Earlier this year, La and I cleared out dozens of boxes from our crawlspace as we started our journey of “de-cluttering” the house. A few months later, I dumped thousands of dollars’ worth of old computer equipment. Today, as we were putting away our Christmas things, Laralee decided to empty the entire crawlspace and start tossing the old unused stuff we’ve accumulated.

I claimed six of the boxes:

… And then spent the rest of the afternoon going through them. It was an amazing treasure trove of Why the Heck Did I Keep This…

Consider, for example, the user manual (100+ pages!) for some software I worked on at Raytheon in 1997:

Of course I needed to save hundreds of expense reports where I’d requested reimbursements for company travel in 1999:

There must’ve been a hundred manila folders with stuff like this in them. I laughed when I saw this particular one:

Yep, that pretty much described its contents, as well as the rest of the box. I loved finding my VAX mainframe account setup form, which I filled out on my first day of work out of college:

I enjoyed seeing a quote for a Silicon Graphics computer I’d requisitioned a few years after that. Notice the price tag: thirty-five thousand dollars, and that’s with a substantial discount. Because hey, graphics cards weren’t cheap in 1998.

There was also a smattering of cool stuff, like dozens of pages where I’d worked out the math for orbital dynamics calculations. Here’s one where I calculated the effects of a nuclear blast on the Van Allen radiation belts, using a simplified cubic spline approach:

Or some matrix algebra to handle conversions between celestial coordinate systems:

I actually used to know what this stuff meant!

Anyway, by the end of the afternoon I had a stack of paper three feet high that could be recycled. And that was just two of the boxes. I still have to crack open the others! But that’s for another day…