by a visiting family member. It was less than half full and probably stale, so I added it to the load.

9/6: Rainy day housecleaning yielded a banner day for divestment. Two half-burned coffee-can size triple-wick candles. Dozens of shirt boxes and gift bags. A bath brush. Two fake plastic flowers in plastic vases with fake plastic water. Used wrapping paper. And more I forgot.

9/7: A half-full bag of Splenda for baking. We tried to make chocolate chip cookies with it once, and they were awful. Trashed.

9/8: Gym bag emblazoned with former employer's logo. I carried it to the mall to try and foist it upon Lost & Found, but lost my will and left it in a dumpster.

9/9: Two paperback Golden Nature Guides: Birds and Flowers. Published in 1949 and 1950, they were nice in their day but we've probably extinguished half the species by now. Tucked into a nook in a parking garage stairwell.

9/10: "Conloquium Currus" coffee mug (motto: "non impediti ratione cogitationis"). Left in a phone booth.

Divestment: Week 3

Posted on September 03, 2008 by Steve

8/28: "A Day in the Life of a Flight Leader" training DVD. Trashed.

8/29: Stuffed a stuffed animal into a donation bin in Tysons Corner.

8/30: Left Penn Jillette's Sock on the passenger seat of a Lexus SC430 convertible parked on M Street in Georgetown.

8/31: More basement debris trashed: one misfit window screen, a strip of drywall, and a rectangle of concrete backerboard. Except for the screen, these scraps are all backed up by other scraps of like material, which may have to be divested on a later date.

9/1: History of Istanbul touristic CD ROM. Abandoned in Murky Coffee.

9/2: Trashed forty (forty!) cassette tapes tended and stored for years. A few store-bought, mostly dubs and mixes. I had no way to play them anyway, except on the antique stereo equipment that is slated for disposal.

9/3: Left a short-sleeved H&M dress shirt in the donation bin.