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Andrew Pollock


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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The saga of the kitchen remodel continues

Well, it's been a month since the initial demolition started

It's nearly finished.

We had a slight bit of scope creep in that we decided to redo the floor now as well. This was brought on by the fact that the new cabinets didn't quite meet up with the footprint of the old ones, on one side, leaving maybe a 5 centimetre gap between the new cabinets and the floor.

I wasn't a fan of having to haul the fridge and stove back into the living room again at some point in the future (the fridge is too big for the doorway and needs to have its doors removed) so it seemed like the best thing was to do it while everything else was being done.

Fortunately, it hasn't blown out the overall time of the work, as we're still waiting for the counter tops to be cut or manufactured or something. The ETA for them to be installed is Friday or Monday.

So in the meantime we got just the kitchen floor tiled.

The plan is to replace all of the floating wooden floor with tiles, but just not right now. To do the rest would involve faffing around with the downstairs bathroom, and pulling out the washer and dryer, as well as the hot water heater. Doing that now, on top of having all of the kitchen stuff in the living room just gives me the heebie jeebies, so the compromise is to keep the existing flooring for the rest of downstairs, and just buy enough tiles to cover it later. Maybe at Christmas time, if we go back to Australia, we'll get it done then while we're not around to be disrupted.

When they ripped up the floor in the kitchen, some huge cracks in the slab were immediately apparent, so they had to put down some DITRA as a foundation to prevent the tiles cracking as a result of the slab expanding and contracting.

The tiling should be finished by tomorrow I hope, and then we have to let the grout cure for 72 hours before we seal it.

The one small delay we've had was due to a miscommunication with the kitchen company: we'd never ordered any handles for the cabinets and drawers, so they only got ordered after the cabinet installation was completed. Had we had them on hand, we could have started occupying the cabinets and drawers already, which would have reduced the chaos in the living room a bit. Oh well.

Blow-by-blow photos of the work so far (I'm lacking photos of the cabinets with the doors on) are here.

[22:11] [life] [permalink]

We've officially left our mark on the US

We received our US census form the other day. Sarah's already filled it out, but I wanted to look at it before we mailed it back, just out of curiosity.

I'm astounded at how incredibly basic it is. Literally all it asks is name, age, date of birth and race. It's somewhat laughable how you're either "white", or one of a bazillion other racial ethnicities. They don't seem to be interested that I'm Australian. Or if I were a white Samoan, for example.

I can only remember having filled out one Australian census since I moved out of home, which was the 2001 census. I missed the 2006 census since I was living in the US. The US census seems to be a 10 year affair, compared to Australia's 5 years.

"Census night" was always a big deal in Australia. You were supposed to fill out the form on that particular date, for whoever was in that particular dwelling. So you really didn't want to be out visiting friends that night.

The US census form claims to care about the state of affairs on April 1, but it also says to mail it back immediately. It seems to only care about "full-time residents", so the whole visitor problem doesn't seem to exist over here.

Wikipedia tells me that the 2006 Australia Census had 60 questions, all compulsory, except for the questions about religion. I'm still gobsmacked by how small an amount of data the US tries to collect. I just quickly reviewed the 2001 Australia Census form, and I'm rather amazed at how many questions it asked.

I remember there being a meme at the time of the 2001 census to put down "Jedi" as your religion, with the word on the street being that if enough people said that was their religion, it would become officially recognised as one.

[21:53] [life/americania] [permalink]