Thursday, September 11, 2008

you wanted pictures, Jamie, you gots pictures.

sink and counterOkay, here's a picture on the right of the new countertop showing the breakfast bar, with the sink I just put in a couple days ago. The icon is purposely small so you have to click on it to see it in all its glory. The flooring project starts in the near future; the boxes of Marmoleum tile are under yonder diningroom table. First, we must paint the walls and put the cabinet doors back up. We also have some swell pendant lights (which would be cropped in that picture if they were up yet) to hang once those two tasks are complete.

There's a whole lotta stupidity to report about putting that sink in, but the minutae in words gets pretty cluttered so let's see how well I can sum it up. I thought it was going to be a half-hour project, because it should have been. Apply caulk, drop sink in, hook up plumbing, ta-daa! But no. I laid the caulk then put the sink in....The hole I'd cut and tiled around was a little small (by 1/4 of an inch), and I'd put the sink in while I was putting the counter together to try to avoid that but failed anyway. Quick, dash to the hardware store, get a $20 carbide wheel for the grinder, trim the front edge a mite. This is where the Three Stooges style slapstick comedy comes in -- the grinder wouldn't start because the switch inside wouldn't go far enough forward, I'd have to pull out two screws to turn it on with the power unplugged, then I'd plug it in and within seconds the protective shield would slide off so I'd have to power it off (the external switch worked for that!) and take the wheel off to fix the shield... This comedy happened twice. Finally I got all the components together long enough to make that trim, hurray. But now the whole kitchen is covered in grey dust, obviously including all that caulk, and the air is thick. So I have to peel that caulk off and lay more down after I clean the place up. (Yes, I have a professional dust & vapor mask. It's pink.) I get the sink in and it doesn't lay flat on half of the front side, but the back and two side sides are fine -- the tiles where everyone can see aren't level. Nothing I can do about that except stuff caulk in there, and by this time I'm stepping on the tube because it's 99.5% empty.

Finally I get to the point where I can do the plumbing. Let it be known that I like doing electrical but I hate doing plumbing. Electrical, the light either goes on or it doesn't; you either get shocked or you don't. Plumbing has more variables and weaknesses, and less of an immediate indication that there's a flaw. Summing up, I had to redo the drain elbow part five or six times, plus take the faucet back out because there was a leak in a place that there shouldn't be. And there was another run to the hardware store because the water taps on the wall are 1/2" diameter but (surprise!) the connectors on the water lines to the faucet -- which are built onto it, I can't replace them like the guy at the hardware store believed I could -- are 3/8" diameter. Genuine stupidity: they don't sell the adaptors themselves. I had to buy two kits which contained the adaptor plus a water line and another adaptor for a different size tap. Guys? Do something about that. But eventually I had a drip-free plumbing arrangement that worked with my pretty new sink. <3 And the next day, the instruction sheet for how to install the sink fell out of the box bottom, where it had been hiding under the flaps... tossing the box onto the back porch once the project was done dislodged it.

The rest of the current project, as you will see in all its glory if you click this little picture on the left, is doing well also. We got the oven along with the microwave, it's in the driveway waiting for us to do the flooring. The cabinet's countertop is swell, the little pan cabinet is in place and has been fitted with a butcherblock top, the overhead cabinets are up, and the hooded microwave is present and functional. new cabinets and microwave Oh, I have some teeth-gritting stories about getting the microwave up (simple version: the manufacturer's paper template I followed when drilling holes didn't quite match where the holes really needed to be) and fitting the exhaust pipe (the words "powerlifter's prolapsed rectum" describe part of the fun) but you don't want to hear them. I still have all my fingers despite the exhaust pipe adventure, I purchased my first roll of duct tape ever and actually used it on ducts -- for the record, the instructions said to use it, this wasn't a default guy thing, though I will concede I used 3/4 of a roll on one project -- and happily that's all in a cabinet no one will look in lest anyone accuse us of being Crackheads™, and my wife believes the truly good news is that since the new microwave is on a different circuit than everything on the left side of the house (as our old microwave is) you can now run the toaster and the microwave at the same time without dimming the lights. Personally, I think that's a flaw of her toaster. Oh, and the custom-order 12" wide cabinet turned out to be too wide -- we made a mistake measuring (we should have measured from the SIDE of the existing cabinet to the wall, not the edge of the old countertop, since the new countertop is half an inch wider than the old one), and the cabinet place claims it can no longer get 9" cabinets suddenly. So that thing in the right corner came from Lowe's, and that $70 thing in the driveway is going to Habitat For Humanity's thriftstore. All the bare wood you see will get painted shortly.

Final stupidity, which has nothing to do with the house: My mother-in-law called to say her new coworker at the place she volunteers is my ex-fiancee. Well, hmm, that's a little uncomfortable... Small freakin' town, that's all I can say.

Discomfort is when they get close and your ex starts coming along for dinner.
I think you just took that to the next level.... *shudder*
it's what I bring to the table!
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