Michael We're just about 2.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and you can tell the proximity by the high air humidity in our household. Salt quickly starts clotting in the shaker, and if bathroom tiles aren't being scrubbed down on a regular basis, ugly black mold quickly starts to accumulate. This plague needs to be tackled every couple of months with a cleaning solution from hell called "Tilex Mildew Root Penetrator". Pump a few times with the spray bottle, and work in the foam with a brush. Let it soak for 5 minutes and watch the tile grout turn white again. Downside is that the solution contains bleach, so you better keep it away from colored fabrics (siehe Rundbrief 05/2010), and it reeks of chlorine like there's no tomorrow.
This violent stench seems to be downright unhealthy, as every time I was exposed to it, I seemed to develop a raging headache. First, I tried to combat it with dust masks from the hardware store, but when that didn't work, I remembered that back in the day when I was in the German Armed Forces, we had these rubber gasmasks, so I bought one on Amazon, including a hazardous gas filter. This mask works wonders!
The bad chlorine odor is indeed fully blocked by the filter, and I'm no longer getting headaches. The mask is only $20 on Amazon, apparently an Israeli military surplus item. The filter had a Hebrew imprint on it that I couldn't read. The black rubber upper part is very soft and comfortable to wear, and it even has a small drinking hose attached, just in case you get thirsty. Top product!
Speaking of gas masks: They're also popular items on Halloween for all kinds of scary outfits. On October 31st, one of my colleagues at Yahoo came to work dressed up as "Walter White". You know, the chemistry teacher turned meth cook from the TV series "Breaking Bad" (Figure 3), wearing a yellow hazmat suit and a gas mask. If you haven't seen it, that's a great show for the entire family, all four seasons highly recommended!