Thursday, September 30, 2010

Getting Rid of My Stuff

I spent thirty years collecting stuff. Now I'm spending twenty years getting rid of it (so far). I have cut down on my possessions for years now, ever since I read Taming the Paper Tiger back in 1993 when I lived in a flat in North Oakland, California. I had an entire room full of boxes of "stuff" and set out to organize it. Well, it has been a struggle ever since, but I've finally got it down to a dull roar, meaning most of my unwanted/unorganized items can fit into two closets at this point.

I still have a few items that tear at my heartstrings, that I have yet to resolve, as to how to handle them. Of course, old family photographs are one item. Another is my collection of valuable old Beatles albums. These will go to my children. My oldest daughter has been a Beatles fan since she was a teen. Now she's a princess among women and deserves to get this aging collection of albums I purchased in the 1960's.

The family photographs are a bit harder to deal with. I have five kids and will divide among them. What else can I do? I will try to give each child lots of photos of themselves. This will require a lot more organizing and sorting than I've put into it so far.

As it turns out... old boxes of filing and paperwork are easy to go through and dispose of because most of the papers are no longer relevant to my life. The only things I tend to hold onto are my writings... I have a backup system because I consider my writings the most important things in my home. I've been writing since I was a teen and still have most of it in my possession. Pretty strange, huh? Luckily I haven't lost much of it over the years.

So, I continue to declutter but the huge pressure I felt a few years ago is over. I'm doing much better with "stuff" now.

Ah, that reminds me of a video a friend told me about recently:

I have to love George Carlin - though he went way over my comfort level with profanity and vulgarity at times, most of what he said was spot on and I have to respect him for that.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I am Creative / Disorganized

I've got way too many things to do. I love to start new projects. I'm constantly looking for new ways to organize my time and projects.

Sound familiar?

I thought I was a total freak until I read Time Management For Unmanageable People. The author explains the situation without making it sound like a problem. The fact is, we're just this way and should focus on using the condition's positive aspects. If creating multiple organizational methods and experimenting with them motivates us, we should do it without feelings of guilt. It is just the way we think and our constant need for new systems.

We spend way too much time with guilt, IMO. It saps our strength and keeps us from getting things done.

My newest system is to write projects on index cards - then choose one random project, complete it, and move on.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thoughts on Starting Over

Not a huge life change - just a new identity on my old Dell computer.

Long story.

Well, over a week ago my eMachines computer caught a wretched virus. You may think that’s no big deal - that I could run my virus checker and have it deleted or quarantined. This one wasn’t so easy. I ran AVG, AdAware, Malwarebytes, and a rootkit killer program. None of those eradicates the virus.

So I found a site online, Bleeping Computer, with a message board where volunteer experts help others with computer virus nightmares. They had a long list of pre-posting requirements, and it took two days to work through them. (Maybe I’m slow, but the learning curve was treacherous.)

So... there I was with my post all ready to run, and I found out there was a l-o-n-g waiting list. In fact, it has been six days now and so far, there’s no volunteer ready to help me. I do expect someone to help within the next twenty-four hours or so. Then there will be more utilities to download and tests to run, but I have confidence this is the way to go because there was another woman there with the same virus who managed to have it eradicated from her laptop computer.

The virus does terrible things:

1. It opens browser tabs and switches you to them, then loads advertising pages you don’t want. They must be immediately closed. Some will resize the browser. Some have popup windows that are hard to keep closing because there are so many. All the popups have to be closed before you can close the offending page. I’ve had to reboot the computer to get rid of these! Occasionally it will open another browser window instead of a tab.

2. When you go to Google or Bing to look for something, if you click on any of the search results it will redirect you to one of their awful advertisements.

3. Apparently it opens a backdoor on the computer that allows access into the computer itself, despite the firewall you may be using. Any banking or personal information must immediately be removed from the computer.

I’m not telling the name of this terrible virus as I don’t want people looking for info on it to find this page.

So, I’ve had to abandon my eMachines computer. My Dell needed new memory cards. I ordered them and they came yesterday. Now this machine runs FAST and happy, and I came back to it, but couldn’t adjust to the identiy I had here so I made a new user identity and am down to the bare newness of it all... so much work to do to install all my comforts: a personal front page that resides on my computer, my work files, other organizational helps like my Firefox Morning Coffee add-on configuration. Plenty of work to do... and I couldn’t manage to get my bookmarks transferred right. Oh well. That’s what I mean by starting over.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Computer Virus Hell

My main computer caught a virus, and I've been trying for two days to deal with that. I'm still working on it though there's progress for which I'm very thankful.

This started when I discovered a hacker from Russia (!) was using space on my writing site's server for nefarious activities. In the process of dealing with that I looked at one of the files. Big mistake, because it infected my computer.

The worst part of all this is that so much of my time was wasted. I use my computer for what I consider important stuff, so two days focused on virus removal seems excessive. And it isn't over yet.