My world record collection of navel lint is what I am best known for, but this forms just the tip of a larger iceberg of collections.
I wouldn't call myself obsessive or passionate about any of these collections, although some like to jump to that conclusion in their rush to label people. Most result from a simple combination of these factors:
1. Scientific curiosity and the related tendency to document things,
2. The urge to keep souvenirs and momentos,
3. A natural reluctance to throw anything out.
This section of my website reveals the following collections:
The world's largest collection of navel fluff (lint), plucked daily from my navel since 1984
- The collection - About navel lint and how I started collecting it, with photos
- Comments - Interesting and amusing comments from my online survey of navel fluff (the world's first)
- History - The curious history of my collection, the surprising media interest, and where it's taken me
- The Tonight Show - My appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where I was interviewed about my world record navel lint collection (in between other guests Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kylie Minogue)
- Beard Clippings - My facial hair clippings scanned and documented
- Bakery Bags - A small collection of scanned paper bags from good bakeries
Some other things I collect, which don't have their own page:
Ski lift tickets from each place I've been skiing at, originally saved as souvenirs to document my travels as a snow skier.
McDonalds Traymats (foreign)
The sheets of paper placed on each tray at McDonalds. I have a small collection consisting of one per country, preferably with something on each that distinguishes it from traymats in other countries.
Many types of fruit are labelled with little stickers to identify where they came from. I've been collecting the stickers from West Australian mangoes - my favourite fruit.
I have an armchair-traveller sort of fascination with maps, and when combined with a love of travel, and difficulties parting with things, the result is a collection of maps ranging from tourist to topographic and street directories.
I don't go out of my way to acquire maps, in most cases only accumulating maps which I've used on my own travels, which I then hang onto in case they might come in handy another time. Maps of places that I haven't been to are only collected if they are places I would like to go to, or have some other specific interest in, and they can be obtained cheaply.
I began collecting rocks in primary school, making it my earliest collection as well as the most conventional. Even at a young age I numbered all samples and kept a notebook of locations. There are over 300 rocks of widely varying types from all over Australia, however I have not added to the collection for a long time. Transporting heavy objects like rocks conflicts with my desire to travel light, and my interest waned somewhat after studying geology ... and not quite passing the course.