austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

For a nosey parker it's an interesting job

Eventually many people figure they really ought to clean the windows. This feeling probably comes more rarely to people who don't have windows, which is a shame, as I'd imagine that it's gratifying when you realize you already have a chore completed. Maybe there's something better than noticing you're finished with something you should have been doing. But I suppose most people have a window somewhere and at some point there's the impulse to clean it.

The procrastination-inspiring questions are where the dirtiness of the windows comes from, and how to get it back there. One source is probably the cats rubbing the windows in the hopes that this will make something different happen from the last times the window was rubbed. If you haven't got a cat when maybe you should have a stern talk with the cat-prints on the windows. Let me know if that gets anywhere. You could come visit and talk with the cats, or their prints, around here. And then there's the solar wind, depositing a stream of protons and electrons and exciting combinations of this set all through the day. The answer there is probably getting the window over to the night side of the planet.

One of the things that always helps cleaning a window is having water to apply to it. This implies that the windows should be as clean as possible if your house is actually an aquarium: at the worst you'll just have to clean the outside. This does assume you're comfortable breathing in the water and that it won't inconvenience things like sandwiches or newspapers inside the house. If you get your news from online sources and have had enough sandwiches for the day give that a try and we'll see what happens. The cats might protest; this will explain the claws dug into your foot. I've had enough of that myself, so I'll skip that. I have experimented with having the whole house put into a water tank, but this gets the neighbors all tense. Maybe they're hoping I can clean their windows too.

It's easy to start out with some glass cleaner and some paper towels, spritz the fluid on, and then push the towels around. There's perils to this, though. Suppose I move the towels around in arcs that aren't the right size. Since as everyone's heard glass is really a liquid that pretends to be a solid so that it can sneak into our homes and find out what the insides of our kitchen cabinets look like, doesn't it follow that by putting pressure in the wrong spots I could make the glass flow from, say, the center of the window pane over to the edges and open up a weak spot that turns into a hole filling up where the glass isn't anymore?

Of course it isn't, and yet, if I start to calculate how much pressure that would take, or how long it would take at ordinary pressure, I could easily get so distracted and involved in an argument online with people who feel very testily about the whole 'solid' and 'liquid' stuff that we never get the windows cleaned. I could even find myself in a stupid argument about whether France is on the metric system. I don't know how I'd get there from here, but that's life.

I think it's particularly convenient to take the windows out of the wall to clean them, because this makes the chore so time-consuming that it's not tempting to do the windows too often. The trick as always is that once all the windows are out there's this big swath of wall left, and who could tell where to put the windows back? Maybe it doesn't matter if the windows are put back a little too high or off to one side, and the pictures on the walls would show when something was too far to the side, but it would still be an inconvenience.

Also I can't really tell when the window is cleaned and when it's still dirty. I'd need some way to track which ones weren't yet washed or I'd be stuck in an infinite loop again.

Trivia: Shares in the South Sea Company opened Septmeber 1720 at under 800 (down from 1050 in June). September closed with them under 200. Source: Devil Take the Hindmost, Edward Chancellor. (100 was, in the notation of the time, par value.)

Currently Reading: So You Want To Be A Wizard, Diane Duane. Which may be a more juvenile book than I usually read but is also fun.


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