January 3, 2009

Scan and Shred

On New Year's Day, I raked up the back yard. About ninety minutes' worth of moderate physical labor produced a garbage can full to the brim with compacted willow and oak leaves (and no small amount of the results of having four dogs prowling the back yard). Today, you couldn't tell I'd done a thing. And my left hand is still numb from the work. By tomorrow the area under the willow will be covered again and it will be more winter raking for me next weekend.

So today I was given a different sort of task -- scanning and shredding our old files. It's 2:30 in the afternoon and I've made it through the "F" folders. The advantage, of course, is that the zeroes and ones on my hard drive -- soon to be backed up on an online archival service -- take up no space. The disadvantage is that getting all this stuff scanned in the first place is a tedious task. I'll be glad when it's all done and our personal files and archives will be totally paperless.

I've already generated an astonishing amount of shred. I suppose if I wanted to be perfectly safe about it, I'd burn the shred, but the chances of a piece of on-fire shred making it out the chimney are greater than I feel comfortable with. And that, too, is the problem with the leaves -- back in Tennessee, you were almost expected to either burn or mulch your leaves, rather than reducing them to trash. But here in the Antelope Valley of California, burning leaves is not an option, our yard is too small for a compost pile, and we lack a mulcher. So some of the trash is going to have to go out in waves, some this week and some next week.

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