- New blog post: Weekly Twitter digest for Saturday, August 21, 2010 http://bit.ly/9BqNFX 00:46:59, 2010-08-23
- Thank God global warming is a hoax http://bit.ly/9yiBOb (Thx @laureenh for the link.) 08:30:16, 2010-08-23
- RT @californianewsn: Berkeley Orders Marina Boatyard to Clean Up or Else http://dlvr.it/4CCFL #Berkeley 15:48:42, 2010-08-24
- "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." — Aristotle 11:17:16, 2010-08-25
If there is one thing that I learned from my father it is that almost anything can be fixed. Not only that but I have also learned over the years that I can fix just about anything. Today was no different. There have been small items piling up on my desk that have needed repair. I took a break from writing technical documents and project plans and let my brain take it easy for a bit. The list included a hamster requiring open heart surgery. A pair of binoculars that had been left outside in the weather and had seized up as well as having dirt and grime and gunk on the inside of the barrels. Now all of which was dried up and looked to permanently cloud the lenses. The paper shredder that locked up and had to be disassembled to remove the offending piece of paperclip that had jammed it. And finally, the kitchen sink faucet which for some reason would not produce hot water. Not sure what I did to fix that one but it is fixed. I can only assume that there was a clog somewhere since I removed quite a bit of buildup (calcium?) from the strainer.
The moral of the story is this, if you are self sufficient enough, you can save yourself a ton of money in effecting repairs on your items rather than replacing them. Now this mornings plethora of fixes is nothing compared to a diesel, watermaker, generator, autopilot etc. but the mindset is the same. Don’t think that just because you don’t know how to fix something you can’t. If you don’t know how, read a service manual, look it up on the internet, ask a friend or someone that does now how, attend a class or call or contact the manufacturer. In doing so you will discover something I did a long time ago: Being self sufficient only bolsters your confidence to tackle other things. It makes you feel accomplished. Give it a try.
Oh, and no hamsters were harmed in this mornings events. No blood shed. Just a happy “electronic” hamster and an even happier child to have his “pet” back. Now I just need to invest more rechargeable batteries.
Michelle ran across this link the other day and it really got me thinking. If there is one thing that is the bane of a catamaran sailor’s existence it is weight. Usually this weight comes in the form of “stuff”. All of the stuff that we carry around with us, that we think we “need” piles up.
For many years I’ve been critical of my sister and her husband who have lived with much less than the rest of us. By less I mean quantity, their quality of life wasn’t lower, just different because they lived with less stuff to clutter their lives. All of their stuff could easily fit on a boat, without a problem but, they just aren’t the type to live on a boat. Although if presented with the option they might consider the move. But I digress.
Anyway, all of this stuff that we have fills our homes, our closets, our garages and our attics. It’s not that we really need the stuff, or that we even really want it. I’m not a psychologist so I can’t go into the reasons why we keep this stuff around for anyone but ourselves. What’s worse is that I can’t answer why we have/had so much stuff. I can speculate that some of it was due to laziness, or some misplaced sentiment but the stuff that is really sentimental we kept. It is either small stuff or stuff that we need to give to family members when we move aboard. But, that’s not what the bulk of the mess was. We had 4 different sets of dishes. Really. Why? I have no idea other than we just were too lazy to get rid of them or we just didn’t think about it.
Stop for a minute and take a look around you. Look at everything that you have in your home, apartment, loft, whatever. Look in the cabinets, in the closets, everywhere that you would store items. Look at those items and think about whether or not you really need them. Have you used them in the past year? Past 2 years? Past 5 years? Have you EVER used them? Look in your closet. Do you see clothes that you no longer wear? Why are you keeping them? These are just a few examples.
Try this exercise. Imagine that you were just presented with a new opportunity. You have to move all of your belongings and you have to do it in less than a week. Not only do you have less than a week but you have to fit everything you own, not counting furniture, in your car. (I am making the assumption that you own a car.) Now, go through all of your belongings and figure out what it is that you would take with you. This is just one trick that you can use. It doesn’t have to be your car, try 5 suitcases, or 2 suitcases. Just pick something reasonable and go from there.
Anyway, click the image/link below to read the article on The New York Times website. Good stuff.