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June 2008
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Recycling CFL’s

Charles and Hudson notes that Home Depot is going to Recycle CFL’s,
They also have some great links if you don’t have a Home Depot nearby.

This is good news especially in view of my opinion that they are an environmental disaster.

The Stain from Hell and the Acid Trip

Okay maybe not from hell per se, actually the cat did it. My son is moving out of town, and getting ready for the walk through to try to salvage the security deposit. Red Oak flooring turns black when exposed to cat piss. Cat urine soaks into wood like diesel fuel in carpet. No, nothing so easy as being a small spot in a corner of a room, but a 2 foot square in the middle of the floor. No this is not a spot sand and poly project,but a screaming condemnation of the entire feline race, for those so inclined.

Before most folks ever discovered tile or carpet, floors were made of wood, real tongue and groove wood that you could sand down a dozen times before you ever ran into the nails, let alone the sub floor.

Hardware stores, Lumber Yard and even Drugstores, carried wood bleach. Not any more. The big box stores are stepping over themselves to sell you carpet or tile, or god forbid, engineered flooring with a veneer so thin, that if you wore it as clothing, you would be arrested for indecent exposure. Your flooring should, but that is a different rant.

Here in the southwest, wood flooring is something that is found in the old part of town the developers haven’t gotten their black greasy fingers on and turned into a stucco and tile wonderland of southwest living, as cheaply as possible, but I digress.

Oxalic Acid is the primary product for bleaching wood. It is what is used to bleach pulp for making paper, and why wood match sticks have that light yellow color.
After going into the big box, small lumberyards, hardware stores, (where the folks who have not used grecian formula, remember it), but are sorry that they don’t carry it.

 I stopped into a Walgreens and inquired at the pharmacy, if they had any. The woman told me that they did not have it at the store, but I could get it delivered there around noon the next day. Being a money for stuff sort, I went to the other big pill stores to see if they had it on the shelf. No Joy.

I went back to Walgreens,, and ordered a 454 gram container(a Reaganomics holdover,remember when we were gonna go metric?). She asked me for a phone number, which I couldn’t remember, having a phone to make calls, rather than receive them, so I went to the van, grabbed the phone, couldn’t remember the menu to get the number, had to call a friend to have them read me the number, and raced back to the counter before I forgot. I gave her the number, and flush with victory over cat urine, I arrived back at my van only to discover that I had locked the door, leaving my keys on the seat.

Since my keys were laughing at me, and my cell phone was next to them, precluding making a phone call, I began scouring the parking lot looking for a coat hanger or a stiff piece of wire to jimmy the door. Working in wrecking yards for 9 years, you pick up tricks.

Well the Anti Destination League was working overtime for me. No coat hangers, cups or cigarette butts. You could almost perform surgery, this parking lot was so clean. But being no stranger to dumpster diving, I found a piece of wire, and what was once part of a plastic display. I went back into walgreens and got a small roll of medical tape, (the old school stuff that would rip the hairs and skin off your body when you took it off) taped my finds together, retrieved my keys and went about the rest of the day, with no major problems.

The next day, working on a remodeling project that seemed to have just about everything about it go bad, it was after 2 p.m. when I arrived back at the Walgreens. The woman behind the counter informed me that it had not arrived. She called whoever, only to find out that it could only be dropped shipped, and I would probably have it the middle of next week sometime. Way past it doing me any good. She had no explanation for this ‘policy’, no doubt developed on the spot by some cubicle drone whose idea of a good time was to make their employees look bad and to piss off customers.

 Here is the problem. Oxalic Acid has no use in either drug manfacturer, explosive production, or getting you high if you are stupid enough to introduce into any of your mucus membranes. It does block the absorption of calcium, which is one of those Trivial Pursuit bits of information, but so far beyond wood bleaching, that you wonder just how screwed up some companies are.

Most days I am excited living in modern times. Yesterday wasn’t one of them.