Recently, on Dancing with Elephants, I heard about a man trying to whittle his personal belongings down to 100 items. Greg and Tonya asked their audience to write in with what 10 things they couldn’t live without. That got me thinking: as a self-professed, but improving, pack-rat, could there be only 10 things with which I couldn’t live? So, to start, I did a rough inventory of the Outback. For those of you that are new here, that’s the name of our home office / recording studio. Our first home had a separate room in the back yard, which was the whole reason I wanted to buy that house, that served as an office and studio. When my oldest brother, Ken, saw it he instantly christened it the Outback. On a somewhat unrelated note, it was also Ken that gave Emily the nickname she uses today, Emo, the day she was born. Back to the story. These days, the Outback is inside but still serves, in addition to a home office and recording studio, as my personal junk drawer. While I was up late recently I started counting and cataloging nearly everything in the Outback. Here’s what I came up with so far:
87 shot glasses 9 century patches 4 century pictures 3 shelves hanging 3 shelves waiting to be hung 1 Paul Stanley framed pictured (B&W) 8 misc framed pictures 1 Apple Store opening shirt in tube (Arden Fair) 34 Kiss CDs 2 Kiss albums 2 Kiss 8-tracks 1 picture of Blackie Lawless 1 Yamaha synthesizer 1 M-audio keyboard / MIDI controller 1 movie poster - Gore Vidal’s The Best Man 1 framed poster with hundreds of stickers from CDs and tapes 1 framed poster with 55 concert and game tickets 1 replica "flying disc" patent drawing, framed 118 magazines 1 television (I didn't realize this was still in here) 7 guitars 2 mandolins 1 bass 5 guitar cases 3 guitar pedals 6 microphones 1 guitar amp 1 bass amp 1 bottle of Kiss wine 1 Gene Simmons bottle topper 1 double deck tape player / recorder 127 books 239 cassette tapes 3 mic stands 1 complete set of the New Yorker magazine on DVD 27 pens 1 Rubik cube 1 wireless router 1 DSL modem 2 money clips 2 computer (PC) 1 monitor 1 PowerBook G4 1 iMac 1 iCurve 3 Mice 4 keyboards 1 tape dispenser 2 cameras 1 pack of blank DVDs 1 pack of black CDs 1 corded phone 1 printer 5 surge protectors 1 bobble head 7 post cards 4 trophies 2 desk calendars 1 Roland mixer 1 MOTU ultralite mixer 1 mic pre-amp 1 DV-AV switchbox 2 set studio monitors 1 desk 2 chairs 1 barstool 1 4-drawer cabinet 1 2-drawer file cabinet 1 calculator 1 scientific calculator 3 sets of headphones 1 Zoom portable recorder 1 iSight camera 6 sets of guitar/mandolin/bass strings 9 guitar cables 17 various audio cables 1 M-audio guitar pre-amp 5 power supply units for unknown devices 3 Lacie external hard drives 1 VCR 1 magnetic dart board 5 clip boards 3 Kiss comic books 10 3-drawer cassette tape holders 8 conference badges with lanyards 139 home movies on VCR tapes 2 hole punchers 1 Yamaha 4-track tape recorder 4 Kiss matchbox cars 1 Kiss toothbrush 3 rulers 14 notebooks 1 can of Mountain Dew from the middle east 1 miniature NFL helmet 1 picture frame with 10 pictures (1 pic at a time) 1 12-drawer plastic cabinet 1 2-drawer plastic cabinet 3 guitar stands 1 set of computer speakers 1 camera cable 2 iPod cables 1 iPhone cable and dock 1 whiteboard 4 boxes of thank you cards 2 mouse pads 2 decks of cards 2 letter openers 3 magnetic clips 7 keychains 9 owners manuals 3 various packs of KC Chiefs stickers 4 unused gift certificates 9 used Moleskine notebooks 2 unused Moleskine notebooks 238 business cards 1 pocket knife 2 name tags from previous jobs 19 various buttons and pins 4 bumper stickers 1 can of Copenhagen from 1991 2 cork boards 1 box of jewel cases 190 California lottery tickets from 1987-1990 1 wireless print server 1 KC Chiefs punch puppet 2 photo albums 1 camera tripod 2 shoe shine sets 1 ziplock bag with my hair from 1992 - the last time I had long hair 1 man purse (unused since 1989) 3 cell phone chargers 2 boxes of football cards 8 binders 1 homemade "Outback" sign 2 framed / autographed Nick Lowery portraits / paintings 1 scanner
1,430 items in the Outback alone. Of course, I have all of my CDs (which I haven’t touched in years) stowed away elsewhere, another collection of books, 23 Franklin Quest / Franklin Covey storage cases and other keepsakes in my bedroom. Then there’s the garage. Two road bikes, a mountain bike and of course, the penny farthing; tools, bike accessories... the list goes on and on.
What 10 material things could I not live without? That is a very difficult question to answer. If I had to name the top 10 things I couldn’t live without, I’d have to say:
PowerBook G4 iMac Acoustic guitar (probably the nylon string one) Electric guitar (Fender Stratocaster) Guitar amp Camera Yamaha synthesizer Zoom H2 Bose headphones Kiss Music From the Elder album
Of course, as much of a pack-rat as I am, this has actually been a good exercise for me. I have too much stuff; maybe it’s time for a purge. If you want to take any of the other 1,420 things off my hands, feel free to make me an offer - firstname.lastname@example.org