Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Spring Cleaning

With the arrival of Spring each year, I usually like to do a little spring cleaning. For most people, spring cleaning means touching up the house and yard... hauling off the clutter, maybe a little paint, plant a few shrubs, and that sort of thing.

For me, spring cleaning means pushing the stacks of "stuff" off the top of my desk into several large boxes, and then marking the boxes "Spring '07", and stacking them on top of other similarly marked boxes from years gone by.

If I'm rushed, I just slide the stuff off the desk into the boxes quickly... the whole process takes ten minutes, eight minutes of which are spent finding the boxes and the markers to write on the boxes. During a quickie spring cleaning, I will generally rescue maybe a dozen items from the stacks of stuff -- items which require my immediate attention -- and leave them on my desk in the correct location for the beginning of a new stack of stuff.

When I really want to get into some serious spring cleaning, however, I take my time moving the stuff from the desk to the boxes, often carefully examining each item before cramming it into the box. This method allows me to subdivide the stuff into various categories, and cram it into appropriately marked boxes (i.e. -- Unanswered Mail, Spring '07; Calls to Return, Spring '07; Junk Mail Which I Don't Want to Throw Away Because I Might Want To Read it Someday, Spring '07; Multi-Level Sales Opportunities, Spring '07; Invitations to Parties I Missed, But I Still Need To Acknowledge, Spring '07 [actually, this category does not require a very large box]; Miscellaneous Left-over Stuff, Spring '06, '05, '04)

Currently, I am involved in a very serious spring cleaning, which I expect to take a matter of weeks. One good part about this type of spring cleaning is this: I keep finding lost notes of things I meant to write about! So I'll mention a few of them now...

-- We recently received a semi-anonymous letter from Hank in Columbia who noted that he had seen a sign indicating a new bank is being built next to a new car wash. Hank wondered if perhaps we should be on the lookout for "money laundering". Hank, you were right to keep your letter at least semi-anonymous... for your own-protection... from the Bad Joke Police!

-- Next week, April 25th to be exact, is Administrative Professionals Day. I’m not sure what that is. I’m thinking maybe it used to be Secretaries Day, but they decided to change the name. Anybody know for sure?

-- I’ve recently invented yet another new word, to go along with the two new words I wrote about a few weeks ago “ar” and “teafill”. This word probably still needs a little work. It’s “crookwards”. I invented this word last week while hanging some framed documents on the wall. I know what it means, but I haven’t decided on the exact definition yet.

-- Here’s a piece of advice I meant to write about back before Ground Hog Day. I’ll expand more on it next winter – if I can find the scrap of paper – but for now, I’ll just offer this tip well in advance: I think you should always wear very comfortable clothes on Ground Hog Day, just in case the movie comes true.

-- Postage Stamps. I use a lot of them, and I always find a few leftovers when I clean my desk. (I recently came across an old 5-cent stamp lodged in the crack in the back of my desk drawer.) I heard on the news a few days ago that the post-office has invented a new “Forever Stamp”, which will allow you to mail a letter forever, no matter how high the price of a stamp goes. It sounds like a bargain to me. Now, if someone would just invent a gallon of “Forever Gasoline.”

I'm only half-way finished with my spring cleaning; next week, I'll be cleaning off the right side of my desk, and the stacks are a lot taller. So I'll probably have a lot more notes for you then.

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