Friday, March 12, 2004

Laundry Room Remodel

We have a number of things on our to-do list for the house. Remodeling the laundry room was lower on the list. That was the case, that is, until recently. It's a long process to how we got to the need to do this, but it started, strangely enough with an EPA regulation.

The EPA told water authorities to start removing organic material from its drinking water. (Leaves and stuff.) Soon afterwards, water pipes throughout our area started springing pinhole leaks. Including some of ours. Fortunately, most of our cold water pipes are not in the side of the basement that we're currently finishing. Unfortunately, the one that leaked was. So we had to make that unexpected repair on a fairly urgent basis. Our plumber warned us of the lousy condition the rest of our cold water pipes were in; we resolved to get those done relatively soon.

Fast forward to the present -- our plumber asks us whether we really want to tie the new pipes into the enormous old, rusting laundry sink. We consider this, and despite our suspicions that this is a good way for the plumber to drum up extra business, it makes sense. So we order a new laundry sink.

Once we have everything pulled up, however, we have a rare opportunity to get at the entire floor of the laundry room. Though we weren't planning to re-do the floor just yet, why spend more energy doing it later, when we have the chance now? This, too, makes sense. Further, the wall behind the (former) sink and the washer (now moved out of the way), is pretty nasty, so we'd probably better do something about that.

This is how we ended up last night resurfacing the basement wall. All because of an EPA regulation. (Don't get me started on how the pipes need to be replaced before we can get DirecTV in more than one room.) Here are some pictures.

Here is the wall before much resurfacing has transpired (although you can see some on the right-hand side). The pipes tie into the former laundry sink and are due to be replaced (tomorrow).

Here is the wall post-resurfacing. There's still more to be done, but the part behind the (new) laundry sink and the washer is the most pressing.

While I'd like to be able to take credit for this remarkable transformation, I proved rather inept at my abortive attempts at resurfacing. I instead assisted Christina, who has done the lion's share of the work on this project. I'd better hurry up and post this before she gets back with the glue for the new vinyl floor tiles.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Up to #19

Well, after a couple of recent outings, I've made it up to Number 19 on the Santa Fe Cafe's NTN rankings. Number 18 is within striking distance, though I don't have any immediate plans to play trivia. Christina has dropped to Number 49 despite some recent play, due to other people around her ranking playing more.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Tour of Duty

Last week, I finished reading Tour of Duty, by Douglas Brinkley. I started reading it before the Maryland Democratic primary, in part to figure out for whom to vote. The book left me with mixed feelings. I ended up voting for Kerry, but it was perhaps in spite of the book. Not that the book made him unlikable...

Of course, since I voted absentee ballot, my vote wasn't counted until after Edwards had already dropped out, so I'm not sure what the point of all that was.

The book made Kerry seem like a thoughtful, principled man. I like the idea of having a President who reads books and thinks about things. You know, like the good old days. Nevertheless, I'm a bit concerned about electing somebody who feels so defined by Vietnam. I recognize (even more after reading the book) that Vietnam was an important part of last century's American experience, but I might prefer someone a bit more forward-looking.

On the other hand, Edwards started hitting the protectionism note a little too hard and began to seem a bit inexperienced. So I went with Kerry. And I'll go with him again in the general election. I'm just wondering...should I read A Charge to Keep first?