December 29, 2018: Cleaning and Unboxing

Saturday. My weekend home alone. Yesterday was nearly an entire day alone, but I did see Paul for about an hour in the morning. Today I am completely alone and expect to be until Monday. This is about a perfect length for me. Three to four days with no one around is great for me to get things done and feel productive, but not so long that I start to go crazy.

We are basically at freezing temperatures here in Dallas this weekend. I kept the bedroom window closed last night in the hopes of fending off a cold or worse, a sinus infection, that felt like it was coming on yesterday. I was sneezing constantly and had constant sinus pain. Today, it seems to be okay.

I woke up at seven thirty and did not manage to fall back asleep. I got out of bed around eight thirty.

For breakfast I had left over Grands from last night. I heated them up, added some cheese, and had tasty little breakfast sandwiches.

I did some posting on MangoLassi this morning, made a short video for SAMIT on YouTube, and did some writing for SMBITJournal. It was a good morning. SAMIT started the day, after a nine month hiatus without a single video, with 742 subscribers, but had grown to 745 by the end of the day. Not bad for a channel that has been idle for so long. Posting something today really made a difference. I hope that I can get back to doing the channel regularly very soon. I miss doing it and it is clear that the audience is there, I just need some regularity and polish to really get it going. When I stopped filming ten months ago (a month of shows were prerecorded and scheduled to post) I was only around four hundred subscribers, so a lot of people have stumbled on the channel in the last nine months without me doing any promotion whatsoever, which is incredible. (As I was writing that paragraph, another person subscribed bringing us up to 746!)

It is worth noting that two weeks ago YouTube did a purging of “spam accounts” that were subscribed to things so there was an expectation that subscriber counts would be plunging. I have no idea how many I had two weeks ago, but these numbers are post the cleansing process. So this is extremely good growth.

I managed to eliminate one of the large boxes that we had around the house this morning and another early in the afternoon. My goal is to get another couple before Paul gets back. It is such a slow process, going through all of the boxes that came down from New York and figuring out what to do with all of the stuff that is in them, but it has to just keep moving forward or we will never stop living in a house full of boxes. I am very proud to have made some progress. There can only be so many boxes. If we do a few a week, it has to be done in a reasonable amount of time.

I cleaned for hours this afternoon. Finally a chance to really organize. I cleaned in our bedroom, in the girls’ bedroom, in the bar, in the dining room, in the living room, did the dishes, cleaned the fridge. I even cleaned Dominica’s desk and set up a company phone and desktop there. It was hours of cleaning. And now she can make calls from her desk and it is much easier to hear the help desk line ringing in the main part of the house. It is always such a challenge to hear once I have stepped out of my office, especially if the door swings closed which it often does.

I found some boxes of books that had some serious memories in there. One was a box of nearly all old comic books like Garfield, Heathcliff, Family Circus, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Haggar the Horrible. Stacks of them. I did not remember until now just how many I had as a kid. I got them all in late elementary school, mostly from Scholastic book orders. They were some of my favourites when I was little. I had remembered the Garfield ones, but had forgotten about the others.

I also found my box of war plane informational books. I had quite an extensive collection of books that detailed military aircraft. When I was little, I had dreamed of being a pilot in the Air Force and was seriously into airplanes. My book collection wasn’t just large, but the books were super expensive and I had them from when I was very little. I had forgotten about them completely until I opened up that box and saw them. The memories just flooded back.

That last box really shows just how influential growing up at the height of the Cold War was like. Today, thinking about military aircraft is pretty marginalized. That stuff is not interesting or important. But in 1984 when I was probably about the age to really be into that stuff, it was everywhere and a really big deal. And a lot of the planes in my original books are still in service today. Back then, new planes had been coming out all of the time. But since then, changes have been slow and scarce. My oldest book, if I remember correctly, is one with a publishing date of 1981, which seems about right. And one of the last ones that I got is actually a guide to airliners, and it has an inscription of “Happy Birthday” and 1986, so I was ten when I got it. The one series of books that I have five of are eleven dollars a piece. That’s twenty five dollars each in today’s currency. So that one series of books on airplanes alone would have been one hundred and twenty five dollars today (fifty five back then), and that is just one of the series!

I found lots of books that I had been searching for recently. I had many that I wanted to get for Liesl that are now out of print (and worth hundreds of dollars, apparently) and the libraries cannot get but that I knew that I owned. I found all of those and now have loads of books waiting for her. Like loads and loads. Years worth of reading. One of the books that I found in there was Watership Down which I just found yesterday has been turned into a series by Netflix! I have to watch that, one of my favourite books of all time.

Speaking of which, my dad started watching Netflix’ Watership Down this evening based on my recommendation. His initial reaction was that it was “really good” after viewing the first episodes.

I did some transferring of DVDs from plastic cases to a spindle tonight. First spindle is full and now there is nearly a box full of empty DVD cases to be recycled. I have not transferred any videos yet, only removed the cases. But it is a start. Mostly I’ve just been clearing up the loose DVDs that were not ever in boxes. We have stacks of these loose DVDs all over the place. In my office, in the garage, in different rooms. Rounding them up and cleaning that up is helpful for just making more general storage space. Once we can start breaking down the pile of boxes in the garage, things will really pick up. I am so anxious to make all of these piles just “go away.”

I did discover that we are going to need a new hard drive for the computer that I want to use to rip the DVDs. Like an 8TB drive, to be exact. There is just so much to rip. But that is going to take years, I assume, to actually do. The sheer volume of data is just insane. And that is just the ripping, once ripped, I plan to convert them to something that we can actually use. And that takes way more time than the ripping does. But because of the practical problem of wanting to throw out the cases and compress a garage full of DVDs into something tiny that can be stored easily in the attic I think that it is going to make sense to actually just rip them all as quickly as possible (still a year long project) and then tackle converting them only once that is done. Maybe by that time I can get a much faster computer to handle the transcoding process, and a much faster drive to handle the writes from that process. Going slow and cheap now and only doing the ripping might actually be cheaper in the long run and way more effective. We won’t have the movies to use for a long time, but we will clean up the space quickly.

I didn’t even think about a meal today, other than my reheated biscuits, until around ten tonight. I put on some Star Trek: Enterprise and made a “chicken” sandwich for dinner. I took out some bread to thaw to cook in the morning to eat tomorrow, too.

I finally seem to be back into keeping SGL up to date. It’s been a struggle this past year for sure. My big resolution for 2019 is going to be keeping the momentum going.

I thought about going to bed at ten thirty. Then somehow I got sucked into doing SAMIT maintenance and answering people and posting links on social media and suddenly it was closer to one in the morning. So I watched some more ST:E and tracked down a CD spindle that was full of writeble CDs (what the heck am I going to do with those today!) and emptied it of its official contents and started breaking down more DVD cases again since I could. By the time I was done with the available spindles that I could find around the garage, I had moved over 200 DVDs from boxes onto spindles. And all of that was purely from the loose DVDs sitting on shelves or on top of other things. I have not opened a single DVD packing box yet!

And by one thirty in the morning, another SAMIT subscriber. A very good day for SAMIT indeed. At this rate, it would only take about two months before I would have enough subscribers to qualify for monetization through YouTube. I still do not have enough viewing hours to qualify, but I am well over halfway through that number. You have to have four thousand hours of view time and I am currently at two thousand, three hundred. Well past half, and that’s with nine months of no activity!

A friend had a rough night and I stayed up to text with them till three. I was surprisingly not tired, even then. Nor ready to even settle down. I had ST:E on all evening and am nearly to the end of the second season now, but essentially did not sit down the entire evening. I tend to keep walk, cleaning, exercising, organizing, working, etc. when no one else is home. I’m drastically more active when I am alone. I sleep less, sit less, and do passive activities like watching television less.