Oh…hello! I didn’t see you come in…
Well, what can I say—I have been Señor Slug when it comes to the blog of late…though I haven’t been completely spending my copious free time counting sands in the hourglass since these are the days of our lives. I lucked out with three, count ‘em, three Radio Spirits liner notes assignments…which brought some much-needed jingle to the House of Yesteryear. These collections will be coming soon to an RS website near you, and while I was working on those I also wrote up several entries for RS’s weblog, which you’ll find here.
Still, I will acknowledge that I could have applied myself a little more when the subject of blog maintenance is dropped into the conversation. Initially, my productivity was curtailed because a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, The Laird and Master here at Rancho Yesteryear (a.k.a. my father) stored the crap he’d acquired over the years in a unit he rented at Chase Street Self Storage in Athens, GA. He’d been a dutiful tenant there since moving to the Classic City in August of 2008—which caused my mother endless ulcers, because she constantly bristled at having to write a check to these jabronis every month (she tallied up the total amount that he’s spent on the place since Day 1, and estimated the cost at $18,000), seeing as that Dad’s health problems has put the kibosh on his burning ambition to be King of the Flea Markets. (Mom’s frequent fantasy was to drive a dumpster up to the unit and just start throwing junk into it until it could hold no more.)
The rent for the unit initially started out at $159 a month…but it accelerated with each passing year, and when the ‘rents received a notice that it was going to be jacked up to $185 that’s when Mom put her foot down. “We can’t justify continuing to spend that kind of money,” she said plaintively to Papa, and in a rare instance of not being contrary he agreed. In mid-January–not long after I finished that Restless Gun post that everyone is getting sick and tired of–my sister Kat and my brother-in-law Craige made brief cameos here at stately Yesteryear Manor to help empty out the unit, and I am not exaggerating when I tell you that they chucked out a ton of stuff. (Technically, it was three-and-a-half tons, according to the landfill people…which perplexed my father, because he couldn’t figure out what could have been in the storage area that would weigh that much. I diplomatically resisted the urge to reply “a buttload of useless sh*t.”) They accomplished this task in two days (Mom didn’t think it could be done), and one of the chief reasons they were able to meet the deadline is that they wisely chose to remove Dad from the equation…because if past performance as any indication, this is what would have happened:
1) Dad would have painstakingly gone through every box and examined every item.
2) Nothing would have been thrown out.
In fact, when my father relates to people (like my Aunt Nat, whom he called one Saturday to wish her a happy birthday) about the combined weight of the items thrown out he references that two-and-a-half tons went south. I have not corrected him…because Mrs. Shreve did not raise any foolish sons.
I’ve joked on the blog in the past that I had some items in the unit that were being “held hostage” (I used to refer to it as “Dad’s private Gitmo”) and I asked sister Kat that if she ran across some boxes of VHS tapes to give me a shout because while 95% of the videocassettes had content that I already owned on DVD there were a few rarities that I had taped many, many, many, many years ago. She found the boxes with little difficulty…because I had the foresight to label the boxes (“Movies on VHS”).
These videocassettes have been in that unit for close to a decade, and with exposure to the elements (it wasn’t climate-controlled) I was concerned that they might not be worth the effort to transfer them to disc. Alas, I didn’t get the immediate opportunity to check them out because the VCR portion of my DVD recorder went tits up (I even tried it with a VHS I had here in the house—one that hadn’t been spending ten years in the unit) and I was forced to execute Plan B: scoping out eBay to see if I could find another VCR cheap. I was able to find one that wasn’t too expensive…but when it arrived in the House of Yesteryear and I put one of the cassettes in the player the results were not good. I’m beginning to think that they succumbed to the harsh weather that is Athens (okay…it’s not that harsh), which is a damn shame because I had some real nice stuff in there (I recorded several of those John Ford silents that the once-proud American Movie Classics aired on one of their preservation festivals, for starters).
There were boxes of DVDs in the unit as well—a goodly portion of my Region 2 Britcom collection, as well as some cliffhanger serials—and some books that I’ve collected over the years; I haven’t had an opportunity to go through those as we tucked all that away in the storage shed that’s located in the backyard of the present Castle Yesteryear. I’m planning to sort through the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives later this year and find some discs to hawk on eBay because sister Kat rescued some nice finds that I promised Dad I’d try to sell. (We had positive success with three brand-new air purifiers that he was never able to unload at the flea market.) All this activity is in the future—where you and I will spend the rest of our lives—but in the meantime I’ve got a backlog of material to cover on the blog, and I’ll tuck into that starting this Friday. (I just wanted to get at least one post up before February came to an end, and I apologize for letting things go dark for so long.)