Pure Gonzo Engineering

Monday, March 31, 2008

I’ve Never Ran Out of Material to Need That

I’m starting to be “over” C-league much like Phil already is. We lost both of our playoff games on Friday and Sunday night.

I told everyone before the game what I wanted to see. Some basic shit we weren’t doing. Our first game against Fire we were playing them really well in the first period. We were beating them 1-0 and then this fat ex-cop ref called two bullshit penalties against us and we were down 2-1. He continued his horrible calls and eventually we forfeited the game due to too many penalties. I was having fun most of the game sticking on their best player like glue and talking shit to him. One of their other dudes shaved off his firefighter/cop mustache and I was giving him shit about that. He retorted with the typical firefighter response of “You couldn’t do my job.” I told him he was right. I have a college education. I couldn’t do his job. I think he wanted to fight me after that, but I was at the safety of my bench.

Our second game was against Orange, the team we broke off from. I really wanted to beat them. We played an excellent game for the most part. We had the puck in their end for 70% and probably had over 50 shots on net. I personally had about 7 shots on net and 4 good scoring opportunities. Their goalie was on point, and whenever we drew close or ahead, they had one of their couple excellent players score a goal for them. We had to work hard for everything, and their one player would skate down and pop one in. No team effort.

I’m over C-league because of this dude on our team who we dubbed Lucky when we were playing against him. He happened to get placed on our team because I didn’t have a full roster. Lucky’s attitude last night pissed me off big time. No one is within twenty feet of him and the puck comes to him. He just swats it ahead with out taking the time to get control of it or skate it up. I specifically told everyone that I would rather see them get the puck taken away from them attempting to make a pass than just whacking it back to the other teams defense. He’s just skating around last night like he’s fucking running around a gym for a light workout. I concede this is only Peoria Men’s League Hockey, but if you don’t want to play with a little heart then just get a fucking gym membership.

I told everyone at the beginning of the tournament that we were going out for beer after we lost our second time. Only my tattooed buddies and I went out, the rest of them pussed out. Like I said, I’m over it.

I may or may not play in C again this summer since it’s a shortened season, and definitely not this next winter. Phil and some other dude already in B are getting a team together for next winter. I’ve reached a point where other poor players are stifling my skills. I need to play with people as good or better than me to get any better, and to have fun again. I can hold my own at Rat, which is all B and A leaguers. Rat is all I’ll have now until summer.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 15

I've been doing little things since day 11, but nothing really warranting a picture. I put the child locks on, filled in some areas that needed more grout on the floor, painted all the trim, and stained the transition strip that will step down from the tile to the wood floor in the dining room.

Today I started installing the trim. We're using 1X4's and quarter round. I went and got it at the new Menards that they built next to the Super Walmart in North Peoria. It's pretty huge and nice. All their good lumber is inside now, only the treated lumber is outside. I grabbed some select 1X4's and crappy prefinished quarter round which is like some sort of weird composite material but is cheap.

My reconditioned Hitachi miter saw works nice, and it was only $74 including shipping. Reconditioned tools are the way to go, 50-80% off is sweet and they work and look like new.

I just got back from drinking beer with my tattooed hockey buddies, which means we lost two in a row and are out of the tournament. I'll do a post on that tomorrow though since it's quarter to midnight and I have to work tomorrow.

I like doing trim work because it's pretty low key, and with a nice miter saw and my Dad's air nailer it goes fast.

I'm about 60% done. I need to install the transition strip after the poly coat drys and then do the trim on the walls that go from the dining room to the kitchen.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 12

My wife got all the curtains done, and I gave the final wipe down of back splash post grouting. I installed all the child locks on the cabinets. Whoever invented child locks is a sick twisted bastard. They’re awful to install. You’ve got about 1mm tolerance up and down where you need to be in order for them to close by themselves, and not open if you pull too hard on them. I did get to use my new reconditioned Makita 12V cordless though. It, unlike child locks, is a fine piece of engineering. The drill itself was made in China, something went wrong with it, it was reconditioned in the United States, and I got it, two batteries, a quick smart charger, and a case for $80. Sweet deal with a one-year warranty. It looks brand new other than a small dent in the foot of the carrying case.

I should be getting my reconditioned Hitachi miter saw today to work on the trim with. That, a bit of mudding, getting and installing switch and outlet covers, and touch up painting is all that is left.

Tonight we play our first playoff hockey game. I missed the last two games of the season due to my 11-hour days remodeling. I’m not expecting much other than drinking some beer after our second loss in the double elimination format. We peaked in the first part of the season and are shit now. Maybe, just maybe we’ll be able to squeak out one win so we get to play 3 games. Yeah, and maybe I’m a Chinese jet pilot. (A shiny nickel if you know where that’s from).

Maybe I can give some sort of rallying speech, since I’m the Captain. I’m not much for public speaking, I do better when I can type, and re-read and edit and type some more.

Even then I’m average at best.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Crash and Bird

I went to bed at 8:30 last night with Carter. When I woke up this morning I felt rested for the first time since before the kitchen remodel started.

For whatever reason this morning I was thinking about this bird. I think it’s because we’ve got the bird art in the kitchen and dining room now.

I was at work this last summer, and mechanic Dave and I were sitting in a truck waiting for the service truck to come and help us fix this pipelayer. It was a really windy day. We saw this bird who was flying a hundred feet up or so into the wind. He was flapping like crazy, but it was like he was stationary due to the high winds. He could go up and down, but not make any forward progress. All of a sudden he dropped like a rock. I would guess that he was exhausted from fighting the wind and gave up. We both laughed. It was pretty funny at the time. I don’t know what happened to the bird. He was pretty high up and it looked like he hit pretty hard.

That’s life, you struggle and fight until you finally just give up and crash, all the while people who are better off than you are laughing at your predicament.

Have a nice day.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 11

On day 10 nothing really interesting happened so I didn't post anything. I got the floor grout sealed, and took care of a few odds and ends.

Today I returned the tile saw and table saw to my friends at work. They saved me a couple hundred dollars in rental or purchase fees. I did end up deciding to invest in a good Makita drill and a Hitachi miter saw. I got them factory reconditioned for $160 for both.

I grouted the back splash tonight. It went pretty well. We also got some new chairs for the breakfast bar and the dinning room. My wife also returned and created some framed art on the walls.

Tomorrow I'm not doing a damn thing and going to bed early. In a couple days I'll seal the back splash grout, and when I get my saw in the mail I'll start trim work. Then it's done.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Budget and Labor Overview

All right, I get to sit down in my comfortable work chair and reflect for a few minutes. The kitchen is well on it’s way to being finished. All that remains is grouting the back splash, a final coat of sealant on the floor grout, the trim, and touching up some paint.

My original cost estimate was $4450, right now without having bought the back splash grout, and some of the trim, I’ve spent $4368.58. That’s not bad.

To date, I estimate that we’ve put in a total of 187 man-hours of labor in 9 days. That’s an average of 10.4 hours per day per person. I don’t know exactly how much a contractor would charge per man-hour of labor, or if it would be more or less time than we’ve spent, but I’ve got to guess it would be between $60-$80 per hour, some of that time was spent doing specialty work an electrician or plumber would do which would be even higher. That means we’ve saved an estimated $11,220 to $14,960 in labor. Two years ago I bought the house for $104,500. I’m hoping that now with the new roof, new plumbing, new kitchen, and various other small upgrades and improvement we’ve done, I’m hoping I’ve moved it into the $130,000-$140,000 range which is what some of the nicer houses on my street are going for.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 9

I got some big ticket items done today. The light above the sink is in, the back splash is in, and the floor grout is sealed. Everything is mostly picked up. All that remains now is grouting the back splash, childproofing, and trim work. Back to the work I get paid for tomorrow. What a relaxing vacation.

The light with a box for the switch wire because I didn't want to try and fish it to the ceiling.

conduit installed and lights working.

Back splash set.

The glass tile looks nice and ties everything together.

My wife added some birds on a wire in the corner for some art.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 8

I didn't get the back splash up tonight. I'm starting to slow down after 8 days. My hands are raw. Last night I put some lotion and Aquaphor on them and put socks over them while I slept to keep them moist. It helped. There's something in tile grout that dries the hell out of them.

It's hard to get work done when a two year old is following you around wanting to do what you are.

I got a skim coat of thin set down to level the back splash area. I made it a bit wet though so it didn't dry very fast.

We got all the drawer pulls installed

And the dining room cleaned up after the carnage. My wife also got all the window and door trim touched up with white, which I hate doing so I'm glad she did.

Tomorrow I want to get the light fixture in, the back splash tile set, and the floor grout sealed. With those things done, I would just need to grout and seal the back splash and do trim work and touch up paint. Then I think it would be just about done.

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Kitchen Remodel Day 7: Posted on day 8 cause I"m getting tired.

It snowed like hell yesterday in Wisconsin so my Dad stayed an extra full day. We got the kitchen back to a functional point getting the dishwasher, sink, fridge, and stove back into place. We also got the breakfast bar and the little counter top installed.

We put the old uppers in the garage.

Breakfast bar installed.

Sink, dishwasher, and garbage cabinet hardware installed.

The fridge JUST fit.

Pretty much fully functional.

Today we've cleaned up all the construction stuff on the dining room side, installed all the drawer pulls, installed new HVAC vents, and I've just started the back splash. I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the night. I'll post more pictures of the work done today (day 8) tonight.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 6

Today we didn't start working until afternoon since the tile needed to fully set up before we grouted it. In the meantime we got the counters fully secured and cut a hole for the sink and installed it. The silicone sealant needed to dry before we hooked everything up so we grouted the tile.

Grouting tile is much easier than laying tile. It drys out your hands though. I'd wear gloves if I was doing it again.

Tomorrow, before my dad leaves around noon, I want to get the tile wiped again, the sink hooked up and the dishwasher back in, the breakfast bar installed, and the stove back in place.

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Kitchen Remodel Day 5

Beer and painkillers are all that is allowing me to type this right now. It's 1:45 AM. We finished tiling the kitchen about an hour ago. We started laying tile at about noon. We had some other finish up sort of things to do before we laid the tile, so it was about a 16 hour day. I've put in about 33 in the past 48. My body is paying the price. It feels like there are knifes stuck in my back, my hands are skinned up from the cement board, and my feet are swollen and sore from being in boots and bending down all day. This is why people pay to have other people do their kitchen. It's looking pretty damn nice though.

Dry laying the tile to make sure it worked out on the ends.

My first patch of laid tiles ever. It's the spot under the fridge so if I messed it up it wouldn't show. It turned out pretty good.

Kitchen area all laid.

Last tile.

If anyone ever tells you laying 170 square feet of tile is easy, tell them to piss-off.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 4, Marty Shows Up

Today we continued installing the cabinets. My dad nearly killed himself when a piece of filler strip he was cutting kicked back on the table saw and sent a piece of wood flying through and shattering a bottle of torch oil and grazing his hand. Had he been standing directly behind the blade it would have done some serious damage to him. Use all of your saw guards kids, they're there for a reason. We got a lot done today.

Second upper going up.

Luckily expert cabinet installation technician Marty showed up so things went quickly.

Damn he's good.

It's like he's not even exerting himself.

A whole new wall of cabinets, much better than the microwave stand by the fridge.

Counter tops are on and the gaps are OK enough to be able to work with back splash tile and trim work. They aren't screwed on yet. My dad was done after 13 hours of work.

The corner and back of breakfast bar

The glass mosaic we'll be using for the back splash.

Tomorrow it's time to learn how to tile. That will take all day, at least we'll have to wait to do anything else for 24 hours while it dries.

Oh sweet Jesus, it's 10:20 and I have to go paint the ceiling so it's done before the tile gets put down. I just pounded some Mountain Dew so hopefully I can get it done in a couple hours.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 3

What the hell did we do today? It didn't seem like much compared to the two previous days. We got a later start since we busted ass the last two days, and didn't start working until about 9:00. We spent a bunch of the day driving around getting stuff we needed to keep working. An electric box, a bigger mud trowel, a table saw. All that time in the car didn't leave much time to get things done. The finish painting of the walls is done, minus the new wall, and the first cabinet is up, and our mistake (see below) is on the mend.

I can do electric too.

Kitchen finish paint done.

Our screw up. We cut the box outlet for the outlet above the countertop too high (into the bottom of the microwave cabinet. It still kind of needed to be there so we just cut it lower and mudded in the bottom piece on the top.

Uppers prepped.

First cabinet in, square and plum with the world.

Finishing the wall mudding. Lazy Susan out of the box.

Tomorrow we'll start early, and now that I borrowed a table saw from my buddy Eric we can cut filler pieces square and can put in the rest of the cabinets. I'm hoping we can get all the cabinets and counter in tomorrow so we can lay tile in two days.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kitchen Remodel: Day 2

Day two started at 8:00 am. Both my dad and I were sore from yesterday's intense demolition work. We started by laying cement board on the sub floor to give a solid surface to lay the ceramic floor tile on. Here is a good video of how to cut cement board.

The finished floor.

We're adding a row of floor and wall cabinets with a microwave cabinet on this wall. We needed to add two outlets. One for above the counter top, and another for the microwave. It took a while to screw with fishing the wires, but it all worked out pretty well. The fish tape was well worth the $15.

Dad started to rebuild the wall which will hold the breakfast bar, as I prepped for priming the walls with a blue tinted primer.

Drywalling, and looking tired.

Drywalling and mudding and priming done.

Didn't quite get to finish painting today, but we worked from 8 am to 10 pm, so it was a full day. I'm taking all next week off of work. Tomorrow we'll finish paint the walls, and begin cabinet installation.

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