What the heck goes into the trash can (as opposed to recycling?)

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On Monday, May 2, 2016 at 6:34:35 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

That's the case here in NJ too. Styrofoam packaging is another example. Or the plastic wrappers around some consumer packages. Used paper towels, rags, used paper plates, bubble pack material, meat bones, chicken carcass.
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On 5/2/2016 6:43 PM, trader_4 wrote:

The foam packing is polystyrene plastic and should go in any place that takes #6 plastic. Easily recycled.
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trader_4 wrote on Mon, 02 May 2016 15:43:32 -0700:

I guess that's a good point in that *some* plastic isn't recyclable.
But I pretty much recycle all plastics.
They don't seem to complain so they must have some way of filtering it out of the mix if it's plastic they don't like.
But, realistically, a recycling main facility must deal with tons of scrap at a time, so, I would think they deal with it on the gross level.
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On Monday, May 2, 2016 at 10:45:21 PM UTC-4, Arthur Cresswell wrote:

The biggest problem here is plastic bags, like shopping bags, that wind up in the recyclables with bottles, cans and other plastic where they don't belong. They clog up the sorting machinery that's used to separate the stuff. You can either put those bags in with the non-recyclable garbage or take them to the supermarket where they accept them for recycling.
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Yep, same here. When waste management sends us the recycling newsletter, they often include a photo of the sorting machinery clogged up with those plastic bags. Every so often they have to stop the machine so some poor guy or gal can go in and cut all those bags out of the machine. Yuck.

We take ours back to the grocery store. Personally, I would be happy if they did away with the plastic bags and went back to paper. The plastic bags always seem to break or have holes in them. And I could reuse or recycle the paper bags.
I frequently see those plastic shopping bags blowing around in town, caught in tree branches or stuck to fences. Such a shame for something that won't degrade in the environment.
Stores used to ask if you wanted paper or plastic, but the last several years they don't even ask and just use plastic. For a while I asked for paper, but they acted annoyed and often didn't have any at the register anyway.
We did switch to reusable shopping bags for a while, but just stopped doing it at some point. I don't remember why, probably just laziness.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 5/3/2016 8:07 AM, HerHusband wrote:
[plastic "grocery bags"]

We visit many stores in a typical shopping day. We use a reusable bag at two of them -- lined with a paper bag (that we obtain from a third). As it's always hot, here, we carry one or two coolers with us (even though we're close to home). So, anything refrigerated or frozen goes straight into a cooler -- no bags needed.
Most other things are large enough to not need a bag of their own (e.g., a 12pack of grinder rolls, a 30 pack of toilet paper, etc.). We keep an oversized milk crate (it's "rectangular" instead of "square") in the back of the vehicle which we use to transport the larger items and keep them from jostling around in transit.
We use the flimsy plastic bags when we purchase flour or sugar as we wrap the sacks of flour/sugar with these bags prior to storing them in the freezer. (I buy flour in 50lb lots -- usually when it is on sale)
Every few weeks, the paper grocery bag "liner" that we use in the reusable bag ends up with a "fatal tear". So, we'll replace ONE with the *one* paper bag that we collect on that week's shopping trip and toss the torn one in the recycling container

Yup. And, they often get "sucked" out of trash bins in the neighborhood.
What I find most annoying is folks who will buy one little thing -- and want it in a bag. Sheesh, it's already IN its *own* bag, why do you need yet another?

The place from which we obtain our ONE paper bag each week always wants to double bag -- because the handles tear off the bags! So, *I* opt to do the bagging and then just grab the bag from the bottom as we leave; no need to discard TWO paper bags!

We keep ours in the back of the car (stored in that milk crate). So, all we have to do is remember to take them out before we head into the store. Otherwise, it's a hundred foot walk BACK to the car to retrieve it...
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Ed Pawlowski wrote on Mon, 02 May 2016 18:34:34 -0400:

Our recycling here seems pretty open. I am sure we could put stuff in there that they don't want but I've never known anyone to care what goes into the recycling containers.

Everyone says that. We have deer. We have squirrels. We have birds. We have bobcat. We have coyote. We have snakes. But, I don't think I've ever seen a rat. (We do have a family of gophers or moles which I want to go Bill Murray on, but that's a different story.)

Seems to me that they mush that stuff up in water, and then press it dry, and then use the fiber to make cardboard and paper.
I don't think the teeny tiny amount of earwax will make any difference when it's mixed up with a ton of other similar paper products.

Razor blades are a good point. I recycle them. Plastic for the most part, right?
I would think that they melt the plastic, and then they sieve or sink out the contaminants (such as the metal blades). AT least if I were running a recycling facility that's what I would do.
I'd use water on the paper and heat on the plastic.
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On 5/2/2016 2:09 PM, Arthur Cresswell wrote:

We don't have a compost pile as it leads to "unwanted critters" in the yard. So, any food waste goes into the trash (in sealed bags).

Only certain containers are recyclable, here. If the container has a lid, it does NOT get rinsed -- the recycling facility can more efficiently rinse (and recycle the water!) than we can (we live in the desert; how you use water is something you think about consciously).

Ditto -- unless there is potential for "information leakage" (credit card offers, financial statements, etc.). These get shredded (confetti-cut) and the bags of confetti get placed in with the recycles.
We also recycle a fair bit of cardboard.
Strangely, *aluminum* is not harvested -- but "tin" is! :<

I recycle a *lot* of electronic gear. But, do so via appropriate venues (electronics are considered a form of hazardous waste, here).

Bathroom waste we treat as food waste. It wants to be disposed, not recycled.

We have no "deposit" containers, here (other than things like propane cylinders, etc). Some places will allow you to bring in aluminum cans to be compacted and weighed in an automated collection machine -- which then pays cash based on the recycled weight.
We don't buy anything in aluminum cans. Glass containers (that aren't suitable for reuse) get recycled.

I go through jeans at a much faster rate. But, they go in the trash. Our recycling service won't accept them.
Nor will they accept plastic bags encountered at many stores. If our reusable bags prove insufficient (or, scrap boxes), we are forced to use them.
For some items, I seek out these bags (e.g., my holiday flour/sugar purchases benefit from the plastic bags as I can use them to wrap the flour/sugar sacks for placement in the freezer until needed)

We don't have a facility to collect yard waste -- other than the twice annual "bulk pickup" (at which time, they will collect damn near any sort of green material and dispose of it in the city's green waste program). It's not legal to drop off your "bulk/brush" items at some random neighborhood that is having THEIR twice annual collection this week. So, the only other alternative is to drive it to the city's facility (which usually requires more than a "pickup").
We, for example, discard probably 30 pounds of pine needles every few months from our neighbor's trees.

What is the relative *cost* of recycling items?
I've been involved with a local facility that recycles dropped off items (i.e., no "collection" service).
Anything plastic just goes into the trash (e.g., that cheap printer that you purchased).
Books are reclaimed for their paper content.
"Tin" is worth a penny a pound (i.e., the crappy case on that little tower PC that you purchased).
Copper and aluminum get cherry picked for special handling (more value, there). As do circuit boards (precious metal recovery).
There are "second-hand" stores in town that will take clothing and other assorted goods and try to "flip" them for a quick buck (caveat emptor) -- but, you'll have to haul the items to these places.
Building materials either get carted off to the dump (at personal risk to the tires on your vehicle) or tossed in the trash.
That said, we typically "throw out" less than 10G of material in a week. Yet, keep our oversized (more costly) waste container for the times when it is repeatedly filled (e.g., last month, I filled it twice with wildflowers pulled from the front yard).
I maintain a "pile" in the garage where I "stage" items that will be recycled. And, we've another pile in the house of items that will be donated to local thrift stores (e.g., Humane Society) -- *if* we think they have remaining life/utility.
(many people treat these sorts of places as glorified trash cans)
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Don Y wrote on Mon, 02 May 2016 15:36:19 -0700:

Everyone says I'm going to get "rodents" (specifically "rats"), but, if I'm getting them, I don't see 'em. I see coyotes. I see rabbits. I see quail. Deer. Bobcat. Chipmunks. Lots of birds. But no rats.

We don't have to rinse the food containers either. But we do anyway.

Good point on the information leakage. I have a shredder. Now if you can help me get the wife and kids to *use* it, I'd be thankful.

In truth, I "recycle" my electronic waste at the "Goodwill" drop off.

Yeah, but what is in the waste bin in a bathroom? I find bottles of shampoo and tissues and q tips and hair nets and cardboard hair coloring, etc.
All of which is recyclable.
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On 5/2/2016 7:39 PM, Arthur Cresswell wrote:

Here, javelina, coyote, pack rats, chipmunks, etc.
And, of course, "insects". Which, in turn, lead to an increase in scorpions.

We don't "waste" water on a one-time use like that. Likewise, don't "wash" our vehicles -- the commercial car washes recycle the water that they use to wash vehicles.
When I make marinara/bolognese ("spaghetti") sauce, I use #10 cans of ingredients (i.e., essentially the size of your head). Lots of metal to be recycled. Yet, no way to "cover" it so the remnants of the foodstuffs inside would be "sealed in" until arriving at the recycling facility.
As such, I fill one of these. Then, pour it into another. Then back into the first. Then back into the other, etc. Eventually, all of the foodstuffs are dislodged and I can dispose of the dirtied water. Without having to run water for a minute or two until ALL the containers are empty.
(A resource that you don't USE doesn't need to be RECYCLED!)

Ours sits in an easily accessed space. We pile items to be shredded on top of it until the stack is unmanageable. Or, "looks big enough". Then, feed them into it (to cut down on how often it has to run). I htink it will shred something like 20 pages at a time -- or a couple of CD's, stacked.

I try to find new homes for kit as friends and colleagues drop off items that they would otherwise discard/recycle. Often in perfectly good condition -- or, easily repaired to "like new" (for a few dollars and a bit of my time). If I can then find someone else who can use such an item, I consider those few dollars and that bit of time to be "my part" in diverting something useful from a landfill.
As a coarse measure of just how inefficient recycling is, consider a computer is worth about $5-10 in recycle value. Yet sells for...? The difference is essentially (future) profit plus the cost of "reclaiming" those "raw" materials. :<

In my case, disposable razor blades, containers that have vestiges of medicines/salves/creams/other "actives", remnants of soap bars, tissue and TP. Any plastic containers (personal care products) go in the (unsorted) recycle bin -- if the plastic is one of the "approved" types. Tissue and TP get flushed ("But, the BACK SIDE is still pristine!?"). The "cores" to the TP rolls are recycled as paper products (ditto for the cores for paper towels).
[We also wash and reuse our ziploc bags -- typ used for storing items in the freezer. Though I have been moving to rigid containers as they pack better (plastic bags have no real "form" and just kind of "slouch")]
Medicines are recycled at special annual recycling events FOR pharmaceuticals.
The rest is just plain trash.

"Spent" toothpaste tubes?
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Don,

I've never checked myself, but I've heard larger 28 ounce cans of tomatoes have more liquid per volume than smaller 14 ounce cans. No point, just an interesting rumor. :)

My shredder sits next to my desk in the office. It's easy to feed in sensitive documents as they come in.
I have switched to electronic billing wherever possible so I don't have much paperwork to shred anymore. I keep the electronic documents on an encrypted drive and have multiple backups.
I don't shred CD's or credit cards as that would contaminate my recyclable paper with unrecyclable plastics.

That's one of the reasons I like building my own computers. I only replace the parts that need updating, such as a hard drive or graphics card. Other than my laptop, I haven't bought a packaged PC in over 20 years.
In most cases, I've been able to sell my old motherboards and other computer parts on eBay.

We should recycle more items from the bathroom, but it's on the other end of the house and there's no convenient "staging area" to set things till we can take them out to the bin. It's mostly just laziness, as it's easier to toss these items in the bathroom trash can. Thankfully, the volume is quite small.

We've been using Rubbermaid containers for years as they are easy to store, wash, and reuse. We have an assortment of ziploc bags in a drawer, but mostly just use them when we travel (packaging we don't need to bring back home).

Thankfully, I haven't reached a point that I need to take regular medications. We always use up our over-the-counter meds so we don't have those leftover either.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Hi Anthony,
On 5/3/2016 7:37 AM, HerHusband wrote:

Dunno. I use a few 106 oz cans of "ground tomatoes", plus a few of the 16 oz cans of puree (spices, etc.) and a REALLY long simmer (12-16 hours) that is designed to "burn off" the moisture (let it condense on the underside of the lid, then wipe it off every hour or so).
I get annoyed because each "move" requires me to find a suitable vendor of tomato products. I used to make a great sauce with "6-in-1" brand products but can't find them, here.
[I make it in 16qt batches. Sauce is probably the only justification, IMO, for tomatoes! :> ]

We keep ours in the garage -- adjacent to the (small) recycling bin (which we periodically empty into the large recycling "barrel", outside)

We don't like having "online accounts". So, our utilities, bank statements, etc. all come in dead tree form. I keep all my business paperwork virtually indefinitely -- yet it all still fits neatly in a single file cabinet. "Project files" probably account for a disproportionate amount of that volume; often, there are documents that came with a project that only exist in hard copy (and I am far too lazy to scan everything just to save space!)

The paper and plastic go in the same recycling container, here. As well as tin cans, etc. Seems like it has to be incredibly inefficient to have to sort this stuff at a central facility but that's how The Powers That Be have decreed it...

I rescue machines that others may have outgrown. Or, were looking for an excuse to upgrade. Or, that businesses shed in their 18-36mos upgrade cycle.
E.g., this Optiplex 645 set me back $10 <
http://images.geeksimages.com/imageshare/O/300x300/OPTIPLEX-745-MAR-1R-unit.jpg
and another $5 for the 22" display <
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/ProductImage/24-176-079-04.jpg

OTOH, my first 386's set me back $8K/each. So, I figure I'm entitled to save a few bucks :>

I don't sell "things". Give them away or recycle. I don't want to worry that someone will not feel they got "good value" out of a sale.
I recently noticed that the Atari Tempest I gave to a neighbor <http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjAw/z/8WoAAOSwnDZT77fz /$_1.JPG> now sells for ~$1-2K (factory new condition).
<shrug>
Currently trying to convince myself to break this habit and *sell* some of my older, collectable kit (e.g., an ASR-33 in the garage that really deserves a better home)

Shampoo bottles get hand carried to the "bin" in the garage (it's really convenient having it there). When it fills, it gets dumped in the bigger container outside.
So, not uncommon to see toilet paper cores, shampoo/mouthwash bottles, etc. These are too big for us to want to put them in our regular "trash bags" (indoors). So, the recycling option works to our benefit (otherwise, we'd have to carry them out to the trash can, outside)

We use rubbermaid and tupperware containers for food storage. E.g., I have many 3C containers that are permanently stained "tomato red" :>
But, in the past, we've used bags to store things like individually wrapped steaks, chicken brests cut into small pieces and individually wrapped, hot dogs wrapped in pairs, pecans/walnuts/almonds in smaller bags (which are then packed in a larger bag), mozzarella cheese in ~2C batches in small bags inside larger bags, etc.
I recently switched to small ~1/2 cu ft containers to use in their place. But, you can't easily repack the things that have now "conformally fit" into the bags; they no longer have nice, regular shapes that would settle into a rigid container well.
So, we're waiting for our "past stores" to dwindle to the point that we can replace them in the *new* containers.

I've had Rx pain meds prescribed (prophylacticly) a few times in the past. Or, Rx cough medications. Usually, I don't need them. So, they sit on a shelf "just in case".
After a while, they lose their efficacy (actually, it is a LONG while!) and have to be disposed of.
[Antibiotics always get consumed in their entirety]
The only OTC stuff I buy is Advil. And, we don't buy that in "Costco quantities" so there's no concern of it expiring before we can use it. (a bottle of 100 tablets probably lasts close to 2 years or more -- for the two of us!)
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Don,

I'm betting all of your accounts are already online, they just print them out and mail them to you. Not to mention, many places are starting to charge for printed statements.
We've been all electronic for many years. Paychecks are deposited automatically, bills are deducted automatically, statements are downloaded to my computer. I pay most of our remaining bills online (property taxes, vehicle licenses, etc.). I have probably written fewer than three checks in the last several years.

Electronic documents don't take up physical space (other than the hard drive itself), but more importantly I can have multiple backups of each document.

Unfortunately, I usually need to sell my old items in order to pay for the new items.

We use Advil for headaches and inflammation. Aleve works better for sore muscles. Pepto-bismol pills for the rare times dinner doesn't settle well. :)
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 5/3/2016 9:12 PM, HerHusband wrote:

No doubt. But, as *we've* never set up to access them (which would stop the paper statements from coming), we're pretty sure no one else is seeing them. And, as we have the sole "physical" mailed copy, we're pretty sure no one is seeing the paper copies, either.

One of my checking accounts tried to go that route -- wanting $8.95/month for the paper copies of the statements (thinking that would coerce me into going electronic). I thanked them for their offer by closing the account. Always someone ready to hold my money on my terms! :>

We write very few checks -- use plastic and cash for most payments so just pay off the credit card companies each month. An order of 100 checks can last me many years.
I am always amused when I see these folks with 5-digit check numbers!

Yup. OTOH, you're reliant on a medium that you can't implicitly verify (can you LOOK at a thumb drive/CD/DVD/etc. and KNOW that it is intact?)
Late in my career, I learned to gather electronic versions of every document that I was using in a project. E.g., much easier to keep a PDF of a 1200 page datasheet than to keep a physical copy of it -- esp when you might need several different documents for a single project. I find *using* the documents in electronic form to be tedious. OTOH, coming back to a project after some time is much easier with electronic documents as I can search for something that I remember (and no longer have a dog-eared copy to notice the bookmarks).

My solution is to buy inexpensive items :> E.g., I bought a 25 ft USB A-B cable today -- for a buck. And, three wireless Logitech mice for a buck each.
Biggest cash layouts in years have been for external USB disks -- roughly $100/each.

Learn to cook better! :> (I find Pepto-Bismol to be *nasty* stuff!)
I use Advil for the occasional headache -- esp during allergy season(s) (which is virtually year round, here). Usually a pair will fix things.
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Don,

That doesn't prevent hackers from accessing the online electronic versions. Just ask Home Depot, Target, Sony, etc...

Unfortunately, there are no alternatives for many of my bills (garbage, electric, cable internet, etc.). You either pay the paper fee or go electronic.

Yep, same here. I'm sure the banks don't like us as we have't paid a finance charge in many, many years.

We're still using the same checks we bought 25+ years ago. We're up to check number 2200 now. We almost never use checks anymore. The few places that still required them (income taxes, property taxes, etc.) have now gone electronic too.
We still have several books of checks left from that original order. They'll probably last the rest of our lives. :)

Flash drives and optical discs are bad backup mediums. I think flash drives are rated for only 5 years, and I've had CD's become unreadable after just a year. I only use those for short term storage, specifically when I need to mail data to someone else.
Blu-Ray's are "supposed" to be longer lasting (25+ years), but I don't trust them for my sole backups. There are discs made by M-Disc that are supposed to last 1000+ years, but the cost and storage limits are still an issue.
I'm more about redundancy. I backup to hard drives because they're fast, inexpensive, and can store a lot of data. But I EXPECT the drive to fail at some point, so I have multiple hard drive backups. I also backup important data to BluRay discs every so often just to have another copy.
The one downside to rewriteable backups (flash drives and hard drives) is that the data can change. If the data on my main drive is corrupted (drive failure, virus, etc.), my automated backups can copy that corrupted data to my backup drive (overwriting the previous backup with the new corrupted backup). I may not discover it until it is too late. That's one of the reasons I still backup to BluRays every now and then. As long as the disc is still readable, I know the data won't change.
As for verifying the data, there are programs that can calculate MD5 hashes for the files on the drive. This allows you to quickly verify that the files on the drive have not changed since they were written to the drive. Of course, it's a time consuming process to calculate the hashes, and I'm probably not going to take the time to verify the documents. So, I stopped doing the MD5 hashing, and just rely on multiple copies.
Paper documents aren't necessarily foolproof either. A while back I went through our fire safe to clean out documents we no longer needed. I was surprised to find that most of the thermal printed documents (most store receipts) were completely faded. They were just white pieces of paper. Thankfully, I had previously scanned the important receipts so I still had electronic copies.
You could have similar issues with fire, water damage, or insects.

It took me a while to adapt to balancing our checkbooks using the PDF bank statements instead of the printed statements I was used to. Now it seems just as easy as the paper versions.

We cook well, but sometimes we might drink a little too much, or eat something we knew we shouldn't. For example, I hadn't eaten a donut in years but gave in to temptation last week and bought some maple bars. Big mistake, I was up all night with indigestion. I won't do that again. I just can't tolerate fatty foods like that anymore.
I hate the liquid version of Pepto-Bismol too, but the pill versions work just as well without the yucky factor. :)

I don't have any allergies and rarely get a headache. But Advil does work best for headaches. It also works good for things like sore throats, or swelling. It doesn't seem to do anything for sore muscles though.
We find Aleve to be a miracle drug for muscle pain.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Greetings!
On 5/4/2016 7:44 AM, HerHusband wrote:

Of course! Nor the IRS, etc. But, we don't have accounts with Home Depot, Sony, Target, etc. <grin>
What it does prevent is malware on any machine that *we* use to access them from leaking that information to a bad guy. If you're "on-line" (with "that" machine -- i.e., to pay bills and access accounts) often, then you are more likely to encounter something you "shouldn't" (e.g., a driveby), drop your guard for a moment, use it to ALSO read mail/WWW/etc.

It actually costs *more* for us to pay electronically with some of our bills. E.g., city water/sewer charges an extra fee for that "service".

I'm pretty OCD when it comes to paying bills on time. Had to rush home for one of those "hopefully he'll still be alive when you get here" sort of events. Grabbed a laptop (to work), a change of clothes (have laundry facilities there!) and my checkbook.
I was there ~2+ months. Consulted the payment dates in the checkbook to know when each bill would be coming (I pay promptly when I receive the bill). Then, telephoned each entity to inquire as to my current balance (account numbers recorded in the comments field for each checkbook entry) and the address to which I should mail the payment.

I find (canceled) checks are a great "receipt" for many of my business purchases. I don't have to look through lists of every credit card purchase to try to understand what each charge may have been.

Flash drives that see repeated use tend to fail, IME. I have a 32G drive that's essentially new that will only write at ~1MB/s. It's on the list to be replaced, today (stores a copy of MP3's for the car's player)
OTOH, I'm pretty confident copying last year's tax return onto the "Finances" thumb drive that we keep in the bug-out-bag.
I've had great luck with optical media (CD/DVD) lasting 5 or more years. Likewise, tape and MO media. But, I tend to "baby" it -- cool, dark places, etc. Also, record on the slowest setting possible, no overburns, etc.

Yes. I probably have ~20+T in my archive. But, that incorporates the redundancy -- at least two copies of everything. I have every "object" tracked in a database using a simple schema: (unique_identifier, name, container, checksum, other-meta-data) So, a file called "2015" residing in "/Finances/Taxes/Federal" on the "XYZ" volume has the following entries: (1, "XYZ", -, ...) (2, "Finances", 1, ...) (3, "Taxes", 2, ...) (5, "Federal", 3, ...) (82, "2015", 5, ...) A backup copy called "IRS" in "/MyFiles/2015" on the BB volume would add: (70, "BB", -, ...) (951, "MyFiles", 70, ...) (952, "2015", 951, ...) (955, "IRS", 952, ...) While another called "2015" in "/Taxes/IRS.zip" on the XYZ volume adds: (79, "Taxes", 1, ...) (10023, "IRS.zip", 79, ...) (88888, "2015", 10023, ...) I.e., each of these objects are the same object (contents) just with different names and in different containers (a container can obviously be a directory or an "archive file").
Because they will all have the same "checksum" (hash), I can automagically locate potential duplicates -- by those hashes ("name" is immaterial). Then, track down where they are located by walking the tuples backwards.
So, I can have as many copies as I want -- on as many different media/volumes! I.e., as long as the "volume name" is unique, I don't care if it is a CD, DVD, internal hard disk, CF card, MO cartridge, tape reel, etc. Find it, mount it and the database will tell you how to retrieve the desired "contents".
And, because I have a stored hash of each object's "desired" contents, I can periodically walk through any mounted volumes and verify their contents against the stored hashes. So, I know if a medium is degrading *before* it fails -- as well as what its contents "were" -- so I can recreate it on a fresh medium!

Exactly. The flaw in most backup scenarios (and why I have the "active scrubbing" mechanism outlined above). You *may* get an ECC error ("read error") when you try to make that backup. But, the "drive/transport/driver" usually won't let you see the raw, "corrupted" data in those events! So, you can't even decide if "everything looks intact except the name on the document is AnThony instead of Anthony (single bit flip)!
Then, you are reliant on some ad hoc scheme to recall where THE backup of this file is located so you can (hopefully) use it to restore THIS instance.

I have appliances that I designed that do this as soon as they are turned on. I.e., if I need to access some files from the archive (for a new project, etc.), then I fire up the appliance(s), mount the particular volumes that the database has told me contain the files of interest (usually a large sub-tree -- like /Projects/1988/ClientX/ProjectY) and pull a copy of the files off the archive onto <whatever> medium is appropriate for my current need.
Once the appliance is up and the drive(s) spinning, the "verify job" resumes -- and just keeps marching through whichever volume(s) happen to be mounted, checking hashes based on where the job left off the last time it "saw" these volume(s).
So, I just leave the box run for a while and let it slog through as much as it can -- before I decide to spin everything down. In that way, the "verification" is essentially free -- I don't have to wait for EVERYTHING to be verified; just let it remember how much progress it made so that it can pick up from that point next time.
[I store "timestamp of last verify" with each database tuple so I can query the database and figure out which objects have NOT been verified in the longest time -- and, how long that has been]
Note that I can incorporate "original media" into this scheme as well! Just make an entry for the volume identity of the original medium (e.g., the DVD for Windows7 install) and let the software catalog the files on the medium, the "containers" for each and their hashes. If I clone any of those files to any other place in the archive system, I'll be able to find those copies based on the hashes and other metadata!

Yup! The same is true for NCR paper and many store receipts. We photocopy documents before archiving cuz the photocopies seem to be more resilient. (some of my early tax records have lots of "blank slips of paper" tucked in the folders -- all the "original receipts" documenting those purchases! :< )

Yup. And CD/DVD/BRay/MO/tape/etc. are just as vulnerable to fire, water damage, etc. OTOH, paper rarely suffers from a "bearing failure"... :>
(Do you have backups of the various *drives* that each of these media require?)

I just balance using the check register. Once an entry (deposit, withdrawal, check, etc.) has been accounted for, I "check it off" in the register. So, I know the calculations that it was involved in are correct. All I have to do is deal with the (few) new entries since the most recent "checkpoint".
I only use the bank statement to know which items have cleared and what THEY think my balance should be. Irritating if a check is slow to be processed but no big deal to add that amount back into "my" balance.

once got sick from some "bad chicken" I tasted as a sampler. Taught me not to eat *in* grocery stores!
We don't drink so that's not a risk (SWMBO might have a shot of brandy if she's having trouble falling asleep; I just make sure I'm dead tired! :> )

Unfortunately, I have *lots* of "seasonal allergies". My scratch test results raised eyebrows. And, here, things are ALWAYS growing. So, it's just one allergen after another. Apparently manifests in sinuses leading to headaches above/behind the eyes, etc.
SLIT regimen this year seems to be making a difference. Never should have stopped it, previously. :<

I find it invaluable for "lack of sleep" headaches. Often, can't GET to sleep if fighting one of those! Of course, going to sleep "as required" would also eliminate the problem... :<

I guess I just consider sore muscles to be a natural consequence of physical labor. Never thought of "taking" anything for them -- other than a nice hot shower. And, a good sleep that night!

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Don,

I have a couple of annual bills that charge a small fee like that (1 dollar I think). The alternative is to write a check, put it in an envelope, stick a stamp on, and drive to the post office to mail it. All of those add up to a lot more than the dollar service fee. Even if it's cheaper to write the check, the convenience is worth it to me. With a few clicks I can pay and be done with it.

I'm the same way, which is one of the reasons I setup auto pay for every bill I could. Paychecks get deposited and bills get paid even if I'm sick, on vacation, or otherwise unable to pay them on time.
The only catch is that you have to have the money in the bank account, but we budget the money before we even get the bills, so it's always there.

Yep, writing is harder on flash drives than reading, but you're still relying on an electrical charge that fades over time. The odds are good that your data will still be readable, but there's always a chance it won't be. What if you lose the flash drive, or it gets damaged physically?

Optical discs tend to degrade from the outer edge inward as the organic dyes break down. Most discs aren't filled to capacity, so the degradation may not be a problem for most uses.
Back when I used CD's for backups, I used software that split the data over multiple discs. It filled each disc to capacity, so data was written right out to very edge of the disc. I babied the discs in cool, dark places too, but several discs had numerous errors just a year later when I tried to verify them.

Magnetic media seems to be fairly reliable as long as you keep them away from magnetic fields.

My system is no where as complicated. I keep everything on the 1TB drive in my computer. That gets backed up several times a day to an external 3TB USB drive. Once a month or so, I swap that backup drive with another drive I keep in a safe deposit box at the bank. Then once or twice a year I make a "last hope" backup to blu-ray discs.
Ironically, I haven't needed to restore anything from my backups since I put the system in place many years ago. :)

Yep, it's extremely rare, but it has happened to me in the past.
I wish someone would make external WORM drives (write once, read many) with decent capacity at an affordable price. Sandisk used to make 1GB USB WORM drives but I don't think they're available anymore. 1GB is way too small these days anyway. It wouldn't even hold a short HD video.
The M-Disc's are probably the closest to that idea, but they're expensive and the 25GB capacity is still quite limited.

That's why I keep a second backup in my safe deposit box. If I have a major disaster at home, I'll still have the drive at the bank. If the bank is destroyed, I still have my copies at home.
I live on a mountain, the bank is down in the valley. So the odds of us suffering the same disaster are unlikely. If we're both hit, my computer data is probably the least of my worries...

Nope, but I have redundency. If one drive fails, I still have two other copies to fall back on. Three if you count the Blu-Ray discs.
I also migrate my backups to new drives as technology improves. Actually, I usually upgrade to new drives long before they wear out because I need more storage space.

I used to live on fried foods. Then my wife insisted I started eating healthier. It took a while to adjust but now that's just our normal diet. Now if I try to eat the foods I used to enjoy, they make me feel tired and bloated.

I am thankful I do not have any allergies. Every spring the pollen here in the forest is so bad my black car turns a shade of green. It's a mess to clean up, but I don't get so much as a sniffle.

With only rare exceptions, I have never had a problem sleeping either. I'm out as soon as I hit the bed and easily sleep 8 hours without waking up. I wake up refreshed and excited to start a new day.

Unfortunately, I've struggled with back pain most of my life. Sometimes it gets so bad I have sharp painful spasms that drop me to the ground. Extremely painful. I usually have to go to the doctor and take muscle relaxers for a few days when it gets that bad.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Hi Anthony,
On 5/4/2016 9:14 PM, HerHusband wrote:

To each his own. SWMBO had something tied to one of the checking accounts. Then, ended up with a hassle when she closed that account; have to notify the vendor of new account, etc. Easier just to decide how you're going to pay *when* you go to pay, IMO.

SWMBO likes to drag things out to the last possible minute -- she'll write out a check, put it in a stamped envelope and slap a Post-It on top telling her which day to mail it.
I, OTOH, open mail and pay immediately -- so I don't have to remember to pay something.
But, we're real anal about these sorts of things. Never late fees, etc. E.g., I don't think I've ever been late returning a book to the library!

Yup. And, as geometries shrink and folks use MLC (esp for consumer kit), that "charge" is on the order of 100 electrons! (amazing!)

Same thing with any medium.
I don't like flash drives because they hide information regarding their operating state. You have to *infer* that the drive is failing based on how long it takes to write to it *as* it nears capacity (most USB sticks have no overprovisioning). So, when you can *sense* there's a problem, it's already THERE! (you get no advanced warning)
I had one drive that spontaneously decided to become "read only". It gave me reliable access to my data -- but no way to erase or overwrite any of it!
I just tossed a (practically new!) 32G drive presently that only writes at 1MB/s. Yeah, they're inexpensive but what value the DATA they hold?

This is also true of "printed" discs. E.g., in the laser video disc days, it was called "laser rot". I've also encountered store-bought (prerecorded) audio CD's that were defective.
And, with the extensive ECC employed on them, you have no way of knowing how *much* error correcting is happening "under the hood"; no way to anticipate failures!

You have to "retension" tape periodically to avoid "print through".

Obviously, I've got a lot more "data" in my archive. :>
I've got about 1T of audio/music, alone (plus 1T to mirror that). I can recover all of it from the original CD's (stored under the bed) but it is a HUGE hassle to do so!
Disks are way too convenient. And, thankfully, cheap. If you aren't looking for performance (access time), then even consumer grade stuff is good enough.

I've used the "cold archive" approach virtually since the beginning. Originally, I used SCSI disks that I kept piled on a shelf in the closet. I would pull the drive of interest off the shelf, plug it into a SCSI enclosure, spin the drive up and mount it (all of this can be done without rebooting the computer -- much like you can with USB, now). Then, pull the files I want from the drive. When done, power it down and move it back onto the shelf.
I'd keep two copies of each drive -- same make/model. So, if something happened to one copy, I could retrieve the desired information from the second copy (hard to call one of them a "backup" as they are both effectively "backups").
Some time in the 90's, I was using 4G drives for my archive. I'd bought a couple dozen (significant investment, back then!) to try to consolidate my archive onto fewer media.
One day, I went to pull some stuff off of a (cold) drive and the drive "crashed" (still spinning, but totally corrupted). I wasn't keen at the idea that I'd lost a $1K drive, but figured the data was the real "value", there.
So, I pulled the second copy off the shelf and installed it, instead. And it, too, died miserably! (WTF???)
[At that time, I wasn't in the habit of installing the write protect jumpers on the drives!]
Long story short: a bug in the OS's SCSI disk driver was incompatible with this particular make/model disk. I.e., it would "crash" EVERY one of my drives, if I gave it the chance!
So, I backed out that most recent OS upgrade, reformatted the two "failed" drives and rebuilt them from a copy I kept on MO media (I take the integrity of my archive VERY seriously!)
Other than that fiasco, any other "losses" have been Operator Error. Usually, typing on the wrong keyboard (sending the 'rm *' command to the wrong computer). But, as I keep frequent updates (I push files to one or more NAS's while I am working -- so I can undo changes without having to deal with the VCS), I seldom lose much of anything (other than my dignity).

I have (small capacity) MO drives in the 600M-1G-4G capacity. Some years ago, I stumbled on a cache of NOS 652MB IBM MO cartridges. Cost me $7 for a lot of 200-300 of them. "Such a deal" :> Slow but a *backup* of an archive can be dog slow as it's rarely used!
At one time, I had a WORM drive that could handle laser video discs (12" media). But, media was way too expensive (and the recorder was essentially a piece of furniture!)

I use tape for "small-ish" backups -- ~40G on a cartridge. The advantage they have is that I can remove them (to prevent me from overwriting) and set them aside with a label. Too easy to lose track of which "folder" holds which set of backup files on a large disk!

I gave all my clients advanced warning a few years ago that I wouldn't be taking on new business. Implicit in that is "if you've got any problems with any of my OLD business, speak now" (I guaranteed ongoing free support for all my work). So, I will gradually be retiring those portions of my archive that aren't of "personal value" and reclaiming or repurposing the resources that were previously set aside for those uses. (but, even THAT takes time/effort!)

Sorry, I meant "backup BluRay drive, backup *tape* drive, etc." I.e. whatever hardware is required to access the media on which your data resides.
[I've used lots of different media over the years so have had lots of different "drives" to address those media.]

Ditto. I've been opting for the cheap consumer drives in that regard. Of course, if there's a manufacturing flaw, I can get screwed in a heartbeat (as it would likely impact more than one instance of a particular product).
I choose which media in which I want to "invest" my IP. Certain things are more precious than others -- and warrant more effort and resources. (If I lost my music archive, I'd just shrug. OTOH, if I lost the sources for my current project, I'd be pretty annoyed!)

Ah. SWMBO has a pretty rational diet. So, this keeps me from indulging in past "bad practices". E.g., I used to just buy a beef tenderloin and have the butcher cut it into steaks; then eat one each evening. Yummy! But, apparently all that red meat is not a good thing :<
["If it tastes good, spit it out!"]
She also insists on *balanced* meals. I.e., not JUST that piece of meat (regardless of how large it is). So, unless we want to cook twice as many meals each day, we have to come up with a compromise...

Our vehicles are currently yellow if sitting outdoors for more than a few hours. I can't do anything about what others have chosen to plant. Nor the flora that is typical for this region (to much of which I am seriously allergic).
And, unfortunately, many of the things we *want* in the yard (hummingbird friendly, citrus, etc.) are also triggers for me. I lined the front entrance with Texas Mountain Laurels: <
http://www.moonvalleynurseries.com/application/files/cache/15a8aa0a4c264643cad1e5ec41433ef3.jpg
as they are drought tolerant, present an effective "privacy screen" and are delightfully fragrant when in bloom (smells like Welch's grape soda). But, enjoying their scent comes with a price tag... :<

My problem is GOING to bed and STAYING in bed. E.g., I went to bed just before 6A this morning. And, was up at 8:30A. It's now 11P and I'm just getting into my "stride"...

I've got some back problems -- but no back *pain*. I'm very aware of how I use my back lest I aggravate things. If I do, pain meds aren't the answer! :<
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Don,

I encountered something like that when someone made unauthorized charges to our credit card. I had to get a new card which meant updating all the accounts that were tied to it. Yeah, it's a hassle, but it's a very rare event. The convenience of not having to spend a lot of time and effort paying bills each month is worth it.

For backup purposes, flash drives cost way too much per gigabyte.

I have a drawer full of old flash drives that I've probably used less than 5-10 times each. We upgrade to new drives with more capacity long before we wear them out. I have a 256MB and a 512MB drive on my desk now, basically useless these days, but I don't know what to do with them.
I also have a stack of 8GB SD cards on my desk from our digital cameras. We upgraded to 16GB or 32GB cards for the camera and camcorder, so now I've got a bunch of empty cards sitting around.

Sheesh, I only have about 100GB on my C: boot drive, a bit over 500GB on my D: data drive, and roughly 100GB on my daughters computer.

Oh, nope, I don't have a backup Blu-Ray drive, but they're still widely available at this point. I don't really rely on the blu-ray backups to be readable anyway, they're just one more layer of protection. My main drive and both external backup drives would have to fail before I need the blu- ray backup.

I can relate. My parents used to buy a full side of beef and keep it in the freezer. Almost every meal was a steak, hamburger, etc.
Now I only eat beef once a week or less.

I was a night owl when I was a teenager, but now we're usually in bed by 9:30pm and up by 5:30am.

My build causes a lot of my problems, since my back arches more than most. Makes me look stupid when I walk too. :)
But, I usually don't realize I've overworked my back until it's too late. I get focused on whatever task I'm working on, and end up paying for it later.
Of course, the older I get, the more out of shape I get, and the easier it is to overwork my muscles. I still try to act like I'm 30 but my body soon reminds me I'm over 50. :)
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On Thu, 5 May 2016 14:25:07 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

Put them in the round file. I have some flash drives for bootable media, but they are 16gb. They've only been written to once or twice, but one of them stays in its slot, and it's been read perhaps a hundred times. The only reason I have them is they are faster than the CD/DVD. And they're convenient.
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