Rose Run, February 19, 2012

It’s been a mild winter — but a wet one.  The waterways in our neighborhood are full to the banks, and during our recent walks Penny and I have often heard the rush of water.  Rose Run, which zigzags in close proximity to old State Route 161, is typical of the creeks and streams in New Albany.

There is something quite soothing about the sound of water tumbling across rocks.  If it were a bit warmer I’d be tempted to try my hand at skipping a few stones.

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Dipping My Toe In The Twitterverse

I’ve heard about Twitter for months, but I’ve never been tempted to join in — until now.

Perhaps it’s because I just don’t get it.  With all of the social media, networking, and connectedness that already exists, why is another form of computer/smartphone-based interaction needed?  Haven’t we covered the waterfront already?

Plus, Twitter seems so self-consciously new wave — almost like it’s an inside joke being played on the world.  Tell us where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment, but use only 140 characters!  Follow friends and celebrities as they go about their humdrum lives!  The fact that a Twitter message is called a “tweet” just heightens my lack of enthusiasm.  It’s too painfully cute for my tastes.

But now I’ve learned that some people I actually am interested in following have Twitter accounts and, at least occasionally, may say something worth hearing.  So, I’ve joined Twitter, and I’m going to follow them.  Does that make me a Twit?

In Our Basements, We Are All Hoarders

Everybody needs a winter project.  This year, our project is underground.  Yes, that’s right:  We’re going to try to do something about our basement.

Our basement is unfinished.  It’s been used primarily for storage — lots of storage.  The problem with an unfinished basement is that it gives you the luxury of seemingly infinite space.  There are acres of concrete floor and cinder block walls down there that are just crying out to be cluttered with things.

It’s easy to go down there and put a box of unwanted stuff on the floor.  Rather than tossing out, selling, or giving away the VHS recorder that you haven’t used since the Clinton Administration or a computer monitor from the dawn of the PC age, you store it downstairs because, after all, somebody might have use for it some day.  The clutter doesn’t bother anybody because no one goes to the basement, anyway.

And then, one day, you walk downstairs, find the basement crammed to the rafters with random, cobwebbed boxes, bags, and junk, and say to yourself:  “What is all of this stuff?”  By then, the task of rational organizing seems overwhelming — but if you don’t do something, it’s just going to going to get worse and move you squarely into disturbing hoarder territory.  In fact, who are hoarders but people who have, unfortunately, applied the basement storage approach to their entire houses?

I took this picture when we started a few weeks ago. We’ve made good progress since then.  It’s liberating to get rid of stuff you don’t need — and sometimes you find interesting things that, perhaps, really didn’t belong in the basement in the first place.