Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow

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No, not taking a nap.  That was today.  That’s what Thursdays are for lately.  No, tomorrow I rip my dining room to shreds and put down new flooring.  We’re gonna hope it goes well, because I sort of need for my dining room to have a floor.  That’s a thing that’s important to me.

Updates, obviously, coming as it happens.

(After the floor, there will be sushi, and then Luke Cage.  If everything goes right, it’ll be a really good day.)

In which the picture should be the whole post

quote-god-put-me-on-this-earth-to-accomplish-a-certain-number-of-things-right-now-i-am-so-far-behind-bill-watterson-194084Yes, this.  COME AT ME BRO I’M IMMORTAL.

You may have noticed I’ve been a mite stressed out lately.

It came to my attention recently (last Thursday) that someone-it-might-have-been-me-and-the-person-who-told-me-definitely-wanted-it-to-be-me lost sixty thousand dollars of someone else’s money.  Money that we were supposed to pay these other people in October, and didn’t pay them, and– to further compound the error– money that they have been paying people with during the several months since then.

Yes, they were paying people with money from an empty account.  I’m not a CPA.  I don’t know how that works or how it takes eight months to notice sixty grand is missing.  I do know that it’s a problem when it’s discovered, though.  So most of the last couple of days at work has been a horrible process of collecting evidence that, no, for a variety of reasons this shit wasn’t my fault, although that was only after half a day or so of oh shit I’m so fucking fired before I started putting together what had actually happened.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for jobs that have mostly so far involved at least some degree of budgetary supervision.  So “lost sixty grand once” will look real good on a résumé.

At any rate, we got that cleared up, and I was able to prove to a fair degree of certainty that shit was not my fault, and came up with a way to solve the larger problem once you get past “not my fault!” of how do we pay this while I was at it.  There is a reason I never delete emails, people, and it’s so that I can print them out eight months later with dates and times and certain key phrases highlighted.

Plus, also, we discovered they never actually invoiced us.  That’s kinda a problem.  If you expect someone to send you sixty grand you probably ought to actually generate the piece of paper necessary to ask for it.

But anyway!  Late Friday afternoon I discovered another problem, and this one definitely was my fault: I had somehow managed to adjust an amount in a certain budget line to a total that was actually less than the amount of funds we had already expended from that budget line, and that without everything submitted for the year yet.  So today’s hell stress was trying to figure out how we were going to fix that problem.  We got it taken care of by noon, but there was a point in the day where I was seriously trying to figure out how to explain to my wife that I owed my job three grand.  Because this shit was definitely my fault.

But that’s fixed now too.

I’ve used up all my mistakes and good luck for June, and I’m still battling bronchitis.  I need the rest of the month to go easy, thanks.

Terrible Decisions update: The Big List of Lists

So… remember the bathroom update? I haven’t mentioned it in a while because school started and we had to push everything back to when I had the time and the sanity to do it: in other words, winter break. Which is in three weeks, which means that the planning has shifted into high gear. I put this together tonight; I’m sharing it with you guys because 1) I think it might be entertaining to see just how unprepared I am to do this right and 2) I’m hoping people smarter than me will spot issues that I might not be aware of yet.

Copied and pasted from Evernote, here you go:

Project 1:  Eliminate bulkhead

1) Clear insulation away from inside attic.
2) Remove existing bathroom fan.
3) Demolish bulkhead.
4) Secure/install new bathroom fan.
5) Install new cement board ceiling.

Potential issues:  1) Electrical incompatibilities; 2) structural incompatibilities; 3) Incompatibilities with position of vent ductwork.

Necessary purchases:  1) Cement board; 2) Screws; 3) drywall mud 4) mudding tools/sandpaper

Possible purchases:  1) 2x4s for structure? 2) possibly something to extend/move vent ductwork. 3)  moisture barrier  4) new wiring (hopefully not)

Timeline:  1 day.

Project 2: Demolition of existing bathtub surround.

1) Pull down tile.
2) Pull down drywall.
3) Remove existing shower fixtures.

Potential issues:  1) Mold issues behind wall; 2) leak issues behind wall; 3) plumbing incompatibilities with new shower hardware (call plumber for this if necessary) 

Necessary purchases:  None for demolition, but we should have shower hardware before doing this so that we can compare it to what’s behind the wall.  

Possible purchases:  None.

Timeline:  A couple of hours for demo and clean-up; possibly a couple of days if we have to wait for a plumber (can do other two walls while waiting)

Project 3:  Construction of new bathtub surround/ installation of new shower hardware.

1) Install moisture barrier (???), cement board, second waterproofing layer?
2) Measure/drill holes for shower hardware
3) Mortar, tile, grout.

Potential issues:  I probably suck at this.  Measure thirty times before tiling once.  Make absolutely sure we have carefully researched every step before doing the work; only one chance to do this right.  Terror.  Do we mud cement board before putting tile on?  Assume no, but find out.

Necessary purchases:  Cement board, screws, possible sheeting for moisture barrier/waterproofing layer (spread-on?), shower hardware, tile cutter (borrowed/rented), mortar, grout, mortar/grouting tools

Possible purchases:  None I can think of.

Timeline:  At least a full day; probably two, especially if we need a plumber before doing one of the walls.

***WORK CAN STOP INDEFINITELY AT THIS POINT***

Project 4:  Demolish rest of bathroom

1) Carefully remove mirror from wall; take downstairs
2) Remove hardware from walls
3) Demolish sink/vanity (plumbing will be a pain in the ass, since I don’t know how to remove it)
4) Drain & remove toilet.
5) Tear out drywall behind toilet, where tub was leaking
6) Remove tile kickplate around base of walls
7) Remove door and door…frame?   
8) Remove floor tile.
9) If putting in floor heating, pull drywall on wall that we need to run wiring through.

Potential issues:  Removing the floor tile is expected to be a pain in the ass.  Dealing with the plumbing to remove the sink could potentially be difficult.  Hopefully do all this with as little damage as possible to existing drywall other than the piece we know we need to replace.  Removing the painted door frame without damaging the drywall seems… optimistic.

Necessary purchases:  None, unless a special tool is needed to remove the linoleum floor tile; unexpected.   

Possible purchases:  None that I can think of.  

Timeline: Please, God, don’t let this take longer than a day.  

Project 5:  Fix rest of bathroom.  

1) Install floor heating, if that’s happening.  Possibly replace power switch on wall if needed.
2) Install new drywall as needed.  Mud, sand, etc.
3) Install new tile floor
4) Install new vanity, including necessary plumbing hookups.  In process, attach new sink to new vanity. Also attach new sink hardware to new sink once it’s attached to the vanity.
5) Install new toilet
6) Cut door to size for new flooring; reinstall
7) Install new framing for door (match old, if possible) 
8) Repaint (before or after vanity installation?  Hmm.)
9) Hang new mirror and new hardware

Potential issues:  I have no idea how to do any of these things.  Timing on painting.  Electrical work necessary for floor heating may be problematic.  Tile must be measured and cut perfectly the first time, and I’ve never done it before.  Plumbing hookups on vanity must be leak-free.  Toilet must be leak-free.  New door framing must line up.  Drywall needs to be proper size and look right when mudded.  No good way to cut door down.  

Necessary purchases:  Mortar, grout, drywall, mud, screws, acquire circular saw (borrow), door framing, paint, new hardware.

Possible purchases:  Floor heating unit.

Timeline:  God help me, hopefully only a couple of days.  

Terrible Decisions, Stage Four: Spendin’ Money

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And that’s our vanity, except six inches narrower than the one we bought. For some reason, I’m super excited about the vanity; I like the way the sink slopes gently downward into the basin rather than having straight up-and-down walls– although as soon as the boy learns how much fun splashing around in that sink is going to be I’m probably going to regret it. I am… working on the faucet. This is the thing that MLW and I have most disagreed on, I think– I’m completely in love with this kind of faucet and she hates it.

Also purchased: a matching mirror. We’re also going to get a cabinet but didn’t pick it up tonight because we’re not a hundred percent certain where we want to put it yet.

Tile dude was here yesterday; we should have the estimate on the tiling in the very near future. Whee!

In other news, I got two and a half inches of grading done tonight before deciding I was done grading. I’m sending home progress reports on Friday and I need to write an Algebra test tonight, too. Instead I will probably watch a couple of hours of MasterChef and then read a book. Like I said: Whee!

Terrible Decisions, Stage Three

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What I have learned about myself today:  sometimes, when I’m trying to measure something, even if I’m being careful, I can somehow suddenly end up being off by two entire inches for no clear reason at all, and then can add 3 to 56, get 59, but get off another inch as I’m trying to measure those three inches.  I’m not sure how these things happen.  It’s possible that I’m dumb!  But if I’m dumb I’m at least dumb enough that I caught it and fixed it (pay attention to black, not orange) before it mattered to anyone.

Note that “before it mattered to anyone” technically means “ever,” since those walls that I’ve written on are getting torn down and then an actual professional is doing the tiling.  But it occurred to us that we ought probably to have a real idea of how we were going to put the tile on the wall before we start paying some dude to come over and do it for us– since, again, I cannot be trusted.  

The actual tiles are at the bottom of the post.  We’re using the white glossy ceramic with the greyish-blue marbling as the main shower tile, and it’s going almost all the way up the wall, to where you can see the little black line with the arrows on it– or, possibly, a bit above that, if we add a row of narrower beveled tiles above the bigger ones.  The actual tiles are the same style as the one in the picture but are 10″ x 14″.  We’ll probably put a row of those smaller ones on the outside row just to make it look less abrupt– much like the current tub does.

The bulkhead you see there is going to be gone, and we’re putting in a new ceiling fan powered by the tears of children.  We’re not planning on tiling the shower ceiling; that’ll all be paint, although we haven’t settled on a color yet.  Still working on that.

The black line with the wavy bit in it is going to be accent tile– the glass tile you see down below, cut into four rows so that each section of tile actually gets us four feet of the accent row.  We may or may not use more of it as a little backsplash between the vanity and the mirror; we haven’t gotten that far yet and aren’t sure how it’ll look in the end.  The third, darker tile is the floor– we bailed on the cork idea once we determined that we absolutely had no choice but to retile the shower surround; if we’re paying a professional to come in anyway we may as well lay tile on the floor.  I still like the cork idea but this is less risky.  The orange wavy parts are slightly-mismeasured other ideas about where to put the accent row; I think the black is the actual final decision, although it’ll end up being off by a tiny bit since I didn’t bother to account for 1/8 of an inch or so of grout between each of the tiles.  It’s slightly above my eye level, which is about where I wanted it, and is high enough that it’s unlikely that it’s going to get a lot of water splashed on it (since this’ll be a high-grout area) which was what my lovely wife wanted.  Plus at that height we don’t have to have any of the bigger tiles cut to put it there– it’ll slide in nicely between, if I remember right, the third and fourth row.

I may push for floor heating, since the actual floor space in the room is so small I can’t imagine it’ll cost much.  Don’t tell my wife yet.(*)

(Oh, hey, wait!  I looked it up and it’s not that expensive for a small area. Hmm.)

At any rate, the next step is to wait for Installer Dude to come by and measure everything for reals, which is happening… tomorrow, I think?  And then we actually buy all the tile and break a bunch of shit and possibly need a plumber for behind the wall (I’m crossing my fingers that this doesn’t happen) and then do some cement boarding and then bring him back to actually do the tiling work.  Or maybe we do that even before we schedule him to come back; I dunno, but we decided that we weren’t breaking anything until he’d measured and we had a sense of what sort of lead time they needed to schedule the job.

I’m looking forward to the “breaking stuff” phase.  We were gonna do that this weekend but ended up deciding it was stupid timing.  No use destroying the bathroom before it’s necessary, right?  Sure.

Enjoy what’s left of your Labor Day weekend, folks.  And thank a union member for making sure you have days off at all.  Or, better yet, become one.

(*) Of course she reads this.  You still don’t get to tell her.

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