Friday, April 24, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Backsplash!

Click for larger view

Well hopefully this is the final weekend! The sink went in on Wednesday and I put on all but two handles on yesterday (Thursday). Tonight we started on the tile back splash. We'll have to get more tile because we changed our plans. We were going to use 2 inch tiles, but we changed to the 6 inch tiles. I think it was a wise choice. They look great. (note there is another row that is missing in the picture. The tile will go all the way to the bottom of the wall cabinets.)

After the tile there is just a bit of trim work and it's done! We are both really happy how things turned out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Update

We are still waiting for the counter tops to be installed. Hopefully this week!

We got the appliances back in place. It's pretty clear that when we get a new refrigerator that we'll have to measure it to fit a closely as possible. The one that came with the house fits very loosely in the hole and just looks odd.

I need to finish installing the handles. It's been easier this time with templates. No measuring. Just find the holes that line up with your handles, mark them with a Sharpie, then drill. Much safer than measuring yourself and risking a misaligned hole. The cup style handles for the drawers are more work than expected though. Not just one bit to drill there. I also have to trim about 1/8 inch off the end of the attachment bolts. Nothing hard, just time consuming.

We also got the rest of the trim for the first floor. That'll make things look SO much more finished. So along with that I need to install the toe kick in the kitchen. I should be able to get most, if not all, those projects done this week.


It's in the works for Oracle to acquire Sun. While I don't really care about these two specifically it's reminded me of something that irritates me.

Why must companies acquire one another?

I'm not saying Oracle and Sun (or other companies) don't have good reasons to merge. I'm also not saying there are never times when it makes sense. However, I am saying that too many companies seem to do it these days.

There is often market consolidation as that market grows. Initially there will be a lot of players, with the weaker ones dropping out or being bought out. Then things level off. Sun and Oracle have been loosing market share to IBM and Microsoft for years, but they are important to the market. Perhaps they feel they have a better chance together than alone.

Is the technology market uniquely built to funnel business into two or three large competitors? Who does this make the most sense for? Businesses who use the technology, the customers or the businesses that make the technology, or the investors? In other markets I'd say the customer looses, but in technology, having fewer competitors makes for better interoperability. Does it need to be this way?

There are standards for technology. Philips head screws, standard/metric bolt heads, common dimensions for lumber, standard light bulb sockets, etc. All of these things could have been proprietary and thus we'd be stuck with a few manufactures who controlled them. Since they are registered and open standards anyone can manufacture those items. It makes the market larger and more competitive giving customers choice and lower prices.

When it comes to computer technology there are some standards, especially in hardware, but software is really still up in the air. In large part because the standards are not standard. Microsoft has a choke hold on the Word document format, even it's new, 'open' .docx format. There is an open standard document format but Microsoft doesn't want to adopt that because it could hurt Word's dominance. If an open source application worked with their documents as well as their own, suddenly there is competition again. That's good for customers, bad for Microsoft and it's investors.

The same could be said for Oracle buying Sun. Last year Sun acquired MySQL, the open source database engine darling loved by many Internet businesses. Because it uses standard SQL it is enterprise friendly. Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM each have their own database engines that they sell, for a premium. MySQL cuts into their bottom lines. They can compete against each other based on many other propritary software packages and the like. It's a lot harder to compete with free. So if Oracle buys Sun, it could crush MySQL, start charging for it, or change the code to be more compatible with the Oracle database engine, breaking the openness that MySQL currently enjoyes.

Again the customer looses.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Counter Status

The counter guy, decent dude, took measurements for our new counter top but because of the way Home Depot does it's processing we might not get our counter top for 2-3 weeks.

Here is the deal. At Home Depot we paid for the counter tops based on my measurements. I was a accurate as possible but it's not exact. Now that the actual measurements have been made they have to be sent back to Home Depot to determine if I have to pay more or get a refund. If I have to pay more, I have to pay that difference before the order is released for manufacturing.

So far no biggie. However, it's Tuesday today and the materials are only ordered once a week and the order is made at the end of the day Wednesday. That really only gives us 24 hours for all the paperwork to go through, be approved, pay any difference, and the order made. The likelihood of that happening is slim.

Let's assume that the order does not go through until the following Wednesday. Then the counter tops will be manufactured late in that week or that weekend, and then installed the next week (the week of the 20th). We will have to wash dishes in the bathtub for two more weeks, minimum. Whoopie!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Day 8

Kitchen Remodel - Day 8, originally uploaded by TNVWBOY.

The tile is down! It took about 8 hours, including lunch, to complete but it's done.

The counter top guys are supposed to be here today (Monday) to take measurements and create the template. Hopefully they will be able to create the counter tops quickly. We are anxious to have a sink again.

Yesterday (Sunday, Day 9) we mostly just cleaned up. Put away tools that were no longer needed. I sanded a patch that we didnt do before the floor and painted that wall. So all the painting is done now too.

The end is in sight. There are lots of little details that we still need to do, but the functional parts of the kitchen are nearly done!

More pictures and updates will follow but not on such a regular basis, only when there are major things to update.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Day 5

Kitchen Remodel - Day 5, originally uploaded by TNVWBOY.

Took the night off. We did do a rough dry fit of the tile layout. We both really like how this is looking.

Kitchen Remodel - Day 4

Kitchen Remodel - Day 4, originally uploaded by TNVWBOY.

Productive evening of work.

Test fit the dishwasher and it's connections. All is good there. I cannot hook it up yet until the tile is in.

Ran the water line for the refrigerator. I'm a bit concerned about it going behind the stove, especially since the line is plastic, not copper. I know ovens are insulated but still. I'm probably worrying over nothing.

Got the microwave installed! This was a big deal for me because it helps the kitchen look more 'finished'. It also gave us an idea about how the black appliances will look (we've always had white). I like it a lot.

Like the 'counter top'? It's one of the old pantry-closet doors. It makes a good temporary counter top.