Making a major move also means that you will probably not be moving everything you own. Unless you are like Beethoven, who was known to load up all of his valuables in a horse-drawn cart and then drag them to his new abode on foot (and the cart got piled higher and higher with each move, until it towered above the street), you usually end up getting rid of a lot of your accumulated items to avoid moving them.
I’ve lived in Boston for nearly 20 years, and together with Pam in this townhouse for 15 years (in June). That’s a lot of time to collect lots of stuff. I know I sound like George Carlin (who did a long riff/rant on stuff in Brain Droppings, I believe), but I know I have too much stuff. There’s this house full of stuff, and a storage room (our most recent one is in Lynn, MA), where we keep things like Pam’s bicycle, all of our luggage, and various other junk that would show up in our garage, if we had one. My office is one big pile of stuff. Computer stuff, music stuff, book stuff, Walden School stuff, CD (both ROM and Audio) stuff, software stuff and worst of all, paper stuff. It’s getting better, but it still has a long way to go. I’ve got papers everywhere. It was worst when I moved my office stuff from my cube at Fidelity (where I had already managed to amass a year’s worth of stuff) back home. Some of that stuff went to the aforementioned storage unit in Lynn, and some of it just went into this office. I’m going to stop listing all of this, because I’m sounding not only like George Carlin, but also like Andy Rooney, and we wouldn’t want that.
So we are in jettison/divest mode. Get rid of it. I don’t care if you give it away, throw it away, or sell it, just get it out of our lives before the move. I’ve written about selling the piano, which I think we’ve found a buyer for. That’s a big first step. Now, this coming Sunday, we’ll be going to the first 2005 MIT Flea market. If you haven’t been to the MIT Flea, you are missing the chance to come face-to-face with the technology subculture in it’s purest and most venerable venue. Started by the MIT Radio Society in the distant past (they started the Radio Society in 1909, so in a few years it will celebrate its centennial!), the Flea is every 3rd Sunday of the month from April to October and takes place in a parking garage near Kendall Square bounded on all sides by BioTech behemoths, much in the way that Willy Loman’s house was surrounded by skyscrapers in Death of a Salesman. It’s a fascinating holdover from the days of radio tubes (yes, even before transistors!).
These days you’ll find everything from flat screen monitors and telephone equipment to oddities like Color Mac Classics, NeXT Machines, DEC-VAX’s and those are just the computer junk. You’ll also find some of the most eccentric geeks on the planet. One fixture of the flea is a guy with an original (and still operational) Enigma machine — that’s a code-breaking mechanical device from WWII! I’ve gotten CDs, phones, portable fans and flashlights, speakers and headphones, as well as all kinds of odds and ends like cabling, USB Hubs, power strips and Linux releases. We’ve sold there too, and this time we’ll be bringing in a couple of monitors, a beige G3 PowerMac from the mid-90’s, a caller-ID display, a couple of old X‑10 computer interfaces, a Microsoft optical mouse, a ton of old Mac software, a couple of stacks of books, and a bunch of old music CDs and LPs.
See, I told you we had a lot of stuff. Hopefully this will lighten our load somewhat, as well as bring in a little cash.