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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

Clean office

May 12, 2010 - One of my favorite shows lately is "Clean House," a cable home-renovation reality show.

The hosts find cluttered houses whose owners are just shy of psychologically impaired (those who are go to the program "Hoarders"), convince them to sell all their stuff in a yard sale, or as much as they'll part with, then use the proceeds to fund redecoration and renovation projects, to the owners' screams of pleasure (usually).

Very formulaic but great fun.

They're running their "Messiest House in America" series through spring and summer. Being television, though, the "winner" was chosen and worked over weeks ago. They had their yard sale in Lansing, Ill., this past April, and I drove down to see what they had to offer.

I negotiated with one of the family members for a radio-controlled Humvee I offered $5, he wanted $15, we settled on $10 and a like-new coffee maker for the office, for $4.

I even got it autographed by one of the hosts, Matt, the "Go to guy." My hands were full of Humvee and coffee maker, so I just asked him to sign it.

The Clarkston News office is finishing up its own renovation makeover. Workers installed a brand new wall, creating office space for the Clarkston 411 internet television studio. We rearranged all the desks so we're not spread out as much. We kept the couch, though.

I don't think we were that particularly cluttered, though we have some issues. We hung onto a box of toys for years, long after whoever brought them up there left for greener pastures.

The studio is almost up and running. Us newspaper folks lost our view of Main Street, but the windows should look good for the cameras.

There's some info in today's paper about upcoming programming, but stayed tuned for some open house info, too. Folks are already signing up to be interviewed by Clarkston 411. Come up and see what changes we've made.


Anyone want a school superintendent who thinks the "first and foremost" purpose of the district should be to educate students? If you do, send me an email to Clarkstonnews@gmail.com.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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