Monthly Archives: March 2008

Sat 29 Mar 08

Took a break from kitchen work today to finish the rock border that I started in the front yard last week. Done! That’s nice to say about one project. Just needs some wood chips and flowers. Nora tried to help with the yard work, but I think she got confused as to what she was supposed to be doing.

Taylor didn’t try to help. She was otherwise preoccupied with Baked Cheeto crumbs.

Fri 28 Mar 08

Snow? What the heck? It was all good and sunny again by this afternoon, but strange to see flurries for a while this morning. I didn’t get out in the weather much today though as I spent all day on hands and knees laying mortar and pounding in the backerboard for the kitchen tiles. I still have a couple more Hardi backer sheets to go (involving cutting around counters) and then I can start laying tile. And then grouting. And then cutting and installing new molding. And then installing new doors for the washer/dryer area. And then replacing the counter-tops. This is going to take forever.

Some random thoughts on the NCAA tourney so far:

1. Go Davidson! The run probably ends with Kansas, but then I didn’t think they had a chance matching up Georgetown’s size. It’s incredible watching teams completely gear up to stop Curry and he still puts up 30+.

2. I know I should be a fan of UCLA’s Kevin Love. He’s fundamental, a hard worker, and reasonably self-effacing. But I can’t stand him. Maybe it’s just the constant reminders from the color commentary of how good he is, but more than anything I think I just don’t like how his gigantic frame gives him such an advantage. It reminds me too much of watching Shaq bully his way around. I like the college game for the way the little guys can still make a difference with hustle and quickness (think Curry or Brazelton from Western Kentucky). Love is incredible, getting to absolutely everything in the paint (rebounds and incoming opposing guards). Or maybe it’s just that I was rooting for the Hilltoppers in that last game.

3. Michigan State, yikes. Ten minute lapse against Memphis. Thirty point half-time deficit, that’s something you’d never expect from an Izzo team. Can’t complain too much though I suppose when you’re that outclassed. Elite eight is shaping up for some awfully good games.

4. Favorite commercial. I think that Subway commercial “$5 footlong” jingle is super catchy and way better than fat Jarad, who I just want to punch in his still-fat self-righteous face every time he comes on. Oh, and Jackie Moon Old Spice cracks me up every time.

5. Least favorite commercial. I can’t stand those horrid Coke Zero “taste infringement” commercials. They aren’t remotely funny and are trying way too hard to be off-kilter. Coke usually does pretty well by keeping their ads simple and clean. Not sure why they went this direction, especially since a Coke Zero product is much more likely to be purchased by women, but the ads are clearly targeted at males.

Sat 22 Mar 08

A good lazy day. The dogs woke me at about 7 this morning, blissfully unaware of the weekend sleep-in etiquette. So off we went for a run in the park, chasing sticks and barking at ducks. Later, I worked out at the gym, picked up a few books from the library, and watched some NCAA Tourney at home while the dogs lazed around in the dirt outside and Mary headed up some sort of training at her job.

This afternoon we ran over to Home Depot with the intention of picking up some backerboard and additional mortar for the kitchen tile, but got sidetracked when we walked through the hardwood flooring section. Hmm, bamboo flooring? Just locks in place over a moisture barrier, you say? No mortar, no cutting tile?

So we bought 200 square feet of it. After getting home we actually did a little more research and I think we’ve decided that’s it’s a bit too likely that the dog’s nails will gouge the bamboo to ribbons (much like they did our oak floors in GR). So, it’ll be back to Home Depot soon. Kind of shame, I think a bamboo-floored kitchen would’ve looked awfully sharp.

Fri 21 Mar 08

Getting there. I spent a few hours after work on Wednesday hacking away at the wood squares on the kitchen floor with the claw end of a hammer. Fire in my lower back and very slow progress. Yesterday I decided that I had to find something more efficient, so after work I wandered around the Ace Hardware around the corner, eventually settling on a Stanley Super Wonder Bar as my weapon of choice. This worked exponentially better for prying up chunks of flooring rather than splintering with the hammer. That is not a Wonder Bar pictured in the left-hand picture below, just a regular old metal bar that I found in our garage that came in handy a couple times today. Still explosions in my lower back, but nothing I can do about that I guess.

Today I put in probably ten hours flailing away on the eight billion nails, staples, and glue. Having some amazing entertaining college basketball games running in the background helped, as did making visible progress. As it stands now the kitchen is stripped to the original subfloor and ready to be rebuilt (which may or may not happen this weekend). I’ve just started planning the tile layout (as seen in the picture on the right). Nothing fancy, but I think it’ll end up looking decent.

Tue 18 Mar 08

This morning I finally got around to jumping through the necessary hoops to acquire my Washington state driver’s license. The necessary hoops being hanging out at the DMV for forty-five minutes and having my picture taken. While I was leaning against the wall waiting for my number to get called I eavesdropped on the cell phone conversation of a guy sitting about five feet away with a Commercial Driver’s License manual in his lap. Grime-stained jeans shredded at the cuffs, grime-stained baseball cap, grime-stained sweatshirt. The guy was trying to coordinate a backcountry snowboarding trip with a few of his friends for this weekend. I briefly drifted off into my own thought bubble, picturing how my life would be different if I were working construction by day and palling around on the backcountry slopes on the weekends. Trying to figure out what skills and equipment and how much experience one would need to snowboard off the beaten path in the mountains around here

I came snapping back to my eavesdropping though when the guy began talking about a planned photoshoot with Transworld Snowboarding the following weekend (something about a $10 grand bonus if he made the cover, but that they were at least guaranteed four pages) and then continued on about coordinating with Shaun White and Ross Powers for an upcoming freestyle competition in Utah. Lodging and airfare paid for by Burton and Dragon. And it wasn’t braggadocio or anything, just the matter-of-factness that comes with an every day occurrence (in the manner of, hey I’ll pick up some beer on the way out if you want to bring the steaks). So, I guess that answers my “how much experience” question.

Day two. More kitchen destruction. I scrapped the peeling of the linoleum and yanked out the subfloor underneath instead. With a circular saw I sliced up sections of the floor about a quarter inch deep then pried up the stapled down wood. Only to discover a patchwork of wood squares underneath. Nothing too classy, so I’m going to stick with the planned ceramic tile. As the floor currently stands I’ve still got about an inch and three quarters of wood in the kitchen which should be plenty sturdy for our light use. My options now are to lay the ceramic tile down over the wood squares (undulates a bit in places and has staples sticking up everywhere) or to remove the wood squares and lay tile over the next layer of subfloor (more work and a waste of a lot of decent wood). I’m leaning toward the second option but will make that decision tomorrow.