Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Sickness

 I've always said that if I owned land in the country I'd have more crap than you could shake a stick at. When I was younger and rented a farm house we had a lot of room for storage. We also had a lot of "projects" scattered around. My wife couldn't use the garage because it was full of "stuff". What was all this stuff, you ask? Maybe it was a motorcycle that has been reduced to the status of just motor or maybe it was a snowmobile that quit mobiling a long time ago.
 This reminds me of a Polaris snowmobile that I had bolted a Honda 360 bike engine into. It was a basement project that never saw the light of day.  We (a bunch of single guys and anyone else that needed a place to crash)  had to move out when the owner sold the property and I had nowhere to go with the project. I remember the day we watched the fire department do a practice burn on that house. Anyway, "animal house" is a whole different story for another time.
 The point is that I always have an in progress project laying around that's not been touched for a while. Those projects aren't the problem. I can look at them and touch them and even gather specific parts to follow them through to completion. Time isn't as big a factor as space. If I have the room then it still could become a reality. The BSA is a good example. That project goes back to the early eighties and I pick away at it a little bit at a time.
 The real problem are the projects that don't exist yet. I gather parts for these builds all the time. As a gear head that works as a mechanic I see a lot of cool little pieces that could be part of some bigger piece that could be bolted on some imaginary project. If I don't save them they will end up in a dumpster to be lost forever.
 This mirror is a perfect example. Coworker Al keeps feeding my sickness. He was replacing this broken mirror from one of our plow trucks. There is a motor in there that powers the mirror and he was going to harvest it. Ya, he's got it bad too. That mechanism turned out to be broken but this LED light still worked.
 What the hell am I gonna do with that? I don't know for sure but I do know three things. First, it's too cool to toss out. Second, I'm a sucker for colorful lights and shiny stuff and third it's sitting right there on my desk at home. If I'm lucky I'll find it a few years from now when I need it. If history repeats itself then I'll toss it out next time I'm power cleaning and regret that act a few weeks later when I actually find a use for it.
 The older I get, the more I've been able to somewhat control this sickness. Who am I kidding? I have little control but I have implemented a system that gives me that instant high of collecting shit and the power of keeping myself in check and not finding myself on an episode of "Hoarders".
 I now keep everything! All that cool shit I don't think I can live without gets saved...for a few days anyway. These two pulleys are a good example. They are part of a factory recall and we potentially could have quite a few of them at the shop. None of us can find a good reason to save more than one of them "just because", but I have set two near my toolbox. This is my new staging area for questionable goodies. If I don't come up with a good reason to keep them by Monday morning then they'll go in the recycle dumpster. It won't be easy but I'll force myself to do it.
 With this weeks Powerball jackpot at a record high I wonder what this sickness would be like with unlimited potential for collecting stuff. Maybe it would consume me or just maybe the problem would completely go away.


  1. Wow, you just described me to a "T". I did a serious purge 2 years ago and got rid of tons of stuff (who actually needs 7 10-mm box-end wrenches?) only to find uses for about 1/4 of it since then.

  2. Yes, it may be more of an epidemic than a sickness.