Scrapping Paper

Here is what I can’t figure out: why does my bank allow me to make electronic payments for free? I have all my account information with them and I can just log on, enter amount for the account I want to pay, and BOOM, done.  I don’t have to write checks and payments both get there and get processed sooner.  It saves me time, saves me money, and is way easier and faster.  I just made two payments this afternoon. It took me all of two minutes.

OK, I do get why they make it free. It saves them time and money as well. I worked at an organization that processed payments and we encouraged people to take advantage of electronic billing and payments.  Handling a paper bill and a paper check once it arrived too way more time and effort than having it enter the system on its own. Still, I keep waiting for the catch. Heck, we used to pay the day care center electronically through the bank. Since the center did not accept electronic payments, the bank mailed a check. I guess that worked better for the bank. It certainly worked better for me.

I do get a few statements in the mail still. The bill for one credit card we hardly use comes in the mail, for example. And I still make charitable contributions mostly by paper check. I buy many fewer checks these days. I am always surprised when I run out. I order those online.

In fact, I get most things by ordering online–clothes, Christmas gifts, bandages, seeds, flavored syrups, books, music, whatever. A while back I subscribed to a service called YourMusic, which sent CD’s once each month for 7 bucks each. Add CD’s to your queue and they get sent automatically. It is a good deal, except I had to get those CD’s in the mail. Now I just use iTunes. I rarely read a paper newspaper, either. I read it online.

I have been reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peal Pie Society. It consists of a collection of letters. I am fully engaged in the story. I want to be reading it right now, in fact. I have not yet given up paper books altogether (although I have enjoyed a few on my iPod Touch). I have realized by reading this book, however, that I never write letters anymore. I used to write scads of them. It used to be the thing to do when I was in my teens and twenties. Now text messaging has become the norm. Letters, however, have a tangible and emotional substance to them. They can be held. They last. I have stopped writing them, as have most people in the 21st century. This has its convenience and certainly saves resources. We do miss something by giving them up, however.

I don’t feel that way about bills. Send me an email notice and let me look it up through the magic of the internet. I get far more unsolicited crap in the mail these days than anything of use or worth. Thanks for your good work, I want to tell all these organizations looking for donations. I would love to help but I give to others and you don’t make the cut, so stop sending me mail. I tell them that often–I either send an email or just stuff the contents back in the return envelope with a note. Still, I’d rather they did not send me something I did not ask to receive. They would save a lot of money by not mailing me all that junk. They should talk to my bank.

I have plenty of paper files hanging in file folders, but I am trying to cut down. Do I really need those bank statements from the past seven years? I doubt it. Tax returns I’ll save, although it is unlikely I will need those either. One of my summer projects is to clean out the closet. I will pull out the recycling bin and drop it next to the closet and transfer contents from one to the other. And when I  am done I will leave the dust on my journal and get online right here to tell about that exciting adventure. As if that is a good idea.


I had the day off today.  It’s President’s Day.  I get it off, paid.  Why work on a day like that?  But I did.  Not much, but I did.  I needed to send a bunch of appointment reminders on Friday but I didn’t have time to do it.  So then I should have done it Saturday.  Or Sunday.  And then it was Monday.  I had to get it done this morning.

I sent the reminders by email so of course I noticed, when I opened my email program, that I had a couple of messages that needed immediate responses.  One was from a student who has a looming deadline.  Another was from a parent I should have called on Thursday.  Crap.  So I answered those before sending the messages I needed to send.

I have a series of workshops tomorrow and, due to the aforementioned busy Friday, I did not plan for them completely.  I had to find out exactly when I need to be there and to confirm the agenda.  So that meant more work today.  Not much, but more.  I can’t get away.  That is part of the deal with my job, I guess.  I have a flexible schedule but I often can’t just leave it at the office.  My office is at home.

I did get out and about today.  I was in search of a pot lid.  It is from a Williams Sonoma pot that we got a dozen years ago.  My wife pulled the lid from over some boiling water and dipped it under the faucet flowing with cold water.  It was a glass lid, but it shattered when she did that.  She was distracted.  For a while we just went without a lid but for the past year I have been half-heartedly searching for a replacement.  When I called the company they told me I need to go to a store so someone could look at it.

At the store they told me that no replacements are available.  No lids from current pot designs will fit and they literally cannot get me a lid to an old pot.  They don’t make them, they don’t stock them, they can’t get me one.  No can do.  I was a little dumbstruck.  I asked if this was part of a conspiracy to simply get me to buy a whole new pot.  I got no verbal response to that question.

So I will hunt for one online and elsewhere.  I must be able to find one somewhere.  I know I can find a lid of some kind that fits.  I could get a universal lid that would work in a pinch, but I want another glass one that fits.  My wife promises not to put it under cold water again, unless the lid is already cold.  So my search is on again and I am more determined than ever.  I will show Williams Sonoma that a lid can be found, despite their buy-it-don’t-fix-it policies.

I will start that search right away.  As soon as I fill the bird feeders again.  And wash those dishes.  And close my email program.