atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#5741: Oh, COME ON

Working in the attic today, I decided I'd do more work on the attic over the garage. I'm glad I did, but I'm also really unhappy about something.

More old clothes, more bills--a box of bills from 1968!--and all sorts of friggin' trash that I now have no idea what to do with. Now I'm starting to get into the crates from my grandmother's house--actual wood shipping boxes--and the ratio of pure trash is dropping slightly. I found a single chair that would be good if reupholstered. I found more pieces of random furniture parts. I brought down box after box after box, some empty, some full of junk, some with a mixture of trash and not-junk.

I say "not-junk" because there's now a pile of things which may actually have some utility, so I can't throw them away. But the pile of scrap metal is bigger, and I may take that to the dump tomorrow.

Bag after bag after bag of pure trash. I found more issues of Saturday Evening Post, moth-eaten and rodent-chewed. The crate that contained them is worth more than the magazines were. In a bag of old clothes I found what I think was once Raggedy Ann, with repairs made to her face with I think cellophane tape such that she looked like a burn victim. That was the most horrifying doll I've ever seen:

EDIT No, you know what? I originally embedded it here, but that image is going to give me nightmares if I leave it. You can click on this if you really want to see it. END EDIT

All told, another few hours' work that cleared out a good chunk of attic. I didn't bother counting the boxes that came down from the attic; I just carried 'em down, one at a time, and sorted their contents.

But I said I was really unhappy about something.

See, this time I got smart: I took a clamp light and a fan up into the attic, and so I could remain up there longer and see farther. And after Mrs. Fungus got home with the components for dinner, I took one last look at the remaining pile on the south side of the access, and saw something discouraging.

Lumber. Lots of it. All stacked up on the rafters, probably about half as much volume as the pile of crap I'm currently sorting through, not neatly but kind of haphazardly.

A pile of friggin' wood.

I looked at that, and sighed, and gave up for the night.

The problem here is that there's so much CRAP stored in the attic I don't know what to do about it all. It's too much to stage and dispose of in the trash; if I do that, it'll be months before it's all gone. I mean, as it stands right now, I have six large bags of trash lined up plus the two trash barrels full, and the recycling barrel is full of brittle cardboard from all the ancient boxes I've pulled down and emptied into the other two barrels. And that's the result of a mere eight hours of work, clearing perhaps a hundred square feet of attic space out of the entire house's attic. The attic extends across the garage and the entire house, and down the dogleg, so it's more than fifteen hundred square feet.

Fortunately it's not all covered with junk. But the area above the garage and living room is--was--simply jam-packed with USELESS F_ING SHIT such that in eight hours I've cleared a 10 by 10 foot area.

And that was before I saw the lumber.

Anyway, after dinner, I got to thinking: back when I lived in Cedar Rapids, and my friend's father was committed to a nursing home, we cleaned out his house of all the crap he had accumulated--hoarder, of course--and to dispose of that, we rented a truck from Menard's, loaded all the trash into it, and took it to the city dump. Truck weighed coming in, dumped the stuff, truck weighed going out, difference charged for--and the trash was gone. Easy-peasy.

Why can't I do that here?

Granted, that was Iowa, where they still have sensible laws, but I should at least check to see if it can be done, right? WTF, it doesn't cost much to rent a trailer; if the landfill people in Illinois allow it, I could fill the trailer with the old clothes and the other useless shit and haul it there and dump it, and it's out of my hair forever!

I could put a lot of trash into a 4x8 utility trailer.

So, went to Googe, found the landfill that serves the Fungal Vale, and I have a phone number to call. I'll ask if it's possible for me to execute the plan I outlined in my prior paragraph, and if it is--then I'll get all the junk out of the attic and plan to haul it away next week.

Old clothes, rodent- and moth-eaten papers, useless junk--all of it, all the obvious trash, leaving only the things that people might want to keep. Things which may have utility or sentimental value. And, of course, things that may actually have intrinsic value such as the punch bowl and whatever other treasures may be up there. I think my paternal grandfather's radio is up there; that will go on the "review" pile, and there are some other things like that; but no one needs a box of bills from 1968 or baby clothes from 1962 that have ended up stained and full of rodent feces. This old, bent-up aluminum pot is getting recycled; that set of aluminum saucepans goes on "review".

Like that.

I found a varmint trap up there. I mean, an actual, steel jaw trap, like you see in cartoons. It's rusted shut. I don't know if I'll bother, but I think I could get it working again with PB Blaster and a little elbow grease. Like the bottle capper I found; it took some penetrating lube to get it working, but you could cap bottles all day with it now. Works a treat. It's very old; it's in the "review" pile because someone in my family might want it.

The electric mixer I found--I recall Mom using it for years, until something went wrong with the motor. I'd been looking for it, because I was thinking it was a MixMaster. It turned out to be a Sunbeam rather than a MixMaster, worse luck; if it were a MixMaster there'd be a good chance I could get it fixed, in which case I'd keep it. This one's probably fit only for scrap.

And there's still lots more up there.

Well, I'll get it out, and once the trash is hauled away I can re-sort the remainder for things which aren't worth anything and get rid of it, too. Repeat until the pile is manageable and contains only useful and/or valuable things (even if the value is merely sentimental, as with the old scrapbooks I found).

We'll get there. The hard part is not to get discouraged--but if my landfill idea pans out, that'll go a long way towards completing this project in a reasonable time. We'll see.
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