Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Assholes and Range Rovers

I've long held the belief that if you're driving a range rover, you're probably an asshole. It's about a 90% certainty. Call it a personal stereotype if you will but it is so true. Think of the type of person that could afford to buy one of these vehicles. The cheapest Range Rover is $80,000. So to buy or lease one you have to be upper middle class bordering on leaping over that glass wall to rich. If they had already leaped over the wall, they wouldn't be driving a range rover, they'd be driving Porsche Cayenne. After all, the British Made Range Rover since its resurgence 5 - 7 years ago as a status vehicle does not have a great service record. It is notoriously finicky, not being able to put up with any climate change, dirt, dust or hard driving. It certainly is a distant relative to it's inspiration, the original Range Rover that conquered Africa from a tourist perspective.

Male drivers of Range Rovers are the worst assholes of the species. That deep feeling of entitlement and right of way. I am everything to everyone, the world revolves around me, get out of my way - sound familiar? Just this morning myself and 3 other drivers were cut off by an entitled black Range Rover whose life was obviously more important than ours.

Take your own poll. For the next month, watch all the range rover drivers. How many times do you see a range rover and not say, "asshole". Seriously, try it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Monday - 9th Week

The tile layout begins. It should be fascinating and interesting. Only a special contractor could put up with our design demands. Wes is patient and creative which is quite conducive to progress occurring. Here Dena is approving a tricky tile layout with these small, Japanese 1" x 4" tiles. You have to give her credit, who else could pull off a mission style kitchen with cherry cabinets, green tile, granite with a millions shades of green and some white and rust quartz thrown in, and yellow walls...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - 8 weeks

The granite has arrived. It truly was like Christmas. There were 6 guys working in the house that day and it was about 100 degrees outside. So I suppose it wasn't much like Christmas... The granite is beautiful but apparently nothing can be accomplished without problems and drama. There was a large scratch on one of the pieces and the installer decided to attempt to fix it even though he told me he wasn't the specialist at this. What resulted was that the scratch is gone but the polish is gone as well. So, we will wait and see what Monday brings, and it had better bring the specialist over and it had better magically be fixed when I come home from work. These are all the photos Dena got before I came home and freaked out that it wasn't covered. That's all I need are more scratches! It's covered now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our new iMac

We have recently purchased a new Apple iMac. At first I was pretty cool to the idea and had a mindset that this was going to be Dena's computer and I could just use it for doing videos. Now that I've had a chance to play on it a little I'm getting quite excited. Using iPhoto for sorting pictures seems pretty cool, especially using the facial recognition. I'm starting on a couple hard cover photo books as well and hope to move into digital scrapbooking in a couple weeks.

We purchased this Apple One to One package , $ 99 for one year of basically personal one on one training. I think that is pretty cool. My first class is this Saturday at 8am. What can I say, I'm a morning person. I need to be trained as there is no right click in the Mac world. What is up with that? And sometimes windows move around and blur out and it's confusing. I'm sure I must be doing something but I have no idea what. I'm also sure that all the shortcuts I know on the PC are somewhere on the Mac but I need to be trained on what they are.

After only 2 weeks of using the Mac on a cursory basis I have to say that I would strongly recommend it to anyone needing a new computer. The AppleCare package and the One to One package allowed us to drag Dena's old desktop into the Apple store and they magically transferred all folders, documents, calendar and contacts over to the Mac. There was some cleanup to do but that was inevitable. The computer is 7 years old for crying out loud. All in all, I'm very happy with our new purchase, especially since it was 12 months, no interest financing :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update On Life

We have a pause in the kitchen remodel. Hopefully just a couple days but now it's really all about the granite. The granite fabrication is being done right now at SMG Stone's shop out in Sun Valley. We are scheduled for installation this Friday. That will be incredibly exciting. Maybe I'll have to take the day off or maybe I should work and just be surprised when I come home. Much needs to be done in preparation to drive for completion next week, finalizing flooring, some cabinet tweaking, baseboards, molding and the list goes on and on and on. The devil is truly in the details when dealing with all of this but we are now looking toward the future and the eventuality of a house re-warming party.

Appliances are scheduled for Friday October 2nd delivery. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Week 7 Cabinets Stained

The cabinets are stained and apparently we will have two days of peace and quiet. That will be nice. Everyone now waits for the granite.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Start of Week 7

This day was about as exciting as Christmas for me. I was awake at 4:19 am, my mind awash with anticipation, worry, excitement and fear. A day we've anticipated for almost a year was here, new cabinets. I was worried that something wouldn't fit. I was excited that a major milestone was getting wiped off my schedule and afraid it would look terrible, shrinking the kitchen to a tiny footprint. Almost all my freaking out was for naught. Almost.....there was a little moment of hissy fit between the contractor and the cabinet guy, but once over that it all moved along fairly well. A couple little tweaks here and there that our wonderful contractor will have to be made but all in all, it went well and more importantly, it looks FABULOUS!
Tomorrow the stainer will be here to mask for staining and the granite tech will be here to measure. Whew. Projected completion date.....October 3rd.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This Says It All

This really says it all. This guy was spotted at lunch in downtown Los Angeles yesterday. Job sites say you need to be creative in finding a job in this economy. Yes, you do, but if no one is hiring your creativity will get you blogged about perhaps, but not get you a paying gig.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 Years Later

A day that touched everyone

A moment that endures year after year

A vision etched into our memory

An act that changed the world

And the lives of so many

Such is the legacy of September 11th

May we never forget

the loss of so much

and so many

of innocence

of lives

of peace

-- Dawn Armstrong 9-11-2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - The Other Shoe

In true pessimistic fashion I knew we were moving along too well, even despite the fire and flood. No remodel or contractor/sub-contractor experience is complete without some bullshit. I had a feeling it would be with the flooring guy. As you can see by the picture he laid flooring underneath most of the cabinets. That's bad if you have a leak because you now need to replace wood flooring that disappears under cabinets that you don't really want to move. After all, there will be granite on top of them! Also, what you don't see is that he neglected to put down a vapor barrier between the wood sub floor and the red oak. While it is not absolutely necessary in the Los Angeles climate it was part of the quote to my knowledge and I feel ripped off. I had a feeling about this guy even though I'd never met him. You should trust your intuition I guess.

As Dena would say, look at the bright side....the floor looks good.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - 36 days

Saturday - what a day. Our Saturdays have been jam packed every weekend for the last 3 months. Always one or more things to research, price, shop for, measure, or buy for the kitchen. Today was no exception. We were at Mission Tile in South Pasadena at 9am when they were supposed to open to order all our tile. They apparently decided to close down shop for the entire Labor Day weekend. That was a drag. Then it was off to Crown City Hardware to return a handle (an expensive one), then off to Woodland Hills to the Ferguson Lighting Showroom to look at LED under cabinet lighting. We have finally made a decision on the under cabinet lighting deciding on the direct wire CounterMax LED strip. Apparently, you practically need to be an electrical engineer to figure it all out. I think I've rambled on in previous posts enough about all the challenges of it. They are, of course, back ordered until October 1st.

It is now just after noon, we're home already and discovered a coat of primer had been applied to the kitchen and our new unfinished red oak flooring delivered. That funny little "window" in the wall above Dena's head is our new built in spice rack. We added that at the last minute last week.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - 35 days

Amazing progress has occurred I have to say. The drywall is done and tomorrow, on day 36, they will prime it all up to prepare for painting. Also tomorrow, our flooring guy will drop off our oak flooring and plywood covering. Today we lined out tile design and nailed down how many square feet of each tile type will be required.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Cabinets....

We went out looking at our new cabinets today and we liked them. More decisions had to be made and new things were discovered. We only have 1.25" for the valance for under cabinet lighting. This will further restrict our choices. Under cabinet lighting is in my humble opinion akin to rocket science. There are a vast number of choices, each of them with pros and cons and everyone has an opinion.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - The New Panel!

Remember when remodelling to document everything especially when the walls are open. You want to know where every pipe, cable and vent is.