Monday, March 24, 2014

Shred For Your Dear Life

My mother has a serious problem. No, it's not alcohol or gambling or a nasty, incurable addiction to crack, though it is an extremely neurotic compulsion.

My mother is a serial shredder.


Frankly, it's something that I think has gone a little too far. I mean, we're not just talking about her shredding credit card offers or pay stubs or bills - stuff you should obviously shred to protect yourself from identity theft - my mother will shred anything, and I do mean ANYTHING that contains even the slightest bit of information about her. Or anyone she's related to.

Which always makes it funny when I visit her and collect mail that still comes to her address.












And it's not even just stuff that goes in the trash. No, it's the Internet too, because God forbid anyone know your name on the Internet.












I know she's not alone in this, but my dear mother is of the firm belief that if you put your name or address or zodiac sign anywhere on the Internet, that your identity can and will be stolen by digital hoodlums. And I know she worries for my own safety, now that I'm an author whose books are on the Internet. But to all the hackers out there, I just want to say this: my information has been readily available for years in that thing called the White Pages, and if you really want my triple digit bank account and modest credit rating, then go nuts. Pay off my mountainous school loans while you're at it, will you? Thanks!

Before we go, we wanted to share a cool countdown promotion that we're running through Amazon all this week for our first collaborative novel, Dead and Moaning in Las Vegas. From today, Monday 24th (at 8 AM Mountain Time) through Sunday the 30th this book will only be 99 cents. To our fellow blogger friends, if any of you want to help us spread the word, simply upload the silly animated gif below to a blog post with a link back to the book (we'd be eternally grateful) any time this week. And to everyone, if you haven't already, check this book out. We don't like to brag, but this was the book that got optioned by Random House, and it's gotten some pretty killer reviews from people that are not my mother.


If you should want to help us, just copy and paste this HTML code and it'll insert the picture along with the link automatically (thanks to the very awesome D4!)

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Moaning-Vegas-Brandon-Meyers-ebook/dp/B009B8BFAG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_Id2AqYxvJk/Uy-87ccW3eI/AAAAAAAAPfA/78FHBlLwP10/s1600/ZombiePromo.gif" /></a></div>

Dead and Moaning in Las Vegas: Black Elvis, a drunken janitor, and a stripper embark on an epic quest to not become zombie food when the undead apocalypse rocks Las Vegas.

(And we promise Amazon will not beat you up in a back alley and steal your e-wallet for giving them your name and e-mail address... maybe)

So, anyone else here a shredder? Or afraid to put your name on the Internet? We understand, and there's no shame in wanting to wear that Anonymask.

Cheers and stay classy, folks,
-Bryson D. Pinkerton (and B. Mulligan McDonohugh)

Beer: Sawtooth Nitro
Music: Kishi Bashi


122 comments:

  1. Now I wonder if your mother hasn't logged on and changed your names? How do we know you really are Brandon and Bryan?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Dammit. You caught us. Our real names are Norbert and Pubert, but we found with test audiences that "Brandon and Bryan" scored the highest among kids 18-24. Also, everyone thought Pubert was the name of a sex offender.

      Delete
  2. I bought the book, and shared it on my blog. Now I must change my name so my identity isn't stolen.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Too late, Holly. Or should I say Agnes Q. Fartblossom? (Holly really is a great Internet pen name, though, and your parents are just the most awful people for putting that other name on your birth certificate)

      Delete
  3. LOL Alex has a point, maybe she forces you to use fake names hmmmmmmm

    If a hacker or identity theft person really wants to get your info, this day in age, they are going to get your info. If they want my mountain of debt, have at it too. You are just as likely to have someone break into your mailbox and take your bank statement or something, if people still get that by mail, then them steal anything online. The main way people get caught up in that crap is answering those fake emails that say Paypal needs your info or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's true. I (Bryan) have had my identity stolen twice in my lifetime by way of debit card, through no fault of my own. No sketchy websites, no buying stuff on weird websites. Just bad luck. And each time, these people were only able to buy about $3-500 worth of stuff before the card was rejected, I was called instantly to report purchases in weird places like the Ukraine, and it was stopped so quickly that all of the purchases (made online) were canceled before they could be fulfilled.

      Delete
  4. My mom sometime this last year had an experience with Identity Theft. I don't know precisely how it happened, but now she monitors her credit with Vigilance. Heck, I don't blame her. I went through it back in the 90s. Someone got my information and started charging the crap out of things. I spent more hours than I care to admit on the line with the Fraud Department at various companies, dealing with notarizing documents verifying that I am in fact me (and didn't open those accounts and run up those bills ALL OVER THE USA). It was a pain in the ass and it pissed me off. The person who stole my identity opened up an account with a company that I tried to open an account with and was denied... they said I needed my mom to co-sign. So, that was that. And then, Non-Me has no trouble with the same damn company over in Colorado or some place. Anyway, I was ticked. But that was a long time ago. I called all of the credit bureaus and had a Fraud Flag placed on my accounts and that was it. No more messes.

    My mom... different story. I am certain that she has contacted all of the credit bureaus. She has also spoken with every company she carries a credit card with, and all of her banks. She was always inclined to shred, but she burned out her shredder before Christmas. So, my "big" gift to her this past Christmas was a Heavy Duty Shredder. I am NOT joking. And she constantly chastises for pitching envelopes with my name and address printed on them into the regular trash... "Someone could steal your identity. You need to SHRED that!"

    In other words, this story hit extremely close to him and I laughed until I cried. Ironically, she has no trouble entering her information on the internet to sites like Amazon. She has a Paypal account. She pays bills online. It's all that paper she worries about. The good news: she would never eat it to get rid of it. She would allow the stuff to shred to sit in a pile the size of a mountain until her shredder was back in business. I know b.c. I have seen the mountain;)

    Thanks for the laugh guys!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I really should proofread: close to HOME, not HIM.

      Delete
    2. Wow, what a nightmare. I've never had the displeasure of someone taking my actual identity and using it to apply for things.

      As mentioned (loosely) above, it's happened to me twice. The first time was about 2003, and my debit card number was stolen online. Which was interesting since I never bought anything online back then. That was a huge pain in the ass to fix, and the woman I was talking to at the fraud center was a complete bitch. She said, "Okay, you'll get your money back in your account in about 2-3 weeks." I said, "Wait, what? This is my ONLY source of money." I was 20, mind you, with a part time job and going to school, so I barely had any money period. The woman just says, "Well, that's not my problem. Figure something out." Yeah, figure out how to get by the next 2-3 weeks without money and pay bills. Right. So I called back and talked to a manager and my money was back in 24 hours.

      The second time it happened (with a credit card) was 2 years ago, and now everything's so automated that that conversation was over in less than 5 minutes, and I had a new credit card arrive at my door the next day. Which is both cool and sad. You know, sad in that it happens so much that the lady on the other line's just like, "Yep, I see a bunch of weird purchases in Kazakhstan (veddy nice!). I'll refund the money, card's been canceled, you'll get a new one tomorrow. K thx bye."

      Delete
  5. I'll worry about identify theft when I find someone...anyone...who wants to be me.

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    1. Someone tried to be me before. It didn't really work out very well for them. I think, if anything, that was a lesson to them just to be happy with what you have because it could always be worse.

      Delete
  6. 6-B ~
    Dang, dude, your Mom looks quite a bit like you!

    I had my Ma with me one time at a grocery store and I dumped my spare change in one of those machines that counts it for you (for, like, a 9% fee) and gives you a redeemable money coupon. The machine didn't ask for any info from me except for my zip code and my Ma panicked, sure I would wind up a victim of identity theft. I said, "Ma, do you know how many people live in my zip code area?" She still didn't get it. (Glad to find out my Ma wasn't the only paranoid one.)

    How was that 'Sawtooth Nitro'?

    I saw 'Upslope IPA' at BevMo. Picked up the 'Sucks' instead.

    I'm about to post that 'Beautiful Outlaw' review now. A few final, minor edits and it should be up in about 45 minutes. It's already one of my favorite blog bits and I haven't even posted it yet!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: I'm gonna buy that paperback book you're offering for .99 cents. That's a steal, man!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Fun fact: that drawing wasn't just laziness. People always tell me "you look just like your mom." So, you know, in case you were wondering.

      Now that people are required to punch in their zipcode at the gas station pump (to verify who they are) it goes without saying that my mom is not a big fan. Which is funny, since she's often punching in the zipcode that she's presently in.

      Sawtooth is like an ale milkshake. It's fantastic... and I think you might hate it.

      For 99 cents I can't get you a paperback but I can print it all out in 6 point font on 10 pages of copy paper and mail it to you, COD. Anything for our loyal blog friends...

      Delete
    2. Yeah, go ahead and send it, but not COD. I'll remit the cost the year I get a pay raise (which will probably be the same year you pay off your student loan).

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  7. I used to be pretty neurotic when it came to shredding up mail. I used to take the plastic credit card offer things and dice them up into half centimeter squares. Now I just tear the offer once down the middle because I have important adult things to do with the little time I have after work, like watch TV and put off all my ambitions "until tomorrow".

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    1. I do the same, if only because I highly doubt some jackass is going to weed through my trash and mail out a credit card application that's ripped down the middle, smothered in coffee grounds, and smells like rotting meat, and somehow try to pass that off as a valid application.

      Delete
  8. I swear we were separated at birth, because your mother is my mother. The shredder, the dial-up, the "will you buy this and have it sent to me so I don't put my information 'out there'?" She even has masking tape placed over the webcam on her laptop so nobody spies on her.

    We burn our stuff because we live out in the country and we like fire. A lot. But I've always figured if someone is rooting through my garbage, then...um...they already know where I live and probably have a good idea of who I am already. I have no illusions that my information is "protected" anywhere, whether I've entered it myself over the Internet or not. Puh-lease. And the only time my debit card was compromised, it was the bank's fault and we knew nothing about it until they sent us all new cards.

    Privacy? HA! I can't even get a cell phone without giving my social security number (which is supposedly illegal to ask for when it's not for tax purposes). For all I know, the "comment" section of your blog is cleverly set up to steal all the five-star reviews I've left on Amazon and place them on your own books. Hmm...you'd actually get the better deal there than if you stole my bank account information.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. True story, if I could steal five star reviews, I'd do that all day. Even four stars. Three stars. Getting reviews is like pulling teeth and so much more valuable than money.

      The tape on the webcam is a nice touch. My mom's computer doesn't have a webcam, otherwise I'm sure she'd do the same thing. And she does the exact same thing with "Will you buy this and send it to me?" Assuming it is possible to steal my info by buying something on Amazon, it's nice to know that she's willing to let me take the bullet on that one as long as she's protected!

      Delete
  9. If my dad was still alive, he'd being the same way about the internet. That man shredded everything. And, I mean everything. I think he may have been the inspiration for the actual machine. He used to tear paper into tiny pieces before he threw them away. Then, when shredders came out, he tore the paper before he threw it in the machine. That's what happens when you're dad is an accountant.

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    1. I'm just surprised that after shredding mail, my mom doesn't put it through again. And then burn it. And I don't know how your dad was, but my mom goes through a shredder once a year. To date they just haven't built one made for that kind of shredding.

      Delete
  10. I'm not exactly a shredder, and of course Amazon and Ebay both have my credit card details, but I am very wary when it comes to putting things in online forms. I have seen how quickly something can be taken and messed with. Plus I really don't want to end up on any mailing or telemarketing lists.

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    1. Usually if I have to fill out an online form for something I'll use fake information. I don't know who owns the e-mail address bobdole@cockhouse.gov, but if someone does... they probably get a lot of spam because of me.

      Delete
  11. I'm a shredder. I'm way too young to be one, but I am. It's like it started out as fun when I first got a shredder and now it's turned into OCD. I shred everything - even my drugstore receipts because no one can know that I purchased hair products and peanuts. No one.

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    1. My mom's a receipt shredder too. Yeah, that's right, she just bought a 99 cent bottle of water at the gas station, but if you want her information you're going to have to look elsewhere, Mr. Hacker, because all traces of that purchase have been SHREDDED.

      Delete
  12. I hate the sound of the shredder, it's like the noisy thing in the sink I never use. Maybe it's the noise your mother likes - she imagines the grinding is those people who WOULD steal your identity. . .

    Just guessin' . . .I like the tiny bits of paper best. . .mixed in with food garbage. They will never be able to read what's on it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I hate the sound of the shredder, it's like the noisy thing in the sink I never use.

      You mean my wife?

      Ba-dum-TISH.

      Delete
  13. Must admit I ain't to keen on placing personal info up for public display here. But hey, last name's already been out once despite me taking care, and I can't undo that now. Might as well roll with it. (Or, you know, request a name change because this seems like a legit situation for that.)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, I figure if someone like Benedict Cumberbatch (with a very unique*, one-off name) has his full name out there and millions of people want to be him, then I'm safe putting my name out there and being relatively nobody.

      *ridiculous

      Delete
  14. I am pretty careless when it comes to handling things or driving. I have had my credit card taken over but it was in some gas station I believe so I usually use temp card valid for 30 days with min limit on sites I don't use. And again I could sit all day with tinfoil hat and be paranoid all the time but life must go on.

    so washing hands repeatedly is so yesterday and shredding things is new test of sanity / ocd?

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    1. I love my tinfoil hat. I bought it on Amazon for only 99 cents, with free shipping. Sure, I had to give them all of my information, but they can't get any MORE of my information now that I have this shiny new tinfoil hat.

      Take THAT, Mark Zuckerberg! I beat the system!

      Delete
  15. When you said Anonymask, I thought you meant an Anonymous mask, as in the V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask everyone wears to protests.

    Instead, I was delighted to see that your mum wears a gimp mask. Simply delightful.

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    1. When you're looking to be protected while surfing the Internet, you should at least look good doing it. And also be submissive to your master who will soon beat you into a (sexy!) coma.

      Delete
  16. I use a shredder, but not to the extent your mom does. Living in an apartment bulding though, I think it is wise to shred important stuff. I have no hesitation using my credit card at Amazon and I also do my banking on line, and I am sure I am quite a bit older than your mom. So it's not a senior thing.

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    1. No, it's not a senior thing. My wife is the same way. She'll shred receipts and mail addressed to "homeowner" and even old sticky notes with confirmation codes that have absolutely no context. What is a hacker going to do with "#4978167948 - 10/14/2013"?

      Delete
  17. Your mom is absolutely right, though. You SHOULD be concerned about identity theft, but ehre are things you both can do to protect yourselves.

    Here, let me do it for you. Just respond to this comment with your mother's maiden name, the name of your first pet, the high school you graduated from, and, hmm... maybe the numbers you sometimes find yourself typing into an ATM machine, and I will take care of the rest.

    We need to stick together, people like you and your mom and me and our mutual friend, the Nigerian prince.

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    1. Then it sounds like I'd better send this $5,000 money order to YOU instead of that British Lottery, since you clearly have my best interests in mind. I'm just glad to know you're willing to help me for the nominal fee of $5,000, knowing there are so many con artists who would gladly sham me out of my last $5,000...

      Delete
  18. This post is hilarious (as all of your stuff is)...even the comments are funny.

    I have noticed within my age group, which coincidentally is your mother's age group, we have all gotten a tad crazy about privacy issues. BUT,,,there seems to be no consistency. The same people that shred the "Addressed to Occupant" will put all their information on a sheet of paper at the Home Show so they can win some free mulch. The poor idiot that will be on the news tonight talking about being scammed because they sent $1000 to lock down their lottery win in the UK will be the same person that will be insulted when asked to show their driver's license at the bank.

    I, too have had my identity stolen twice. Both times someone ran my credit card through a MICR encoder when I used it at legitimate businesses and then sold it to groups that deal with stolen numbers. The last time this happened, I got lucky and saw that someone charged on my card at a bike shop in Wisconsin. I called the store and that owner told me the person that made the charge.. So I called that person directly and had a little chat about her using my card. Then I went to my local police station and gave them her name and address. As I am not charged for non-authorized charges I may of overreacted but identity theft makes me nuts.

    BTW..I will be glad to put a link for your book on my Tuesday blog. I may or may not be able to figure out how to copy a Gif and link it back so people can buy your book. I will try to figure it out. If all else fails, I do know how to link a non-animated link.

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    1. Thanks for the awesome comment. This truly made me laugh out loud. I would have gone nuts also. Unfortunately, when my numbers got swiped, they were by hackers in the Ukraine and I couldn't exactly fly out there and go Liam Neeson on their asses.

      And yes, the hypocrisy is astounding. I just have to laugh when my mom won't buy anything online but will happily write a check to a random girl scout that comes around door to door selling cookies.

      So... you don't trust your information with Amazon, but you do trust it with an 8 year old girl? Good to know.

      Also, linking an animated link should be the same as linking a non-animated one (Blogger or Wordpress is smart enough to display the animation) but if you have any questions feel free to e-mail us. And thanks!

      Delete
  19. Now I feel like I'm not careful enough with my own personal information. Maybe I should blog under a fake name? I think I'm going to go buy a shredder, too...

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    1. If anything, this just makes me wish I had chosen a really cool pen name for our novels. I mean, getting to sell books as "Maximus T. Lovehammer" would not only be badass, but the added security is just the icing on the cake.

      Delete
  20. I only shred certain documents. You know, anything with super sensitive information, or any incriminating documents regarding my shady business dealings with oil companies and Ben & Jerry's corporate offices (no connections between the two, oddly enough)...

    My mom used to be super paranoid, just like yours, but she never bought a shredder, she would usually just take out a pair of scissors and do the job. She was also pretty wary of online purchasing for a long time. But now? You can't get her to do her Christmas shopping at a live, local store. It's ALL through Amazon. She's done a complete 180. And any worrisome papers that come in the mail are usually just torn in half and thrown away now. A very impressive recovery, I'd say.

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    1. My mom is slowly getting there. She buys EVERYTHING through Amazon now. And... by that I mean she asks me to buy it, send it to her, and then she pays me back. Maybe soon she'll get the crazy idea that, "Hey, my son's ordered hundreds of dollars of merchandise off of here and his life hasn't been destroyed by international hackers. Maybe I can order from this site, too!"

      (Sadly... I wouldn't count on it)

      Delete
    2. Yeah, that's always encouraging when she is terrified that her information will be compromised, but she's okay with you using your account. Perhaps she figures that your information is already out there, compromised, but if she puts hers online, there would be a free for all with identity thieves. "Oooh! Bryan's mom is online now! Move! Move! Move!"

      Delete
  21. OMG, that's hilarious! I think your mom just likes the little shreds the shredder makes. It's like party confetti!

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    1. Sure, it's like party confetti until you have to throw it away. Then it's like cleaning up the wreckage after the world's blandest birthday bender.

      Delete
  22. It could be worse, my mother has the credit rating of a Disney villain. I'd rather have Shredder-Mom, any day. My FIL doesn't even want us to put our kids' names on Facebook. I'm somewhere in between those two I order from Amazon all the time, for example I'm about to order your book! AFTER I pin, tweet & post to everyone else how it will be the best dollar they can spend outside of a Vegas backalley.

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    1. "The credit rating of a Disney villain." I like that.

      The evil witch, sitting down with a bank loan officer: "Yes, I'd like to take out a loan to buy an elaborate dungeon and torture system for my nemesis, Snow White."

      Loan officer: "It shows here that your credit is 97. Legally, I shouldn't even let you borrow a stick of gum."

      Evil witch: "Well, what CAN I afford with my credit?"

      Loan officer: "A poisoned apple is the best I can do, and frankly, I'm being pretty generous in offering this to you."

      (Oh, and thanks! You rock!)

      Delete
    2. 4 out of 5 witches don't chew gum. Thanks for the info on the inspiration behind the poison apple. It's like Snow White: Behind the Scenes. This has the makings of an interesting blog post for you guys. A deeper look into the lesser Disney characters. And their financials?

      Delete
  23. My sister is a shredder. Or she was, the last I knew. Maybe there should be a support group.
    My next post I will see about getting your link up. Now, to write a note so I don't forget.

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    1. Whatever you do, don't shred that note. My mother always makes notes for herself... and then shreds them mistaking them for personal information.

      (I'm not kidding)

      Delete
  24. My Mum is exactly the same - she once drove 5 hours to a Marks and Spencer to pick some shoes up because she refused to get them sent out. It's unbelievable. Will definitely get your new book this week, and I'll put a link up as soon as I stop eating and write a post. xx

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's what I love about blogging, you don't have to actually stop eating to post. At least... I don't.

      (Thanks!)

      Delete
  25. Call my mother. She fell for the, "give me your credit card number and we will tell you if it is secure" scam. Oy vey. She's had to cancel her cards three times this month for falling for phone scams. Wish she'd been that gullible when I was 16.

    Will happily pimp your book. I already bought that one...must go to Amazon to get my money back and purchase at the lower rate. Just JOKING!!!

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    1. I'm just glad scammers don't call my mom, because I'm sure she'd be the same way. All they'd have to do is say "We're from your bank and we just need to verify your information" and she'd hand it over without thinking twice.

      Later, if I asked "Why did you do that?" she'd say, "Well, they SAID they were the bank!"

      Oh, and thank you for the pimpage! You rock!

      Delete
    2. For the record. You were adorable in the mullet. Your mother gets high kudos.

      Delete
  26. My friend who just moved after 17 years in the same house needs to meet your mother. I'm not kidding when I say that she hired a shredding COMPANY to come to her house because she had too much to shred and not enough time to feed it into the shredder. She even tried hiring my 14 year old to sit there and shred (which he's the kind of kid who would just totally enjoy that and never get bored...) but it wasn't happening fast enough. So this big truck with massive jaws of shred-death came to her house and ate all her top-secret stuff. As in it had her name on it.

    Do people not know that when they write a check it has their name on it with the entire routing number, account number, and sometimes people even put their phone number in the pre-printed section! Let's use some sense here, people.

    But it gets better. She found old floppy disks. You know, those 5 1/4 inch things we used back in...I don't know, AND some of the 'new ones" which were, oh, what 3" square? She had backed up some financial records on them and wanted to erase them before throwing them away. As in run a super powerful magnet over them.

    Does anyone anywhere have a computer with that kind of disc drive anymore? What are the odds that someone will be digging through the trash, find a floppy disc, and decide that it must contain super useful information so I'm going to take it home...and then they DO have that ancient of a computer? So say they do. It wouldn't have enough RAM or speed or anything to even CONNECT to the internet. So is he/she then going to stalk my friend until they can find more personal information? (Remember the big shredder truck? It's already been there.) The odds of this happening are about as good as me becoming president of the Ukraine, which I have no interest in whatsoever.

    Nonetheless, since The Engineer (my husband) is the mad inventor and just so happens to HAVE superpowerful magnets, so she again hired my 14 year old to sit there, watch tv, and run the magnet round and around the disc to destroy any info. Then he threw it away.

    Can you say paranoid? Well yes, I think you can since you even made awesome cartoons about it that made me laugh so hard (especially the slow meth-addict like downhill slide of your mothers looks as she shredded more and more. OMG those were good.)

    Be glad to put your info up on my Wednesday post. And I'm going to go buy your book, of course.

    I'm not at all paranoid about my info. I have no illusion it's safe, and just check my bank account to make sure I was the one who spent all that money at the liquor store...

    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. I think someone just dethroned my mom as queen of the shredder. Holy crap. That is insane. My mom goes through about one shredder a year, but she's never hired a professional shredding company. That is just astounding.

      I will say, though, I have been tasked many times with running magnets over disks and hard drives and breaking them into a thousand (no less) pieces with a hammer. All over a drive that probably contained nothing more than a few shopping lists and some old pictures.

      And the check thing is 100% true. My mom is a check writer, through and through. Debit card? No way. Credit card? No way. I'd rather just write a check, she says. Yet she doesn't realize the irony of her not wanting to give out her first name on the Internet, but she'll pay a complete stranger with a check that has her full name, address, phone number, bank number, and routing number. Right...

      Delete
    2. I know, right? Sigh. I'm glad that there are other people out there with the magnet/hard drive obsession. Makes me just a little less fearful of my friend's "sanity". Time for a beer...
      ~Tina

      Delete
  27. Cautionary tale... I made the mistake of having a "Intended for Shredding" pile. This pile is now the bane of my existence. It's like the national debt. I can't get ahead of it. I moved a couple of years ago, and I took a stand. I would not move these piles (now consuming two shopping bags) with me. Dedicated "shredding time" over five weeks did nothing. These piles were laughing at me.

    All of this is to say, not shredding is better than whole-ass shredding. But whole-ass shredding is alot better than half-ass shredding.

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    1. Oh yes, I'm all too familiar with the half-assed "I'm totally gonna get to this soon" shredding pile. We used to do that around here until it just turned into a mountain of garbage on my counter. I've started throwing away all those "to occupant" letters that I used to shred and I'll be damned if I haven't had my identity stolen... yet.

      Delete
  28. My mom freaks out when she has to put her credit card in for something if she's not buying anything (like for an itunes account or amazon account). I have to convince her that amazon is a real life company that isn't trying to scam her. sigh.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "No, mom, Amazon didn't start their business 20 years ago and make billions of dollars just so they could steal your credit card number and rack up $1,000 worth of purchases. I promise."

      Delete
  29. What the...? Do I need to write my manifesto in order to leave a comment on this one? Obviously this one struck a chord with people to inspire such treatises.
    I'm not that paranoid, I just like shredding things. It might be a form of mania like pyromania but without the fire and just the shredding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently comments around here have gotten pretty wordy. Personally, I enjoy it. People come to us and they divulge. They spill. Feel free to spill your guts, Pickleope. Think of it like Maury. Only (slightly) more classy.

      Delete
  30. Laurie saves a lot of receipts, etc, for eventual destruction, but with the shredder being deceased for quite some time ( possibly a decade), her file looks like an episode of "Liliputian Hoarders".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always wonder, what's the obsession with receipt saving? My mom has saved every receipt from every purchase she's ever made, all filed away. When I ask her why she says, "I don't know, in case we get audited or something." But is the IRS really going to care about the 59 cent pack of gum you bought at Wal-Mart six years ago...?

      Delete
  31. That's so funny. I'm a serial shredder too and my shredder looks a lot like that one. I used to cute up all the info on my papers but now I have a shredder, much easier. While I agree, hackers are good at getting your info, as long as you are careful you shouldn't have a problem. I write articles under my real name and most of my posts and comments are under my real name. I haven't been stalked yet..that I know of. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now that you've said that your identity is gonna get stolen so hard. It's like Murphy's Law of the Internet. Don't worry, I'll be right there with you, though, since I taunted the beast as well.

      Delete
  32. I used to have a podcast about video games (lol?) many years ago on a site called 1up and I tried to get other people on there to talk about stuff. Many people didn't have mics, but some did.

    One guy still in high school told me he couldn't do it because his mom was afraid that someone could find him down by the mere sound of his voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I saw Liam Neeson do that in Taken. He then proceeded to beat the ever living crap out of that guy. So while I know it's not likely... I sure wouldn't want to get surprise-beaten by Liam Neeson just because I was silly enough to record my voice on the Internet.

      Delete
  33. My dad is the opposite. He thinks somehow if he throws stuff with his name on it in the trash, rather than the recycling bin, he's safe. He also thinks if he pays extra the govt. can't get his stuff with anti-encryption software. Right. Sort of like the people who think McAfee can prevent viruses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, McAfee is like a condom. It's gonna keep you protected, sure, but if you walk into an STD infected brothel and go to town that poor little rubber can only do so much.

      Delete
  34. When I was 13, my mom wouldn't let me even use my real first name in case I was accidentally talking to a creepy old guy who still lived with his mother. Between being 17 and now, I've met 4 people that I was talking to when I was 13 and 1 person who I started talking to when I was 17. So far, creepy old guys just hit on me while serving tables or try and run me over with their cars. I keep my blog fairly private but that's only because I bitch so much. One day, I do plan on being like "yep, that's me" though.

    My dad though... On my Facebook, I literally only accept friend invites from people I know and have talked to. If those people don't know my full name and phone number and birthday, I don't know them well enough to accept the invite. I got yelled at for having my phone number and birthday on there. I wasn't aware my best friend, my aunt, or the coworker I ate lunch with every day were such hardened criminals to become me...the person with no money, no diploma, and no job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Facebook doesn't have my phone number (If people want it, they can ask me) but it does have my birthday. My profile's also public. So yes, world, I was born on November 9th. Now everyone knows it. Along with my friends, family, or anyone who just asks, since I didn't really think knowing my birthday was the key to stealing my whole life away from me.

      Delete
  35. That's really terrible. I know sometimes I get a little paranoid, but I'm shelling out small websites information I rarely give anybody else. I think I'm okay with it.

    GUYS. Make that a link pic with HTML and just hand us the code. Make it baby proof. At least for future reference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Done and done. Baby proofed. We didn't even think of it, so thank you! You want a free eBook, it's on us. Send us an e-mail.

      Delete
    2. I can't accept a personal freebie offer, it feels wrong, but I appreciate it. I'm gonna go put that HTML up on D4AM now, though. Thanks for the traffic!

      Delete
  36. Congratulations on the Random House optionining (? I'm not sure how to word it, or what it means to be "optioned" by a publisher, but you can't do much better than Random House. They're smart to pick up your work.) I just bought a copy, so I'm smart too.

    Regarding your mom's shredding fetish, is she a social worker? I ask because we social workers have to shred every damn bit of information...state laws and all. Then again, you're in CO. Pot is legal there, so I assume there are no laws to keep social service workers honest. Never mind. Get your mom some help. Shredders Anonymous, perhaps.

    Cheers.
    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom isn't a social worker. She's not even employed anymore (retired). She just shreds for love of the game. These days, the most she gets is a generic "Dear homeowner, you are eligible to open a new banking account!" postcard that still must be shredded because God forbid someone dig through the trash, pull that out (reeking of chicken fat and smothered in coffee grounds), and try to mail it in using her address.

      As for Random House, it was a pretty nice kick in the dick. Long story short we met the vice president in person, read her an excerpt of Dead and Moaning, and she fell in love with it. She told us she wanted to sign us to a new, exclusive promotion they were going to start running in a few months, then she fell off the face of the earth, only to hear back a year later that they were scaling things back and couldn't afford to try this new promotion. Oh, and sorry for wasting the past year of your lives waiting for this.

      Optioned = we were going to buy your book, but then fuck you we didn't.

      Delete
    2. Damn. Sorry. What a teaser. Your mom should shred those bastards.

      Delete
  37. This post made me laugh. My mother was a shredder. She'd have a pile of papers to shred, but then I'd run malaware and scan her computer, and she'd have 600 trojans and viruses. I think people are a lot more vulnerable to online identity theft than what's in their garbage.

    Phones are the worst. Banking on your phone is truly asking for trouble. It maybe convenient, but it's not safe.

    This was a public announcement. You will be returned to the regularly scheduled programming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that. I refuse to buy anything, conduct any form of banking, check any major account, etc, on my phone, because my phone doesn't have any form of protection on it. I'd be worried about that a million times over before I worried about someone sniffing through my trash hoping to somehow find my bank account number or social.

      Delete
  38. I can so relate. My husband is a serial shredder. Or if he's in a hurry he leaves stacks for me to shred for him (with the reminder to do so and a follow up later, just to be sure). :)

    Visiting today from the Pat Hatt mat. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, and welcome! I too used to have the gigantic pile of "to-shred" stuff sitting on my counter, except I'd never get around to actually shredding it, so my counter became a landfill of paper. Not very sightly for guests. Now I just put the trash in the trashcan, where it belongs (you'd think that would be common sense for me, right?).

      Delete
  39. Now you've got me worrying that I'm not shredding enough stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regardless of my mother's antics I do like to shred. I just choose to Shred Responsibly™.

      Delete
    2. Checked with the wife and it turns out she's been handling our shredding duties for some time now and I didnt even know it. *whew*

      Delete
  40. Just because your mom is paranoid does not mean they're not out to steal your identity!

    Shred! Shred!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But... but, who would want to be me? On most days, *I* don't even want to be me.

      Delete
  41. Still waiting for that email...

    I don't think shredding even matters anymore. If it ever did. I mean, if someone targets you, they're going to get your stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some say he's still waiting, to this very day. Sitting by his keyboard. Just waiting for that e-mail to come...

      You know, you probably wouldn't make a very good sexual assault counselor. "Self defense is good, but I mean, if it's gonna happen it's gonna happen. I'm looking at you too, guys. Don't think that rear end is somehow immune from this."

      Delete
  42. ha ha I can picture this happening. SHRED IT. Before my mother got a shredder she would dump paint in all her trash. I'm not even kidding, so people couldn't read her mail.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I hope your Mom draws the line at destroying people. Or is she the serial murderer that has been running around Colorado shoving people that know her in wood chippers? Well maybe she isn't doing it yet, but I'd keep an eye out if I were you. Because you know her, and she knows you know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also posted your link, so soon my literally tens of readers will be buying your book and you'll be rich.

      Delete
    2. Well, if my mom throws me in the wood chipper, then no one can steal my identity. So the logic still fits.

      And we already had ten sales today. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

      Delete
  44. When did your mother break into my house to steal my mask?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It may be stolen, but it'll be returned cleaner than ever and with minimal blood and sweat stains.

      Delete
  45. I live with a cop. One of my (many) nicknames for him is Captain Paranoid. His paranoia puts your mother's to shame. He has literally gone out to the garbage can after I have thrown stuff away and pulled it back out. He doesn't even believe shredding is sufficient enough destruction, he burns everything!! When he found out I posted pictures of me on my blog, it gave him a facial tick. I have spent many years trying to calm his nerves...to no avail. I think you either have that worry-nervous type personality, or you don't. I don't.

    I am, as always, happy to help promote your work. I will gladly add your glif to my blog and link back here... (as long as I can actually figure out how to do it properly).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, your hubby puts my mother to shame. I know quite a few people who think that if you put your picture on the Internet hackers will steal your soul, but I have yet to see this actually happen.

      Delete
  46. My mum is a shredder too. Maybe it's a motherly thing to do? Then again, I'm a mum and I don't worry so much about shredding.... Nevermind. There goes that theory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom shreds not because she's a mom, but because she's paranoid, and I think she was paranoid LONG before she had me...

      Delete
  47. I totally relate to your mother on this one! Erm...serial recycler here. Sorry, was that important tax information you needed. Oops, already in the recycling bin. It seriously drives my husband bananas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, my mom has shredded stuff she needed, just because it's her first instinct to shred stuff. That's awesome.

      Delete
  48. My boss gets like that. Every few months, he'll bring me a huge garbage bag full of stuff and insist all of it needs to be shredded because it contains "sensitive" information. Usually most of the bag is junk mail. I just sneak it out to the dumpster when he's not looking.

    Mum has a healthy relationship with the shredder, I think. Her problem is with kitchen towels. She has a wet-towel phobia, so the kitchen towels get changed at least 4 times a day.

    xo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Back when I was living with my mom, I often sneaked the "to-shred" pile out to the dumpster, if only for the fact that if I didn't, I was going to have to spend 45 minutes shredding that crap.

      Delete
  49. I'm late to this party, AGAIN. Must be my proclivity for making a 'fashionable entrance. Ha,ha,ha!

    I don't really worry about someone stealing my identity. I guess, I figure if someone is that desperate...but I DO want one of those Anonymasks. I admit to getting a little nuts about showing my face on the Internet. Or maybe the ability to kind of fuzz out my face, like they do to protect the innocent, or those who won't sign a consent form on the news.

    You Mom does look like you or I guess that should be you look like her, but then I saw you first so I of course, think she looks like you. OK, I'm done now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never had a problem showing my face on the Internet, but then again, I don't imagine that anyone can do any more harm to it than we've already done over and over again with our self-deprecating comics.

      Also, it's true, I do look like my mom, which is gonna make our future YouTube show really awkward if I dress up like an auburn-haired woman.

      Delete
  50. Two words....wood stove!

    Burn it all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that was even an option, I'd burn everything.

      I would BURN. EVERYTHING.

      Delete
  51. My mom's also a quirky redhead, but she prefers holding onto absolutely everything, just in case. I remember throwing out her credit card receipts that were over thirty years old. Congrats on your new book! I'm sure it will be a huge hit!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What my mom doesn't shred, she keeps. She still has receipts from Wal-Mart from 10 years ago, in case she gets audited by the IRS. I've tried telling her that the IRS doesn't care about the Snickers Bar she bought for 67 cents 10 years ago, but she won't hear it.

      Delete
  52. I am a shredder. I shred anything that can lead to personal information. Shredding is good except when you ask your business partners, "should I get a lawyer?", and they precede to shred almost 10 garbage bags of files. It happened to my hubby. It was a big mess, but after 8 months of lawyers going at it, he got them out. We never found out what they were hiding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is why I'm so glad the Internet is around. Rather than shred 10 garbage bags, I can just click 'delete browser history and all cookies' and call it a day.

      Delete
  53. Good thing this blog isn't a book. She would shred it and where would we be? Great anonymask. I so don't recognize her. Bt I don't think your Mom has serious issues. Just an hour ago I saw a woman who was addicted to bleach. She would even bathe in it. I think there's something sexy about shredding. It must be the word: Shhhhhhhhred! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shred is kind of a sexy word, isn't it? Combine it with the Anonymask and God help us all. Also, my mom doesn't shred books. At least... I don't think she does. I haven't checked her bookshelf lately to make sure ours are all still there.

      Dammit, now I'm second guessing myself...

      Delete
    2. Sounds like a plan. Ah she doesn't shred books. My kind of person. Never second guess yourself. Unless you're not sure. :)

      Delete
  54. You should get your mom into the rabbit bedding business. All that shredding could be put to good use, and just think, no one will be able to read even a portion of a letter once rabbits have peed all over it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, kidding aside, I do often wonder if there was something she could do with ALL of that shredded paper, rather than toss it in the garbage.

      Guess I might just have to buy that rabbit I've always wanted. Or capture one in the neighborhood, I guess.

      Delete
  55. Your mother and my mother would be total BFFs, trading secrets on how properly use their respective shredders and then shredding those secrets in the shredder.

    -Barb

    ReplyDelete
  56. haha always thought that not sharing information with the internet ... excessively paranoid :P
    My mom didn't let me use my name/ own picture on facebook for a long time lol >.<
    love your new design and congrats/all the best for your new book :')
    cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hmm, I just think of Argo and that scene where they have kids put back together all the shredded stuff...maybe that shouldn't be mentioned...
    Also, congrats on the book! I think I missed the weekend thing but I might have to go on amazon and get it myself. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. I shred, perhaps not to that extreme but I do have a shredder under my desk.
    My mother in law would be the same as your mom though, very paranoid about the internet.
    Even itunes had her freaking out

    ReplyDelete