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Spring cleaning, continued

Started: 2012-02-25 13:05:11

Submitted: 2012-02-25 14:03:44

Visibility: World-readable

As part of our grand project to prepare our house for sale, Kiesa and I decided to replace the kitchen sink. It was serviceable, but we'd scrubbed through the enamel to the cast iron in several places, and the faucet itself was dripping and hard to clean.

Kitchen sink detail
Kitchen sink detail

We spent some quality time at our local home improvement stores studying the available sinks and were generally unable to come up with any compelling reason to choose one over another, but ended up picking another white-glazed cast iron sink and a shiny brushed-metal faucet. The sink sat in the garage for several weeks, taunting me with its awkward slogan "Bold. Durability." until we arranged to get it installed.

Neither of us knew anything about installing sinks, and it seemed like far more work than I wanted to undertake by myself, so Kiesa talked to our realtor's handyman and got him to come over to install the sink one Friday morning two weeks ago. This took longer than we'd anticipated but we ended up with a nice sink that looks far better than the one we started with.

New kitchen sink
New kitchen sink

My main project for the weekend immediately following the sink installation was to clean out the garage, which mostly involved properly disposing of the stuff that had accumulated in the garage that wasn't suitable for curbside trash or recycling. I packed my car entirely full with junk (including my old computer Ziyal (which died last summer and whose hard drive I finally managed to clean off and wipe), the bulky-but-still-functional 19" CRT I got a decade ago, a bunch of other computer components, my first iPod, an armload of polystyrene foam, a old pants and sheets, abused cubicle trim (scrap metal), and the old kitchen sink, with its faucet still attached) and drove into Boulder. My first stop was the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (somewhat charmingly abbreviated as "CHaRM"), which had bins for all of the stuff listed above and even took my monitor for free, since it was produced by Samsung and they just started subsidizing disposal of their hardware. I briefly considered uttering a few last words for Ziyal as I hoisted her into the bin, remembering the good times we'd had since the Commune, but decided against it.

My final stop was Boulder County Household Hazardous Waste, which took my compact fluorescent bulbs, my full-sized (eight-foot) fluorescent bulbs, the lithium batteries from several computers and electric toothbrushes, and some of the paint still cluttering up my garage despite having been painted over when we moved in. I drove home with a far emptier car, relieved to have gotten rid of so much junk.

My final simplification task for the weekend was selling our BOB Revolution jogging stroller. It had been sitting in the its carrying case since last summer, when we tried to take it to Oceanside but were thwarted by a hail storm. It would still fit Calvin in its jogging configuration, but while I took Calvin running in it a few times, our household division of labor ended up such that I could go out running on my own while Kiesa let Calvin sleep in the mornings. We don't use it in regular stroller configuration, either, since Calvin is big enough that he can walk short distances, and prefers riding in the wagon over the stroller if we want to move him on wheels.

BOB Revolution ready to be sold
BOB Revolution ready to be sold

Over the years, we'd accumulated a number of accessories for BOB, including a carrying case, a weather shield, and a sun shield. I took a bunch of pictures of the stroller and its accessories and decided to sell the lot for $200 on craigslist. I posted Friday night, and by Saturday morning I had six e-mails. (This led me to believe I might have asked too little for it; the stroller itself goes for more than $400 new, but I didn't have a lot of stroller prices to set my price on.) I picked the first one and got a visit from a nice professional couple expecting their first child in a few months. We demoed the stroller and its accessories (and the warranty recall work) and they left to look at strollers and accessories at REI. They returned in the evening to purchase the stroller and we managed to throw in the stroller frame (basically just wheels on a frame on which one can attach an infant carseat), saving us the trouble of getting rid of it somewhere else.

Kiesa threw away our old, mostly-destroyed scratching post and picked up one that looked, to me, a great deal like the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai.

Fanciful cat scratching post
Fanciful cat scratching post

However, the cats didn't seem to care for it, so she exchanged it for a somewhat more traditional scratching post, which the cats do now use.

The point is that one should never assume that sucky, disgusting software
is written by first year comp sci majors. There are enough professional
programmers out there to cause a far bigger disaster.
- Randseed (132501) on Slashdot, 08 June 2003