I'm here to report that my dad last night finished shredding about 40 years' worth of tax documentation, He worked at various times on it, by day and by night, sometimes using one shredder; sometimes two. He learned how long each machine ran before it had to cool down, and we took machines apart to free paper jams deep inside the shredder. He started September 27 as reported in the Biscuit City blog, ".069 Tons" and worked for 20 days grinding up the records. I wish I had counted the leaf bags we put out for recycling.
If my figures are correct, based on the average weight of a piece of paper (5 grams), 150 pounds of paper is about 3000 pages. Our shredders can do about 7 pages a minute under ideal conditions (i.e. no jamming, overheating, burning,bursting into flames or melting), so the total continuous time working was 7 hours. Doesn't seem like much, but try shredding for 20 days and see how you feel. Not so good, I bet.
When dad finished the last bunch of checks, I said, "Well, I guess your work here is done." (I am of the generation that speaks in movie quotes."
He looked puzzled, "You mean I have to leave?" (He is not of the same generation.)
"No," I said, "it's a quote from a movie--Mary Poppins, I believe." (Actually, it was from The Mark of Zorro, 1942.)
"I'll find something else to work on," he said. He likes to be busy--says it keeps him from falling asleep.
The Greatest Generation indeed.