Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Captain's Lost Treasure

Much as I like fossils, fossils fall under the category of "paleontology."  Animals did nothing in particular to become fossilized, it was largely outside of their control.  And unless you have the mechanical gear (and private property) to extract large dinosaur fossils, most of what you'll find is not worth very much.

Enter in archeology, which I have just as much interest in, but the artifacts are actually much harder to find, especially when humans have this nasty habit of keeping historical records and maps make it easy for government-financed academics to go and dig up in very logical places treasures previous humans may have left behind (unless you are talking meso-Americans, in which case I find petroglyphs and hieroglyphs amazing finds because there is no original documented or mapped history of the Ute people). 

However, I do have a couple tricks up my sleeve that I've developed outside the profession, as an amateur.  Techniques and ideas that I believe will prove to be more useful in discovering archeological finds on the sole fact they were developed by a non-academic archeologist who no doubt has had his education on with horse-blinders the entire time. 

But that is not why I'm writing this post.

No, the reason I'm writing this post is because my interest in archeology has solved one of my current economic problems facing me right now - minimalism.

Understand that while, yes, in my previous post on minimalism I champion it and am all for it, I still have a lot of stuff.  Certainly much less than the average American (I can fit all my worldly possessions into a small U-Haul), but still too much for me.  This stuff consists of things I found cool or interesting that I've kept since I turned 18 and moved out of the house, but notably art pieces (nothing fancy, posters and advertisements for some Chicago swing bands) and a lot of fossils and agates. 

Now understand my original purpose in collecting these art pieces was to ultimately furnish my "ultimate bachelor pad."  However, I was operating from one KEY erroneous premise - that the US would remain a healthy and viable economic entity in the future.

Operating from this premise meant, in my youth, I believed that it would be wise to buy and own rental property.  Live on the cheap for a decade, work during day, and moonlight at night as a ballroom dance instructor.  Save, save, and save.  Pay off my mortgages early, sell one of my properties and build myself the schwankiest bachelor pad the world has ever seen.  It would have a bar, a urinal, the garage would be inside the house.  It would be schwank. 

Of course, that dream is all but shot and impossible now.  Not just because of the risk involved in owning property that can be taxed or confiscated to the point it really is a liability, but because of something even simpler;

Your lovable Captain just doesn't have the personality or patience to work for the mindless, ass-kissing, amoral vermin that populates Corporate America's middle management.  And having a decade of full time, consistent, reliable day time employment was a mathematical must for the young Captain's plans to work.

And so what happened instead is your Captain owned rental property until Minneapolis property taxes made it an unprofitable venture.  Got by living off of teaching dance class and working the occasional security gig for his friends with the occasional bouts of day time employment.  And with the voting people's desire to push this county down towards an obvious socialist-route, instead of aiming for a productive career and asset-accumulation, he now works as little as possible and eschews assets, ie-minimalism.

Just one nagging problem - what to do with my art and fossils.

Understand they mean a fair amount to me.  These are things that I personally thought were really cool and saved them my entire adult life.  The ones that mean the most are ones I've gotten for free or are just interesting art pieces I picked off of bulletin boards in Uptwon in the Twin Cities.  They have been on my walls at my apartments and jobs.  They are me.  But they are too numerous and must go.  But I can't throw them away (as I intend to do with the rest of my stuff).

So what do you do with something you can't part with, but need to jettison?

Enter archeology. 

My interest in fossils and archeology is not just finding things in the past.  I desperately am trying to find a way to make it so some future intrepid individual like myself might "discover" an old "Cappy Cap archeological find."  My best idea thus far was to convert myself into diamonds upon my demise.  Five of them, and have them buried in some obscure places, leaving clues for somebody to go and collect them, not just for their monetary value, but the fun and adventure it would provide (even I might be worth something in a thousand years).

But while that idea would have to wait till I die, what I could do today is essentially the same thing with my art and fossils.  Not to brag, but I can hike 20 miles in a day and have been to some of the least populated areas of the country.  So remote are some of the places I've been, I'm pretty sure no humans have been there for at least 100 years (found an old abandoned 1910's type shell of a car once) or ever (Badlands National park is pretty big).  Yes, it would be inconvenient to porter 20 odd posters in frames and 50 pounds of high end fossils to multiple remote locations, but it could be done.  And once again, upon my demise, hopefully some hiker or explorer would discover these "treasures" and have to figure out what they are and why they're there.  BUT, the added benefit to this is should it all of the sudden look like the US might prove to be a viable economic entity after-all, the "Cappy Cap Ultimate Schwanky Bachelor Pad" is back on!  It would simply be a matter of repeating those adventurous hikes to retrieve my "hidden treasures" so I could furnish my pad. 

And no, I'm not insane.  Stephen Wright pretty much had the same idea:

"I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world... perhaps you've seen it?"


Liberista said...

i think you should build your pad in some secluded, abandoned area. will cost next to nothing to build, be worth next to nothing so not taxable or confiscable. maybe adapt some old construction somewhere?

good place to go when things really go south.

impossible to do such thing here in switzerland. too crowded.

William Hughes said...

Pushing bush for its own sake can be pleasant, but doing it for a reason is pure gold. Plus, you have guaranteed that about 99.99% of humanity will never even think about looking for it. Plus, leaving hints in blog articles as to their location as well as a geo-cache nearby might generate some good stories.

One hundred yard portage and the fishing gets amazingly better...

James Wolfe said...

Aaaargh Cappy, there be treasure here!

CBMTTek said...

So, let me get this straight.

You want to start up your own personal Cappy Cap geo-caching system?

OK, I'm in.

Lib Arts Major Making $27k/yr At An Office Job said...

The will to be remembered after death is powerful. A lot of people satisfy this with having a genetic legacy.

However in an age where fewer men are getting married and the outlook for our Western way of life is nihilistic, other avenues are becoming more popular.

The traditional journal or book is a go-to for many, but even something like leaving behind an archaeological memento falls in the same category. And without sounding like a broken record, this too is part of answering part of the human condition: "What happens to me when I die?"

Captain Capitalism said...

As Robert Downey Junior said in "Air America"


Stretch said...

See if your local library/community college will take your stuff on semi-permanent loan.
Make the local government pay for their storage and upkeep.
If things get better