Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Spiritual Practice of Shredding Stuff by Kevin E. Dayhoff May 15, 2013

The Spiritual Practice of Shredding Stuff by Kevin E. Dayhoff May 15, 2013

Last month my wife and I left our house in the wee-hours of the morning and joined other households in Carroll County for the shared experience of putting box after box of old documents in a large ravenous shredder-truck which devoured the paper voraciously.

It was quite a liberating experience. Of course, there was a certain irony in the ritualistic-feeding of the paper-eating monster truck sponsored by the Carroll County Office of Recycling.

The vast majority of my papers to be recycled are from the 40 or so years I served on local, county or state boards, committees or commissions – for many years, as an elected official – all of which were accompanied by bringing home boxes of papers, documents and records. It was only fitting and proper that I ‘give’ the papers back to the county.

The further irony is that many of those 40+-years were served on various committees and commissions which focused on the environment, municipal solid waste, agriculture, forestry, water and wastewater treatment – and recycling.

I, for one, am quite thankful for the shredding service. The recycling office reported that we were one of 316 other households that made the trek to the county maintenance facility.

The paper shredder in my office only allows me to feed it up to 16 pages at a time. At that rate, it would take me about two hours to shred one box full of papers. The county shredding service saved me days of mind-numbing work.

As I discussed in my column in on June 20 last year, “Fighting the ‘Stuff Monster,” goals are simply tools to focus one’s energy in positive directions. These goals can change as one’s priorities change and new ones are added, and others dropped.

One of the several priorities I have established in recent years is to greatly simplify my life and cut-out as much of the clutter as possible… Please read more here:


Eagle Archives: Standard, aka junk, mail goes back to 19th century

The nation's first countywide free rural postal delivery service got off to a shaky and contested start Dec. 20, 1896, in Carroll County.

According to multiple media accounts, including the Baltimore Sun, "One of the first pick-ups postal clerk Edwin Shriver had on the inaugural day of Carroll County's Rural Free Delivery service was a greased pig…"

"I'm sure he (the customer) did it as a joke," said Shriver. "But I slapped a 42-cent stamp on its rump and delivered it. That pig squealed the whole way."

A little over three years later, Charles Emory Smith, the 39th postmaster general of the United States and a journalist by trade, visited Westminster on April 30, 1900.

If Smith were to come back today, he would find the current state of affairs of the Postal Service look more like that haze produced by the forest fire.
These days, the future beautiful vista at the post office is less than clear, if my last visit there is any indication.

After I opened my box, I let out a squeal much like that of that greased pig in December of 1896. I quickly realized that I had once again fallen prey to the modern scourge upon the postal system that has significantly impacted our lives today, junk mail, or as it is politely referred to by the postal system, "standard mail."

Don't complain about the flood of unsolicited mail. "The Postal Service is hoping to deliver even more," according to an article in the New York Times last September.

"Faced with multibillion-dollar losses and significant declines in first-class mail, the post office is cutting deals with businesses and direct mail marketers to increase the number of sales pitches they send by standard mail…"

Now isn't that just special … Unbelievable…

See also:

Kevin Dayhoff - The Tentacle: Fighting the “Stuff Monster”

There comes a time in a person’s life when one needs to get a fresh supply of trash bags, buy a new heavy-duty paper shredder, back the pick-up truck to the basement door, get out the large party-size coffee maker, and clear the clutter.

For me, periodically fighting the “Stuff Monster” has been a survival tool – or I would have been the tragic-lead character in a serial reality horror show on hoarding a long time ago.

Yet, in my personal journey of a life-long struggle with the “Stuff Monster,” the deck has always been stacked against me.

For, you see, my situation has been exacerbated by the fact that I have been self-employed all my life. Many colleagues have been able to fight the “Stuff Monster” much more easily because all the filing cabinets full of papers and pallets of boxes in records storage, has been the responsibility of their respective employers.

Well, with me – since the late 1960s – I’ve been my own employer and keeping records, documents and stuff has always been my responsibility.

And, of course, for the last 35 or so years, in addition to art and farming, I have continuously served on any number of local, county or state boards, committees or commissions – and for many years, as an elected official – all of which was accompanied by my bringing home papers, documents and records by the wheelbarrow load.


I am trying to go as paperless as possible.

My paperless initiative is in part, because technology has advanced to the point that I can now handle many office and administrative functions more efficiently - without paper.

However, my reasons for going as paperless as possible are in part, as a matter of practicality. Above and beyond the fact that we travel a lot and are simply not at home to get hardcopy paper-mail at our post office box; at my advanced age, handling mountains of paper day-in and day-out has not gotten any easier.

Curiously, after almost 40-years of office administration, if you hand me a piece of paper, in several hours, I have no clue as to where it is. However, I always seem to be able to find electronic paperwork… Caroline will tell you that I have come to like reading online so much that I scan-in letters and writing-newspaper-research materials just so that I can read it on the computer…

Moreover, a large part of my decision to go paperless is a product of my environmental activism, which in part springs forth from faith beliefs…

Whatever - - I am a geek and although a few electrons may be inconvenienced; paperless is far more efficient…

That said, LOL – the initiative sure has had some interesting moments – and a few profound failures; however, it has been for the most part, quite successful…

Kevin E. Dayhoff June 20, 2012 The Tentacle The mindless meanderings of a mad writer. Click here for a larger image:
Kevin Dayhoff is an artist - and a columnist for:

Kevin Dayhoff's The New Bedford Herald: =

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E-mail: kevindayhoff(at)
My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County:

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