Trashapalooza: Living Large With Two Paper Shredders

Stop calling, we have a winner for the most boring Project ever.

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Welp, I’m back.

And living in a house that has not one, but two, electric paper shredders in it.

Try not to be jealous.

You see, last week when the ungodly hot and humid heat wave hit our region, I was in need of a project to keep me entertained + cool.  Zen-Den had the week off so he was wandering around the house, in need of something to do.

Hence it came to be that we decided to go into our unfinished, but cold, basement and start doing something we should have done years decades ago. Yes, we bravely opened the drawers in the many filing cabinets down there and sorted through the documents contained therein.

Meaning that we found: bills and checks and insurance documents and warranty information and furniture sales receipts dating back to the early ’90s and… in what was the biggest surprise to me… all of my late mother’s federal and state income tax filings going back to 1984.

[She’s been gone 22 years.  I was executrix of her estate.  I thought I’d destroyed all of her documents before we moved here in ’99, but obviously I had not.]

Anyhoo, in the process of going through all of these documents we decided to invest in a second shredder so that Zen-Den could sort through files while I shredded the paper, feeding both shredders simultaneously like a champ, to keep things moving along at a fast pace.

And to keep life interesting.

Or as interesting as it can be, under the circumstances, while sitting in a dusty basement being responsible adults, shredding our past, for hours on end.

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Question of the Day

What’s your most boring project ever? Did you put it off for decades? Were you compelled to do it because of lousy weather?

Be The Light: Of Washing Machines & The Retirement Scene

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting them on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of February, I have a positive story to share with you, my gentle readers. 

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THE NEWS STORY:  

Lee Maxwell, a retired electrical engineering professor who lives in Colorado, collects washing machines.  His washing machine collection, stored in two warehouses, consists of nearly 1,500 machines.

Maxwell, age 87, finds the machines all over the United States.  They’re usually in disrepair.  He gets the machines to his warehouses where he repairs them, and stores them.

He has what is believed to be one of the largest personal collections of anything in the U.S.A.  His hope is that someone, a benefactor, will build a museum dedicated to washing machines so that everyone can see for themselves how washing machines have changed over the years.

[Complete story with video: Washing machine collector takes a whirl back in time]

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MY COMMENTARY:

This story is a quirky happy news story that makes me appreciate people who follow their own muses.

What’s not to love?

A retiree finds a hobby, that turns into a passion, that ends up preserving pieces of history that are easy to overlook.  And suddenly there’s a collection worthy of note because someone, Maxwell, took the time to notice.

I give props to this man.  He didn’t start collecting washing machines to be a news story.  No, he just did it for something fun to do, and in the process saved an interesting part of American history.

I consider him an inspiration.  Think about it, when it’s time to retire we all should be so fortunate as to stumble upon a hobby that takes us down uncharted roads, while filling our hours with a quiet sense of accomplishment.

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A Glimpse Into A Blogger’s Idea Generation Process, Such As It Is

I’m a writer who writes a personal blog in which I talk about a variety of topics.

Make no mistake about that.

As such, I have a drawer in my desk where I toss pieces of paper on which I’ve written thoughts + scribblings + quotes that come to me when I’m not in a place to write about these thoughts + scribblings + quotes.

I do this randomly, both the thinking and the tossing.

This drawer, you see, is my idea generation process system based on one piece of wisdom in David Allen’s Getting Things Done.  He tells you to capture ideas.

Well, I’m capturing them.

In my own way.

Then a few times a year I sort through the pieces of paper with the aforementioned thoughts + scribblings + quotes on them, to see what I might write about here on these hallowed virtual pages.

 Yesterday I reacquainted myself with what I’ve carefully saved in this drawer.  

In reality, about 60% of what I saved I tossed out because I have no idea what I was thinking about when I saved the thought + scribbling + quote.

The brain, she be addled.

Another 30% of my thoughts + scribblings + quotes were good blog post fodder, but I wasn’t in the mood to do what it takes [research, personal reflection, finding an image] to write a coherent blog post about the topic.

So those thoughts + scribblings + quotes went back into the drawer, safely nestled among their own kind, until I’m ready to write about them sometime in the future.

Trust me, there are advantages of being a blogger whose blog leans more toward lifestyle newspaper column than daily diary. Plus, not to put too fine of a point on it, variety fights inertia, random is what keeps this blog going.

That left me with 10% of my thoughts + scribblings + quotes that I’ll turn them into exciting world-class blog posts such as this one.

All of which [finally] brings me to my actual reason for writing this post.

In my more anxious moments I wonder if there might be a better way for me to capture and generate ideas.  A way that doesn’t rely on my current idiosyncratic, neatniks-need-not-apply idea generation process, as seen in the photo below.

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So tell me, gentle readers, how do you keep track of the ideas that you use to write your blog posts?

‘Tis possible that I could use some guidance.

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#Flash4Storms | My First [And Perhaps Last] 50-Word Flash Fiction Story

… and now for something completely different.

Sarah Brentyn at the blog, Lemon Shark, is hosting a flash fiction challenge to raise funds for hurricane victims. Read more about the specifics of the challenge here: Flash Fiction Prompt for Hurricane Relief #Flash4Storms.

I’ve never written flash fiction before, however Allie P. did this challenge here on her blog, Allie Potts Writesand she’s one of the cool kids, so I’m following her lead. Thus I give you my first [and perhaps last] 50-word flash fiction story.

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The knock at the door was soft, but the weeping was loud. Mirabelle asked: “have you seen my mommy?”

Wanting to help, the neighbor called around, learning that her mommy had forgotten kindergarten dismissed early today.

Meanwhile Mirabelle waited, sitting on the sofa, shredding her tissue, forlorn, and plotting revenge.

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Be The Light: Of Hurricanes & Happy Hellos

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INTRODUCTION

As you may remember, starting last March I joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of September, I’ve a news story to share with you, my gentle readers & fellow #WATWB participants.

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THE NEWS STORY

Earlier this month when Hurricane Irma made landfall in the USA, Key West was hard hit.  After the hurricane moved farther north, for those people who didn’t evacuate Key West, there was no running water, no electric power– and no cell phone service.

One of the people who didn’t evacuate was Buco, a mechanic at The Green Parrot, a famous bar and Key West icon.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, Buco figured out that the closed restaurant next door had a landline connection that was still working.  Using an old hand set, Buco was able to get a landline telephone working and accessible to people at the side door of The Green Parrot.

The bar then allowed anyone to make a free two-minute call using the phone so that the residents still in Key West could assure their friends and family that they were ok.

[Full story here: A Key West Dive Bar Closed For The Hurricane, But Let 500 People In To Phone Loved Ones]

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MY COMMENTARY

Overlooking the fact that what Buco did, pirating a phone line, is technically illegal, this story is a feel good one in which human ingenuity and kindness comes together to help everyone.

I especially liked Buco’s observation about the people who stood in line to use the phone.  He said: “it’s always their mother’s number that they remember.”

While The Green Parrot [“a sunny place for shady people”] is famous in and of itself, the latest mention of it in the news, under the circumstances, makes me smile about the bar and the people who work there.

[Click here to view Bar Cam].

I can’t help thinking… road trip, anyone?  ‘Cause I know a place I’d like to visit. 🍻

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{ photo images via Pixabay |1||2| }

Be The Light: The Art Of Turning Hate Into Great

INTRODUCTION:

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of August, in a month that’s been like no other, I have a small news story, albeit political, to share with you, my gentle readers.

THE NEWS STORY:

Early in August I saw this news story, Berlin street artist group cleverly undo swastika graffiti.

The artists featured in this news story have collaborated, voluntarily, to make their city “100% swastika-free” by responding “with humour and love” to the unwelcome swastika graffiti.  They are doing this by modifying the swastika graffiti, turning it into benign, rather cute, images.

MY COMMENTARY:

Considering the recent violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA, this article is more timely than I expected it to be when I first read it and saved it for this project.

I liked the story because I thought these artists had found an inspired + simple way to handle hate.  By defacing that which was defaced, they have created something not morally reprehensible.

Something that shows a bit of style and, dare I suggest, angelic grace.

Something that quickly and quietly has effectively turned hate into great.