Musings of a Hi-Tech Guy in Ottawa, Canada
Your hi-tech friend in the nation's capital

Jim, I Need Help!!!

My Simple Guide to Buying Rechargeable Batteries

My Simple Guide to Buying Cordless Phones

My Kitchen and Entranceway Flooring Project

Fall 07 - Winter 08

I decided to replace the ancient vinyl floor in my kitchen and entranceway with high quality peel and stick tiles, namely Images by Trafficmaster.  I took a long time trying to decide on what pattern to go with, but when these tiles went on sale at the Home Depot for about half price, my mind was made up!  They are warranted for 15 years and look much like ceramic tiles.  I decided not to pull up the old vinyl sheet flooring, but instead opted to go over top of it.  I started by removing all of the quarter round.  It took some time to do that without damaging the baseboards.  I then stapled down the old vinyl where it was not well glued to the floor under the old quarter round.  Once that was completed, I then did the floor in stages, applying embossing leveler over the old vinyl.  The leveler I used was Roberts #1800 available at Home Depot.  It dries to a somewhat plastic-like gritty texture that greatly aids in tile adhesion.  When it dried, I had to go over it with a razor blade scraper to get rid of any residual ridges in the leveler compound.  Once it was scraped smooth, then I applied the new tiles.  Edge tiles were cut by simply scoring with a tile knife and snapping them along the score line.  More complex cuts were done by first making a paper template and carefully cutting with scissors and the tile knife.

The first picture is the floor with the embossing leveler applied and scraped smooth:

Another shot of it is here:

The next two pics show the new floor. The tiles look ceramic.

This is a view into the closet:

This is a close up of the tile from hell (to cut):

I then cut and installed new quarter round.  Here is a picture of the closet showing the quarter round installed :

I then continued into the kitchen with the embossing leveler. I had to do this in stages so I could shuffle the fridge and stove.

Done, except for painting the quarter round:

I am quite pleased with the outcome, and the cost was quite low.

Things that Make You Go Hmmmmmmmmm

Written on 1:57pm Sunday, May 27, 2007

Let me start off by saying that I'm a man of science. I don't believe at all in things like astrology, crystal ball gazing, or other soothsayer type crap that has no basis in science and is designed to part weak minded people from their money. But I do have to wonder about highly unlikely coincidence, and do try to keep an open mind. Being a mathematician by degree, and a computer scientist by practice, I have studied probability and understand it reasonably well. For example, in this year's Tim Horton's roll up the rim to win contest I went 32 cups in a row without a winner. Sounds like quite an amazing streak of bad luck...some people at work thought that the odds of that happening must be extremely small. The odds of winning is about 1 in 9 cups, so the odds of losing is about 8/9. Thirty-two times in a row is 8/9 to the exponent 32. It works out to be about 2%. So I'm the 1 in 50 people who bought 32 cups and didn't win. Just one in fifty, no big deal (shrug). Not the one in a hundred thousand that some people thought without actually calculating it. Anyway, I'm digressing at bit, back to the topic at hand, coincidence! Yes, I drink too much coffee...

Recently I joined facebook and was adding in some new friends, one of whom is Kathy. I looked at her photos and saw one of her on the Greek island of Santorini labelled September 2005. I was on that tiny but beautiful Greek island for one day, September 29, 2005. Digital cameras typically put information such as the date, time, shutter speed, etc. in the advanced properties of a picture file. So I got Kathy to check and sure enough, she was on the same island on that same day. Small world, quite a little coincidence, chuckle, but pales in comparison to this next one....

Yesterday, I had two things on the agenda, go to the great Glebe garbage, sorry, *garage* sale early in the morning, and to my friend Graham's wedding later on in the day. Going to the garbage sale is not something I would normally do, but CJ, Chris, Lori, Kim, and Barry were going so I thought, what the hell, I haven't been before, so why not? After the initial frustration of finding a parking spot, and the miracle of modern cellphone communications, I met up with CJ and Christine. We went down one of the side streets east of Bank and saw table after table of assorted shit and old 17 inch computer monitors that you can't even give away anymore. Then the jackpot!....as far as CJ was concerned. There was a little girl selling her old stuffed Sesame Street characters (proceeds to AIDS in Africa) and CJ bought Grover. CJ was ecstatic since she had been looking for Grover for many years, since he's her favourite Sesame St. character, and let's face it, CJ is still a kid at heart. So for the rest of the morning we were walking around with Grover hanging out of CJ's purse and listening to her Grover impersonation whenever anybody mentioned him. She kept mentioning to people that she had been looking for Grover for something like 20 years. I joked that I was going to laugh my ass off if we came across another Grover later on.

After the garbage sale (yes, I didn't buy anything....like I need more junk in my basement? lol), the gang went and had a late breakfast/lunch and I got home in the early afternoon with just enough time to quickly pop onto the computer before donning the monkey suit and heading out to the wedding. There was an email from Victor telling the gang that his mother had passed away a week ago Thursday. I expressed my condolences, and mentioned that hardly a day goes by that I don't think about my parents, who both departed in 2002, and that keeps them with me.

I went to the wedding, which was a very pleasant lighthearted affair, and during dessert there were speeches, including ones by the parents of the bride and groom. When Graham's mother was talking, she humourously had a small box of Graham's childhood toys. She pulled out a number of them and passed them on to Lauren, and we all had a good laugh. After she was done, all of a sudden she got a distraught look on her face as she was nudged by an afterthought, and blurted out "I forgot Grover!". Well, gentle reader I damn near had to pick cheesecake out of my nose.

To most of you I'm sure that this was nothing but pure coincidence but I like to think otherwise. I hadn't even mentioned to anyone there that I had been to the garage sale let alone CJ buying the Grover doll.

CJ Buying Grover