Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gainfully Unemployed (part 1)

Welp, I was "between contracts" from Christmas until Jan 20th.

So for an odd change of pace I was actually living in my own house in the Dallas area for a few weeks! :) I have not been in my house in Dallas this many days in a row since July of 07.

I thought I would get a lot of blogging in while I was home and unemployed but it did not turn out that way.

I have been working in Illinois for 2 1/2 years now. My adult son has lived in the house off and on during that two years mostly unsupervised. He has not lived there for the last 6 months and I figured he was gone for good this time so I thought it was time to get serious and and whip the house into shape during my "vacation"!

The first thing I tackled that has annoyed me for a long time is my crappy old sink.

So off I go to Lowes and after much browsing of the 250 sinks and 4,821 faucets they have on display this is what I went with. 10 1/2 inches deep, commercial grade 18 gauge stainless steel with all commercial fittings. This sink, Twinkies and cockroaches are all that will survive the holocaust!

Waaaaaaaay better eh? :)

The next step was a new dishwasher. I did not start that way. I tried to fix the old one then I actually went and paid $71 for an appliance repairman to come to the house and tell me to just get a new one- I would be way better off!

So off I go to Lowes again! Oh the salesperson was gooooooood!

You see- I am a Wal-Mart man. I always buy cheap and then often regret it. This sharp sales lady saw a single man looking at the cheap dishwashers then gracefully steered me right over to the expensive ones- My shields immediately went up when I saw what price neighborhood we were in on that row but she started showing me all the cool GADGETS on this miracle of modern engineering and she hooked me! Then she just reeled me in! I realize this is a terribly unmanly thing to say but my new dishwasher is just totally cool! Yeah, she was that good!

It has triple filtration with easily removable and cleanable filter elements, three, count them, three spray arms, there is a digital readout on the rinse agent level (no more guessing!), all the racks are adjustable and/or removable so you can fold everything flat and have one BIG rack or... Oh, I will just stop now and just emphasize again how cool and manly my stainless STEEL (inside and out!) dishwasher is and leave it at that! (and just in case you did not know, STEEL always rates very high on the manly scale!)

Now to top it all off I also bought a new stove. I will NOT show you the before picture this time! That one is just way to embarrassing even for a single man but here is the new one...

So back to Lowes and the same sales lady and she already knew what worked on me! :) Sealed cook top with 5 variable sized burners and even though they are electric the heat is nearly instantaneous. The oven has a recirculation fan so this is either a convection or fast cook oven. The oven also has multiple temperature sensors so the top heating element and the bottom heating element work independently to maintain a constant temperature through out the oven!

Oh, and yes, it has a lot of stainless STEEL! Weeeeee!

It was funny, the day after my three major purchases in less than a week I walked in the door of Lowes just to get some new light bulbs and the manager is at my side going, "How are you doing today Mr. Johnson? What can we help you with today sir? Light bulbs? Let me help you with that Mr. Johnson!"

Funny how much attention you can get during an economic downturn when you have a credit card and you are not afraid to use it!

On that note, how many people are crazy enough to remodel their kitchen while they are unemployed? At least one! :(

Oh, that microwave over the stove is not new but I spent several hours working on that one! There is an inner metal door to stop the radiation but the outer door panel is plastic. Being over the stove it was awfully grease encrusted and the plastic outer door was broken in several places and hanging crooked- the broken door looked really horrible. I spent a day rebuilding the outer door and well over an hour with three different "grease cutting" cleaners before I finally got it to my definition of clean. Looks pretty good in this picture here after all that work huh?!

After all these pictures were taken I attacked all the back washes with a big nylon brush and Comet soft scrub (I came to really love Comet Soft Scrub (with lemon!) durign my cleaning adventures!) Then I ended up stripping and replacing all that old cracked silicone caulking. Then I scrubbed and pine oiled all the cabinets.

The last kitchen task was to empty out the fridge, tilt it over and to clean all the gunk out from the machinery under it so it would run better and last longer then of course, I scrubbed the living crap out of it inside and out too!

For the week and a half I was at home after I got the kitchen done every morning was a joy! I would sit at the kitchen table, eat breakfast and drink coffee while my kitchen just sparkled and gleamed. Ahhhhhhh, you can't get that kind of satisfaction at a keyboard!

That is enough for now- more on this exciting topic later! ;)


Melissa said...

Holy crap! I have a house that could use some TLC...the next time your off give me a call.

Your kitchen looks lovely...and totally MANLY! :)

tammy said...

I think I just fell in love with you.

OHmommy said...

Please. Send me some of your motivation.

Melek said...

wow!! good for you!!! im very impressed and the place look marvelous. come do my kitchen next please!

Robin said...

Way to peg out the Geek-o-meter!! Tell me more about those gadgets, and talk slowly....

Tanya said...

That's pretty nice. I think I love your sink.