Monday, April 18, 2011

18 APR 11: It's In the Bags

They were scraping Sunday, and I was scraping with them. Except they were doing it inside stock cars at Talladega, while traveling more than 180 miles per hour. I was doing it to metal shelving in the kitchen at a speed of.... well, at least I was sitting down like a NASCAR driver.

Victory came Sunday afternoon in my annual Serious Spring Cleaning - the event that reaches practically every square inch of my home, and ends with a final trash bag being deposited in a mystery location. This year I only had to make a short walk with that bag. If you want to search beyond that, you'll need your own fingerprint duster.

The five-week-plus cleaning marathon always begins in the bathroom - and it really should resume there, after I catch my breath. A big wasp apparently decided to check how clean my window was. Instead, the wasp found it's quite opaque - and it really can open and close to crush insects.

The bedroom is where I decided this was the year to do some major moving. The waterbed stayed where it was, since there's only two or three feet of room on either side for adjusting it. But one big side item was removed - an item used for years to hang clothing. That's simply not what an electric typewriter was built to do....

I inherited a Smith-Corona electric typewriter with insertible ribbon cartridges sometime during the 1990s. It was helpful for me for a few years, but then remained in its case as the computer era came. When the correction cartridge starts shedding, you know spring is in the air.

So this year, the typewriter went to the kitchen - and this past week was donated with other items to Valley Rescue Mission. My old non-electric Royal typewriter remains in the bedroom. If all else fails, I can use that for writing - and then I guess I'd post blog entries on a bulletin board at the Government Center or something.

The computer room/business office/mancave has become the most challenging room for cleaning. All sorts of papers and collectibles are kept there - such as the program from January 2007 reminding me Jim Wetherington had an "inauguration" as Columbus Mayor. Teresa Pike Tomlinson had a "swearing-in," but she did have one more name.

The biggest change this year in the computer room/business office/mancave was forced on me by a power outage. My old Radio Shack answering machine decided to blink continuously, and not take any more messages. The mini-cassettes I bought weeks earlier to tape messages suddenly had no use - since they simply won't fit in my living room boombox radio.

A trip to Kmart on a Monday morning allowed me to buy a new cordless phone-digital answering machine combo. This upgraded my level of personal communications to approximately 1998.

The days I gained by quickly cleaning the bathroom were lost in the computer room - but thankfully the living room cleaning went relatively quickly. But critics probably would say I cheated, because I never opened the doors of a floor-level record cabinet filled with LP's and old magazines. If I never opened them for a year, cobwebs can't possibly form - right?

A dual cassette deck which used to be in the living room was moved out this spring. It stopped working properly a couple of years ago, as if it knew I'd brought a portable mp3 player into the house.

Thanks to an expansion of the rules at the city recycling center on 22nd Avenue, I was able to drop my old cassette deck and answering machine in a bin there. That's where I also left the shell of my first eMachine computer, purchased from Office Depot in April 1998. The hard drive is still in my custody - as if city recycling workers are smart enough to be hackers on the side.

Resisting the urge to sing "The Way We Were," I spent the last week or so cleaning the kitchen. That means everything in the kitchen. Let the record show this year's Tipping of the Toaster ceremony occurred on a Thursday morning at 6:20 a.m. - turning it upside-down on the floor to get the crumbs out.

The toaster took me more than 30 minutes to clean Sunday. I wanted to make sure every last bit of crumb and leavening was out. Yes, I realize some of my friends consider that a very silly approach - but I save 12 to 15 dollars, by not throwing away a toaster every spring.

The last item in the house to be cleaned this year was the stove. For the first time I can remember, I used the "warm oven" approach to save time - spraying the cleaner on after reheating pizza slices for lunch. I realized the Little Caesars "heat sheet" wasn't tough enough to keep potentially poisonous gases from getting onto my meal.

So the cleaning is complete - but there are plenty of things to reset, after moving them to finish the cleaning process. Maybe this year the paperwork on my computer room floor will find a proper place in the coming weeks. If I can only make room behind the cushion of the center lounge chair....

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: We'll take Tuesday off to mark the start of the Passover/Unleavened Bread season. Regular blogging should resume Wednesday.)

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