Friday, June 23, 2006

Our Green House and Arnie Palmer's Poop

Boy, the things that can happen when you go away for a week. I schlepped the wife and squirts to CT for the week to visit the family and, while we were gone, Bob The Builder had the run of the place. As a result, the house changed color and some walls are now missing.

Bob started hanging the new siding, the color of which we agonized over for days. We were determined to replace the gawdawful baby-blue siding with something a little nicer, but didn't want to go with the tan, beige, or otherwise generic color that most of the other houses in our neighborhood have. We also didn't have the budget to go with anything pricey like James Hardie siding (made of concrete..never needs to be replaced or painted. Beautiful stuff), and certainly weren't about to go with the pink stucco look of our neighbor's house. So we opted for green. Which of course was the most expensive of the samples Bob gave us.

On the inside, Bob ripped out the kitchen walls to open up the new space. When we came home to see it, we were somewhat awestruck. Suddenly it's real. We've got a huge living space! And, oy, a lot of flooring to put in and furniture to buy.

But the real fun happened yesterday. A truck came and delivered seventy-six 12-foot sheets of drywall (yes, that's 76 sheets). I need this truck. Its boom was able to pick up the sheets, carry them over the corner of the house, and pass them through the hole in the third floor without ever leaving the driveway. That would be really handy for getting the kids off the swingset and in for dinner.

By the way, I've been meaning to tally up the wiring project. Turns out we put in 1300 feet of wire, and about 70 boxes (outlets, switches, etc). Once this is all said and done, I think I'm going to start doing lectures on how to properly budget for a home improvement project, cuz the magazines don't do the subject justice. For example, yesterday we went to the local bath gallery in search of a sink, toilet, and shower door. I was stunned to find out that a door for our $350 shower would cost $890. Luckily we found a nice one several hundred dollars cheaper at Home Depot, but that was still six hundred bucks.

Toilet shopping was fun. My wife had no criteria really - she just wanted something with a seat that would automatically lower when I left the bathroom. That aside, it was up to me. Turns out there are a few basic criteria, to finding the right toilet. First, do you want a round bowl, or an elongated one? My wife couldn't understand the benefits of the elongated bowl. I had to delicately explain why the extra space in an elongated bowl is handy. For guys, anyway. Well, at least for me. Ya know what I'm talkin' bout? Do ya? Am I right? Yeah man....

Sorry anyways, the next question is height. There's "standard height", and "right height". Right height is about three inches higher, allegedly saving you squatting effort (and thus valuable time), shortening the target distance, and perhaps keeping your legs from falling asleep when you get engrossed in a good story in Reader's Digest. The drawback supposedly is that toddlers' legs tend to dangle. Well, screw 'em, this is my throne, not theirs.

The last characteristic is how many golf balls can flush down the toilet in one shot without clogging it, or what I refer to as the "Arnold Palmer Crap Quotient". And believe it or not that number tends to be in the mid twenties. Now I'll tell ya what, the day I crap 25 golf balls is the day I stop eating my mother's stuffed cabbage.

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