Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

October 19, 2003 - 5:36 p.m.

Cleaning House

Metaphorically and literally.

Six years ago, my friend and co-worker Jeff decided that winter weather was not for him. So he and his wife-to-be sold off or gave away anything that wouldn't fit into the back of their Festiva. There isn't much room in one of those things. They were bound for the bright lights and job possibilities that lay in Las Vegas.

Someone who was important to me back then convinced me that it would be a good idea for me to take the computer desk they were giving away. So I loaded it in the back of my minivan and hauled it to my house.

This thing was more than a computer desk. It was a huge thing, made of that particle board with fake wood grain stuff. There was space for a computer with a roll out keyboard shelf, and another thing that rolled out, a cabinet of sorts. It became a dust collector, a holder of things that didn't quite have a home. The kids adopted it for their stuff, and because you could close the doors on it I didn't mind much.

I never used it as a computer desk until I got a new computer upstairs. I took the old one and moved it downstairs, into that thing. I networked the two computers so the kids would have their own place to surf the net. They still preferred the new computer upstairs but still they could both use a computer if they wanted to.

I am basically opposed to particle board furniture. It's heavy, looks cheap and begins to fall apart after awhile. This thing was no exception. It began to shed parts like a mid-eighties Chevrolet, and it was still a catch all for a bunch of unwanted stuff. Not only that, as a computer desk it basically sucked because you were forced into a confined space, kind of like a coach seat on an airliner. It also didn't fit my desire to re-arrange stuff periodically because it only fit in one spot.

I found one I liked better here. It's made of metal shelving, like an equipment cart. It takes up much less space and it's on wheels so you can move it around. Last weekend I hauled the particle board beast out of the house and back to the alley for the trash folks to pick up. Incredibly, they took the whole thing.

The Gardenangel and I put the new one together in about 30 minutes. It looks so much cleaner now. I also used cable ties to gather up all the excess wires to maintain that clean look.

She also brought over a floor plant that needed a new home. It was in her office at work but it had become rootbound and sickly because it had nowhere to grow. It took awhile but we pulled apart all the roots and settled it into a much larger pot and mixed peat moss in with the soil. I'm sure it was screaming in its little plant voice at the abuse we were giving it, but it definitely likes it's new pot because its already sprouting new leaves!

I've been exploring the music channels on the internet. I discovered one called trip hop. It makes nice background noise for cleaning up around the house, sweeping up dog hair and whatnot. I found it interesting that Lincoln Mercury, the folks that brought you your dad's Town Car use a trip hop song as a music bed for their commercials.

Speaking of dogs, Man's Best Friend is no friend at all when she leaves little yellow pee spots on the carpet in my living room, which is less than a year old. I think she's pissed off because we all left her behind when the school year started. She started digging in the trash and dragging things out to play with, bored with spending the whole day alone.

So, my first line of defense was two baby gates in each kitchen door, that I leave up when I leave for the day. I attacked the pee spots today, armed with a 50/50 solution of Newt's All Purpose Cleaner* and some Dog Pee Deodorizer I bought a while ago. I sprayed it on the spot, rubbed it in with a stuff brush and sucked it out with my carpet cleaner. All the dog pee spots are gone now, but some of them are cleaner than the surrounding area. Whoops!

Welcome to my mundane world.

*1/2 cup sudsy ammonia, 1 teaspoon dish detergent, one bottle isopropyl alcohol, mixed in one gallon of water. Thanks Newt!

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