Self-inflicted harm is surprisingly easy:

One of the things I could never figure out about Karl (my former “friend” I mentioned in a previous post) was his tendency to brag about the vast morass of E-scrap which he had acquired over the decades.

To be clear: I am not one of your typical “throwaway society”-types who is solely motivated by advertising and “pop”-culture.  My objection has NEVER been (for example) to the fact that he “collected” 8-bit computers (TRS-80 Color Computers, etc.).

My perplexity has always centered around his: tendency to (unthinkingly) qcquire MORE — unsorted — stuff before he had even attempted to sort what he already had.

This has always struck me as utterly irrational, for the following reasons:

First: if you haven’t bothered to figure out what you already have on-hand, how do you know what you need/want to acquire?  Moreover, what exactly do you plan to do with it all?

For example: let’s say you’ve just acquired a box of “free” stuff from a hamfest (which is actually fairly easy to do, given the fact that people often don’t want to bother loading the stuff back into their vehicles, which they didn’t manage to sell or discard during the ‘fest itself.)

What’s your play for it?   What (if anything) gets stripped for parts?   What (if anything) gets repaired?  Have you bothered to check whether there are “alka-leaks” left in the battery compartments?

A perfect example of this was the most genius move Karl told me about recently:

Mr. Pseudo-prepper managed to leave alkaline batteries in one of his Yaesu VX-7s which he then managed to “misplace” among the hoard of (unsorted) E-waste cluttering up his parents’ basement and garage.

Then *I* got to hear him bitch and whine about having done so.

Quite frankly, that bespeaks nothing but total ineptitude and carelessness.

I can’t bring myself to take him seriously, after that — especially since he has made it abundantly clear that that is the sort of thing he expects “stupid people” (Non-Hams/Non-geeks, etc.) to do.

Exactly how difficult is it to actually give enough of a shit about what you’re doing, to at least attempt not to “misplace” stuff?

Quite frankly: if you don’t have the space required to organize, catalog or use the stuff, you probably shouldn’t be acquiring more un-sorted boxes of random what-not from Hamfests.

Likewise: if the stuff has been in a storage-unit for more than a decade, you’re wasting the money used to pay for that storage-unit.

AT LEAST catalog the stuff as you put it INTO the storage-unit.  Same goes for the (sadly typical) tendency of the unthinking to clutter up their own attic/garage/basement with  random boxes of “whatnot” — with no attempt to catalog or sift the stuff.

Another genius indication of how much Karl sucks at “organizing” was when he discovered that his tube-tester  had become rusty and/or corroded, probably past the point of usable repair, due to a roof-leak having saturated several stacks of boxes and “whatnot”, over the course of — most likely — at least a decade.

His “solution” to the problem is equally inane: instead of sifting through the boxes and “streamlining” things, he has merely chucked vast numbers of them into YET MORE storage units (after cramming his trailer floor-to-ceiling with them, to the point where he can’t actually get to the refrigerator in his own kitchen.

To summarize:

  1. He has spent the past several decades acquiring mind-boggling amounts of random “what-not” which he hasn’t bothered to catalog in any meaningful fashion.
  2. As a result, he has never had any clear idea of what his “collection” contains.
  3. His (self-inflicted) failure/inability to store the stuff correctly has resulted in a significant proportion of it becoming: rusty/corroded/covered in rodent feces, etc.
  4. He is a pretentious imbecile.

 

 

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