• Happy 1st Demo of Polaroid Land Camera (1947)! 📸⏩🖼️

Ranting

Can you elaborate? And, do you mean the stem that was facing west, or West System?
Sorry, west system epoxy. I built the kayak in 1996 and I believe I tried a water based varnish. Obviously the varnish didn't last, I didn't take care of the kayak and UV damage slowly 'ate' the epoxy. You can see bare wood in spots and white e-glass in other parts. I should be more ashamed of myself for not taking better care of it.
 
All this stuff, all this talk. As someone who will be 75 this fall it has occurred to me that we need to start clearing out the homestead which contains over 49 yrs of stuff. In that timeframe we have lived in two houses. But when we moved into the current house 34 yrs ago everything from house #1 was simply packed and moved the 3/4‘s mile to the new place. This made the move easy and fast. But 10 yrs or so later while I kept avoiding the pile of still packed boxes in the basement it started to dawn on me that these unknown treasures were probably useless to me.

Fast forward to the pandemic. All this time at home and I start nosing around the house into all the storage spaces (a very big selling point when we bought the place in 1988.) My inventory revealed stuff like seven tents, eight sleep mats/pads, six camp stoves, 18 paddles, five canoes (with several stored offsite), 40 years of Canoe and Canoe/Kayak magazines and on and on. You get the picture.

So for the last several years I have been selling off a lot of this stuff which I have found feels great and is fun. I have met many nice canoe/outdoor folk, some of whom have become friends. Plus I pocketed around $5 grand. And made many, many trips to the local Goodwill.

Now I need to figure out how to get the misses to join me
 
A few thoughts
- having several canoes isn't crazy, at least if you have the space. A great solo cruiser can't be a great tandem tripper.
- some aspects of our consumer culture are rotten, but canoes and paddles are largely made in North America.
- if you have extra canoes or camping gear the kids and I might be able to help ; )
 
I’m lounging on my couch, looking out the window sipping coffee as my dog is passed out on my legs. We have four canoes in our backyard. Three are paddle worthy, the fourth is an old 70’s OT project. My neighbor across the street has four rec kayaks, on a nicely built rack next to his garage. I’ve never seen them used. heck, I’ve never seen the couple do anything together besides spray paint “FJB” on cardboard to cover a broken garage window next to their daycare. Which at one point actually spelled out F*** J** B****. The kayaks are overgrown by mulberry suckers and vines. They’ve been forgotten about.

After reading a lot of the posts for the latest poll on how much our partners are into canoeing compared to us. It made me think of two things. About how many hobbies or once passions have been abandoned to lack of a partners interest, a breakup, or a lack of interest from the other person? And how much stuff we have. After moving from place to place, and transferring hobbies from those places to an area less ideal, I’m guilty of this as well. I have a surfboard designed for standing river waves, which we hardly have here. A sad road bike that needs an owner. 13 or 15 snowboards in the shed, these aren’t abandoned, more of a collection.. my excuse. Hiking packs. Etc etc.

While on my last canoe trip, I ran into a couple of guys who have been to that area before. We all chatted for a bit. Turns out we have more in common than just canoe tripping. He lives in the Soo (Sault St. Marie, CAN) as a French teacher and mentioned while he lived in Michigan for a while he noticed that we have a lot of stuff. Now, people have stuff all over this world, there’s no denying that. French Canadians too. But we started to talk about how much was actually in peoples garages that aren’t being used anymore. Canoes. Bikes. Skis. Kayaks. Racks. All of it, very nice. Where I live, people MUST have the best s*** and the full kit to match. Everything visible and strapped to the vehicle or stashed in their garage, door open. They have everything!

When is it that we realize we have too much stuff? When we notice our kayaks have bird nests in them? When we have to juggle to make room for something else? Or when a good friend says “hey, you have a lot of stuff”?

I could probably write about this, the cost of things, the popularity and snowball it until this website tells me “file too large”. Maybe I just realized that I have too much stuff. Or is it that my property is too small? Perhaps it’s the congested traffic of out of state folks that is making me cranky right now. Regardless of what it is, it’s making me think about the packed garages of people I know. My residence. My neighbors. And us as a wasteful society.

How many things do we need to own until that old saying hits us? “Jack of all trades, master of none”


No, I think I’m just getting cranky as I’m creeping towards 40. Guess I really will be that old fart in my underwear yelling “get off my lawn” as my arms flap around like the used car lot blow up creatures.

Rant done!
 
Erik, judging from your first paragraph, your neighbors can't be all that bad. :oops:

Now in our 70's, like others, my wife and I have accumulated far too much in the same house for the past 30 years. It has been said that the average family moves every 7 years. That frequency is good for gettting rid of all the stuff you don't need or haven't used in most of that time between moves. Being in the miitary, moving is even more frequent and your allotment of weight for the government to move does not increase with promotions as fast as you accumulate stuff. My final move landed us not far from our hometown and both sets of aging parents. A good thing, until you now accumulate what you grew up with as your parents pass on. When the time comes, you just can't stant to throw out that stuff that you knew as a child. When the kids went off on their own, we ask what they want to have. They either don't want it, or can't take it.

I still have the Grumman aluminum canoe I first bought in 1973, not really used at all now but available for family and friends at the lake camp, as well as all the number of much newer canoes that I have accumulated since. A large basement has a walking channel path through it, plus a large garage and three out buildings contain a testament to our stuff and uncompleted project plans (and and a few canoes as well).

With increasing arhtritis and living on a hilly road, we bought an e-bike for my wife, to be delivered this week, but will have to wait a few more weeks for snow to melt and the sand on the road to be cleared before she will be brave enough to ride it. Luckily, I am and should still be healthy enough to keep up peddling on my traditional bike. Can you believe we still have hanging in the garage the Peugeot 10-speed bikes we bought for each other for wedding gifts, 50 years ago this year. They haven't been maintained or used in probably at least 35 years.
 
I too fall into the category of too much stuff.
I'm often asked, by my Wife. What I'm going to with all the stuff. I laugh and say, it's up to the kids, after I'm gone !

About canoes ? I was told you can sell them ! I'd rather have a canoe in the shed, than a hand full of money ! I'm happier with a canoe.

Yes! the responsible thing to do is sell of my excess. It's very hard to decide what is excess !

Jim
 
I'm probably being too narrow minded seeing things in bleakest black and white, when there ought always to be human shades of grey.
Putting too much stuff into 2 subjective categories of ownership ideology:
a) I have this ---because it is a trophy to show I'm #1 alpha and I want you all to bask in my awesomeness, cower in my vainglory.
b) I have this ---because it enables me to follow an intense interest, a mad passion, a passing fad, or maybe just a daydreamy delusion.

I don't care how many or how few --- type a) has because they will always be a giant pain in the arse to be around.
I don't care how many or how few --- type b) has because they will always be interesting, or eccentric, or maybe even at times boring.
But they'll never be an giant arsehole.
Put a glass, a jar, a mug or cup in my hand, put something worthwhile in it ( I'm fine with tea ), and I'll spend an entire afternoon admiring and discussing your humble enthusiasm. I may even share it, or at least relate to it in some far off way. I love type b)s. They make the world go round.
But if you so much as start to resemble a growing puckered pink sphincter I will abandon you like the type a) plague that you are.
 
I'm probably being too narrow minded seeing things in bleakest black and white, when there ought always to be human shades of grey.
Putting too much stuff into 2 subjective categories of ownership ideology:
a) I have this ---because it is a trophy to show I'm #1 alpha and I want you all to bask in my awesomeness, cower in my vainglory.
b) I have this ---because it enables me to follow an intense interest, a mad passion, a passing fad, or maybe just a daydreamy delusion.

I don't care how many or how few --- type a) has because they will always be a giant pain in the arse to be around.
I don't care how many or how few --- type b) has because they will always be interesting, or eccentric, or maybe even at times boring.
But they'll never be an giant arsehole.
Put a glass, a jar, a mug or cup in my hand, put something worthwhile in it ( I'm fine with tea ), and I'll spend an entire afternoon admiring and discussing your humble enthusiasm. I may even share it, or at least relate to it in some far off way. I love type b)s. They make the world go round.
But if you so much as start to resemble a growing puckered pink sphincter I will abandon you like the type a) plague that you are.
Brad, I wish we lived closer to each other, I believe we would get along fine. We probably wouldn't get much done, but we'd get along fine. In my heart I believe I'm a type b that you described. But because of some of my interests people that don't know me might assume I'm a type a and pre-judge me. That's OK, it helps me with "the sorting". I don't need to hang with judgy people either.
As far as the topic goes, one of my winter hobbies is knife making. I have a full workshop in my basement. When I started 32 years ago, I disassembled a lathe, a small mill, and floor drill press and carried them down the stairs. Realizing that my wife may become a widow at some point I came up with a disposal plan. I opened up my shop to my son in law and got him involved with knife making, with the provision that when I was no longer able to use the equipment, he would dis assemble and remove said equipment from the basement. This came as a huge relief to my son who will some day be in charge of liquidating the estate.
 
I have more than I truly need but I tend to collect hobbies and have many interests. Many of those interests have subsets of interests. All of those interests require "things" to accomplish and fulfill those interests. All of those things take up space, finances and time. These interests fill my spare time, bring knowledge of new areas of endeavor and makes me happy.

The flip side of having interest is having no interests. You do not need "things" to fulfill your lack of interests, so you will not have to worry about having more than you need. Things will not take up space, finances or time, for you do not need them.

Without interests, what would fill my time, make me want to seek new knowledge and make me a happy person?
I'll stay with my "things" as long as I have interests and a desire to accomplish them.
 
Last edited:
I'm probably being too narrow minded seeing things in bleakest black and white, when there ought always to be human shades of grey.
Putting too much stuff into 2 subjective categories of ownership ideology:
a) I have this ---because it is a trophy to show I'm #1 alpha and I want you all to bask in my awesomeness, cower in my vainglory.
b) I have this ---because it enables me to follow an intense interest, a mad passion, a passing fad, or maybe just a daydreamy delusion.

I don't care how many or how few --- type a) has because they will always be a giant pain in the arse to be around.
I don't care how many or how few --- type b) has because they will always be interesting, or eccentric, or maybe even at times boring.
But they'll never be an giant arsehole.
Put a glass, a jar, a mug or cup in my hand, put something worthwhile in it ( I'm fine with tea ), and I'll spend an entire afternoon admiring and discussing your humble enthusiasm. I may even share it, or at least relate to it in some far off way. I love type b)s. They make the world go round.
But if you so much as start to resemble a growing puckered pink sphincter I will abandon you like the type a) plague that you are.

I enjoy a good type bs myself 😁
 
Outdoor people accumulate stuff. When are young we get in the habit of buying, scrounging and shopping for deals. Some people never get over it. I bought a used Coleman gas stove yesterday because it reminds me of simpler times.

Less stuff is now our mantra.
1. Get a dump truck or a construction container and haul away the junk. Make trips to the dump.
2. Give away your unused outdoor equipment.
3. Sell some of it.

Hunting equipment, fishing equipment, boating equipment, backpacking equipment, car camping equipment, winter clothes, book collections, where to start? Giving up stuff you have carried around for 40 years is tough.
 
We do accumulate stuff. It happens, especially as hobbies or life changes. I don’t know how many people I could give skis and snowboards to. How many wood working projects I could start. A lot of us basically have a gear store in our homes, and the inventory hasn’t stopped rolling in. My buddy has turned their garage into his office/ gear storage. Paddleboards. Bikes. Camping. Snowboards. Computers. All around. It’s clean and organized and it gives him a good feeling. It feels good to have these things. And I guarantee many of us could place ourselves back to moments with each item. Gauley river, Feb 7th, hit a rock river eft trying to surf the wave, dinged the fiberglass. Sept 28th, first portage done, told Rachel to be careful getting in the canoe because there’s a rock, I jump in and a 9 foot cringing sound of another rock under me scratching the hull.

To me, these items have value. It’s accumulated, yes, but they’re valuable to us. Maybe not in a financial way, and sometimes it is. But they’re hard to let go because those journeys. Those Memories.

What gets me are the amount of people I know or meet who just Have Stuff. They don’t use them, and not because they have more options… they just own the image now. Owning ice climbing gear but only touching ice for their drinks.

Maybe I’m becoming a cantankerous young old man these days. But I like to see people doing fun things while building memories
 
We do accumulate stuff. It happens, especially as hobbies or life changes. I don’t know how many people I could give skis and snowboards to. How many wood working projects I could start. A lot of us basically have a gear store in our homes, and the inventory hasn’t stopped rolling in. My buddy has turned their garage into his office/ gear storage. Paddleboards. Bikes. Camping. Snowboards. Computers. All around. It’s clean and organized and it gives him a good feeling. It feels good to have these things. And I guarantee many of us could place ourselves back to moments with each item. Gauley river, Feb 7th, hit a rock river eft trying to surf the wave, dinged the fiberglass. Sept 28th, first portage done, told Rachel to be careful getting in the canoe because there’s a rock, I jump in and a 9 foot cringing sound of another rock under me scratching the hull.

To me, these items have value. It’s accumulated, yes, but they’re valuable to us. Maybe not in a financial way, and sometimes it is. But they’re hard to let go because those journeys. Those Memories.

What gets me are the amount of people I know or meet who just Have Stuff. They don’t use them, and not because they have more options… they just own the image now. Owning ice climbing gear but only touching ice for their drinks.

Maybe I’m becoming a cantankerous young old man these days. But I like to see people doing fun things while building memories
Yep. Using gear is a lot more fun than just Having gear.
 
I am on the cusp of retirement and am looking forward to more time to use the stuff!
 
Back
Top