Saturday, October 08, 2005


One of the lessons I learned during my 2001 Applachian Trail thruhike was this: Being forced to carry everything you own - 8-10 hours a day for six months - gives you a desire to own as little as possible. Since my thruhike, I've done a good job of going through my possessions at least once per year, and throwing out stuff I no longer use. But a few things have slipped through my annual purges. In the past few days, I have discovered the following items in my apartment:
  • Two empty boxes labled "101 Pond." Pond was the building at Penn State in which the computer science department was located. I graduated from college more than a decade ago.
  • A long-sleeved J-Crew polo shirt. I haven't ordered anything from J-Crew since high school. I graduated from high school in 1990.
  • A book titled Writing OS/2 Device Drivers in C. (If you don't understand this reference, imagine a book titled Recent Advances in Cotton Gin Technology.)
  • A library card... with an expiration date of June 1, 1984
  • Three very high quality Everlast leather jumpropes. I have no idea when, where, or why I aquired even one of these. Three of them??? [Insert picture of me with a puzzled look on my face ___HERE___]
  • A complete set of rock climbing gear (two pairs of shoes, two harnesses, three chalk bags, carabiners and cordelettes, etc.), along with 97 back issues of Climbing magazine. All purchased on EBay earlier this year. I used the shoes a few times to play on a local boulder, read most of the 97 issues of Climbing, then buried everything in my closet and haven't thought about it since.
  • A cycling helmet purchased in 1987, but not used since 1989.
  • Two VCRs, both 100% broken beyond repair.
I want to tell myself that I'm not going to move anything unless I know it is something I will use (or want for sentimental purposes), but I can almost guarantee that I will go through this same exercise in another year or two. I should start a "Packrats Anonymous" club.