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I live two short blocks from my office; home and office are respectively 1/16 of a mile east and west of Phoenix's 7th Avenue, right on Roosevelt. I put my office here some 25 years ago, to be close to the center of the Valley (we're 3/4 of a mile from the center of Phoenix) and right off our freeway net (1/16 of a mile from I-10, and 3 miles from I-17), mostly to cut commute time and cost, and thus save resources. Rather have to do that, as we stress environmentally friendly cleaning. The intersection of 7th Ave. is... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at The Janitors' Closet
We've seen, and passed along, results of several studies regarding pathogen-carrying droplets spewed out by simply flushing the toilet. Thus far, advice has always been to "close the lid" before flushing, to greatly reduce the droplet spread. Turns out, not so. A recent study by Florida Atlantic University, as reported in Physics World, concludes that it won't help much. Particularly concerning, in an age of Covid. And, if you think Covid in the toilet is not much of an issue, Arizona State University, just down the road (we do commercial janitorial and Covid remediation in the Phoenix area), early on... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
A client of mine handled the Astra-Zeneca vaccine trial locally, so I volunteered. And, as it happened, I got the real vaccine, not the placebo - months before anybody else around here. Now, they are conducting another test, on 12 to 17 year-olds, and are looking for volunteers. Said I'd pass the information along, and here it is: Hello Bob, Here is some information about the sponsor and adolescent vaccine trial you requested! Feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested and have children between the ages of 12-17. Sponsor COVID Vaccine Informational Page: Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
From a longtime friend, co-worker and member of our board: Back in the mid 1970's CBN cleaned the old KRIZ Radio station offices and studio; their slogan was 'The Miracle on Buckeye Road'. The office was located on Buckeye Road, just west of the Black Canyon Freeway, a bit North of the Durango Curve. At that, time we had Rob, an ASU student, cleaning our Southwest route of about five accounts, most of which were cleaned two or three times a week, and most importantly all of them had to be cleaned over the weekends so they would be ready... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
This is Fred. He's my choice to train to become a COVID sniffing dog (see my 2/23 post) should we choose to supplement our commercial janitorial and COVID electrostatic remediation services with COVID detection services. Fred came from the county shelter with the name of Leo. It happens that my current black Lab, also from the county shelter, also came with the name Leo. (Apparently, policy at the county shelter is to name all male black Labs "Leo"). I thought having two black Labs named Leo would prove confusing, so I called the new one Fred. Bad decision. When one... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
As if we don't have enough worries, "Recent studies estimated an astounding 129 billion face masks being used globally every month (3 million / minute) and most are disposable face masks made from plastic microfibers (Prata et al., 2020). With increasing reports on inappropriate disposal of masks, it is urgent to recognize this potential environmental threat...." Most municipal recycling programs restrict unwashed food containers, used restroom paper, and such from being put in the recycle container; I'm guessing the same would apply to face masks. While they likely don't take up a lot of landfill space, the trick is to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
The movie of recent years that I most admire is "The Free State of Jones", a reasonably accurate Hollywood rendering of a couple of counties that succeeded (or tried to) from Mississippi during the Civil War. It highlights the dark underside of the Confederacy as seen from the perspective of "poor whites": the draft, confiscation of crops in lieu of cash tax payments; also the violent dismantling of Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era. A friend finally viewed it and sent me the following: "So, Robert, I finally saw The Free State of Jones... it's now free on Netflix. Great... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
Here's a good article from the folks at Contracting Profits. Caught a couple of things I didn't know, such as: “With the overuse of quat-based disinfectants on floors, a biofilm can be produced, which allows microorganisms to thrive under the self-sacrificing top layer...” Makes sense - a lot of folks will figure that if they are damp mopping the floor with a disinfectant, the floor is being cleaned. So you don't clean it first. Problem is, quats are not generally cleaners. You succeed in disinfecting the floor (until the biofilm builds up) but do nothing to remove dirt or oil.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
I just ran across a good article on combating "enveloped viruses", such as the flu, a good many common colds, and Covid-19 - provided by our friends at CleanLink. To summarize, an enveloped virus is one that comes with a coating (the "envelope") of fat or protein. If you puncture the envelope, you puncture the virus inside, which prevents it from transmitting (infecting). Disinfectants are quite good at doing so (viruses are generally easier to kill than bacteria or fungi). Quaternary ammonia products have been around for 85 years or so, and do quite well, though they irritate eyes and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
Several years ago, I noted that dogs were being trained to sniff out the then scourge of the hospitality industry, bedbugs. I thought I could train my several (large, always hungry) canine companions to do so, and write off a bit of their cost; perhaps even turn a profit. Folks are now experimenting with dogs sniffing out Covid (the current scourge of, among other areas, the hospitality industry) in stadiums, airliners, and so on. This would be a nice compliment to our current program of Coronavirus remediation - ongoing disinfection of our commercial cleaning client facilities, and electrostatic disinfection in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
We've gone several years without a significant on the job accident. Now, commercial janitorial service is not a particularly dangerous industry, and we've long tried to instill a safety culture in our folks. Still, we've enjoyed a remarkedly good record . Looked like our string was coming to an end late last week. One of my floor techs missed his footing coming down the stairs in my own office, and tumbled from the next to the last step to the floor. He landed right on his bad hip (he's had a bit of a limp, and some ongoing pain, for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
We do quite a bit of Coronavirus remediation, using the Clorox360 electrostatic disinfectant applicator on furniture, fixtures, touchpoints, etc., so my focus tends to be on how you can catch the disease by touching contaminated surfaces. But, to be honest, one is much more likely to catch the virus by breathing air that a sufferer has exhaled than by touching something he has touched. A key is air circulation. Good air circulation dilutes the virus; one needs to inhale from several hundred to several thousand (depending on who is estimating) viruses to get sick; the more diluted the air has... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
Most of my thoughts lately have concerned our long-time focus, providing commercial janitorial service with a view to making our client facilities just a bit safer and healthier to work in. Also, of late, since we're performing a good many COVID remediation jobs, I look at the evolving science of disinfection and other aspects of the current Coronavirus pandemic. It can all get just a bit depressing. So, when a colleague sent me a note on a subject about as far from my usual concerns as possible, I just had to pass it along. In England, it is not uncommon... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
One tends to look askance at pardons issued in the twilight hours of a presidential administration, of either party. But here's an interesting story, from our friends at Cleanlink: President Donald Trump issued pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of 70 others at the end of his presidency. One of those commuted is Robert Sherrill, a recovering drug addict who turned his life around, eventually founding Imperial Cleaning Systems of Nashville, reports the Tennessean. Sherrill had been convicted of drug charges fueled by an addiction for which he later received treatment. Because of his rehabilitation, personal progress, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
Those who had infection control procedures and PPE requirements being met, 29.8% had symptoms of anxiety and 23% reported depressive symptoms Those who reported having none of the needs met, 52.3% had symptoms of anxiety and 45.8% had depressive symptoms. Those are among site based, essential workers, according to a recent survey of Canadian, not health care workers. Makes sense. If you see your workplace as relatively safe, and your employer as taking reasonable precautions, you'd likely feel a bit better about coming to work. We do quite a lot of Covid remediation service, using the state of the art... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2021 at The Janitors' Closet
Our Christian Gospel describes, a few days after Christ's birth, shepherds from the hills coming to worship the Redeemer. A portrayal of the Adoration of the Shepherds, by Tintoretto, was created and hangs in Venice. It presents a unique view of the subject. From Garry Wills' "Venice, Lion City": "Here the shepherds are not a few lads from the hills offering a lamb as if for sacrifice at the Temple. A neighbor group has mobilized, in a time of crisis, to care for the family in a rickety hovel-- clearly, they need the assistance. A man on the ground floor... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Happened to be speaking to an old friend about Posada, an Hispanic tradition that I'd taken as something similar to traditional Christmas caroling. There's a bit more to it than that. Here's a note from my original janitorial sales manager, Bill Black, who is still a member of our corporate board. Bill's mother was old school Hispanic, and brought him up in both the Faith and the culture: A Contemporary American Posada as a Multi Cultural Expression Robert, further to our conversation a day ago about Umberto Eco, and the field of semiotics, I very much appreciated your blog post... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
A janitorial client of ours is running the Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine trial in Arizona; I volunteered to be part of the study a bit ago, have had the first injection with no significant problems, and go in for the final dose next week. Figure it's about the least I can do to help move us in the direction of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Here's a link to the site, should you like to participate (and to have a shot - no pun intended - at a vaccine well in advance of the rest of the population):!/study/95 What... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Just caught a news item - United Airlines is now using the Clorox Total 360 electrostatic disinfection system in its terminals; this is in addition to its use in its airliners. As far as I can tell, Clorox electrostatic equipment is the best available to disinfect generally, and specifically to kill Covid-19 coronavirus. That's why we use it in our disinfection program, both for our ongoing janitorial clients and for exposure response for the wider community. Here's what they say about United's program: "The Clorox Total 360® System charges and atomizes the Clorox disinfecting solutions to deliver a flow of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
We begin some 50 years ago, two years after I graduated from Saint Mary's High School; I was working for Sam Drey. To appreciate the full story, I must first explain the relationship I had with Sam, and what he taught me. Working for Sam Drey was the first real job I had as an adult; as you'll recall, Sam was quite a character. Before he retired to Arizona, Sam was a 'ward healer' and 'fixer' in Chicago. His cousin was Jake Arvey, former Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party Central Committee and the Democratic Party National Committeeman for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Some sobering news. Informed thinking has, up to now, held that COVID-19 will survive, on various surfaces, two or three days at most. Thus, if one's workplace has had an exposure, you could send the employees home for several days and then safely let them return, with no disinfection needed. That seems to have changed with a new study. "The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, according to a study by Australia's national science agency. Researchers at CSIRO's disease preparedness centre tested the longevity... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
A note from a team member of 40-plus years standing: Robert, we have been talking lately about CBN’s culture, and how the company's culture sustains the values and virtues that shape our work, and how our work shapes who we are. As an illustration of what this means to me, let me tell you a story that a mutual friend of ours, Arthur Brodsky, told me about ten years ago. When Arthur told me this story, he said it occurred about ten years before he told it to me, so that would be about 20 years ago. Arthur said that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Ultraviolet light radiation seems at first glance to be an attractive disinfection method, particularly in a coronavirus pandemic. There are limitations to the technology, as covered in a short article from our friends at Cleaning & Maintenance Management. From the article: "The radiation must be contained in a device, such as a light box, robot, or tower. People must be cleared from the room before the device is turned on because it can be harmful to eyes and skin. Sometimes the devices need to be repositioned to eliminate “shadowing,” which blocks the UV light from touching the surface intended for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet