Thursday, January 13, 2011


If you are old enough, you remember a burn barrel. Anything that would burn or had a label on it that would burn off, such as a can, went to the burn barrel. Food peelings went into a bucket for chickens or gardening. Once the barrel was full enough, it was taken to the dump which, in our town, was down by the river. Yep, the rats ran there. And it smelled because they dump was burned again before it was bull dozed into the river. If you lived in the country and had a swamp, the barrel was dumped in the swamp.

Well, we can't have a burn barrel in town.

Our trash is picked up, (something we did not have when I was growing up--imagine that!)

So sorting out a file cabinet and having realms of old papers to toss isn't as simple as it used to be. And how does one deal with it?

The simple thing would be tossing it in the garbage. But what about identity theft, you ask. All those numbers who say who you are! It probably isn't likely someone is going to the land fill to pick out our garbage bags but if they did--let's say being a person who had a problem with it a few years ago, one needs to do something major.

And that is when we got the shredder. It takes 10 pages. NOT 11 pages. It eats staples and also those annoying credit cards one gets without asking for them.

And it came to pass that Old Trunks was on a rampage. Maybe it has to do with winter, as most of the real house cleaning is done in the months of momentous snow drifts. Or maybe, as mentioned in an earlier post, it is all about cleaning out as a reflection of making space within myself. Or just maybe it was waiting as a waitress, not only for spring but for someone in Texas to get grand news about a brain AND lung tumor, both cancerous.

Nevertheless, I shredded and shredded some more. There was one stack left for Tom to look at. Instead of looking at it, he said it was a toss. But, he said, the shredder may need emptying.
I pushed it to the point that it jammed. I even picked it up and rocked it trying to get the last 4 inch stack of paper to be cut in strips. Alas, it would take no more.

Now, all of us who are married or live with someone know that certain jobs seem to migrate to one person or another. It is almost like a co-op but nothing is written down. In this case, emptying the shredder was in the Tom column.

So I am looking at this thing and trying to figure out how this works. There was no booklet on it that was filed. I know this because I made a list of the how to do booklets. We had one for an over and under shot gun I have never seen but nothing for a shredder.

I did think it advisable to unplug it first. I flipped all the switches I could find and tried to pull the top of the unit off. I was getting no where. I felt along the crevice of the machine looking for a clue when I discovered there was somewhat of a looseness about it in the front. There was also a cupped area just above the window showing, (if you didn't line it was bags) how much paper was in the basket.

And that is when I realized the top did not come off, rather, the waste basket-like portion came out.

Picture this now, I had this unit so packed full that when I did get the basket out it was way over full. WAY OVER! Or is that WAY, WAY, over.

Tie off the bag that is full and pick up the loose pieces on the floor by hand, then use the sweeper to clean up the fragments of paper stuck to myself and those which seemed to pop about while taking out the basket. Mission accomplished. New bag in, the rest of the documents are shredded.

My question now is: Is the bag for the sweeper so full that needs to be changed and how does one do that?

No longer drowned in paper or strangled in the sea of shredding.



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