Monday, March 01, 2010

Life Clearance

Cleaning out your life and your stuff is a bitch (excuse the language).  First, I had no idea how much stuff I had gathered over the years, and it is not all my stuff but also my folks (mom and Lee-Dad*) stuff and my grandparent's stuff from my Dad's side of the family, and Lillian's stuff!  Who is Lillian?  She was a lady who rented an apartment at a building I managed some 15+ years ago.  She died without family or a will.  the landlord was taking and selling all her stuff because she thought it was right (I mean the woman died and cost her 1/2 month's rent - can you hear the sarcasm I am presenting here?). I could not stand to let this woman's story dissapear and so I put her most important pictures and letters and documents in a box and I have been carrying it with me ever since - from Seattle, to Orlando, to Fort Launderdale and back to Seattle again.  What to do with it now that I am moving into a 30' RV?  Scan it.

The problem with scanning her stuff and my stuff is this - I do not have the time or the money to scan it all and so I must start to edit what will or will not be scanned.  Scanning takes time, a lot of time, and organization, tagging and note taking on each scan take's more time.  My 2 scanners (one does pictures well and the other documents) only scans one document at a time and so it is slow moving.  I looked into taking it all to a professional scanning place but these folks want .25 cents to one dollar a page to scan - I wrote that it was gouging and I still mean it.  I cannot help but link the gouging to a market that is consciously against the digital revolution - consider what is happening with books (Google books and the grief they are getting), magazines (my sister's industry is in great danger, which is a consistent worry to her), paper industries, music and so on.  Going digital and assisting in the transition means a loss of industry and jobs.  This is likely part of the resistance to medial records becoming digitalize even though it would save the medical industry millions.  No one wants to offer a service counter to their self interest - egoism and capitalism work well together.  The problem is that these folks are going to have to change to meet the reality of where our world is going.  Pragmatism should be adopted over egoism - learn how to adjust to the flow and adapt for capital potential.  Who the hell will bring all their back taxes in to be scanned for a buck a page?!  Not I!

Anyway, it is a huge problem and I hate the fact I must edit some of my life because I do not have time or money to scan everything - Lillian, what shall I do with you stuff?!  So far I have my mom's letters and journals scanned.  Working on my journals now and next I will do my mom's publications.  I have scanned almost 100 pictures three times a week and have, oh soooooo many more to go!  

Another issue, people do not want to offer us a fair price for our stuff.  Now I know I should not care and just get rid of it, but we need the extra money to get on the road!  One guy haggled about our kitchen table block.  It is solid wood, strong, holds wine glasses and, this is cool, can fold down for storage!  He offered five dollars.  I was like . . .WTH??  Listen, I am not expecting full price or even half prices but $5?  I can get more by giving it away to a charity and taking it off my taxes.  But the guy sounded like he was in a hard way financially and so I offered it to him for 10 dollars.  Then he haggled over whether it was "new looking."  New looking?  No . . . it used furniture.  He went from saying ok to 10, back to 5, down to 4.  I said: "have a good day".  I suspect we can easily get $30 for the piece, it is that nice.  I was trying to be nice to the guy but could not stand all the haggling.  I suggested he look in the free section of craig's list :) 

I am not looking to make a killing with what little furniture we have, but we could use a bit of start up cash to help us with the transition of our living space and afford some digital equipment for the adventure and my documenting it.  We are hoping for a better digital camera, we need a back up camera that will also serve as video recording/security for the rig (found one for $150.00), AC for the truck (or my animals will get ill in the summer time), mifi card from Verizon (almost $300 dollars - lord- without a 2 month commitment.  I would do the two year internet commitment but many of the places we will be working offer free wifi - I only need the card for in-between times.) I think all of this is will be accomplished with the selling of our items and the other savings I have.  We will soon have an open house sale! 

That is it for the moment.  I must go back to scanning.  The rest of my week will be spent doing jury duty and so I will be document, what I can, of that! 


*Lee-Dad is my step father who passed on this last July 1st, 2009.  My mom died in 2001, in NYC.  I refer to my biological dad, who is still in my life, as Fred-Dad so to avoid any confusion!  Fred-Dad is alive and well and, I hope, reading this blog!  LOL

1 comment:

  1. I cannot imagine scanning all that stuff, but what a wonderful idea, wonderful thing to do and hats off to you for taking care of what is left of Lillian's life. Maybe you will have time to post some of the stuff that you have scanned. And remember, most things worth doing are also the most difficult and cumbersome.


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