Saturday, May 01, 2010

Changes Coming 4


As we get ready to move, having sold our home for... less than we could have imagined a few years ago... this is a perfect time to identify what we really want or are able to keep and what should be given away, sold, or scrapped.

One item that came into our possession last year was a Persian rug owned by my mother's parents and passed down to her and then given to me when she moved into a retirement community.  Because we already have all of the rugs we want or can use, I decided to give it to my oldest son in California.  There are some logistics to such a decision.

First the rug should be cleaned.  With our 1-year old grandson around, we do not want him playing on a rug that has years of dirt embedded.  Cleaning such a rug is not cheap.  We were quoted $4 per square foot for this 9 ft. by 12 ft. rug.  You do the math.  I decided to do it myself.

A bit of history here....  My mother's parents owned an oriental rug store and rug cleaning plant during the 1st half of last century.  My parents took over the business in the 1950s and I was working in it by the time I was twelve.  I learned how to clean rugs "the old way" as well as with what were then modern cleaning equipment.  So, despite my older frame, I took on the task.

Note... this should be done on a warm, sunny day.

Wet down the rug front and back and scrub.  I use an old Sears floor scrubber for which I purchased some new soft nylon bristle brushes.

After scrubbing, squeegee the water from the rug.  I purchase a 24" janitor's squeegee with a rubber blade two decades ago and it is still usable.  It comes in handy for cleaning an inch or two of wet snow off the driveway or getting the water out of the garage when I clean it down.

Then mix some carpet shampoo [I use the concentrated ZEP from Home Depot and somewhat sparingly.  The soap has to be rinsed out later and you'll be there forever if you make the solution too concentrated.  Once again scrub the rug both front and back.  I simply fold the rug a little past center to do each half of the back.

Remember that you want to use softer nylon bristles, not the hard, stiff type used on tiles.

After you squeegee off the soap, you rinse off the back halves and then...squeegee, rinse...squeegee, rinse...squeegee the front.  It is important to get the soap out because it will otherwise leave a film on the rug fibers that hold dirt.  Soap will also tend to turn the white fringes brown as the rug dries, so I use a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part white vinegar to cut the soap at the fringes.  Of course, this has to be squeegeed off as well.

Then you vacuum as much moisture out of the rug as you can.  I use an old carpet shampoo machine, but a wet shop vacuum may work also if it has a smaller hose and narrow slot nozzle.

Roll up the rug tightly.  I purchased an 8 ft. furring strip for additional support and rolled the rug around that.  You'll see why on the next step.  This rug was well over 200 lbs. even after the water was extracted.  That's a two man job, so I enlisted my neighbor to help roll and move the rug.

Find a nice spot to position the rug on end.  This will allow it to drain off much of the excess water you could not extract by vacuuming.  Then roll it out in the sun to dry.  Depending on the temperature, sun, and wind, this could take anywhere from 8 hours to 2 days.  Obviously, the thickness of the rug affects drying time.

You will need to turn the entire rug over to allow the back to dry or fold it in half to dry each half of the back side.

Finally, a good vacuuming when the rug is done drying and it is set for use.

In the case of this rug, we plan to take it to a local oriental rug store and purchase a good rubberized felt pad. Never use foam pads under an oriental rug.  You want to add cushioning, but not allow something heavy to cause a sharp indentation which could damage the rug weave.

Then we will have the dealer ship the rug inside of the pad for protection to California where the 4th and 5th generation of the family will enjoy it.

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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)