George wasn't so in to this tonight, but he put up with it for a while from Kirstin today...if for nothing but the added attention he got from us.
I like pools, don't get me wrong. But I don't like living in them. Come to think of it, I've never tried living at/in a pool, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it. Regardless, that's not the point of this post.
I made the pilgrimage to the landfill (transfer station, actually) with the garbage that accumulates around here (that isn't burned (shhhh!) or recycled (yay!)). Basically that amounts to food scraps, diapers, and un-recyclable plastics. So it takes a while to accumulate to levels of filling the four cans and requiring a 'pilgrimage' to the dump. It's been just over four months (I checked -- last was April 28) since the last trip.
Now I oddly enough like the garbage guy (that works on Saturday morning). Of all the trips I've made on Saturday mornings (generally with the same amount of waste in tow), I've yet to pay the same amount. He's a good old guy, but I think there's just a bit of 'I don't really care what you pay as long as you pay something close to what I think that's worth...' in his attitude. I'd probably be the same way if I worked there, though. Not exactly a glamorous job.
Anyway, today's bill was $12 even. That comes to about $3/month, which far beats (no exceptions) paying for pickup service once or twice a month for $25 monthly (so I've heard -- I don't actually know for sure). And I do the free drop-off with the recyclable stuff monthly. And I get paid for the aluminum when that gets taken in since I have a 30-mile (one-way) drive from home to the collection place for that. So my happy trip to the dump has come and gone. Guess It'll be around the first of the year when my next trip takes place.
I got home from that activity around 11 this morning, then read the paper. Ate some lunch, then went and took a nap. It wasn't a great nap; I had George laying right next to me and cleaning himself most of the time. I can handle this at night when he's by my feet, but he was laid against my arm, so his constant cleaning motions were keeping me awake. Ah well, it's over now, and I didn't bother to move him.
Once I got done with that napping business, I decided to finally tackle the cleaning of the cistern. This is where the bleach comes in to play. I mixed up about two gallons of bleach water (about 1:1), grabbed a scrub brush, and went to town. The work sucked. In fact, if you ever have the opportunity to clean a concrete block wall with bleach and a small brush -- it'd be a good time to try base jumping instead. Yeah, I said jump off a cliff. It's not a pleasurable experience.
It could've been a whole lot worse. As far as raw labor goes, it wasn't that bad. The work progressed fairly quickly, and the bleach water did an amazing job at cleaning up and disinfecting any sort of nastiness (of which there was definitely some) and mold that accrued on the surface of the block over a long period of time (keep in mind that this was a water tank at one point in time -- hence the mold and general nastiness). But the stink is something I didn't quite expect. I expected it to smell of bleach, but it really smelled of bleach and many other interesting things (I'm presuming the dirt and other organic material). Needless to say, even with the exhaust fan setup running again (similar to what I used to exhaust gas motor fumes out when we used the concrete saw), it still stunk like no other thing I've smelled before.
So I coughed a lot at first (especially while working on the outside walls, which were the nastiest), but took many outside breaks and eventually rinsed off each wall and got the water sucked up with the shop vac. All told, the wall work itself (including breaks) took about two hours, for about 350 square feet of wall.
I thought about quitting when I had about 3/4 of the wall work done, but I knew I'd never go back to finish it if I didn't stick it out. And that was true. So I finished the wall work (noted above) and got me some more bleach water (since my original two gallons was gone by the time I got to the floor), this time mixed in about a 1:10 ratio. The floor went pretty quickly, but that's because it's not much larger than one of the walls. I did another rinse job (with the shop vac) and put an oscillating fan on it all to help dry it out.
I'm very pleased to say that as of 10PM, the cistern is dry and looks absolutely nothing like it did prior to starting the cleaning job. I'm also very pleased to say that I'm done with that particular job and hope to never need clean (in an enclosed room) like that again. In fact, it should be ready for painting soon. Then I can put some shelves up, get some lighting and outletry (yes, I made that word up) installed, and have a fully-functioning storage unit in the basement. Excellent.
As a side note, I intend to also bleach-wash the rest of the basement walls as a step prior to painting and whatnot. But with one exception (there's another nasty area about 100 square feet in size), I won't be using the 1:1 bleach mix. That was some nasty stuff.
But the house is starting to not smell of bleach now, and I'm leaving the exhaust fan in the basement window of the cistern to keep pulling air out in hopes of keeping it that way. But now that everything has dried, most of the really nasty (read: overpowering) bleach smell has gone away. Hooray!
So that's one major project I've been putting off for some time that's now complete. So that's a Good Thing.
That's about all I've got for tonight. I'm still intending to ramble about another topic, but it won't be tonight or tomorrow night either. In the meantime, I would just advise you to not use bleach in the way I (had to) today. Unless necessary.
Until next time...
"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."
- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)