Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Guest Bathroom Rennovation, A Project in Five Acts (Act 2)

Act 2

The Law stands before a nondescript full bath.  For months, its serviceable but bland interior has tormented JLlo like Cthulhu rising from the Mountains of Madness.  Determined not to allow such horror of horrors to drag his beloved into the depths of insanity, The Law has gathered his tools and stands at the threshold of the Guest Bathroom.  He is a man on the brink.

The Law:  It is demolition day, Guest Bathroom.  I have come to tear down your perfectly functional facade and rip out your living guts!

Guest Bathroom:  (silence)

Law:  Yes, you heard me.  I am man!  I am the product of millions of years of evolution.  Time and heat and light have transformed what was once a mere speck of loose nucleotides into a living, breathing, thinking  (and most dangerous for you, Bathroom) TOOL WIELDING APEX PREDATOR!

Like this, but with a crowbar...
Bathroom:  (silence)

Law:  Then so be it, Bathroom.

 The Law heaves his crowbar and cracks his first tile.  The feeling of porcelain breaking beneath his his crowbar is invigorating.  His morale swells and he brings a sledgehammer and chisel to bear against ten more repugnant tiles.

Law:  Ha Ha, Bathroom, your tile breaks before my might.  How could I have ever been intimidated by you?  You are weak.  Watch as I crush you with my bare hands!
Take that, Tile!

Bathroom:  (silence).

The Law picks up the tempo.  He is a tornado of tools and dust and tile fragments.  After a while he begins to slow.  He has been working for hours, but has barely made a dent in the demolition.  It seems as if for every tile he smashes and removes, the Bathroom regenerates two more in its place.  All the while, the thick tile dust fills the room.  The Law continues to swing his hammer, but each stroke is slower and slower as the dust bogs down everything.

Pictured:  Two weeks worth of demolition.

Law:  Hack! Cough! Bathroom, your dust chokes me and blinds me!  I can no longer see whether my hammer blows strike true.  It this a tile or my thumb?  Swings hammer.  OUCH!  It is my thumb!  The Law sinks to his knees, barely visible in the dust cloud swirling around him.  Bathroom!  Bathroom!  You knew all along, didn't you?  You knew the traps and snares you hid just below the surface.  I curse you.  I curse your tile.  I curse your fixtures.  Most of all I curse you dated appearance, which first drew me into this maw of dust and despair

Bathroom:  (silence).

 Law:  (drawing on his last strength) No.  I will not be defeated by this mockery of good taste and modern styling.  I must fight on.  Although my spirit has been choked by the dust and gloom, the husk of my former self must rise and swing the hammer once more.  The Law shakily gets to one knee and then finally... barely... he stands!  The hammer swings again!  SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! One by one, the remaining tiles shatter and fall to the floor where The Law listlessly gathers their remnants and removes them to the dumpster.  He is no longer a man on a mission, he is merely a man going through the motions to survive. 

 With the last tile shard removed, and the final speck of tile dust vacuumed away, The Law emerges from the Bathroom and collapses on the hallway floor, broken but victorious.

JLlo:  (from the comfort of the livingroom)  Honey?  What's taking so long?  On HGTV the demolition segment only takes a few minutes and one commercial break.  Are you sure you're working as efficiently as possible?

Bathroom:  (silence)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Guest Bathroom Renovation, a Project in Five Acts (Act 1)

Act 1:

It is late 2010.  Our intrepid couple are relaxing on the couch in their small but comfortable home.  JLlo has done a masterful job of designing the interior of the house with her trademark modern/classy/welcoming style.  The Law has supplied the manual labor reached several tall things around the house.  What a team!

The couple are enjoying a homecooked meal, lovingly prepared, and are simply basking the mountains of free time afforded to them by their careers as a young attorney and medical resident.

JLlo (turning to her husband):  We need to start renovating the guest bathroom.

Law (continuing to eat):  Yeah, you're right.  I suppose we better start thinking about what we want to do, and then maybe we'll get started on the project someday.

JLlo:  I have already considered every possible option for the bathroom and selected the perfect combination of style and cost effectiveness.  We shall begin immediately.

Law:  Gulp! At least working on this will give us lots of time to spend together.

JLlo:  My job requires me to relocate three hours away to Asheville, NC for four months.

Law:  GULP!

And so The Law arises from the couch and stared into the Guest Bathroom... and saw a perfectly servicable, but dated bathroom.  Knowing that such an abomination could not be perimitted to stand, he gathers his tools.

Law (courageously to his wife):  By your love and for the protection of our family, I will demolish this affront to Truth and Beauty and rip it asunder with my own hands.

When you stare too long into the abyss, it stares back into you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Shop Also Rises, Part II.

Wow, this blog hasn't done anything in a long time.  I would like to say that Durham Salad Days has been so dormant because we have been living such full and exciting lives, and that there was simply no time for blogging ... so I will say that, even if it is not exactly 100% accurate.

Loyal readers (i.e. those who have been refreshing every five minutes for the last 405 days), will remember that I knocked together a few workbenches in the basement in the effort to create a moderately productive shop.  The benches have been working great, and have become the center of productivity in the basement.  Although to be fair, there is about as much productivity coming out of the basement as the average day care nap time.

Working on some small electronics project... at the perfect height for me!

Anyway, the previous post promised a big tool acquisition in part II, so hold on to your hats because here it is:

I managed to score a great Craftsman belt driven table saw on Craigslist for about $140 (about 1.3 years  It was a bit of a struggle to get it home, because I had to disassemble the saw and pack it into the back of my little GTI, but it just fit.  Needless to say, a table saw took the capabilities of my basement shop from somewhat above my needs, to way way waaaaaay beyond my abilities.  THAT IS THE BEST.

The table saw is going to make so many projects easier, including but not limited to, a daring bathroom remodel!