Too Much Stuff

For those of you who do not have blogs of your own, let me tell you that the spammers don’t confine their junk mailings to email addresses. Blogs receive spam in lieu of comments.

Thus far, the number of spam ‘comments’ I’ve received on my blog is minuscule compared to my email account. However, they are a similar nuisance.

A spam message that tried to attach itself as a comment today was one I found most interesting. It was written in Chinese.

I should point out that some of the things wordpress treats as spam are not what I consider totally useless. Unless I know for sure the spam came from a gambling, insurance, or porn site, I investigate by going to the guilty party’s web site and checking out its content. I’ve discovered that there are times I don’t object to the link and I simply let it be to see if it increases the number of hits my blog receives.

Out of curiosity, I linked to the Chinese web site this morning. I was a bit fearful that it might be a trap – a way for someone to infect my computer with a virus – but I foolishly went ahead anyway.

It turns out that it was a web site for a storage facility in Hong Kong. I guess they’re hurting for business and trying to increase their traffic by sending out spam. (On the Internet, there is no easy way to determine the ‘home’ location of a web site. So they linked to whatever sites they could find. At IBM, we called it ‘throwing a bunch of darts at the wall and hoping one or two would stick.)

The factor that interested me the most is that we Americans are not the only people with too much stuff. I have always believed that a nation that makes storage lockers a strong and vibrant industry has too much stuff.

When I was a child, most of the old stuff was stored in the attic… even if the attic was difficult to access. With many of the older homes, attics were reached using permanent stairways. It was not unusual for large families to ‘finish’ their attics to provide additional bedrooms.

That’s when the overflow of stuff began finding its way into garages and cellars. Of course, newer homes turned cellars into basements with rec rooms and home theaters. The stuff had to be moved again.

The industry probably began when a farmer who had retired and no longer worked the land began renting space in his barn. When he discovered how lucrative it was, either he or his offspring began building mini-barns. The idea quickly spread and now we have storage facilities everywhere.

I must admit that I used a storage locker for a few months while I was going through my divorce. My ex-wife wanted me to remove my stuff from ‘her’ home and I had no room for it in the small apartment I was renting.

As soon as the divorce was finalized and I bought a place of my own, I took the stuff out of storage and moved it into my new home.

Since then, I’ve remarried and moved out of my single-wide trailer into a new home we had built on the same property. During that transition, my bride and I, with the help of our adult children, built a two car garage. When they came to take away my single-wide trailer, we moved all of our stuff into the garage. After our new home was built, we moved the stuff out of the garage and into the new home.

So why can’t we park either of our cars in the garage? Too much stuff.

I’d swear it multiplies on its own, but I know better. I’m the worst offender in this household. I firmly believe that as soon as I throw away that old and useless object, I’ll discover I need one of its parts to repair something else.

Speaking of old and useless… that spam I received from the Hong Kong storage facility wasn’t useless afterall. It gave me inspiration to write today’s post.

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