Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cleaned out

Last Tuesday evening I got a note from my credit union saying they would be offering a shredding service today at a nearby branch. I've got stuff to shred, so I put it on my calendar. Alas, I had just been to Dad's house so couldn't take a few bags of his shredable stuff.

A few months ago as I realized the extent of what Dad had left behind I began looking at my own files. Over about a month I sorted through the stacks of papers. In doing so I realized how old some of them are. I don't need to follow one trait of Dad's.

So when I got this notice of a shred event I knew I had stuff that could go. I checked online for recommendations on how long to keep stuff. The maximum would be seven years for papers that might be involved in taxes (though many documents could be eliminated a whole lot sooner). I went through those folders I had created a few months ago and pulled out everything dated before 2010. Then I went through a few more drawers of papers and added those to the bags (those drawers are almost empty now). Some of those things, such as pay statements, dated back to (and sometimes before) when I moved into this house at the end of 1991. I'm pretty sure any documents before then never got unpacked from my previous residence and were lost in the basement flood 4 years ago.

Two paper grocery bags of stuff from my files. A third grocery bag of recent stuff, such as checks incorrectly written, that had been sitting there getting full (actually overflowing).

I drove to the shredding site and as I approached I saw a traffic backup. Part of it was people lined up to turn into the collection area. Another part was because a six-mile section of northbound highway I-275 is now closed for replacement and this road is the first major north-south road to the east of the highway. I didn't realize it then. I did realize it when I tried to head north on the first major north-south road to the west of the highway to do some grocery shopping.

It is good to get rid of it all.

I'm annoyed with the Adobe Flash program that is used by so many websites (especially ads). A few weeks ago I was told it was time to update, so I did. I wasn't on top of things enough to remember that Adobe always defaults to also installing the McAfee antivirus program. I already have a security program and don't want another possibly interfering. So when I saw McAfee installing I cut power to the computer. This wasn't the first time.

When that happens I get a notice on my browser that the Flash program was out of date. Do I want to allow for this webpage? For a while I just lived with the notice because most things I wanted to do worked fine without it (even, alas, most ads).

While I do housework I frequently put on a podcast to listen to. Lately it has been the More Perfect series from Radiolab which I've mentioned before (the episode I listened to today was about the death penalty and why lethal injection drugs are no longer available). At the top of that page was a note saying I really should update Flash.

So I did (remembering to say no to McAfee). When I restarted my browser it started reloading the Adobe page. I got an error box that said something like, "A plugin script is not working. Would you like to: Continue | Stop Plugin." This would appear for a moment then vanish. In the meantime the browser appeared to be hung. Then the error box would come back. Maybe after a dozen appearances I got another box that offered the option to debug the script. I clicked on that. I could use the browser again, but no longer do anything with that page. I finally got rid of both Adobe pages, but then had the same trouble on the More Perfect page. I went into my browser controls and shut off Flash. Problem gone and I could hear my podcast. I ended up fussing with that for half an hour. Grr!

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