i'm just surprised i have so much stuff in my house. it's things i've accumulated over my lifetime, and at 33 going onto 34, that can mean a lot of stuff. i'm not one of those crazy collector people, but i do easily attach sentimental values to things. i have a standalone walk-in closet that's big enough to be its own room: if it weren't were for the metal shelving inside, i could put a twin size bed in there and call it a 3rd bedroom. what motivated to do a massive spring cleaning in the middle of winter? it certainly wasn't the weather, although we had another warm (60's) day and i opened up all my windows to ventilate the rooms. what motivated me is this: i'm going to turn parts of the closet into a grow house. i became so obsessed with the idea late last night that i couldn't fall back asleep and was still awake when the sun came out. as i mentioned before, there are these stainless steel wire shelves inside the closet. if i can just empty out two racks, there'd be enough space to hang a long shop light fitted with fluorescent grow tubes.
the only stumbling block i could see was just how much light i needed. to truly simulate conditions of the outdoor sun indoors, i'd need a high powered light. fluorescents are okay, but the general consensus seem to be that they're only good for starting seedlings and growing small plants. if i wanted to grow flowers, i'd need something stronger (like high intensity discharge lamps, the sort of lighting they use in sports stadiums). stronger lights have their disadvantages: they're more expensive (few hundred dollars) and some of them run pretty hot (inside a closet, that's a burn-down-the-house waiting to happen). but my biggest concern was how much of a dent it'd make in my electricity bill. imagining that i got a massive light source rated at 1000 watts, doing the math, that'd double what i currently pay. it'd be like running the blow dryer for 12+ hours everyday. for some people that cost is negligible, particularly if what they're growing (wink wink) is rather lucrative. but for me, i just want to have some fresh basil and cilantro and maybe get a springtime head start sprouting some seedlings, so a minimum setup of a pair of 40 watt grow lights will be fine.
a fifth of all my stuff are actually old VHS tapes. as recent as just a few years ago, i was obsessed with taping shows that i end up never watching. now i never use my VCR anymore, except to tape a sports game if i can't be home to watch live. but just the fact that i still sometimes use a VCR probably makes me a dinosaur, a relic of 20th century technology. nowadays, i don't tape shows anymore, but instead pull them off the internet through P2P sharing. they look just as good as on TV but minus the commercials and they end up being files on my computer that i can either throw away or save and watch again. reading what i just wrote, you can probably guess that i'm not up to speed on all this HD technology. i've seen HD broadcast and it looks amazing, and hopefully one day i can afford to upgrade my TV (as well as my cable service), but in the meantime, regular analog style TV is good enough for me, with the occasional digital downloaded supplement. as for all those VHS tapes, maybe on a rainy day i'll look through them. in my parents' basement i have several more boxes of tapes, shows i've taped from the 80's. maybe one day i can convert them to digital files and finally clear out some space.
i learned how to pick a master combination lock tonight. i knew it could be done, whether through finesse by figuring out the combination or through the ingenious use of tools like making a homemade shim. while sorting through my stuff, i came across an orphaned padlock. i went online and got the instructions on how to pick the lock, first by figuring out the 3rd number (through a series of click points), then deducing possible candidates for the 1st and 2nd numbers. the result is a set of 80-100 possible combinations. i wasn't even sure if it'd work, like trying to find something in the dark. after about 20 minutes though, i managed to get the lock to open. where was this skill in high school, when i could've used it!
i found all sorts of things today. like a money ring i made out of a $5 bill (normally people use just $1). it was probably made during a time in my life when i had a lot of money, so much so that i didn't know what to do with it and made jewelry out of them. i promptly disassembled the money ring and added it to my cash reserve. i also found an old matchbox. it looks like it came from china, but the image on the cover showed a bearded soldier carrying a bayoneted rifle reading a russian newspaper. i'm not sure how i ever got in possession of this matchbox. i tried to translate the writing, something about "peace" but i can't read the rest.
by days end, i'd managed to move several boxes to the basement, and emptied out two milk crates and two more cardboard boxes. that should give me enough space to put in a small grow house (a grow shelf more like it). the living room and kitchen however are still a mess, just too much stuff needs to be organized for just one day. i had some rice noodle leftover for dinner and watched in horror as the celtics lost for just the 4th time this season. yesterday obama, today the celtics, i don't think i can take another loss. if the pats don't beat the jaguars on saturday, i will be seriously depressed for the rest of the winter. at least i'll have my grow house by then!
finally, came across this great site called "face your pockets!" it's a project where people scan the things in their pockets and bags as well as themselves. i spent a long time looking at the different portraits and even decided to do one of my own. i never realized how the things a person carries everyday can say a lot about that person. i just wished i had a better scanner (mine is a canon LIDE 70) with a deeper depth of field. i added the MA state quarter as a tribute to my home state and the penny because lincoln and i share the same birthday. you'll notice i don't use a wallet, but use a rubberband instead to carry all my cards. the AA batteries are for my external flash, and you can find my camera remote controller. unlike a lot of people, i just carry a single key (to my house), and normally not even on a keychain. since it's winter, i've got my cough drops and my packet of kleenex. i can't stand the loud train noises on the red line so i always carry earplugs.