Saturday, April 30, 2011


I had a really strong urge to lounge in front of the TV today, and the computer chair just doesn't cut it for that purpose. My choices for this were the recliner or the futon mattress. While the floor sleeping experiment went well, I decided to bring in the futon and all the spare pillows in the linen closet and make a lounger. The futon can stay, since it can be both bed and lounger, but a better propper-upper arrangement will need to be made. I really don't care for the futon frames that you can configure like this. I think a simple triangular structure, that folds flat for storage, with a non-skid base would do nicely. Update: Just had the idea to have a headboard that would fold back and down to support the upper part of the bed in "lounge" position. Then it doesn't have to be stored. |_ _ _ bed  |\ _ _ lounge

The lounger was immediately popular.

It's leaning up against the dresser drawers, which will not do at all on a permanent basis, but it was quite comfortable. The blue shoebox made a temporary end table to set my coffee cup on. During floor sleeping, I also needed a a very low table for the alarm clock, so I guess this is something I need to make or buy. For maximum usefulness, I think a lidded wood box or drawer would be great; storage for remotes and a flashlight.

The cabinet the TV is sitting on has my wireless printer on the middle shelf, and all my bedding on the bottom shelf. The computer and nightstand are to the right of the squinting-in-the-camera-flash dog (Natoli). 

The only other addition to the room today is the digital camera, since I actually used it. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sleeping on the floor, less "stuff"

Three nights spent sleeping on the floor now, and I've gotten used to it. Would have slept through the night last night were it not for the tornado warning alert ringing my cell around 1:20am. Got back to sleep when the warning expired at 2, and woke up just a few minutes before the alarm, feeling fine.

The netbook's left mouse "button" has gotten erratic, so I swapped it out for the Dell All-inOne. I think it's just time for a new computer. The Dell just doesn't run some things right in Windows 7, and the screen resolution for LotRO doesn't really work for me, either.

I did bring in my nightstand today, which has small drawers that are perfect for eye glasses, stamps, address labels, checkbook, and other little things. It's under the little table I use for a desk, acting as a keyboard tray. May move the dresser in tonight, too, but I completely emptied the bottom drawer and removed some other stuff that I never ever wear. I took out 2 more bags of "stuff" to the trash yesterday. Little things count, too; I brought in all the jewelry I never wear to work and gave it to the ladies I work with. The only pieces I kept are ones I love, and the only ones I ever wear when I bother to wear jewelry at all.  I also returned a book that has been in my nightstand for over a year that I haven't read.

I'm pleased with the blank slate experiment so far. I use everything in the room at this point.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blank slate simplifying

Last night I took the plunge into the blank slate method of simplifying and minimizing. I completely cleared out the master bedroom. As I need things, they will come back in. So far, the room contains a small desk, lamp, netbook computer, chair, dog beds, small tv stand with tv and dvd player, alarm clock, and a pillow. I slept on the floor last night on a comforter folded in half. When I woke this morning, I folded up the comforter and blanket and stowed the pillow in the closet and instantly had all the floor space back that would otherwise be taken up by a bed.

I slept on the floor because I've been questioning the need for a bed. People didn't have modern beds for hundreds of thousands of years in our evolutionary history, and many still don't. As some of you know, I'm really interested in the Paleolithic period, when we were all hunter-gatherers. One of the few remaining hunter gatherer peoples, the San of the Kalahari in Africa, have nothing in the way of modern conveniences (like beds) and they seem to be thin, fit, and healthy people. They sleep on the ground.

Back to the blank slate, I will only bring clothes back into the room that come out of the dryer, meaning clothes I actually wear. I will only bring other things back into the room as I use them. I think after a month, I should know what I'm using and what I'm not, and be able to pitch or sell the stuff I don't actually need.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apples and Oranges

It puzzles me that the makers of the 12V refrigerators and freezers don't have to provide one of those yellow Energy Guide stickers like other appliance makers do. Their info on the web says how many watts it uses, but this does NOT help me estimate how much solar panel or battery I need to run one. If it uses 90 watts when running, how often does it run and for how long? Why can't you give me the annual kWh number that "real" appliances do? Or even how many watts it uses in one day? I can at least extrapolate that the "real" mini-fridge I'm looking at that uses 274 kWh per year according to the Energy Guide sticker uses (274000 watts divided by 365 days) 750 watts per day. End gripe. Mumble.

In other energy news, I got myself a geeky new internet connected LED LCD TV that uses half as much power as my old one. It's a really fun gadget; even though I don't have cable and there is no chance of pulling any TV stations with an antenna (they're all in Atlanta), I'm keeping entertained with lots of Netflix and the novelty of checking facebook and the weather on the TV :)