Counter Culture

I have been dropping images and text on Twitter about it, but don’t think that I’ve mentioned here that as a result of the sale of my father’s house, we are upgrading our kitchen. Well, it started as the kitchen, then became the kitchen, floors, painting, lighting, taking down a wall, and replacing both the front portico and the rear porch sliders (with french doors, of course).

Kitchen remodeling is probably the most disruptive event a homeowner can undertake, as life revolves around the kitchen. After we had our cabinets and countertops taken out, we were relegated to a folding table with a toaster and microwave, and a box of things like salt and pepper, plastic bags, paper plates, and plastic cutlery. We would have kept one plate and one set of silverware per person, except the only place we would have been able to use to wash those things would be the first-floor toilet, and that’s not good for anyone.

Because of the Holidays (and because as luck would have it my sister-in-law was also getting her kitchen remodeled, by the same contractor, which is how we ended up here) and a few snowstorms, we’re a little behind where we wanted to be at this point. But yesterday we finally got our countertops installed, and to say that this is a Major Event is an understatement.

Not that the new layout will mean anything to anyone, but the island is new, and the extended countertop that runs to the new french doors is also new.

We got all new lighting — recessed, under the counter, and the pendents — and we also put in this beauty: a dedicated beverage area which demands we make more regular visits to the craft beer store in the future.

Today the plumber is at the house (hopefully) hooking up the new sink and disposal, the dishwasher, and the water for the fridge. The contractors said they’d also try and get the new oven in place. Once that is done, we should be OK to start moving back into the kitchen.

One snag — of course: turns out that the backsplash tiles we bought to match the cabinets look like ass with the countertop, and naturally the contractor is looking to install the backsplash tomorrow (at the time of posting). That means we need to return 53 stone tiles to Lowes, find a replacement set in an appropriate quantity, and get it home before Friday. My wife is freaking out.

Mining Our Own Business

Enforzer has been spending his time in Star Citizen with the Prospector, heading out and collecting a good amount of lucrative rocks. With the introduction of the Argo Mole — a three-lasered multi-crew mining rig — the game has introduced new “mining heads” which we can buy and install on our ships. The Prospector is now painfully underpowered for the kinds of deposits that will really bring in the cash (Agricum, Laranite, Tanarite), as the whole mining world has undergone a minor revamp to make room for the Mole.

Last night Enforzer, Mindstrike, and I took our Prospectors out to the winter wonderland of Yela to do some planetary scanning and mining. Enforzer had been pulling in about 50k per run all week, with each run taking him around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. As such, he had upgraded his Prospector’s mining head to the top-of-the-line model which worked much better when breaking down the more lucrative stones. Mindstrike, unfortunately, was having a bad time: just as he’d gotten back to Olisar to unload his minerals, his client crashed and with it went all of his ship-board inventory (his hand-mined backpack, however, was intact, although it resulted in chump change compared to what he probably had in the ship).

I was relatively unlucky myself last night. Most of my scanned rocks were low-level minerals like beryl and quartz, with some diamond, gold, or titanium here and there. Enforzer seems to have the knack of scanning down the better goods, though, and he was alerting us to rocks that had decent quantities. I ended up with some agricum only because he had used his advanced laser to break down a deposit that I then collected. In the end, I returned to Olisar at only about 35% capacity and sold for about 15k aUEC.

Considering we had been out there for maybe 2 hours, I wasn’t too pleased with the result. I could have made 3x that doing courier missions which were a lot less involved, or free-trading. The benefit of courier missions and mining is that there’s no personal layout on the line. Enforzer had been trying free trading which was profitable, but only so long as the server didn’t crash, other players didn’t decide to use him as target practice, or some other weird situation didn’t happen that resulted in the loss of the cargo.

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