Before I can start cleaning this junk up I need to ensure I have a place to put it all. Therefore, instead of going after the clutter you can see, I’m going for the stuff you normally can’t see.

My dad is a very inventive person, and I’d like to think I get some of that from him. Using some leftover panels from the doors he was making for their closet’s overhead storage area and using it to make sliding doors for the cubby hole in my room was a stroke of genius. However, there have been plenty of times when I would just throw junk in there, so every few centuries I need to straighten it up. This is one of those times.

So let’s see what we have here:

And here you see the subjects for my next set of posts. Trying to convince myself that there is more to toy collecting than Transformers, I decided to start collecting superheroes (and the occasional supervillain) figures. This lasted until I realized that it was taking from my Transformers budget and space, so you can see how well that went.

Still, I did manage to get a number of superhero action figures, from comics to video games to…well, maybe you already recognize the little black duck there. My next articles will be me going through these figures and seeing which ones I still want to keep, once I’ve divided them into categories to keep the reviews from going too long. Maybe you’ll have more than one article that week.

So what else do we have in here?

Here’s some trivia for you younger readers. In the days before digital cameras, we old fogies had to suffer through something called “film”. You may have heard of it in old shows, or issues of Spider-Man.

Luckily, some pictures didn’t need a trip to the darkroom. This camera here is what was called an “instant camera”. To be specific, a Polaroid One-Step. This must be an older model, because ones I see online have some different printing on it. This model didn’t have separate batteries to put in because the batteries are in the “film pack”. The one in there still works, and there’s one picture left, so I’m going to have to try it out (despite the film expiring when the World Trade Center was still standing) and see how well it works. There is also a second pack of film, also expired.

It’s possible that I might be able to find some Fujifilm that will still work, according to a quick look around the internet. Film cameras are out of style and only a few companies still make film. I have a friend who just recently got into film photography, only he needs a darkroom. I’ll have to ask him if he knows a good place to get instant film that will work in this camera. If it still works, this thing took some great pictures back in the day and there is still some magic that digital can’t match.

At top, the big box that I supposedly keep my bike helmet and supplies (gloves, straps if I wear long pants, the instruction booklet) in when not in use. (Which thanks to allergies and limited time is more often than I’d like.) This box takes up a lot of space, and I’m wondering if I really need it. It’s not like the helmet gets any major protection in there, and I can keep the rest of it in a little bag (like the one I have all the instructions in), but it is nice to have everything in one place.

At the bottom is a toy cable car I’ve had for many, many, many, man..dang, I’m getting old! I picked up when we visited a trolley museum in Connecticut which appears to still be in operation. I should visit there someday. Sadly, while the toy still rolls and the bell dings when pushing it in one direction (I don’t think it ever dinged going the other way, which means you can play with it when people don’t want to hear the bell go off), I broke some of the people off years ago. Now it has two passengers, nobody driving it, and one of the windshields (or whatever you call that part of the trolley) is broken off. Still works, though, which is a bonus to most of my childhood playthings.

(Notation: I was not the most destructive kid I ever known. I knew a kid down the street who went out of his way to smash his stuff. Only kid I knew that could damage a Tonka truck!)

One thing you’ll learn as I get into my other drawers is that I own way more notebooks than I’ll ever need. I don’t know why, because it’s not like I never used them, but somehow I used to get a lot of books to catalog stuff. These five have “wish lists” of comics, games, videos (back in the old VHS days) and cassettes. DVDs and CDs were a long way off. I’ll go through them when I feel nostalgic. Right now, back to cleaning.

When we used to go a lot of places, my parents bought me a rather decent pair of binoculars. I had forgotten K-Mart even had items with their brand name on it, but there they are. They still work very well, but I don’t do a lot of sightseeing these days and if I do I tend to use a camera to capture the moment. However, they’re still nice to have around. I’m sure I saw the neighbor burying something in the back yard, and I haven’t seen Mrs. Cutter in days. Hmmmmmm.

Then we have some useless junk up in the corner. I don’t even know if that cassette player still works, but as I recall my “Walkman-esque” player never seemed to last very long. The biggest problem was that they went through batteries like crazy, and I’m thinking that did something to the motor over time. Then again, what do I know about electronics other than how to use them? We also have a label maker that might still work if I can find the labels, but I think I actually broke it so it may be useless.

And as soon as I wrote that last line, I remembered where that little gear came from. I really don’t like going through the garbage. Sure it was a little one, but it has used tissues in there. (Allergies, remember?) We also have a broke pair of “flip-up” clip-on sunglasses that used to belong to my mom. She gave them to me when I first got glasses and couldn’t wear “regular” sunglasses anymore. They’re kind of uncomfortable, really, so I’m glad I learned about Solar Shield glasses. Better than any “clip-on”, although they make those as well.

Also, some watches without batteries, but I don’t know if they work with them. Today’s watches are so complex you have to bring them to a jeweler just to have the batteries changed. Stupid technology.

Maybe I need to add an “electronics” category to the report list. (Update: just went ahead and did that.) These are a pair of keyboards I picked up. The Casio PT-82 used these things called “ROM packs” to teach you how to play music, but I only have the one that it came with. It works OK, but it barely sounded like any other musical instrument. So I had convinced myself I needed a new one. I picked up the Yamaha PortaSound VSS-30 cheap because it was on sale and the floor model, as they were trying to get rid of it. No instruction manual, which should be easy to fix thanks to the World Wide Web. Decent sound and some cool features. Whether or not I need them, especially since I still can’t play them, is another story.

Well, that’s everything in the cubby hole, unless you want to hear about the extension and power cords, photo albums that contain pictures that are none of your business, or clip-on ties I don’t wear anymore. But now that it’s all clean in there I have a new problem.

Where am I going to sleep tonight?