Monday, March 29, 2010

29 MAR 10: Moving Days

"Broadcast. Eight-track. You're sounding primitive here." That's what a woman told me over lunch the other day, as I talked about my annual Serious Spring Cleaning. I cleaned my dishes, yes - but it's easier when you don't have the kind for satellite radio and TV.

This year's Serious Spring Cleaning officially ended during the noon hour Sunday. Since Columbus city rules forbid me leaving trash at the curb until Tuesday morning, the final bag of trash is now stashed in a can at a city park. I will NOT reveal which one, because I enjoy frustrating potential identity thieves.

Serious Spring Cleaning at my home takes about five weeks, and leaves virtually nothing untouched. A few surprise road trips threatened to disrupt the process this year. One this past week woke me up in the morning, and led to a half-day in the Bainbridge area. Someone in Lumpkin needs to be daring, and put a gas station along U.S. 27.

But anyway: there's an order to Serious Spring Cleaning. It starts in the bathroom, which probably needs cleaning the most. I need to buy one of those "3,000 Flushes" products - because my bowl will need about that long to get the stains out.

My small bathroom was settled quickly, so it was on to the bedroom. It was a busy winter in the bedroom closet, as every sweater and rugby shirt was pulled out due to the cold weather. But sadly, I didn't wear every Kansas sweatshirt my Dad ever gave me - and that could explain the basketball loss to Northern Iowa.

The computer room is usually the most challenging room to clean. Many things pile up around my computer during the course of a year. There are letters from blog readers, checking account statements -- and plastic bottle caps to chew on when an online poker player robs me of a winning hand.

I decided this year to not only clean the piles of stuff around my home, but throw away items I haven't used in years. In the computer room, this meant dumping at least one dozen metal containers with America Online trial discs. They're simply too awkward for keeping track of CD's - and I threw away the discs in other years, because I don't need that many coasters.

A blue foam Jayhawk came very close to getting tossed this year. You're supposed to slip it on your hand, for cheering at games. But the logo has lost a good bit of paint in recent years. It stays in the computer room for sentimental reasons - since a Missouri graduate actually gave me that.

Then came the "living room" -- where I don't really live that much these days. Only of the three chairs in that room receives sitting, and most of that comes when the TV news is on. Walking back and forth from the TV to the blogging computer counts as exercise, you know.

Cleaning the living room meant cleaning my touchy TV system. In my continuing struggle to tune in broadcast stations (no cable or satellite here), the HDTV was moved out of a corner and returned to a side of the room. If my next-door neighbor can resist sitting on the front porch, I might be able to pick up every Columbus station flawlessly.

The biggest move of the year occurred in the living room. Several months ago my stereo system refused to twirl to stations any more. It became stuck one morning, and now is set permanently to WFRC-FM. The fact that it's on a Christian radio station might make it more acceptable to a rescue mission.

I tried both 3-In-1 Oil and WD-40 on the stuck tuning knob, but the stereo refused to go up or down the dial. So I decided it was time to throw it out or donate it to charity -- but a couple of women stopped me, because the receiver plays eight-track tapes and could be an antique. If only they knew about the machine in the computer room closet, which records eight-tracks.

(Both the stereo and the eight-track recorder were items I inherited from former roommates in Atlanta. When they moved away, they left all sorts of valuable
things behind -- but I'm about to conclude a former roommate in Minnesota really doesn't need his college textbooks anymore.)

I'm giving these women the benefit of the doubt, and keeping the stereo for now. An all-purpose boombox (except for eight-track) serves as my living room "stereo" for now. And I definitely want to keep the speakers, since they work well. One of them worked Sunday to lift up my TV antenna, so I could watch basketball games.

The main event of Serious Spring Cleaning actually is the kitchen -- since I'm part of a church movement which keeps the "Days of Unleavened Bread" beginning tonight. In my life, crumbs of leaven could be anywhere. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream simply is too portable....

With more than a week left for cleaning the kitchen, I had time to get tough this year. In addition to dusting and wiping, I pulled out a small bottle of "Heavy Duty Degreaser" I was given at the grand opening of the new Sam's Club a few years ago. It worked much better than Formula 409 - so I'm assuming it's something like formula #688.

Formula 409 was the cleaner of choice for my microwave oven - but I fear I somehow became overzealous for Serious Spring Cleaning there. After I plugged it back in, a bag of popcorn only popped about halfway full. Is that coat of butter flavor on the walls really necessary after all?

With Serious Spring Cleaning now complete, I can rest for a while -- well, a little. I'm going to need a "Rollback Day" later this week, to put everything away which was moved out of place to finish the cleanup. The "blue bin" from Columbus recycling simply doesn't match the wood-grain stereo cabinet behind it, in the living room.

We'll take a blogging break Tuesday, while I sing at a spring "celebration" in Columbus! You're invited to attend the United Church of God service at 2:30 p.m. ET at the Woodmen of the World hall on Milgen Road, next door to Lumber Liquidators.

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