Altering Habits

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2008-05-05, 2:37 p.m.

Day 1349 Planning Tiles

First off – thanks for the comments on the kitchen. Can’t believe we’re in the final stages on it. Been a long 3 months.

Re-cycled from Friday:

Weekend is coming, must have work to do in the kitchen. This time around? Backsplash tile. We have that onyx tile stuff for most of area in between the base & wall cabinets. For behind the stove, we got a ceramic tile done in a bronzy glaze. Because the onyx is just another form of marble (calcium carbonate?) it is VERY susceptible to damage from acids. Acids like lemon juice, tomato sauce, vinegar – all very normal cooking liquids. So, rather than get all wrapped around the axle about not splashing yummy foods on the tile, we opted to get tile that could tolerate it.

But the planning! How to transition from the onyx to the ceramic? How to transition from the onyx to flat wall? What about all the flippin outlets? Put the tiles under the outlet tabs so the covers sit ON the tile, or let them be recessed? Either way, is it possible to lay it out to minimize cuts? Can I cut it with nibblers? How about a Dremel tool with a cut off wheel? Do I get to rent a wet saw? (Those are fun! With WARM water.)

Good lord – I could “what if” till the cows come home. So. We’re going out tonight to pick out a bull nose tile for edging the onyx. Once we now how wide it is we can plan the rest of the layout.

Know what I found out earlier in the week? It’s pretty common knowledge that Gary the Sadistic Bastard Spin Instructor Extraordinaire (GSBSIE) cheats on his resistance wheel. I’d suspected so for a long time, but it turns out that other guys suspected it too. I can’t really ask the girls. We guys talk about it in the locker room. I don’t think the ladies would appreciate us going in their locker room to talk gossip about the instructors. (Besides, very few of the girls actually use the locker room. Most of them wrap their stinky, glistening selves in their coats and go home. Eeeewwww.)

ANYHOW. One of the guys overheard GSBSIE chatting with someone after class onr morning and he admitted that it had been quite a while since he’d used any real resistance while “leading the class”. I’m hurt by this. Severely.

Here I was thinking my legs & lungs were somehow deficient because I couldn’t pump away at 120 beats per minute at a resistance setting where I had to pretty much stand on the pedal to get it to move. Here I was thinking he was going like a bat outta hell up the hill and he’s REALLY sitting there paddling like a duck. Come to think of it he does have a habit of sprinkling water on his head – ostensibly to cool off. That must be his simulated “sweat”. Wait till I tell the mayor!! (Gary is the “spokesperson” for the mayor – his media outlet. Speech writer too. He’s pretty good at it.)

This little revelation makes me wonder about the other instructors now too. Bill? Hardly sweats. Julie? Used to get off her bike and walk around the class. Patty? Geeze, Patty sweats MY balls off. She’s genuine, as are Cherie (done several century rides) and Maria (triathlons). Leo (triathlete) would really work, but he was rhythm challenged. Actually, so is Bill. Bottom line? I gotta work to my satisfaction, regardless of the perceived effort of the instructor.
Tomorrow. Weather here is supposed to be crapola. Showers, thunder showers, breezy. Good day to stay inside and put up tile. Sunday? Supposed to be cooler, but drier. Good day for a bike ride. Going to try for 60 miles.

Day 1352

Well, most of the weekend went as planned. Back splash tiles are up. The funky bronzy glaze tiles are in behind the range. That was Saturday. Even snuck in a little grocery shopping (exciting!). Sunday I went and rented a wet saw to cut all the little pieces I needed to fit around outlet boxes. That part went pretty well. But (always one of those hanging around), we were short 1 (one!!) of the bronze colored tiles. I think the discrepancy was in the layout. I had planned one version and ordered tiles accordingly. Decided against that version Saturday morning. The new layout (very, very subtle change) uses 2 more tiles. Well, I only ordered 1 extra, so with the new layout we were 1 short. There was an easy out available. The bottom row of tiles sorta disappears behind the range. I don’t really need an entire row (6) of full tiles to fill the space. I really only need half tiles. Solution? Cut 3 tiles in half, producing the 6 partials needed to fill the space. Easy, right?

If I got the saw back to the rental place before 2, I’d only get charged for 4 hours rental rather than a full day – a $14 savings. I finished up with the detail cutting on the onyx tile just as Cindy was getting lunch ready. Cindy finished the grilled cheese sammiches, I cleaned up. Had lunch, put the saw in the van and headed to Home Creepo.

Returned the saw, saved $14, scooted home to finish installing moldings and watch the hockey game. I’m not sure just when it dawned on me, but at some point in the afternoon I realized one key thing. I never cut those bronzy tiles. Now, I had to cut a couple Saturday to get them to fit properly, but it was only a couple and they were smallish cuts. I have a tile cutter for ceramic tiles. It’s like a big glass cutter on rails. For what I needed to do at the time it worked fine. I really didn’t care about the off ends as they were too small to do anything with. But I did notice that NONE of the breaks were clean and none of them ran the entire length of a tile.

My new mission? Find a way to cut this stuff without a wet saw. Right now, I’m thinking dremel tool with a cut off wheel, but that could be excruciatingly slow and could eat up the cut off wheels pretty fast. Saber saw is out of the question. Maybe a cutoff wheel for the table saw? These tiles don’t appear to be stone or ceramic. When you hold a full tile and rap it with your knuckle, you can make yourself believe it’s plastic. But then there’s how it reacts on the tile cutter – more like glass. And the edges of the sheared off pieces is extremely sharp – again, like glass.

I have 5 tiles. I need 6 halves. Seems like pretty good odds. If I can get ONE of them to cleave cleanly in two, I can gnaw my way through the rest of them, as long as I end up with a clean half. Thing is, I don’t want to be forced to gnaw my way through the first four and be left with a do or die on the last tile. Something will work, right?

Heh – I could go to the place we got the tiles (same place that did out counters) and order ONE tile. But that would look silly. I think I’d rather go through all these gymnastics than be forced to order a single, lone tile.

Called Cindy to the mat concerning her morning grumpiness. Saturday, I was trying to elicit responses from her regarding decisions about tile layouts, how to handle certain situations if they came up, the color of the sky, was she ready to get going yet, - a whole host of things from immediate questions on the kitchen to just general how ya doin this morning stuff. I was mostly getting ignored. At one point, I had actually gotten her to come take a look at something. It was centered around where to start/end a particular run of tiles. After getting yet another glaring lack of response, I just looked at her and asked “What planet are you ON this morning?”

She’s just so damned slow to warm up in the mornings. I’ve told her before that her quietness, sullenness, internal navel gazing, what ever it is, makes me uncomfortable - in a guilty way. In a ‘Oh geeze, what have I done to piss her off now?” way. It’s something we’re trying to work on. We worked o it Sunday by my teasing her good naturedly about it for most of the morning. She took it in the same light attitude in which it was given.

Anyhow. 98% of the tiles are up. Looks pretty awesome. Mostly. Trying to convince myself that I like the onyx with the granite. I like the onyx with the bronze. I like the bronze with the granite. Completing the triangle is a little difficult. We’re also a little torn on what color to use on the outlet covers. We were thinking of picking one of the greens in the onyx. Ended up just using the wall color (Raspberry Truffle) Held some samples up and thought it looked ok during the day. Later on towards evening we looked at it again and it didn’t seem to go as well. The changing quality of the light must have been hitting the onyx different, bringing out a different palette of tones. Now we’re back to at least testing different shades of green. Oh joy!

No bike riding this weekend either. Besides being really busy with kitchen jobs, the weather here was kinda funky. Warm Saturday, but had pretty strong thunder boomers by afternoon. Sunday morning was sprinkly & very cool. Dried up by afternoon, but was so windy that riding would have been a challenge, especially headed west. No spin classes Saturday either – the Y was having their Y-athlon and apparently needed time, space, equipment, SOMETHING. Like I had time for the Y anyhow.

So here I am, a month to go before the Tour de Cure, and I built up to a 40 mile ride. I’ve got 4 weekends to get to 80+ miles. Getting in 60 this weekend would be good, maybe aim for 75 next weekend, and 90 the weekend of the 24th. Maybe, just maybe, do a solid 100 May 31/June 1 weekend (maybe a ride to Jill’s parents & back? That’s 75 one way though)

During our family style dinner yesterday, I sort of let out that I was considering taking on a trip around Lake Ontario next summer. Didn’t go over well. 3 people thought it was a neat idea if not a little crazy (The Bob, Zach & Jill), one person thought the crazy part was me taking ‘that many days vacation’ with out her. (That’s why they call it vacation dear!)

Honestly? Hadn’t considered that. When I first hatched the idea of circumnavigating the Lake (600ish miles – that’s why it’s a “great” lake), Cindy and I were on seriously bad terms. The thought of being alone for a week was a carrot dangling on a stick – something in the future to aim for. Now we’re in better shape as a couple. So much better that I think we’re having a talk about this LoLO (Lap of Lake Ontario) idea of mine. Well, the bike trip idea and apparently the selfish tendencies that can lead to crazy thoughts like spending a week alone on your bike because you want to.

I fear she resents my biking. She’s gonna have to get over it. I think she doesn’t likeit because it’s not something we can do together. Well we could, but it would be utterly unsatisfying for me. Cindy would likely do a mile in 10 minutes and hork up a lung. Smoking will do that to you. Maybe that will come up in our little chat tonight too.

Better run.

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old habits - new tricks