Friday, July 26, 2013


So far I've gotten rid of most of our older records meaning about seventeen 30 gallon trash bags of shredded material. I've also donated several wallets, etc. to my sister for her fundraising project regarding feral cats. Now we are in a challenging phase. It is a choice of need versus want. I have a few cartons of debris that I have collected from various jobs and personal items that I have either forgotten about or don't use anymore. I'm giving myself the weekend off; then on Monday will tackle the need vs. want phase.  For example, I have a filing cabinet full of Civil War soldier's personnel records. I wrote several papers a few years back and needed them for reference. I don't really need them anymore, but I want the space they take up. I am debating on whether or not I should donate them to the local historical society because they are all Rockland County men. I don't want to just shred them because the projects were near to my heart and they also cost quite a bit of money over the years. We are also giving a lot of our paper backs to the library as free loaners to make more room.

There are also a lot of trinkets from my offices where I've worked over the last 3 decades. Most involve nice memories, but again, they take up space and will not mean anything to anyone after I'm gone. I've already shredded a lot of my certificates for Safety Manager, Fire Safety Director, OSHA Seminars and the like. The only thing that I haven't destroyed is my NYFD Certificate for Refrigeration Machine Operator. I've had that since 1980. That piece of paper was a real stepping stone to my career in the Building Operations field. 

I'll be doing some pondering over this weekend on what to dump. I've already made the decision that I want no more presents for Christmas, birthdays, etc. That will just clutter the house. I think I'll just ask people to donate money to the Friends of the Hunley in my name for future gifts. At least it will do some good.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


One of my self assigned tasks is to basically shred everything in the house we don't  need. I've been doing it for days now. Any minute the shredder will start screaming in agony. Then it hit me! If these nudnicks who keep sending me crap I don't want, are faced down maybe I can make a dent in the world and save a few trees. The amount of catalogs we get in the mail is absolutely ridiculous. It's a sin!!! How many of us read every catalog  from cover to cover breathlessly awaiting the next sale or gadget?

I am not a tree hugger nor do I believe that Global warming is the end of the world; BUT, I do believe that we should each do our part to try to manage the problem without wrecking the economy. Accordingly, every time I get a catalog in the mail, I email the company and tell them to take me off their mailing list. If they have a website and a product I like, I can always go on the site check for sales, etc. and do it that way. I told one company today to email me specials. It is a lot easier to hit the delete button then to shred a 120 page catalog thus saving trees and the electricity required to run the shredder. Granted my one little act of defiance won't change the world, but if enough people do, maybe it will make a difference instead of relying on these stupid carbon footprints and purchasing a tree to make up for your use of oil, etc.

One more thing, while its on my mind. At one point, I was mulling the purchase of one of those Chevy Volts to help save oil. After some research, I decided it wasn't such a good idea. Particularly because....and follow this please. In order to save oil, we need to buy electric cars. We charge our electric cars at charging stations which CONSUME electricity. What powers the charging stations, mostly its coal? Since the government is trying to kill coal production and increase electric car production at the same time.........well you can see where that will lead us. If a dunderhead like me can see it, you need to really wonder about the brains of our government. They're certainly not thinking right. Why promote the production of cars that will put a drain on our electric grid and at the same time outlaw coal which is the main supplier??

Just sayin'

New Routine for a Creature of Habit

For the last several weeks, we have changed our routine slightly to visit my mother in law. Since her Great grandchildren on our side are on the west coast, she does not see them often. She does not have a PC, One thing we have done is use a really a marvelous bit of technology. I bought one of those USB memory sticks. As the week progresses we receive emailed photos from my son and daughter in law. Actually Christina is to be lauded for her dedication to this project; I down load them into a file labeled "new". Then on the Saturday before the Sunday visit, I take the memory stick to the Photo Shoppe. He down loads them for me on 4 by 6 paper and voila we have current photos for the next day's visit.

Its a part of my Saturday morning routine now, the guy sees me entering the store, I hand him the stick, proclaim "They're in the "new" file, I'll wait!" A few minutes later, I hear "They're ready" I pay and am out the door. Relatively painless process.

Everyone is happy!!

Some examples

Friday, July 12, 2013

Social Networking Sites as a medium to find a job!

Well at the request of the New York State Unemployment Office, I went to a 4 hour workshop on how to use your social networking skills to land a job. All in all it was very interesting and while I will do as asked, I'm not all that confident it will pan out. I am not worried about my knowledge or skills, I am worried about other people's perception when they see "Viet Nam Era" status as my Veteran classification. A company that hires me will get determination, loyalty, knowledge in spite of my older years. However it appears that most companies are interested in hiring young cheap help.

At any rate we learned how to use Linkedin, Facebook,etc. and how to write a profile that will make employers look twice. Apparently, resumes are becoming passe, now through social networking we were told that upwards of 90% of job seekers are hired because of "who you know" not what you know these days.

Fingers crossed, hope someone in North Jersey needs a Sourcing Analyst or a bid-meister, Purchasing Manager?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Officially Depressed!!

OK, I don't know whether I'm mad or depressed; certainly disappointed. All along since I have been laid off I haven't really been enthusiastic about most of the available jobs. But this time, I was rejected from a position that I would have enjoyed and known that I was good at. It was for the Facility Manager at a near by University. The job was right up my alley. The rejection letter cited my "impressive"  resume but they decided to go elsewhere. That's hint that they saw I was a Viet Nam era veteran and thence too old!!

What to do??

Tracing the Family Roots Part 2

Ever since the bug bit me again a few weeks back, I've been spending a lot of time on Facebook and, Find a, etc. I've actually made contact with some cousins in California and in the midwest. My sister and I are taking the family tree I orignally did on and making some adjustments as we have discovered some minor errors and are making corrections. does a couple of things that help you. When you find a document that you believe may be related to an ancestor, but you're not quite sure, you can place it in what they call a shoe box where it will lay until you can confirm whether or not it really is from one of your ancestors. The other thing they do is scan their library and if they spot a name that looks like it should go to you, they place a "hint" icon by that persons name. You look up the hint and see if it matches your ancestor. 

So far it has worked very well for me. Presently, we are puzzling over one individual who was my paternal grandfather's second wife.Her name was Emlee. I met one of  Emlee's grand daughters about 49 years ago and just recently reconnected with her. Hope she can tell me a little more about Emlee. She sounds like she was a fascinating person.

.........and I just found out that one of my cousins with whom we used to play a lot as youngsters up in Maine has been missing for a number of years. Hope he is ok, but he lived along the Mexican Border!

The hunt continues..............