I know what your thinking. “Not another kitchen update (eye roll). But no! This post isn’t at all about the kitchen. This is about our van trip to the white mountains and Mount Washington.

The White Mountains are in New Hampshire. The very North end infact. It’s a solid 6-7 hour drive. We left of Saturday morning and had an absolutely lovely drive up there. It was in the 60’s, so cool in fact that we didn’t even roll down the windows. Just opened the vent and it was very comfortable. We got to Littleton NH in the late afternoon and were generously invited to stay at a coworker’s family home for the evening as I couldn’t reserve a camp site.

Poped the top to show off the van

Sunday was the big day! The ultimate east coat van mountain adventure. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the North East United States at 6,288.2 ft. There is an auto road that has been functioning since 1861! It is a 12% grade for much of the road. It 7.6 miles and it is a killer. 2 lanes, very tight and in a 30 year old van completely thrilling. It was 1st and 2nd gear the entire way and by the time we got to the top Kate was in tears and I was shaking and about to pass out. Now, let me explain. If you’re a bit queeze when it comes to heights this is a real thrill ride. That said if you’re a bit queeze about your 30 year old van exploding then it’s a entirely other type of thrill ride. The van did great the entire way up, but you never know with these things. If we had broke down up there it would have been impossible to get to a save spot to wait for help. It was great! The relief of the accomplishment over shadowed the veiws and I did a terrible job getting any good pictures. (classic Paul blunder). Notice in the first picture below the moutian train. If you’re not interested in testing fate it’s a great option.

The way down the mountian was a pretty tough one. The breaks got a good bit hot. so much infact that they were smoking pretty bad. They then started to leak melted grease from the hubs as it had been heated to a blue liquid. Crazy!

The blue goo leaking out of the hub, burning up.

Monday we got the old inflatable kayak out and in true Kate and Paul fashion became far too ambitious in your kayaking abilities. We wanted up paddleing a total of 6 miles. The back end of that up stream. Before you label us two stupid fools. The current was very week. It still hurt. We also got a good about of sun. Not terribly burned, but burned enough.

Tuesday we took a early morning trip to Diana’s bathes. Which is a series of waterfalls you can walk through. We got there before all the family showed up. They pretty much turn a natural landscape into a water park and it’s kind of depressing.

After the waterfalls we startes our way home…. It was sooooooo hot. I mean sooooooo hot I got sunburned through my t-shirt. Kate couldn’t even talk to me. The windows were all open, but the air was so hot there was no relief. I can’t believe Kate didn’t knife me at the end of the trip. 7 hours in the beating sun is enough to convince any jury it was self defense. She didn’t. God love her!

(BTW, sorry for the lame music on the video. I edited on my phone and could choose a music track for some reason)

Demo Done Son!

Things continue to move forward even if they have slowed a bit. As you may have gathered from the title the last of the demo was finnishing up and all the drywall has been patched. We also have the electrical sorted. We decided to only have lighting under the bottom shelves. Trying to light all of them separately seemed a bit much and I think in the long run will result in a more consistent feeling feature.

It was also a big week for fridges. We got the wine fridge in place and all framed up, ready for the countertop. We also received the main fridge that turned out to be a perfect fit. It was all for the best after last week’s fridge disaster. We wound up with the taller model so it fits the caseing much much better. It is already making ice and life better.

Next up is the countertops. Now, my guess is that they will be installed next week as this is a holiday week and it can be tough to schedule things. It looks as if we will have the island table done just in time for that install which is super exciting!

Talk to you next week!

Wine Fridge Framed

Main Fridge

Hooked up the water abd it works!

Buttfuzz was hanging with me.

More Demo PLZ:

So much happening this week. The demolition continues. The rest of the back end of the kitchen has been removed, and the backsplash tile has all been popped off. This is important, as I could take a look at real dimensions for the hood. As I may have mentioned we need to get one custom made as we want to have shelves on either side. They need to end into the hood.

It was important to build it full size so we could avoid and human factor disaster. The first one I built based only on the CAD model I’ve been rendering for you, was far too big. So I used that to get more appropriate measurements and now it works great. The only concern I have is that I have spec’d the hood at 49in wide. It feels as if it may be truly massive. The one in the picture is only 42in wide. The one in the rendering is the full width. That was all of Saturday .

This is the first hood I had in the renderings

This is the revision based on real life.

New render… 3 shelves 49in hood width

Friday was a effing nightmare. I ordered the new refrigerator on line at built.com. We have been buying much of the standard pieces we need there. The thing about ordering a item that large from the internet is they have to send it by a freight company. To be clear that’s a delivery service that is often local that delivers large good with a big truck. Well, the delivery window was between 9am and noon. They got to the house at 5! Then once the drive got the fridge in the house he took off. The wrapping looked good so I figured everything was fine. It turned out that the fridge was mangled in several places. So badly its not savable. I immediately called to have it returned and with any luck that will run a bit smoother.

Floor installation:

So it’s loud. They finished removing the floor on Friday. Because the old floor was put down to never ever be taken up, they needed to remove everything down to the original sub floor. I don’t know how or why I didn’t get a pic of that but I didn’t. Kate says it was too tramatic. You know how it is just planks with about a half inch between. You walk on it and have a clear view into the basement….. tramatic indeed.

Saturday we stayed out of the house as the new floor was going in. It was very loud, lots of banging, cutting and pounding. Poor ButtFuzz just had to suffer through it.

We looked at tile for the shower walls and went into the city to Tribeca to look at the School House store. We are buying a lot of our fixtures from them so it was good to see most of the product in person.

Sunday they put the stain down. We went back in the records to find the stain we used for the rest of the house. It’s called Provincial. I’ve realized as I’m writing this that the floors in the rest of the house used Duraseal and in the kitchen they used Minwax. Hmmmmm this could be a problem, let’s hope not…. PS don’t tell Kate. She dosent read the blog but I know that some of the readers communicate with her after reading it. Just do me a solid on this one. No, it’s not lying if you don’t tell her. Just act as if you skimmed this part of the post. It’s fine…… Right?

Let’s step outside of the remodel news for a moment….. It has been brought to my attention that in the last post I may have made an insensitive racial blunder….

I used the term “Mexicans” to discribe the people that came to the house to buy our old fridge. Now it may be fair to say that I was not 100% certain of their nationality so could be misrepresenting who they are. Ok…. On the other had I very much enjoyed the experience and wanted to share it on the blog. As you know the blog is here to remind me of things as my memory is so terrible.so watch out because this thing is out if control….. Jon..

Demolition: Part 2

Floor: Yesterday the floor guy did his very best to demo the tile floor in the kitchen. It looked like a real struggle. That tile looks like it was bonded to that sub floor for life! I talked to him this morning and he said it was a killer. The plan is to have the floor finished by Sunday! I can’t wait!

We got rid of the old white fridge in a bit of a panic. The day before the floor demolition started we realized we didn’t want to move the old fridge into the living room. It would thaw out and most likely leave a rotten puddle where ever we put it. Kate put the fridge for sale on a site called swap and in and hour there was a Mexican family over at the house to pick it up. Everyone came along. I was ready to help move the fridge but the guys took one look at me and laughed. They exchanged some words in Spanish of which I can only assume were flattering to me.

They had the fridge out in no time and into their van. Moments later the door bell rang and there was a request for jumper cables. They left the lights to the van on while we moved the fridge. Owning my own van I had cables at the ready and we had that van jumped in 5 minutes. So glad to get that fridge out of the way. We have one in the basement we are using for the moment. The new one will be here early next week.

All in all things are progressing well. Lots more to do!

See the crazy bonding agent by the door. It must have been a buster to get that tile up!

Demolition: Part 1

As promised progress reports have started! Monday and Tuesday saw the first steps of the kitchen project take form. Doug came by and ripped out the island and removed all the decorative elements of the lower cabinets that might impeed the installation of the floor on Thursday. You will also see that the wine fridge got delivered and we moved it into place to see how it fit. It fits like a glove!
Notice the range and cabinets that bumped out are now flush with the rest of the kitchen!

The holes in the floor are due to the sink that was in the island. We removed it because we didn’t use it and it was not helpful.

Guys, it’s on.

We are in full on go mode for the kitchen. On Saturday we got the downstairs shower situation figured out. We wanted it to be huge porcelain slabs. We went to the warehouse whete such things are stored. It was impressive but a bit “too much” for the small space that is our bathroom. That said we found some more restrained large tile that should do the trick.

This is the porcline, too much! so you can see.

Sunday we went to look at the countetop Kate picked out. The guy that works at the countertop place was great. Possibly too into Stone and Quartz but that should work in our favor in the long run. Now here’s the thing. I think a 1/4 chamfer would look great on the edge of the countertop. Kate wants just a radius. This is a tough one. Haven’t decided yet.

Demolition starts this week with the removal of the island and much of the added embellishments that make our kitchen so gaudy. The floor goes in Thursday so look for some more progress reports.

Here is a new render looking at the cook range and the hood straight on. I think it is kind of a helpful view.

Lastly, (this might be hard for some of you to watch) we took ButtFuzz out on the porch as we have been doing with some regularity lately. I mentioned to Kate that maybe we should take her down into the yard to get those little paws on some grass. It’s been almost a decade and thought it might be nice. As you will see in this short video, that was not the case. What’s weird is that ButtFuzz seems to take off without any provocation. She just bolts for the door. That poor little turd just wants to be inside.


The 2018 Kate and Paul Diehl kitchen project is moving forward! After a devastatingly high estimate from the contractor we recorrected and went to plan B. Find our own sub contractors. Kate called the carpenter who did our porch and stairs. He’s going to do all the nessessary demo and tile work. We got the name of our neighbor’s floor guy and had him over which resulted in a very reasonable estimate. Kate found a countertop supplier and we picked that out. I have updated the spreadsheet and have started to order the tile and fixtures. I sent drawings to a fabricator to get the range hood made and got a quote back. All we have left is to find a painter for the cabinets. This is the big one. If we don’t find a good painter for these cabinets I’m worried the entire project may fall apart.

Before you label me a dramatic let me explain. We have a lot of cabinets in that kitchen. If the paint job looks like a paint job, and not like the natural color the cabinets have always been, then all the other improvements we have spent on will look cheap by association. Trust me on this one. That said if you know anyone in the NJ area that is famous for painting cabinets sent me that contact!

I did another render of the kitchen with the wider sink we ordered and now have in the basement. Demo starts next Monday the 11th. I will post regular updates. Wish us luck!


Friday, Mets Vs Cubs…..

We went to the Met game last Friday with Lisa and Mike to see the Mets lose in classic fashion to the Cubs. This is a frustrating season for the Mets. The bullpen is a disaster. The last 11 games the starting pitcher has done well to put the Mets in a position to win. The bullpen comes out and in a matter of 4 pitches loses the game. It’s stupid. Friday was no exception. Wheeler pitched 6 great inning and Paul Seawall came in and blew it instantly. Mike took the picture below of a Met youth doing what the entire stadium was feeling.

Other than that it was a beautiful night. Great weather. Nice to see Lisa and Mike. Always great to get to a game at Citi Field. Plus it was free shirt Friday. We got the Conforto jersey seen below.


Kate and I drove into the city to do a few things and then head to Megan’s house warming. In February she moved from the LES to Brooklyn Heights. She has a lovely place and it was fun to see everyone.

We stayed over since we drove. Early Sunday morning I got a call from our home security that the internal sensor was triggered and the alarm went off. ButtFuzz was messing with the Hibiscus tree and it tripped the alarm. Apparently the cops came and it was a mess. Kate was worried about ButtFuzz since the cops had been there so we raced home. From BK Heights to West Orange in 33 min. Crazy!


Lastly, we get home on Sunday and Kate tried to use the washer.That sucker is broken! Come on! It’s 2 years old. Come to find out it’s out of warranty. Crap! So now I have to take a day off during the busiest time of the year to get it fixed. What the hell Samsung. (Sorry for this last bit, it was purely complaining)

I was looking online and one of the issues may be the cellinoid switch that let’s in the water. I tested it with a multi meter and it seemed ok. Errrrr crap

Last weekend:

We went to visit every parties guest of honor, Jenn Norwood. We drove up to Providence RI on Sunday morning. <Tangent> I hate I95! What the eff man! I don’t even have a coherent thought about it. It just always backed up for reasons that will remain unclear to all of humanity for the rest of our time here.</Tangent>

The point of the visit was to see Jenn, tell dumb jokes and sing Karaoke like fools. All those objectives where achieved. We had a private room which is not the norm for these excursions but worked out quite well. We sang a bunch of songs that the general public would not know or care to hear. We even sang Steely Dan’s “Cousin Dupree” not easy. These visits are short, they are meant to encourage maximum fun in a achieveable burst. Meaning, I’m only capable of being fun or funny for about 4 hours at most.

Providence is a cool place man! It has the youth of a college town. The growth of millennials moving back into cities. It also lacks the shine soulless gloss of a major city that had it’s renissance some 10 years back. Cough, cough bk. They have rehabilitated many if the old factory’s to lofts and with that has come new restaurants and shops. Kate and I went to this place called North for dinner. It was delicious, check them out. Smart planning by Jenn, Boom Box the Karaoke place was right around the corner.

Thanks Jenn!