Remodeling the Kitchen During a Pandemic

April

It all started with the mystery wet spot in the carpet next to the kitchen. It was about 4 inches in diameter and had no apparent source.

May

On May 2, a post on Reddit’s home improvement sub led me to check under the dishwasher. I found water steadily dripping from one side of the dishwasher because an $18 valve had been leaking.

The water inlet valve

We removed the subfloor under the dishwasher and replaced it with plywood. I replaced the valve and began to wonder how extensive the damage had been. I imagined there was an under-floor stream that went from the dishwasher directly across the kitchen to the wet spot in the carpet. It was obvious that we would probably have to remove all of the wood laminate flooring but we had been planning that for some time anyway.

The river under the floor highlighted in blue. The original wet spot is circled in red.

After some rudimentary attempts to facilitate drying, on May 26 I posted on Reddit asking what else I should (or could) do. One helpful user told me to call my homeowners insurance company. This advice changed our lives.

June

Our insurance claim was accepted on June 9 and two weeks later our kitchen was entirely enclosed in plastic with dryers and dehumidifiers running 24 hours a day. Everything had been torn out including the floor, subfloor and all the cabinetry. We had to move the contents of our kitchen and dining room to the nearby family room.

We packed most of the contents of the kitchen and dining room into our family room.

The temperature inside the house peaked at 93º despite the “bubble” surrounding the dryers. This went on through the rest of the month.

Dehumidifiers and dryers. The kitchen was over 90º at night.

July

After everything was dry, negotiations between contractor and insurance company stretched over three frustrating weeks. Our original estimator left the contractor company shortly after our project began and the new estimator struggled with the regimented process required by the insurance company. On July 23, we signed a contract to have our kitchen rebuilt from floor to ceiling and it seemed like we would soon be done eating take-out on the picnic table on the deck outside and washing dishes in the laundry room.

August

Because the moisture had touched all the adjoining rooms – dining, family, living room/office and entryway – we got new floors for five rooms. We elected to have the same vinyl planking installed in all five. The contractor crew installed vinyl planking in all five rooms from August 3-6. They also put in new baseboards and repainted the kitchen.

Planking underway

No further work would be done in August as we awaited the cabinet maker but on August 11 we were able to move the stove back into the kitchen and return to eating at the dining room table. We were still stuck using the laundry room utility sink, though.

We temporarily reassembled the kitchen as best we could.

September

The new cabinets were installed on September 1 and 2 but we did not have counters yet.

Cabinets but no knobs, pulls or sink.

Tina had purchased the sink of her dreams from Wayfair after we cleared it with the project manager. Unfortunately, he had made a mistake because the sink required granite counters but we had decided to use the less expensive laminate counters. After we considered an upgrade to granite, we decided to send back the sink and go ahead with the laminate. It seemed that we were close to the finish line when a strong, dry wind blew into Oregon on September 7. Two days later the sky began to darken.

Rotating from northern view to western and then southern view.

Eventually the smoke from nearby fires would blanket Portland and the surrounding area for over a week. Our contractor was incommunicado during this time, further delaying the project. Eventually, we realized that they had been evacuated due to their close proximity to forest fires. The smoke cleared by mid-September but counter installation was delayed until the end of the month. In the meantime, they installed our new over-the-range microwave and moved the refrigerator back into place.

Finally, the counters were installed along with the new sink.

We had to wait a few more days for the dishwasher to be installed due to a part that had gone missing.

There should be a rubber gasket around this part.

October

Five months after discovering the source of the leak, our new kitchen remodel was finally nearing completion. During the first few days of October the dishwasher was installed, the backsplash was put into place and the finishing touch was the addition of door knobs and drawer pulls.

Our glorious new kitchen
Reverse angle of the completed kitchen

Epilog

I began shopping for a new refrigerator in November and found the perfect deal shortly before Christmas. The deal was so good that the model went out of stock for two months. It was finally delivered in February.

Whirlpool French Door in black stainless steel

Mega Cool Super Church (and Technology)

Saturday I drove down to Happy Valley to pick up Graham following an overnight at his friend’s house. On the way there I saw a monstrous building and noted it was a church. On the way back home, we stopped so I could get a picture. I posted the first picture to Instagram (warning: link opens iTunes). In that picture, I included the sign as a point of reference but it somewhat eclipsed the gigantic church so I moved a few steps east and snapped another:

Abundant Life Church
Continue reading “Mega Cool Super Church (and Technology)”

All I Got For Xmas 2010



All I Got For Xmas 2010
Originally uploaded by rynosoft

Once again I had a very bountiful Christmas. Click the picture to see the details but my gifts included:

  • Earth: The Book
  • Microwave safe soup bowl
  • Soup spoons
  • Chopsticks
  • Microwave safe coffee cups
  • Instant coffee
  • My four favorite Beatles albums remastered
  • $75 in cash
  • Personal audio mixer
  • Let It Be…Naked
  • Sugar free candy
  • New earphones for my iPhone
  • Six pack of grilling sauces/rubs
  • Two iTunes gift certificates worth $45 (not pictured) – redeeming for various apps and songs
  • Amazon gift certificate for $50 (not pictured) – redeemed for iLife ’11

Thanks to Buddy, Leroy, Tom, Jan, Michelle & Ric, Tina, Thomas, Graham and the Kittens. I know I’m hard to shop for and appreciate when people do so anyway.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

If you were a teen in the 80s like me then you probably remember the short-lived sketch comedy series, Fridays, on ABC. Although it only lasted two seasons, it left an indelible impression on my young brain.

Sadly, a DVD release of those two seasons is reportedly held up by Michael Richards. Luckily, YouTube has most of their great sketches including the ones I’ve included below the fold:
Continue reading “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll”

“It’s Like Two People in a Room Talking”

While chatting with my old friend, Rob, I noticed he was typing a weird character combo. So I asked him about it:

Rob gives the thumbs up
Rob uses Apple’s default chat client, iChat. It supports AIM and Facebook.


Mick sees boobs
I use an open source chat client called Adium. It has support for almost every chat service but evidently doesn’t know how to give the thumbs up.

An Extra Day in Milwaukee

I spent most of last week in Milwaukee (actually Menomonee Falls), Wisconsin, searching for the cause of a crash in our software that is adversely affecting a client. I flew into Milwaukee on Monday, spent three days on the client site and planned to fly back home Thursday evening. Thursday morning I glanced at my Google Calendar on my iPhone for my departure time. This is what I saw:
Continue reading “An Extra Day in Milwaukee”

N E R D


N E R D
Originally uploaded by rynosoft

Last Thursday morning Tina and I got new tattoos in downtown Troutdale. I have a free touch-up which I can use in a couple of months if it starts to lighten. I may get the letters draw bolder then.

Fox News Nation

Facebook Screen Capture

If you’re not on Facebook, this is a couple of screenshots from my “feed” there. This particular person first became a “fan” of  “Fox Business and 11 others” which included Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy and Fox News. Two minutes later they posted their message opposing the new health care reform law. Subsequent comments revealed that it’s extremely unlikely this person understands anything substantial about the debate.

Shoes & Gloves



Shoes & Gloves

Originally uploaded by rynosoft

Yesterday I donned gloves and shoes for trimming back some of the blackberry vines in our yard. As I put them away in our shed, it occurred to me that I regarded them in an equally utilitarian way — occasionally useful for protection but usually just an encumbrance that I don’t need.