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Juliebarkley boxes up her life


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Wrapping breakable items individually in bubble wrap is tedious, uses massive amounts of bubble wrap, and takes an unconscionable amount of time. Nestling items between scrunched-up newspaper is so much more realistic.

 

Tomorrow will likely be more of the same.

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Today was not more of the same, because I largely ran out of newspaper before even dealing with the donated items, so breaking out another category of fragile items with no good way to wrap them would not have been a fun time. Instead we did the polar opposite category: blankets, bedding, and towels. I am writing this post surrounded by a giant pool of fluffy textiles that need to be packed away. This category has gotten the cat all excited. I almost hit her with a pillow that bounced off the pile she was next to, and she has been super playful and interested ever since. I'll have to be careful to make sure I'm not one of those people who accidentally packs up their cat and takes it off to the charity shop.

 

It was a slow day at work, so I was working through some of the training videos that we have access to. The one I watched gave me a lot to think about. It was titled something like "Managing Liberal/Conservative Conflict in the Workplace", but like so many by this trainer it was more than that. It was really more about how to see people who are very different than you, and may do or believe things you detest, as complex and three-dimensional human beings with value, not just as "bad guys" or defined only by that one thing. The lecturer was living in Rwanda during the genocide and in Colombia when they were reintegrating the FARC into civilian society, and he was sharing his observations of societies working to heal truly massive divides and drawing out principles that can be used in other places at the individual level. (The training originally took place about a week after the incident at the Capitol, so good timing I guess). A bit that he said right at the start has been running through my mind a lot today. "If you ever think, 'My world would be a better place without them in it', that's genocidal thinking. It doesn't mean that you're about to commit a genocide, but that's the thinking that leads to genocides." (Because it means you have mentally reduced a person or group to one negative trait, and with that trait, have decided you know everything you need to know about them and can write them off as worthless.) Once again, I feel like putting some effort into internalizing and applying the ideas from this random work training will just plain make me a better person.

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Today started with a quick visit from a colleague to take away some new-looking stuffed animals, hula hoops, etc. for the library. After that, we tackled a big category: office supplies. We started in the early afternoon and have only just finished now. Packing it up still remains to be done.

 

I'm tired, but that packing has to be done today because it is blocking the stairs. And I still have audiobook work to do. 😳 Crazy times I am living in. I could use more than 24 hours in my day right about now. And it is really hard to make myself sit down to make decisions for the book after a whole day of making decisions about other stuff. My brain just wants to shut down....

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Today was a clean-up day where very little sorting was done (only things that had turned up for already-completed categories). I mostly just worked on the audiobook, and got it down to the processing and proof listen stage (yay!). I also got closed a lot of tabs while procrastinating on a break from the book.

 

That really was my entire day. 🤷‍♀️

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On 6/4/2021 at 12:47 PM, juliebarkley said:

how to see people who are very different than you, and may do or believe things you detest, as complex and three-dimensional human beings with value, not just as "bad guys" or defined only by that one thing. 

That sounds like something that would be very beneficial for a lot of people (including myself).  It is way too easy to put people into categories based on one negative aspect and write off or ignore all of their positive attributes.

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31Intermission [Current]

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4 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

That sounds like something that would be very beneficial for a lot of people (including myself).  It is way too easy to put people into categories based on one negative aspect and write off or ignore all of their positive attributes.

It's so easy that you don't even always notice that you are doing it. That's the worst part.

 

And I know I said this before, but while it is common enough to demonize (and dehumanize) "Republicans" or "Democrats" or "MAGA people" or "Antifa" in the US these days, there are lots of other "bad guys" out there. We've all got different lists. It could be racists, pedophiles, people with schizophrenia, billionaires, ISIS members, animal rights extremists, Evangelicals, Muslims, Islamophobes, the police, drug dealers, prostitutes, Scientologists, Israeli settlers - you get the idea. It takes a bit of work (for me at least) to remember that the local guy on trial for planning a terror attack used to be a sweet, shy child who drew beautiful pictures, and that he has family and friends who love him for all his good traits as much as they are saddened and shocked by what he has done. Or even that the guy who just screamed at me is more than just an obnoxious customer, but might have a traumatic brain injury or might just have found out his beloved dog died. It doesn't excuse the behaviour, that's still wrong of course, but it does help me see them differently. Kind of an extension of the seventy excuses thing, if you've ever heard of that.

 

The presenter gave two examples of overcoming one-thing thinking that I found quite touching. Spoilered for rambliness and murder.

 

Spoiler

One was a friend of his who had taken a young man into her life and who helped her with all sorts of things around her property. This man was part of the killing squad that had murdered her husband and two sons. It took a really long time for them to get to this point of course, but she recognized that although he had done horrible things to her and others, there was more to him than that. He had confessed in the face of death threats, had shown her where the bodies of her family were buried, and had gone back over and over to pester the men still in jail, at personal risk, until they apologized to her personally for what they had done.

 

The other was personal to the presenter. He was present at a showdown at an orphanage where he was not sure whether, if he left to get help, the people there would be slaughtered. (They were not.) Years later, he visited a prison where a prisoner was part of a talk of some kind, and he recognized the speaker as the leader of the killing squad from the orphanage. He was overcome with anger, and his technique for humanizing him was (as a religious Christian) to take the things he knows about himself (ex. Jesus loves me and died for me) and replace "himself" with the name of the man he hated. After a year of this, he felt like he'd made some progress and he went back to the prison to see him again. He told the prisoner that he had recognized him, and the prisoner said "I recognized you. I was so glad to see that you survived." And that made him break down, this little exchange of human caring, because in all his efforts to humanize the prisoner, he had never considered this exchange from the other side - that the other guy thought about him too, and might have worried about him or be glad for his safety. They ended up hugging (I gather Rwanda is a very huggy society) just from having empathized with each other as real, flawed people. Not excusing or minimizing what had been done, not at all, but acknowledging that those evil acts are not all there is to the story, and neither are they the end of it.

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We did laundry stuff today, and also moved the washer and dryer, cleaned the floor underneath that had not been exposed in thirty years (gross!) and painted the walls. I was only minimally involved in that part. I went through a few puzzles with my son, then shuffled around some empty boxes and packed up a few things. I also started packing up the books. I have a lot of books. I have gone through them twice. It's still a lot. I'm okay with that, but the trouble is that books in a box do not take up less room than books on a shelf, because books on a shelf really do not have any wasted space. It's not like knick knacks where you pack them tight and they don't take up much room. No. Books always take up a lot of room. And they are heavy, so the boxes can't be too big or they will be too hard to move around. And they vary in size quite dramatically, so finding boxes to fit them is frustrating and you end up picking through the shelves trying to find things that are the same size, hoping you have enough.... Basically, they are a PITA to pack. I will be doing more of it this evening, and also going through some of my sale books that are still sitting in piles waiting for me to deal with them. From last challenge? Two challenges ago? Whatever, it didn't get done then and now it needs to and that's that. At least past me helped out a little.

 

Speaking of people that tend to be dehumanized and written off, I am so happy that our realtor introduced us to the non-criminally responsible ward (there is a film about them; pretty cool!). She was telling us about life on the ward. How only one out of five patients, at most, ever receive a single visitor. How their clothing cupboard was almost completely bare at one point during lockdown. How most of the residents don't have winter coats, but have to borrow institutional coats for their break time outside. How much they appreciate even tiny things, like stickers. And how they never receive any community donations. (By contrast, the local women's shelter was unable to take in donations except for select items as they had received so much.) Many of these residents have mental ages of between five and ten. (I have an uncle who has a low mental age as well, and she has residents who like some of the same things he does.) Others had uncontrolled mental illness, which they are now learning to control with medication and therapy. Some will graduate back into the community, but some live out their lives in the ward. It is really sad how forgotten these people are. We have been carefully picking out anything that they might be able to use because, more than any other local community group, these folks have unmet needs that we can help with in some small way. And maybe it will make them happy to know that someone is thinking of them, because it sure makes me happy to be able to help. :)

 

Ahaha, do forgive my self-indulgent ramblings! 😅

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Today was mostly packing more books. I am rapidly running out of medium-sized boxes (I may need about twenty more), and I fear that once they are all packed up, they may equal in volume all of the other stuff that has been packed up so far. Did I mention that I have a lot of books???

 

We also finished some small furniture items like shelves and clocks (the ones that aren't actively in use) and the pet supplies. The cat was not distinctly unimpressed at being the guinea pig for our small collection of cat harnesses. Especially the one we had to try multiple times to figure out how it worked, until we finally concluded that even if we extended it as far as it would go, she was just too fat for it. She was already edgy from all the stuff moving around and probably cranky from the heat too. She went back and forth between resisting, which prolonged her torment but helped her keep her self-respect, and just submitting and letting us dress her like a rag doll. She'll forgive me by tomorrow. Sooner if I give her drugs (ie. catnip) or brush her.

 

It is finally starting to look like we are making progress. The boxes of packed-up items are accumulating, floor space is reappearing, the donation pile is growing, and a closet or two is now completely empty. It's very satisfying. :)

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On 6/6/2021 at 10:49 PM, juliebarkley said:

It is really sad how forgotten these people are. We have been carefully picking out anything that they might be able to use because, more than any other local community group, these folks have unmet needs that we can help with in some small way. And maybe it will make them happy to know that someone is thinking of them, because it sure makes me happy to be able to help. :)

 

You are a good person. 🙂

 

9 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Today was mostly packing more books. I am rapidly running out of medium-sized boxes (I may need about twenty more), and I fear that once they are all packed up, they may equal in volume all of the other stuff that has been packed up so far. Did I mention that I have a lot of books???

 

 

Occupational hazard? 😁

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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13 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

It is finally starting to look like we are making progress. The boxes of packed-up items are accumulating, floor space is reappearing, the donation pile is growing, and a closet or two is now completely empty. It's very satisfying. :)

I bet! Must feel nice to have made moved more towards the more mobile/minimalist lifestyle you mentioned you want from the more, ahem, hoarder side. :D 

 

On 6/7/2021 at 7:49 AM, juliebarkley said:

It's so easy that you don't even always notice that you are doing it. That's the worst part.

Too true. 

 

You're an awesome human.

.

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15 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

You are a good person. 🙂

11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

You're an awesome human.

Thanks guys, but really it's not anything that anyone else wouldn't do in my situation.

 

15 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Occupational hazard? 😁

My previous library service let us have discarded books for free. The current one lets us take them if they're not saleable, and get first dibs on them if they are. Add in four decades of garage sales with books at 25-50 cents a pop, and, well, ....

 

11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I bet! Must feel nice to have made moved more towards the more mobile/minimalist lifestyle you mentioned you want from the more, ahem, hoarder side. :D

True, though it is always easier to weed other people's things than your own. :D It's a small move though, but I am happy to be making it. I reckon we are getting rid of about 20-25% of items averaged across all categories, so it's a respectable reduction, and we are not even making really hard cuts. The two moves my family made as a child prior to this one were all short-distance moves where the stuff just got packed up without being gone through. And we've had this house for thirty years now, with no big go-through either. There was over-ample storage, so the stuff just built up all that time because it could be shoved aside and forgotten about. We found lots of stuff that hadn't left its storage box for more than a decade. It was time.

 

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We are done most of the big categories and so we are down to small(er) ones now. I was feeling energetic after work, so we knocked out a few before D&D. First we did throw pillows and cushions, an easy category as it had fewer than ten items in it. Then we tackled cords and cables, and got rid of a bunch of cheap cables, a pile of crappy earbuds, and a few where we just had too many (no one needs ten USB to micro-USB cables!) And a few cords became a research pile, because no one knew what the heck they were. We have lots of older tech in active use, so we kept a pretty good variety of stuff though. Then we moved onto spices. Oh lordy, that one was a mistake. I thought this would be a quick category that we could knock out in the hour or so before D&D. No. My mother and I had very different ideas of what "going through" this category meant and how it should be done, and I ended up standing by the sink refilling and combining jars while she waded through a sea of unsorted bottles and packets. We were not done by the time the game started, but it was done by the time it ended, so I am not sure what happened with it exactly. I started my game smelling like cardamom is all I know for sure.

 

Time to hit the book pile. I have a box to fill, and the piles of potentially saleable books await me.

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Short update today. We moved a couple of pieces of furniture up from the basement, one of which is for sale and one for discard. The one that is trash was very heavy, long, and had no handhold at all on one side. I repeatedly advised that we not risk injuring ourselves and take a sledgehammer to it rather than trying to maneuver it up a flight of stairs with a turn in it, then down another flight outside. I was overruled, however, and although it went okay in the end it put me in a bad mood for a few hours. We finished the spices and packed up all except the ones we use all the time. Then we did a few more food items that were actually quick and easy, and we have started a small "food bank" pile. (A lot of our stuff discards are too old to be donateable, but there is a little bit at least.) Then we went to do a repair and glue a chipped item back together, when the brand-new glue exploded at the bottom seam rather than coming out the spout like well-behaved glue. 😡(This may have been my fault - I passed it to my son without telling him to check if the top needed piercing.) Then we packed up some more books. I may have yelled at and otherwise spoken unpleasantly to people a fair amount today.

 

I also spent a bunch of time today reading a book. Children's lit again. I keep getting lost in this one - it seems to just fly by when I feel like I've been reading for no time at all. (Baylor's Guide to the Other Side by Robert Imfeld, about a boy who can talk to ghosts, his twin sister-who-died-before-she-was-born who is his manager of sorts and the problem ghost they're trying to figure out.) The plot has been almost equally weighted to the character interactions, which have also been very entertaining. It looks like there is at least one more of this series, which I will be picking up. However, I need to stop picking up more library books and start returning them. I think I'm below 100 checked out, but not by much. Gah.

 

Tonight is probably packing more books. Or reading. Or proof listening. Or watching the cats play with bugs. Or something else; I don't know.

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2 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Thanks guys, but really it's not anything that anyone else wouldn't do in my situation.

Clearly this is not the case, otherwise there wouldn't be such a shortage. Also I can think of at least one person (my dad) who would 100% rather throw the things out than make even the slightest effort towards helping anybody.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 8:57 AM, juliebarkley said:

There was over-ample storage, so the stuff just built up all that time because it could be shoved aside and forgotten about.

Stuff really behaves like a gas, it will fill all available space. :D 

 

On 6/9/2021 at 8:57 AM, juliebarkley said:

I started my game smelling like cardamom is all I know for sure.

Could've been worse! :D 

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5 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I can think of at least one person (my dad) who would 100% rather throw the things out than make even the slightest effort towards helping anybody.

But why??? I have heard rumours that some of the people in the neighbouring town used to wait till they heard the garbage truck approaching to drag their old furniture out rather than let anyone else have it, and I just. do. not. understand.

 

5 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Stuff really behaves like a gas, it will fill all available space. :D 

TRUTH.

 

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More books today. (Can you tell I am avoiding the craft supplies?) I have finally started in on the towering stacks of potential sale books. That will be the remainder of my evening. My own books now almost fit on the shelves, which is a big improvement. I'll move on to something else when they are presentable.

 

I opened the bathroom door after a shower today to find a stranger on the other side. 😳The neighbour sent them over because they knew we were thinking about listing, and a family member was showing them around. I was, at least, dressed enough that it wasn't extremely embarrassing, but it wasn't pleasant, either.

 

Oh, and I finally got a vaccine appointment for this weekend. Fingers crossed for few side effects. That's about it for today.

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On 6/8/2021 at 11:57 PM, juliebarkley said:

Thanks guys, but really it's not anything that anyone else wouldn't do in my situation.

 

Hatter has already pointed out the flaw in this statement.  Where I live there are people who are genuinely outraged that useful, expensive, medical care is wasted on "people like that".... so yeah. Maybe someone, but not anyone, definitely not everyone.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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11 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

But why??? I have heard rumours that some of the people in the neighbouring town used to wait till they heard the garbage truck approaching to drag their old furniture out rather than let anyone else have it, and I just. do. not. understand.

 

Because they had to suffer for every little thing they have earned, and they Will Be Damned if they give anyone a free handout... lazy bums that they are. People who aren't willing to work and suffer for something don't deserve to have it.

 

That's usually how it goes anyway.

 

I don't get it either. The level of resentment it would takes to believe this sounds like it would be just exhausting to maintain.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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44 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Hatter has already pointed out the flaw in this statement.  Where I live there are people who are genuinely outraged that useful, expensive, medical care is wasted on "people like that".... so yeah. Maybe someone, but not anyone, definitely not everyone.

That's a little different. This is stuff I'm getting rid of anyway that would otherwise go to waste. With medical care, service given to one person means service not given to another, so I suppose an argument could be made that some are more "deserving" than others. Medical triage is a reality of life. Sounds like that's not what you're thinking of though.

 

43 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Because they had to suffer for every little thing they have earned, and they Will Be Damned if they give anyone a free handout... lazy bums that they are. People who aren't willing to work and suffer for something don't deserve to have it.

 

That's usually how it goes anyway.

 

I don't get it either. The level of resentment it would takes to believe this sounds like it would be just exhausting to maintain.

I guess I've never met anyone who would begrudge another person something they are literally choosing to get rid of anyway. People who value hard work and know the value of a dollar also tend to value community spirit, thrift, and feel a personal moral commitment - a duty even - to help the less fortunate when they can. When I think "handout" I think "government handout" rather than "personal charity", and that's a different animal entirely. Lots of people don't like government handouts for a variety of valid (and usually less curmudgeonly) reasons, but basic personal charity and keeping things out of landfill - who could object to that!?

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14 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

That's a little different. This is stuff I'm getting rid of anyway that would otherwise go to waste. With medical care, service given to one person means service not given to another, so I suppose an argument could be made that some are more "deserving" than others. Medical triage is a reality of life. Sounds like that's not what you're thinking of though.

 

Not in the least, no. Medical triage is different from believing the reason prisons shouldn't have doctors is because criminals are less human than non-criminals so if they die it's not a big loss to anyone.

 

16 minutes ago, juliebarkley said:

Lots of people don't like government handouts for a variety of valid (and usually less curmudgeonly) reasons, but basic personal charity and keeping things out of landfill - who could object to that!?

 

Frustratingly, lots of people, it seems.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

But why??? I have heard rumours that some of the people in the neighbouring town used to wait till they heard the garbage truck approaching to drag their old furniture out rather than let anyone else have it, and I just. do. not. understand.

This is a very common cultural mindset here that is two pronged.  The first is the assumption that other people would not be interested in having something used, and would most likely rather not take something someone else has used (this is the outward facing excuse).  The second (and I think perhaps true reason) is that they feel like whatever they are putting out there in some way is personal to them and they don't want someone else having those memories.  I think everyone knows deep down that there is no way the person getting the stuff (furniture, clothes, whatever) would have any inkling of how the former owner had used it, nor would they care, but the perception on the part of the person getting rid of it is real.  I don't think this way myself, but I have been exposed to it long enough to recognize and understand it.

 

On 6/9/2021 at 1:57 PM, juliebarkley said:

Thanks guys, but really it's not anything that anyone else wouldn't do in my situation.

Strong disagree.  I think it is wonderful that you perceive it that way, though.  It says a lot about you.

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

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Level 2 Ninja

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20 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

This is a very common cultural mindset here that is two pronged.  The first is the assumption that other people would not be interested in having something used, and would most likely rather not take something someone else has used (this is the outward facing excuse).  The second (and I think perhaps true reason) is that they feel like whatever they are putting out there in some way is personal to them and they don't want someone else having those memories.  I think everyone knows deep down that there is no way the person getting the stuff (furniture, clothes, whatever) would have any inkling of how the former owner had used it, nor would they care, but the perception on the part of the person getting rid of it is real.  I don't think this way myself, but I have been exposed to it long enough to recognize and understand it.

 

And to be clear, this attitude is a lot more common than the one I described. 

 

And for contrast, where I live the opposite attitude is actually also very common, where someone refuses to throw away something that is still usable and donates it instead, usually for the moral reasons @juliebarkley mentioned.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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21 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Not in the least, no. Medical triage is different from believing the reason prisons shouldn't have doctors is because criminals are less human than non-criminals so if they die it's not a big loss to anyone.

 Ick. Particularly ick when you think how many people are in prison for non-violent and/or victimless crimes.

 

21 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

This is a very common cultural mindset here that is two pronged.  The first is the assumption that other people would not be interested in having something used, and would most likely rather not take something someone else has used (this is the outward facing excuse).  The second (and I think perhaps true reason) is that they feel like whatever they are putting out there in some way is personal to them and they don't want someone else having those memories.  I think everyone knows deep down that there is no way the person getting the stuff (furniture, clothes, whatever) would have any inkling of how the former owner had used it, nor would they care, but the perception on the part of the person getting rid of it is real.  I don't think this way myself, but I have been exposed to it long enough to recognize and understand it.

Like the object is imbued with a small part of yourself, and in passing it on someone else could taint it somehow?

 

35 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

And to be clear, this attitude is a lot more common than the one I described. 

 

And for contrast, where I live the opposite attitude is actually also very common, where someone refuses to throw away something that is still usable and donates it instead, usually for the moral reasons @juliebarkley mentioned.

I think the local people who try to send their furniture to landfill have something against the people who troll around on garbage day looking for things they can resell. I still don't get it - if you don't want it, who cares if someone makes money off it? - but some people really object to other people making money off their donations and discards.

 

Donations are super common here. Side of the road with a free sign, given to a charity shop, given directly to a friend or family member, garage sales - all common, and to the best of my knowledge, common across socio-economic groups. For instance, the richest neighbourhood in the city has a huge community garage sale every year. One local church with a fairly wealthy congregation has a few events per year where they solicit donations, then have an open free day for anyone to take whatever they want. Some people will give, some take, some both, the people who are in need can take what they need without any social stigma, and the people who have excess can feel good about helping their community. It's probably a cultural thing - people in my immediate area are more likely to brag about how little they paid for something than how much. I hardly ever had new clothes, toys, or books as a child (sometimes not even for Christmas), and I still buy used if I can. I like that my things have a history.

 

Just for interest, I ran into another cultural explanation for throwing out useful things in a book about Americans moving to Iceland (the things you find when randomly flipping through books on slow days). They said that the Icelanders had as a strong cultural value that they were all socially equal. This meant that when they decided something was trash, they would often destroy it rather than pass it on because giving someone else your "trash" created an inequality - it means that you have more than, and are therefore better than, the person receiving your item. Also, due to the small population, there was a non-zero chance that you could run into the person using "your" thing, which could be embarrassing for both parties. (The authors furnished their whole apartment with things they took from landfill, over the bafflement of their friends that they were happy to live with trash.)

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm really tired today and have not managed to actually get anything done yet. We did get a lot of trash out to the pickup area and ship off a bunch of donations to a charity shop though (our shopping opened up a bit today, and I gather the lines were super long everywhere - probably why it was so slow at work today). I will work on more books tonight. The focus now is really on getting things to a picture-ready state ASAP, and these books are something only I can do.

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17 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Just for interest, I ran into another cultural explanation for throwing out useful things in a book about Americans moving to Iceland (the things you find when randomly flipping through books on slow days). They said that the Icelanders had as a strong cultural value that they were all socially equal. This meant that when they decided something was trash, they would often destroy it rather than pass it on because giving someone else your "trash" created an inequality - it means that you have more than, and are therefore better than, the person receiving your item. Also, due to the small population, there was a non-zero chance that you could run into the person using "your" thing, which could be embarrassing for both parties. (The authors furnished their whole apartment with things they took from landfill, over the bafflement of their friends that they were happy to live with trash.)

Oh that is very interesting!

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Today is going to be more book processing, much like yesterday. I made good progress on the piles last night, so fingers crossed it will be more of the same since I have more hours to do it today. Then if I have time, some book packing and some tidying up of random crap lying around.

 

My brother is coming in for a few days on short notice. It will be good to get a third-party opinion on our efforts.

 

Some of my chocolate stash is developing those white spots you sometimes get when your chocolate is a bit old. This means I need to eat more chocolate, right? :D

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This challenge came to a quiet end. I had my vaccine shot, then we went out for disc golf (everyone sucked; double par was the norm). By the time I got home, my arm was hurting enough that I could not put any weight on it, lift it chest high, or fully straighten or bend it, so that was me pretty much useless for the rest of the day.

 

Later in the evening, we dragged up old school papers to sort through. We had some laughs just in sorting the items into my pile and my brother's. (We haven't even started actually reading them yet - I'm looking forward to this!)

 

I also found an old government publication in my pile that must have been handed out in the schools. It's called "My Ontario" and was published just before 2000 and contains children's visions of what life would be like in 2020. Much of it is predictably utopian:

  • We will have cured cancer and other diseases.
  • There will be no pollution of any kind, forests will be bigger, everything will be recyclable, we all plant trees and pick up trash, and no one will hunt.
  • Everyone will have a house, there will be no hunger, everyone will live in peace, everyone will be happy, there will be no violence or crime. (ie. we are perfect angel people)
  • We will all have flying cars, virtual reality (especially in school classrooms for learning history), people will live on the moon, and robots will run our houses and do chores for us.

 

But there were lots of unexpected ones too. I will share below for fun.

Spoiler
  • School at home, on the computer. Good call on this one.
  • Vehicles with more wheels. I guess this makes them more high-tech?
  • Two different kids mentioned being able to visit any school in a wheelchair. Probably still not a reality.
  • At least a half-dozen kids mentioned cars running on water instead of gas. This must have been a thing in the news at the time. My economics nerd also noticed that one kid who designed a car such a car pointed out that gas stations would make less money because water is cheaper than gas and people could fill their own tanks. However, water companies would make more money due to the increased demand for water, so it balances out, they said.
  • "In the future, I hope they make some flying cars. Or a bike with twenty wheels and some flying people. And toys that can talk to you [we had this in 2020, kid] and pets that can talk back to you. I would also like to see a time capsule that would take me back in time. Then I could see people in the past and the way they lived in the past. In the future if the gravity was changed, I could jump 10 feet in the air. I would like to meet Jesus in the future. I would like to see fruit made out of chocolate too and people lived for peace forever." Interesting future, but kind of lost the plot about the Ontario part...
  • "Back in the 1800's, the money was worth more than it is today. For example, a pencil cost about a penny. I think that in the year 2020, money will worth either a lot more (pencil=a penny), or a lot less (pencil=$20)."
  • School buses will have seat belts, TVs, and coat hooks.
  • We will discover species of animals that are so intelligent that we will let them run the world.
  • Ontario-wide monorail!
  • Everything will be made from plastic, therefore everything will be recyclable. This means less pollution because of fewer metals, because less metal means less pollution. [Maybe someone should have told the anti-plastic straw campaigners this before we made a ton of metal straws that are now mostly gathering dust in drawers. Ahem.]
  • Self-baking cake and laser beam knives.
  • Pills that taste like dog biscuits to cure doggie cancer.
  • All the ice has melted and James Bay is the size of Hudson Bay. [The editors must have missed that one!]
  • Solve the problem of crowded classrooms by making one layer of children float over the other!
  • "In 20 years the trees will be twice as strong and 3 times the size... The forest will be thicker than fat on a bear." That... is not how trees work.
  • One child created a letter of understanding that all countries could sign that says that everyone is entitled to and shall receive adequate food and water, shelter and clothing, medical care, education, and freedom of religion. I mean, I guess you could do that last one at the drop of a hat, but the rest are not going to be achieved by signing a paper and wishing it so. Sorry, kid.
  • You will have drinks, TV, and music built into your hat. And your shirt will be made of feathers and have an atlas on it to teach you geography. Your pants will only teach you math though, the slackers.
  • Toilets in cars.
  • Also, your car will be a dolphin.
  • "In my world, money doesn't exist, you don't favor the rich and spit on the poor. You buy things for credits. All people are given the same amount of credits whether they are doctors or gas pumpers. Credits pay for items you wish to have. All jobs are important and they all must be completed efficiently." (ie. hey, this kid just invented communism! He also says that our flag has red stripes for Canada and stars for the US, so I think we are one country and you get communism too.)
  • We will write L  K     T   I       because the current way is "too boring".
  •                                  I    E     H  S

 

And this kid has actually predicted the future. (Not the moon part though.) I hope you're doing well, Michael King.

Spoiler

Just imagine learning about Christopher Columbus, through the eyes of Virtual Reality headgear. Each student is seated in a cosmic shaped desk with their own personal computer, and experiencing crossing the Atlantic Ocean with the crew of the Santa Maria and reaching the New World of North America. I think this will be the way of learning in the year 2020. In the year 2020 I will be 33 years old. At the new schools I think there will be a drinking fountain that will ask what your preference will be like pop, water, juice or milk.

 

The new popular place for vacationing will be on the moon. Imagine a March break on the moon, catching a few moon beams. Sounds just out of this world. Also, there will probably be robots that will do chores for you, so you can relax and have fun.

 

There will be a new popular type of cruise control in your car so you can relax your legs, and it will also steer your car to your destination. All you need to do is program it before you leave your home.

 

Clothing will be made of natural fibres that are biodegradable, and will be recycled at your local shopping mall. For those people who lead busy lifestyles they will be able to fax their food order from their car, so it can be ready at the take out window when they arrive. This will be terrific for me since I will be leading quite a busy lifestyle of my own. I will be driving around in my Chevrolet truck. While driving I will take in messages from my electronic secretary. I will strive to be the best criminal lawyer that Brantford has ever seen. i will try to solve all the difficult criminal cases in the city of Brantford. As far as March Break is concerned, I think I'll just spend it on the moon, and take advantage of that "one giant step for mankind".

 

And this kid has created a Neuromancer- esque dystopia. Or maybe it just feels too dystopian after the real 2020.

Spoiler

In the middle of the picture, there is a woman wearing a simulation suit which is the 2020's technology and is manufactured in Ontario. The suit serves many purposes. It can bring its wearer to a computerized virtual world. The suit has a slot where discs can be inserted. The disc contains every detail of the computerized virtual world. The computerized world can be anywhere. On the top left corner of the picture, the woman is experiencing what it's like to be Juliet in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". On the bottom, the woman is experiencing being an astronaut. On the top right corner, the woman is experiencing what it's like to play Maria in "The Sound of Music". In the computerized virtual world, the person can still touch and feel, but the people involved are holograms.

 

This technology will bring people a lot of convenience. Although it will cut down job opportunities, this invention will also create new jobs. With this new technology, people don't have to buy furniture, silverware, or decorations for their home anymore. They can program their home to look like whatever they want it to be, and it will last forever unless they want to change it. People don't have to go to other countries to see the sights for vacation, they can buy discs of California's sunshine, and the whole family can go to California. This suit can also be used for educational purposes. For instance, when students are studying Shakespeare's play, instead of reading the text that sometimes causes difficulties for the readers, they can just buy the program and experience the whole play for themselves. They don't even have to memorize anything because the experience will stay in their minds forever. Also, in a history class, the events can be written into programs and they will help the students understand the different perspectives and what it feels like to experience those situations.

 

With the help of this new technology, the crime rate will be reduced because people's desires are satisfied in their own virtual worlds. The programs also have a safety device attached to it. It can control the degree of injury. When things get too violent and dangerous, the program will automatically shut down to ensure the user's safety.

 

This technology is likely to be developed because right now we are already capable of creating multipath movies which let the viewers become the directors. Also we are capable of creating life experience simulations (eg. Imax 3-D films). Combining these two technologies with some more improvement will make this whole picture come true.

 

This technology is terrific, but it will also create new kinds of problems that we have never encountered before. Just like the convenience of the Internet and how it can be falsely used. One of the problems that might occur is that the programs might be too perfect for the users that they will like to stay in the virtual world and refuse to return to the reality. People may become so dependent on this technology that all the other wonderful things about life may be ignored. Then there is going to be a real problem. Not minding all the others, this will stop further improvement of our society and the whole of humanity.

 

Anyway, as a general challenge wrap-up, I think it went well this time around. I didn't have fixed targets, but I did work towards my goal of clearing and packing almost every day. We are way further along than we would be without this challenge, and we are lighter in the stuff department. And we're hoping to get the listing done by the end of next week, so I should be able to do something different for the next challenge. :)

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