Sometimes the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one...
Out in my garage is a galvanized steel bucket.
Here's a picture of my daughter with the bucket.
She's carrying about three small rocks in it,
destined to be mulch for weed control,
because she needed to be helping.
My daughter now has a daughter of her own just about that age,
who looks equally serious when taking on an important task
like moving rocks.
(I know because the granddaughter and I took a walk around the neighborhood the other day,
and stopped to spend a few minutes returning the neighbor's rocks
that someone had kicked out onto the sidewalk
to their proper place in the landscaping.
It was clearly Important Work.)
The bucket is stained with this and that these days,
and there are other better buckets in the garage,
but I'm not about to get rid of it.
I have a piece of software called "scraps"
that I use every day.
I wrote the first version of it
something more than 30 years ago,
with the intent of using it instead of writing things
on scraps of paper that I would promptly lose.
Do you want to know the name, address, and phone number
of the dentist who pulled my wisdom teeth
the year after I moved to New Jersey and went to work for Bell Labs?
It's in there,
down at the bottom of a scrap titled "Dentists"
that has contact information for every dentist I've seen
For no more than it does,
an unconscionable amount of time has been spent
porting that hunk of antique C code
to every operating system I've ever used,
from assorted versions of UNIX to DOS to Linux to Mac OSX...
There are a large number of bookcases in our house.
The overflow from those are stashed away in bankers' boxes
down in the basement.
Some of the books in them are textbooks from when I was an undergraduate,
and not just books from my major.
Some of the books are trash fiction that filled long hours on business trips
in the days before portable computing,
that I'll never read again.
(Sorry, Eric Van Lustbader.)
I've been trying to get rid of some of them,
but seem to be incapable of throwing any away
until I have a suitable EPUB version stored and properly backed up.
(It's astounding the range of out-of-print books that people have scanned and put up on the internet.)
My name is Michael, and –
among other vices –
I'm a pack rat...