Blog

DIY Kitchen Remodel 5

Backsplash Tile Installed
Backsplash Tile Installed

Brazilian Tile

I am no tile expert but my wife and I worked together on Saturday to put in some Brazilian Tile that she found at Restore.

Backsplash Glass Tile
Backsplash Glass Tile

Glass Tile

It took us all day on Saturday and then after we got home from church on Sunday we started working on the Glass Tile.

Using Mocha Grout
Using Mocha Grout

Mocha Grout

On Monday after work we started putting in the Mocha Grout.

Using Mocha Grout
Using Mocha Grout
More Grout
More Grout
Grout Complete
Grout Complete
Grout Complete
Grout Complete
Grout Complete
Grout Complete
Grout Complete
Grout Complete

Plumbing As A Hobby

This whole project reminded me to never take up plumbing as a hobby. We were trying to put in the plumbing for underneath the sink but we kept getting the water to come up like it wasn’t going down the drain. We looked at other examples and ours kept coming up. We went to Lowes and bought a bunch of pipes to possibly change the way the flow of the water might help. One guy that saw us looking at all the pipes said that we needed a vent. I thought, we have a vent that goes out to the roof. Maybe we needed another one. So we bought one and put it all together and still kept doing the same thing. We ended up figuring it out yesterday when we put a plumber’s snake in the drain and unplugged it. After that, water was moving like normal. Now, back to figuring out how the plumbing will work without leaking.
Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

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DIY Kitchen Remodel 4

Cement Lunch

Getting Out The Air Bubbles
Using the orbital sander to get out the Air Bubbles.

I went home for lunch yesterday and when I got there my Father-In-Law had just finished pouring the cement and was smoothing it out. I was able to use the orbital sander on the edges of the counter to get out any air bubbles.

Cement Is In
Cement Is In

When I got home after work, it looked like it was mostly done and becoming dry. I started cutting the frame that will go around the sink.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Kitchen Remodel 3

Another Day

Crawlspace Has Spider Webs
Crawlspace Has Spider Webs

We had to go under the house yesterday and check the support beams to ensure that there was enough structure under there to accommodate the weight of the concrete countertops. I was under the house for a few hours working to make sure everything was good. Talk about an Ab Workout. I feel like I did 1000 situps.  Lots of spider webs under there.  Old wires and stuff, that I pulled out to clean it up a bit.

Crawlspace Squeaks
Crawlspace Squeaks

I found a support pillar that looks like someone did a quick one on it. I added a new cement pillar and some new 4×4’s right next to it to help with the weight.

Counter Top Is Ready
Counter Top Is Ready

My father-in-law came over today to pour cement, but we hadn’t finished with the countertop. So we worked on that all afternoon. Tomorrow, he is going to come over with my mother-in-law to pour the cement and finish it up.

Space For The Kitchen Sink
Space For The Kitchen Sink

We put an idea we had for the sink to sit in after the cement gets somewhat dry. Then we can pull out the PVC pipes and allow space for the hoses for the sink to fit in.

Pipes For Sink Faucets
Pipes For Sink Faucets

We will hopefully have a sink tomorrow and then we have to wait 30 days for the cement to cure. Once it cures then we can seal it. Hopefully, by this weekend, we will have the backsplash done too.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Kitchen Remodel 2

Main Kitchen Sink Board
Main Kitchen Sink Board

Getting There

I was able to finish up the face setup for the top drawers. I put the Main Board on top of the counter and screwed it in. Now it’s time to make the hole for the sink.

Sink Hole
Sink Hole

Once the hole for the sink was cut, I started to think about the small pieces of metal that support the frame of the sink.

Double Cast Iron Sink
Double Cast Iron Sink

My wife was thinking that we should use a jack to set the sink in place once the cement is almost dry.  Were not 100% sure but we are going to keep trying.
Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

The Force

Star Wars

You have all watched the Star Wars movies. If you haven’t then you are really missing out. In the series each of the actors learn to master a form of power called “The Force”. Some of the actors are good guys and others are bad guys. They learn to master “The Force” for good and bad. I would guess it would be some kind of energy that allows your thoughts and desires to come to reality.

The First

When I first encountered “The Force” I was in Okinawa, Japan. I was in my barracks watching tv and I made myself one of those Top Ramen Noodles. I had just pulled it out of the microwave and as I was walking back to my table, I was thinking to myself, I am going to spill it all over. Not a second later, I poured the entire bowl of soup all over me. It was so hot that the steam was still on my skin.

Realization

When I finally realized that I had some form of power to use “The Force”, I was asleep in bed and couldnt sleep too good. I was tossing and turning and we have one of those carbon monoxide detector in the hallway. It had been having issues where the sensor had been dying. I had reset it and it had been working for days already without any problems. I was lying in bed and was thinking to myself, that alarm is going to go off any second now. Not two seconds later, the alarm went off and I had to get up to dismantle it so I can try to go back to sleep.

Conclusion

If “The Force” is real, then I believe we all have some form of controlling it and using it for good or bad. I just pray that I can use it for good. If anyone else has had an encounter with “The Force” then please share your story.
Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Dream Of The Pepperoni Sandwich

Harry Zimm from Get Shorty
Harry Zimm from the Movie Get Shorty

Harry Zimm

If you have ever seen the movie Get Shorty, then you are familiar with the role that Gene Hackman plays as Harry Zimm. He is a small town movie producer trying to write a script that will make him big time. He ends up borrowing money from the wrong people and ends up involved with some loan shark.

Old Fashioned Drive In
Old Fashioned Drive In

The Place

The Restaurant was an old style Drive In that you could walk up to. Almost like Firebaugh’s Two Knights Drive In. They had all the great food. The place was busy and Harry Zimm was the chef behind the big flat griddle. He was asking what I wanted and I asked him, what did he recommend. He said, “I will fix you up something real nice.” He pulled out a big piece of salami style pepperoni and then put it on the griddle. He started to chop it up like ground beef. He chopped it up so much you wouldn’t think it was pepperoni. Then he grabbed a big handful of mozzarella cheese and piled it on top of the chunks of pepperoni and started to mix it all up on the griddle. Then Harry started to put up that attitude towards some of the waitresses that he was giving to Ray “Bones” on the phone. I started to laugh and then I noticed he grabbed a piece of french bread and split it in half and then smothered it with butter. He put it on the griddle and then grabbed a plate and placed the bread halves on it. Then he placed the pepperoni and mozzarella on the bread and handed it to me. I noticed some mobster looking guys were walking towards the restaurant so I wanted to hurry up and grab a bite. I opened my mouth and held the sandwich up to my mouth and ……
I heard a “OW” and then a claw dove into my leg. I was dreaming and my wife must have had the kitten claw her or something, but the kitten jumped on my leg and clawed me. I had missed my chance to taste this amazing creation.

Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan Sandwich
Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan Sandwich

Conclusion

I tried looking around the internet to find an image of the sandwich I was about to eat and came up with a better idea.  The picture above is about as close as I could find, but I wanted to create the one from the dream.  I wanted to create a Chicken Parmesan covered with the Pepperoni and Mozzarella cheese sandwich.  I will try one of these days as soon as I am done working on my kitchen.  See the post here to see our progress.

Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Kitchen Remodel

Brazilian Tile Back Splash
Brazilian Tile Back Splash

First half of kitchen done.  Just finished sealing the tile.  We have to wait 30 days until the cement cures and then we can seal it.

Brazilian Tile Back Splash
Brazilian Tile Back Splash
Metal Frame Around Tile
Metal Frame Around Tile
20 AMP Power Outlets
20 AMP Power Outlets
Cement Counter Tops and Brazilian Tile
Cement Counter Tops and Brazilian Tile
Removed Kitchen Counter and Old Back Splash
Removed Kitchen Counter and Old Back Splash

Removed the old counter on the kitchen sink side.

Who Took the Sink?
Who Took the Sink?
RainSoft Reverse Osmosis System
RainSoft Reverse Osmosis System

RainSoft Reverse Osmosis system.

Electrical all done.

Found that our valves were leaking, so we replaced them.

Valves fixed and added electrical for the garbage disposal.  (Yeah, I know, its really close to the water.)

Cement board added for back splash.

How much support do you recommend is needed to support the cement and the really heavy kitchen sink?

Thank you for the help.

El Capitan In HDR

 

El-Capitan-In-HDR
El Capital In HDR

A Different Angle

I never noticed this side of El Capitan before. Every time someone drives to Yosemite they see the beauty of El Capitan from the south side but when I seen it from this angle, it was amazing, and then from this close. I was traveling with my daughter’s yearbook class and we stopped for lunch at this picnic area. There had been so much water due to the heavy rain. The river was high and moving super fast. I set my camera for the 3 brackets and then edited the photo using Photomatix.
Thanks for reading.

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary's Church
St. Mary’s Church

Architecture

When I was a kid I always dreamed of being an Architect. I always thought it was amazing to put a passion inside your work that everyone would be able to see it in a building or structure. I took this photo at my sister’s wedding while in Alton, Illinois. It is from inside of St. Mary’s Church. I looked up at the ceiling and saw this amazing piece of work and thought, I had to share.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed the photo and the small story. If you are interested in more of my Architecture work, be sure to click on the Architecture Tag below.
Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez

Flower In The Light

Flower In The Light
Flower In The Light

Vallejo

I thought I would just share an old photo from Vallejo. I took this photo while at Six Flags Vallejo. They have a very amazing Butterfly Exhibit that has so many butterflies, but also flowers. I was walking through the exhibit and almost missed this one. I shot it with my Sigma 300mm lens.
Thanks for reading!

Semper Fidelis,

Manuel Perez