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This is a question How nerdy are you?

This week Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, died. A whole generation of pasty dice-obsessed nerds owes him big time. Me included.

So, in his honour, how nerdy were you? Are you still sunlight-averse? What are the sad little things you do that nobody else understands?

As an example, a B3ta regular who shall remain nameless told us, "I spent an entire school summer holiday getting my BBC Model B computer to produce filthy stories from an extensive database of names, nouns, adjectives, stock phrases and deviant sexual practices. It revolutionised the porn magazine dirty letter writing industry for ever.

Revel in your own nerdiness.

(, Thu 6 Mar 2008, 10:32)
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A kind of geekery, I suppose...
I just wanted to post a marginally applicable story, namely the epilogue to my earlier post about Emmett's house. (I have determined that that was the proper spelling, having found record of him online and having found an engraved piece of jewelry.)

I went out there tonight- I hadn't really planned on it, but I had the opportunity so I did. I arrived there around dusk with a large flashlight in hand, which turned out to be needed.

I investigated the suits that still hung in his bedroom, and determined that they were beyond the point of saving. A shame, as he was a man with a definite sense of style- and his wife did as well, going by the evidence of the hats I found and the remains of her clothes. However, I did manage to rescue his ties. I have two shots of them in situ, as he left them- here and here. They're rather musty, but I intend to wash them. I removed them at the request of the Lunatic Artist, who wishes to do something with them- maybe a tapestry of them. Don't know yet.

It was well into dark by the time I was done with that task.

I don't know that I can really describe how it feels in that house. The roof has deteriorated to the point of letting the rain through so that the ceilings have fallen in through most of the house, there are old leaves all through the kitchen, the people who ransacked the house left clothing scattered all over the floors so that everywhere you step you tread on wet rotting clothing... it's depressing as hell, especially when you realize that when he died he was taken out on a stretcher and much of what's there now is right where he left it.

I haven't mentioned this before, but it feels like he's still in there. You know how you can feel when someone else is in a house without seeing or hearing them? I was sure I was going to turn around and find him standing there. In the past I've heard someone whistling and looked out through the windows expecting someone to be strolling around the property, and found myself completely alone. I didn't hear that tonight, but...

I stood there for a while this evening in that dark and rotting building and talked to him as I moved around. I told him that I was very sorry that his life had ended up in this way, that the only person who seemed to remember him at all was a white guy he had never met. I told him that the things I've taken from there were not taken in greed but out of respect- that I couldn't leave them to rot and rust and mold, that I needed to rescue what I could. It felt like he was there with me- an old man, sad, lonely, but grateful that someone was finally treating him with respect.

I have been in many abandoned houses in this area in the past month- I even went in one tonight that I had never visited before- but not one of them feels as sad as Emmett's house.

I will visit there one more time, as there are still a few tools and such that can be saved, and then I will contact his relatives to ask if I can try to save his pickup truck. But after that I will only make one last trip there- to talk to him one last time and try to help him move along. He needs that closure, and so do I.

EDIT: On talking it over with the Lunatic Artist, we've concluded that making a wall hanging out of the ties will be best. Then the question becomes: what do we do with it?

Anyone want it when it's done? Or is it going to be one of those really odd things that I store in my attic?
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 1:52, 9 replies)
that is kind of you to show him that respect
and sad that his family either couldn't or didn't want to. It would be nice to know the story why his house was left in that state. I hope both he and you find peace with the situation.

as far as the ties go.....a number of years ago I saw some interesting chairs. The seats were made of ties woven together and tied under the seat. I've also seen the same thing done with belts.
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 2:26, closed)
That's a nice story...
You alone have given some justice to the deaths of the unknown...

I'm sure they'd appreciate you taking time to document their lives than whoever trashed the place and forgot about them.

(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 2:45, closed)
I like this ongoing story
It's something too scary / too much effort for me to ever do so a *click* for respect ;)
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 9:41, closed)
I love this story
It's interesting, and touching that there are people that care about someone, respectfully, without ever having met them.
Good for you, and I look forward to hearing any future developments.
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 11:19, closed)
Thanks, all...
Needless to say, this has been a very personal and moving experience for me, and sharing it here helps me to deal with it somehow. I haven't ever done anything quite like this before.

I can see where some might find it creepy or see me as some sort of a looter (or even a grave robber), but for me it's more about closure- the house is full of odd things that are right where he left them, like a shaving brush and his razor, or the food still sitting in the Tupperware container on the kitchen table that was likely his last meal. It just feels to me like he needs someone to put his things in order, at least to some degree. And if his family won't do it, I will...
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 12:28, closed)
Like I said, nice work, preserving his dignity.

I've done a lot of "urban exploration" myself, visited a lot of abandoned buildings, and it's always the "human touches" that make you think the most.

Things like a poster, a framed picture, or a pair of shoes. Hard to explain exactly what I makes you feel, but it's a bit odd.
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 12:58, closed)
Thanks for the update
Have you used the pool cue yet?
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 15:02, closed)
Not yet
but I will soon. I showed it to my friends who are helping me with the shed, and they vowed to shoot pool with me soon.

The other major thing I removed from there which I will keep: a handmade coffee table. I'm not sure what kind of wood was used, but the table is solid as a bank vault and was made with great care. It's our intention to refinish it. But what floored me was the way the legs were attached: they were notched to fit the overhang of the table and are held in place by flat pieces of wood attached to the underside of the top with small screws. No glue, no bolts- just carefully fitted carved wood. I doubt that I could duplicate it.

And the other odd find? A micrometer, still in working condition. It takes a fair bit of knowledge to use one of those. I wish I knew for certain what he did for a living...
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 16:10, closed)
Take a picture of the table
I've got a fair bit of experience working with wood (family furniture business).
I'll likely be able to tell you what it is, assuming I can see the grain.
(, Wed 12 Mar 2008, 16:21, closed)

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