Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scope Creep

We've all taken on projects that end up being a lot bigger than originally anticipated. At work we call this phenomenon "scope creep". At home it's called "Oh for the love of God, what now?"

For being the one who's been complaining, cajoling and -- dare I say -- nagging about the carpeting for years, it's ironic that the JB suddenly got cold feet now that the engineered compressed resin and fiber board planks started meeting the subfloor.

Sure, he thinks the master closet looks great. But now that I'm crossing the threshold and expanding into the bedroom, he's having second thoughts. Last night he suggested waiting until after the holidays.

There are a couple fundamental issues at play here.

One is that we're having difficulty agreeing upon the orientation of the faux wood planks. Should they go North/South or East/West? For JB this is nothing more than a simple aesthetic decision. I'm having trouble explaining to him that this decision impacts where in the room we start laying planks, how much cutting and waste there will be and whether we can make the layout flow from one area to another without seams.

Another issue is that this project is forcing us to make decisions we aren't (more specifically, he isn't) prepared to make. For example, there's a vanity in our master bedroom which we rarely use. Since we only have the one bathroom we don't want to get rid of it completely. You know, in case of a Bridesmaids style Brazilian food emergency. But it's much larger than it needs to be and it's made of that cheap, tacky cabinetry that construction contractors use to cut costs.

We've often discussed removing it and now we have to make a decision: do we wrap the new flooring around it, or do we yank it out now? Sure, we can agree to disagree, but that won't get the job done.

Then there's the havoc such a project wreaks in the rest of the house when an entire room needs to be emptied to pull up the carpeting and install the flooring. This is also exposing a secondary problem which has always been present in our relationship since the first day we moved in together twelve years ago.

Stuff. Together we have too much stuff. Normally it's packed into nooks and crannies or stacked precariously in the back of closets waiting to avalanche down and smother the poor soul who's only mistake was hesitating longer than the maximum two seconds required to safely open and close the closet door.

Normally all of our stuff is not in our face and can be blissfully ignored. Domestic harmony reigns. But now it's scattered around the general living quarters like an episode of Hoarders.

As every conceivable surface is now covered with stuff, we're having to use our stuff as the surface for other stuff. Last night we ate spaghetti on a stack of board games we never play, many still in the shrink-wrap. That's how I know we have two different versions of Cranium. (Regular and "Primo Edition".)

I'm hoping this project will prompt us to shed some of this stuff before JB has a nervous breakdown in the process.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Closet Wood

I've been planning to install wood flooring since we moved into our condo nine years ago. The carpeting wasn't in bad shape when we moved in, but hasn't fared too well over the years.

Sure, some of it is just normal wear and tear. If I were the finger-pointing type I could easily cast aspersions toward my two cats or wine drinking husband. But if I did, they could counter with the snow-globe conflagration of 2008 and I don't want to give them that opening.

You accidentally focus the sun's rays onto the drapes and berber one time and you're forever labeled a pyromaniac. The Fire Inspector said it could happen to anybody. But he could only keep a straight face for a few seconds before he and the rest of the ladder company burst out laughing. One of the firemen slapped me on the back as he guffawed through his breathing apparatus. Based on the size and longevity of the hand print, I'm guessing he was the one who busted down the door.

Whereas our front door frame was shattered into splinters, there really wasn't much damage to the carpet. Just a small scorch mark that Julie said looked like a cat butt-scoot. I was able to fix it with a pair of nail trimmers. Unfortunately not before the insurance agent found it necessary to cut out a square foot sample from the middle of the living room to take back to his insurance laboratory. This explains our creative furniture arrangements since then.

This weekend I actually began the project of replacing the carpet with flame-retardant, wood-like laminate flooring. I started in the closet because I lacked self-confidence and -- taking a cue from the instructions on my box of Just for Men -- thought it best to first test my handy-manliness in an inconspicuous area.

This is also the location of the litter box and, while one of our cats is half blind, the other is just fat and lazy. They treat the litter box as more of a suggestion, an abstract concept representing eons of feline subjugation by a clearly inferior race.

I probably should have hired a contractor to do this work. And a hazmat team. This morning I woke up with every muscle aching. My knees are raw and even my nipples are sore. (I know, weird, right?) But so far I'm happy with the results.

Fifty square feet down, 1,250 to go.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rinse, Spin, Dance, Repeat

A few months ago I wrote about my new Samsung washer and dryer combo and being surprised by the interesting tune it plays to let me know when a cycle is complete. (Rinse, Spin, Dance) I finally got around to recording this electronic ditty. It turns out I could have saved myself the effort and just linked to one of the many, nearly identical videos others have already uploaded to YouTube. Just try not moving to this beat.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Whack

Whenever I hear the term "edging" my first thought is always, "who has time for that?"

So when I was gifted with an extra hour of time on Sunday, I decided to splurge it on myself.

Within ten minutes I'd misjudged my first approach and tumbled right over the edge. By minute twelve I was sound asleep. When I woke up two hours later, it was already getting dark.

Later I asked a friend about his Sunday. His day began with a long run, coffee with friends, then brunch before getting a head-start on work for the week to come. Followed by a beer bust.

Me? I jerked off. I really need to work on my time management skills.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Tale Of Two Gourds

On Halloween I carved a pumpkin.

Evidently, the pumpkin I carved bears a spooky resemblance to a Canadian man's inflamed testicle...

The good news is that the testicle tumor, while it looks unfriendly, was found to be completely benign. Which is more than I can say for my pumpkin five days later...

The bad news? Both the testicle and the pumpkin met the same fate: tightly sealed in a Hefty bag and tossed in a dumpster.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Harley Halloween

The second year in a row of my new Halloween tradition: Giving words to Shar-Peis who can't speak for themselves.

See more of Harley's adorable Halloween costumes over at Nice to see StevieB.