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September, 2013 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - September, 2013

Flooring Installation as a Test of Personality

Beautiful Hardwood Flooring

This is NOT my home.

You learn a lot about human nature when you ask your friends and family members to help you put down new flooring, just as you almost never learn anything good when you try to do it yourself.

For example, I’ve learned that my brother Bob is first rate perfectionist, one who follows the dictum that the careful workman measures twice and cuts once. He does close work well, and because he takes his time and does thing correctly, his finished flooring looks like it was installed by professional. (He makes relatively ordinary oak flooring look like a million dollars.)

I, on the other hand, have learned that I am a sort of slapdash, happy-go-lucky fool, content to eyeball things into place, using a circular saw when a mitre saw is better, and a steel hammer when a rubber mallet is required. My flooring looks like it was put in by hobos; hobos who were being paid with jugs of cheap wine and ham sandwiches.

How two people with the same parents, birthed only two years apart, could turn out so differently with regard to working styles is one of the true mysteries of genetics. I have no patience for these intricate jobs, while he was able to build our mother an entire house. He can do almost anything with his hands, while my do it yourself skills usually end at making sandwiches for hobos.

You learn a lot when you’re putting down flooring. Not all of it good.

The iThermostat

When did Thermostats start looking like iPhones?

Heatmiser Thermostat

I admit that what you see above is an intuitive interface, or at least this has become intuitive for hundreds of millions of young people worldwide who spend most of their waking hours tapping away at their cellphones. It looks like you could play Angry Birds on it, while you’re making a call to the furnace repair man.

This thermostat, from the aptly named Heat Miser, is called the “TouchPad”. Here’s the description of this marvel of modern ergonomics.

The TouchPad features a TFT colour touch screen, giving you central control of up to 32 zones of heating. There really is no better way to take control of your heating. You are able to give each thermostat a name allowing you to easily identify each thermostat on the network.

You can give each thermostat a name?

Woah. Talk about your 21st Century problems: what to name your thermostat? Do you go with a traditional human name like Emily or Jacob? Or, something hi-tech and computery, like Eniac 2000, or (heaven forfend) the Hal-9000? I suspect that most people will go with boring monikers, like Rear Bedroom and Front Hallway.

Of course, when I was growing up, there was only one thermostat in the whole house, and it looked like this…

Old School Thermostat

And you didn’t give it a name.

Names were for people and pets, and cars, ships, guns, and maybe pieces of heavy machinery like printing presses and iron smelters. Things that had souls, or nearly so, not inanimate doo-hickies that lodged on your wall at home and caused the furnace to kick on when the temperature got below of 68 degrees.

We live in strange and disturbing times.

The Carpet Runner

Traditional Persian Carpet Runner
There are a lot of things you don’t think about when you’re seventeen, and high on that list are carpet runners. In fact, until you own a home, or unless you’ve tripped over a badly damaged section, you probably don’t pay much attention to carpet runners at all. When you’re renting they come with the place, when buy, then carpet runners become a fact of life, next to other un-thought-of things like water softeners and power washing garage floors.

So, as you may have guessed, I’ve decided it’s time to install a new carpet runner on the front stairs. I’m inclined to go with what we had, a Persian motif in red, which, while predictable and somewhat boring, has the virtue of being traditionally what we’ve always done. It goes with the neutral white walls next to the stairs, and since we do own a few oriental rugs in that popular reddish color, it fits with what we have.

Green Carpet Runner
Although, the reddish oriental rugs in question are far enough away from the stairs that I could get a little more adventurous, with say a floral green (Both photos are from Carpet Runners UK) :

Well, maybe not as bright as the runner on the lest, but, still, a new runner in a new color might liven things up a bit, give my front room some pizzazz.

I better think this over carefully. pizzazz, is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands.