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Home Improvement: Fireplace Edition

After three months of… Let’s be generous and call it “planning,” rather than the more accurate “completely ignorant bungling” – anyway, after three or four months, today we actually started breaking ground (or, in our case, carpet) on the new fireplace project.

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Before, although after we moved all the furniture.

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During.

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During just got way less exciting.

This is a day fraught with much anxiety for me, since I did all the research and design. I started from a place of complete and total ignorance, and did the entire thing based on advice from architect friends, City of Bothell code requirements, and the fireplace installation manual. On paper, it looks like it might be decent, and once we got the permit, I stopped worrying about it.

Going over the numbers today with Jim, who’s doing the framing, made me horribly anxious all over again: He always asks me questions that I don’t know the answer to, and if I don’t know now, I’m in real trouble. Thus far I did have answers, but in giving them I lost all confidence in my research and design, and then lost even more confidence (if that possible) in my ability to communicate that design correctly. But it’s going forward now, as the banging and air compressor sounds attest, so we’re fairly committed.

I keep reminding myself: There are two kinds of things you don’t need to worry about: things you can control, and things you can’t. But what about things you did wrong, but don’t know about?! Anyway, I also keep reminding myself that it’s not life and death here; at worst it’s a lot of extra money. Not ideal, but nobody’s going to die because I designed wrong.

Hmm, saying all that may give some insight into why I only slept three hours last night, after tossing and turning for five hours. I didn’t feel anxious, but I bet I was.

Edit to add: Day 1 is a wrap. Now we wait until Monday for the fireplace to be installed.

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Out in the World

We went looking for can lights to put in the ceiling above our (planned) fireplace. We found amazing bubble lights.

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Benji, however, found the fake apples and pears on display by far the most engaging. I don’t have any pictures of that, but I do have some from our morning outing, where we meet up with our friends John and Kiran, saw sea planes on fork lifts, cement mixers getting filled up, and stomped on molehills.

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Look, a cement mixer just drove by!

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Life’s sure interesting when you’re two.

I Wonder…

…if there’s a difference in deodorant efficacy between shaved and unshaved armpits. I could see it going either way, although I lean towards the theory that shaved + deodorant is perhaps slightly more effective. Why?

Shaved
Less stinky because fewer hairs for sweat and stink bacteria to adhere to
Less stinky because deodorant goes directly onto skin
More stinky because less area for deodorant to stick

Unshaved
Less stinky because more area for deodorant to stick (all those hairs)
More stinky because hair insulates skin from getting directly deodorized
More stinky because more hairs to sweat and stink bacteria to adhere to

It wouldn’t be very difficult to test this question, but you would need an objective stink-o-meter to measure armpit stinkiness, since (a) you couldn’t ask evaluators to sniff lots of armpits; and (b) human evaluators would be too subjective, anyway. Sadly, I somehow doubt this question will ever be seriously researched, so it’s likely to remain forever in the realm of speculation. Which, come to think of it, may be for the best.

Maybe I’d better stick to posting pictures of us out on our walk on this freezing but gorgeous morning:
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"Whatever it is you want me to do, I don't want to!"

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Playdough Fun

At the church during Sunday School (which Benji is totally not ready for, but it’s a choice between a room for kids ages 0 to 2 or ages 2 to 10) they played with playdough. Benji immediately asked for more playdough playing after nap time, and we were happy to accommodate him. I made my first, bid definitely not last, batch of playdough and learned that to make it red, you have to use a lot more food coloring than you think.

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“Silverware,” an art installation by B. Ferguson

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The artist rejects our outdated, imperialistic, and deeply bourgeois sorting methodology. His arrangement speaks to the desire within all human beings for freedom – of expression, of choice, of speech, and, ultimately, to determine one’s own destiny, unconstrained by the rigid mores imposed externally by society. With this installation the artist expands upon this theme using the epitome of banal, everyday objects – common flatware – juxtaposing their very ubiquity and normalcy with the jarring use of chaos and disarray to express rejection of confining, societally-imposed strictures even within the larger cultural dialogue.

Dulcius Ex Asperis