Xmas Miracle

Xmas eve, 1989, Singapore. My family is on vacation in Asia, and we’re invited to my Dad’s office holiday party in Singapore. On the walk from our hotel to the hotel where the party is being held, my sister and I receive a long talk on how important our behavior is (but really I think it’s mostly directed at me) and how it will reflect on him, and that we especially need to eat the food that is served because not doing so would amount to a huge insult that would impact his career.

The event is huge — several hundred people, at least. My family are among the dozen or so westerners in the hall. The master of ceremonies for the evening is local Singaporean TV celebrity/ventriloquist Victor Khoo. Continue reading Xmas Miracle

Renovation Week the Last: Double Bar

All inspections passed.

Building permit taken down from the window.

Contractor doing final touchups.


How long?


225 days.

How do we like it?

It’s pretty awesome.

Are there things we wish we had done differently?

How long do you have?

Will we ever do this again?

Ask me in a year. Or 10.

Hey, did they ever grout that tile?



Renovation Week 26: Naïve Melody

26 weeks since we started this. Half of a year. Are we done yet? The goal of late was to have everything wrapped up by the end of the day Friday, so that on Saturday morning I could finally go downstairs in a house that was only occupied by people related to me and fire up my stove and fry an egg. Are we done are we done?

No, we are not. But still…

Continue reading Renovation Week 26: Naïve Melody

Renovation Week 24: Now Sit Right Back

We must be getting close to the end one way or the other; our contractors have started taking away tools that they’ve been storing in my garage for months. That has to mean something.

When last we spoke, the critical path for this project went directly through the island cabinets that were being built. Without them, the countertop people won’t finish their templates. Without the countertops we can’t install sinks and final plumbing, or do the tile backsplash. Without the island, the Minnow would be lost.

Continue reading Renovation Week 24: Now Sit Right Back

Renovation Week 22: Lazy Caterer #7

Some invisible work this week. The electrician was in to put in the new sub-panel so all the new circuits in the kitchen can finally be energized.


Our second-choice sink arrived at the dealer on Thursday, so Keenan and I drove over and picked up the pieces that we’ve been waiting for:

NOTE: cast iron sinks are crazy heavy
NOTE: cast iron sinks are crazy heavy

Continue reading Renovation Week 22: Lazy Caterer #7