How to measure a trend

by S&M

How do you measure a trend? To these researchers, it seems to be about numbers at peak popularity, and perhaps about staying power. I would measure a trend by how rapidly it spread, and how rapidly it faded away. For names, that means that there are some people whose age you can guess fairly accurately simply by knowing their first name. Kohl/Cole might be such a name for boys. There are three in my son’s age group basketball league at the Y; I don’t know anyone else with that name.

Does it always make sense to measure trends the same way, or how should trends other than names be measured?

This Is the Trendiest Baby Name in US History

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231 thoughts on “How to measure a trend

  1. Now I’m lying here with Linda on my mind
    And next to me, my soon to be, the one I left behind
    And Lord it’s killing me to see her crying
    She knows I’m lying here beside her with Linda on my mind.

    Yes I know that I once loved her
    And I placed no one above her
    And I never thought I’d ever set her free
    But it just wasn’t in my plan
    The way Linda squeezed my hand
    The first time that I held her close as she danced with me.

    She said I’ve loved you for a long time
    But you’re married to a friend of mine
    And I tried hard to never let it show
    But my love for you is stronger
    I can’t hide it any longer
    And so I thought I’d better let you know.

    Now I’m lying here with Linda on my mind
    And next to me, my soon to be, the one I left behind
    And Lord it’s killing me to see her crying
    She knows I’m lying here beside her with Linda on my mind

  2. I’d love to know the trends behind kitchen design. We will be doing a renovation this year and apparently black cabinets are in as is marble countertops (no thanks). My friend thinks that the only reason marble is popular is because designers are tired of designing with granite and quartz, and want to change it up.

  3. I think the semantic issue is the modern usage of “trend” as noun as in, “on trend” in a design show, or “trendy” the adjective or “trend” as verb as in “trending now”. So Saac’s preference for trend as quick in and out is using trend in that sense. Those of us over a certain age grew up with trend or trending (trendy did not really exist) indicating a gradual shift that had staying power, but not necessarily permanence. So in the first couple of years Linda was trendy in the modern sense. But since it was in the top 5 for something like 15 years, it more represented a trend in the staying power sense.

  4. Lemon — I think there’s definitely an element of change just for change’s sake. A lot of the kitchen designers are also currently pushing open shelves in lieu of upper cabinets. That idea strikes me as completely impractical (who wants to have to continually dust, or clean the cooking-oil splatter off of, every item on an open shelf; not to mention having to keep the items on the open shelves constantly organized and visually pleasing), but there it is. I guess designers make money off of promoting one trend, and then re-designing spaces for people who bought into the new trend but then got sick of it.

  5. That idea strikes me as completely impractical (who wants to have to continually dust, or clean the cooking-oil splatter off of, every item on an open shelf; not to mention having to keep the items on the open shelves constantly organized and visually pleasing),</i.

    Right. Why would anyone wear these:

    When these are so much more practical.

    Presumably some designs are popular because they indicate you or your cleaning lady has the time to keep after it.

  6. Trendy kitchen design assumes one or more of the following:
    a) you don’t cook very much and it is primarily a serving reheat and display kitchen
    b) you have a spice/caterer’s second kitchen for the messy work
    c) you have a maid or regular cleaning service to take care of the dusting/washing of stuff on open shelves or painted white cabinets and fixtures that need weekly polishing
    d) your kitchen is so large that you have room for display shelves and impractical counter tops as accents away from the messy area

    The problem is that it is just like fashion – something is decided for the high end of the market, and flows down to a regular person who just wants a practical kitchen design to last 25 years.

  7. We have some open shelves in our kitchen. I like it because they are near the table and next to the dishwasher and I keep our regular dinner dishes on it, so I just grab them every night for dinner. I don’t think I would like all of my upper cabinets to be replaced with open shelves, but the ones that we have are really useful.

  8. I have been thinking of open shelves for the everyday plates and bowls. That way, my DH wouldn’t leave the cabinet doors open (he never shuts them). But I didn’t think about the dust factor.

  9. Hmm, I think of the quick-in, quick out as a fad, while a trend has longer staying power but ultimately fades. Not quite sure how you can write an article about trendy baby names without even mentioning Jennifer, which pretty much defined my entire generation (and then completely disappeared).

  10. Open shelving – ugh. I have never been attracted to that look for everyday life – it only works if all your stuff matches and looks good out (in addition to the cleaning factor). Lemon, I just had to close like 10 cabinets that my kids left open. Another snow day means I am trying to get work done and they are driving me crazy!

  11. The other day Mooshi mentioned how buttery chicken was trendy now, apparently in the instapot crowd. That night my friend who lives in a different state sent me a recipe for buttery chicken. I am always amazed at how quickly some trends spread.

    Other recent trends that i heard of from multiple, very different members of my life – ginger turmeric tea and Whole30 diets.

  12. We have open shelving, and are not matchy at all. I like open shelving because it is convenient. Have you ever seen photos of Julia Child’s kitchen? Everything was hung on a grid on the wall so she could just grab and go. It was a working kitchen, not a decor kitchen.

  13. “which pretty much defined my entire generation (and then completely disappeared).”

    I feel like if you named all the girls in my fifth grade class picture and cross referenced it with a class today, you’d be lucky to find any matches.

    In addition to Jennifer, there’s Lauren (x2), Laura, Allison, Sarah, Amanda, Amy, Kerry, Liz, Heather, Nicole, Kristie, and Lisa.

    These are all middle aged women now. Not old (except for Sarah) and not young.

  14. Linda and Jennifer are equivalent as trends, I agree.

    Is this a trend or a fad? One of my favorite 50s kitchen towels

  15. My class (I am 40, so at the tail-end of Jennifer) was like Jennifer, Jenny x3, Jenni, Jennie, Jennie with the i dotted with a heart, Jen x2, Kristy, Krista, Kristen, Michelle, Melissa, Jessica, Kim and Mandy.

    I was so jealous of the Jennifers and derivatives.

  16. ” For names, that means that there are some people whose age you can guess fairly accurately simply by knowing their first name. ”

    Oh yes – I have one of those names. DH has a very popular name too, but it is much less generational because it was popular for decades – probably still in the top 20 somewhere.

    I think the theory that a thing both has to be very popular AND somewhat short lived is a good definition of “trendy”.

    “. I guess designers make money off of promoting one trend, and then re-designing spaces for people who bought into the new trend but then got sick of it.”

    Yup.

    Open shelves and marble in the kitchen scream to me that you don’t cook much and someone else cleans. Marble is awful to care for in a hot, wet environment with sharp knives around like that! That’s why granite and quartz are so popular – they are practical for kitchen use.

    I have seen more white cabinets lately than black. Black on an island in a sea of white cabinets seemed to be “hot” for a little while, but lately, I’m seeing all white everything (including high end white appliances in some cases).

    The thing that I chuckle at is that almost everyone I know claims that whatever is “in” right now for mid-level design (e.g., white cabinets with white countertops) is really “classic” when they redo their kitchen or build a new house. I think it’s part of deluding yourself that your expensive kitchen won’t get dated as fast as it really will.

    I think the recycled glass countertops can look pretty cool, but they are distinctive and need to fit in with the rest of the look. Our friends who live in a cool loft building have some really cool recycled glass countertops, but they would look weird in our house without other major renovations.

  17. I dunno, Rhett, there are lots and lots of gorgeous, high-end cabinets out there that are not the kitchen equivalent of your shoe #2. They’re beautiful AND practical!

  18. recently watched the Kimmy on Netflix where Titus met a baby named Linda and was completely baffled because they are always adult women who work in HR LOL

  19. Oh yeah, I went to Homecoming with Stacy and Senior Prom with Julie.

    Tracy and Cindy were ten years older, they would have been my babysitters, along with Dawn and Brooke. Paula is 20 years older, and Karen is 30 years older.

    Imagine if I told you I went to the prom with Addie or Bella. I’d sound like Roy Moore.

  20. Milo — Back when I was a kid, Addie and Bella would have been considered old-lady names.

  21. NoB – Just before I was born my cousin was named Sarah, after her late great-grandmother. My parents confess to having thought “nice sentiment, but no little girls are named Sarah,” and only later realizing how wrong they were.

  22. What about regionally popular names. Maureen was popular in the Boston burbs c. 1958. I was at a client site and one of the people on a call was named Maureen and someone asked, “What kind of name is that, is she Indian?” I’m was like, huh?

  23. And at least one of my kids has a sort of old lady name that’s had a recent resurgence, mostly among the umc.

  24. “Maureen was popular in the Boston burbs c. 1958.”

    Maureen is the name my mom says she wish she was named, and your general region and year fit perfectly.

  25. I have a Jennifer/Linda/Susan name, but with a twist; I was born several years before its rise. So not only did I avoid having half my class answer to my name, people now assume I’m a bit younger than I am.

    Debate on open shelving has raged at Apartment Therapy for a few years. For someone like me, who is incapable of putting things away haphazardly (my kitchen cabinets always look better than the countertops, likewise my dresser drawers vs bedroom furniture & floor) , it sounds great.

    I’d like to have pots, pans, and cooking tools on a pegboard or grid above/near the stove, glasses hanging upside down under a shelf of cookbooks, and plates stored in a cabinet with a dishdrainer bottom, hung (obviously) over the sink. Fancy serving dishes for “company” or special occasions could be displayed in glass-fronted cabinets. I just like the feeling of openness. A slide-out pantry and a couple of sliding shelves for bakeware on lower cabinets sounds like plenty of closed cabinetry to me. If I were, for some reason, kept from that open idea, I still wouldn’t want the depressing ring of upper cabinets closing me in. I’d much rather have one solid wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinets.

    https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/open-kitchen-shelving-advice-249375
    https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/open-shelving-love-it-or-hate-it-197517

  26. So we have open shelves but no marble, and I do a boatload of cooking in there. But to be fair, we have a large walk-in pantry for stuff like the Cheerios boxes and cat food. The kitchen part holds the things I need to cook. I have an island with a wooden top, and shelving underneath. Those shelves hold cutting boards, strainers, bowls, etc, etc. There is a large potrack over the island which holds my pots and pans. There is a smallish wooden counter by the fridge (plain white cheap fridge) which holds the food processor and fruitbowl, and a wooden thing that holds all the everyday silverware. This has a cabinet below which holds kiddie plates and all the glasses, plus a drawer with the “fancy silverware”. Open shelves above hold plates, bowls, the wok, the pizza stone, the giant 2 tier dumpling steamer, and so on. The tiny counters by the stove are tiled, and hold the coffee maker and grinder. The below cabinets there (one on each side) hold large jugs of oil (canola, EVOO, and onwards) on one side, and bags and jars of spices on the other. It is all about as practical as you can get.

  27. A decoration in that open kitchen would be some of my grandma’s dish towels, which are roughly similar to the one Meme posted.

  28. Milo,
    you just made me feel really old, since now I know I could be your parent (birth year = 1958)!

  29. you could be biologically, but you’re not. my dad is 10 years older than you. Big surprise party at my brother’s McMansion this year. My mom is the exact same age as Old Mom, I’ve gathered.

    You are, however, very close to the ages of my parents-in-law. They were young first-time parents.

  30. One trend that I I dislike are “waterfall” marble or granite countertops. I’ve always thought too much shiny granite gives off tombstone vibes, and this pushes it to the next level.

  31. Catherine/Katherine/Cathy/Kate/Katie – does Caitlin belong here ?

    I spent a lot of time redesigning the kitchen in my first house, then we sold. Now we did a kitchen refresh and I couldn’t be that bothered as long as the surfaces hold up to daily cooking.

  32. there are lots and lots of gorgeous, high-end cabinets out there that are … beautiful AND practical!

    What details, besides good materials, make a kitchen “high-end”?

  33. July,

    The portions are all wrong on that one. It totally doesn’t work.

    This I think works:

  34. I am seeing a lot of gray here. Is that going to be the new avocado in 10 years?

  35. Mooshi – A walk in pantry changes the equation. I know lots of people who have the pots and pans hanging up. I am so short that when I go to my son’s house I have to get a stool to put them back up and sometimes to get the right one down. So pot and pan cabinets with slide out shelves work for me. I don’t even mind the soffit in my kitchen because I have to use a stool or a stick with a hook to get stuff from the highest shelf anyway. Also, we don’t have exterior venting. No way to keep stuff clean. I do have narrow pantry shelves facing the breakfast nook with three shelves of spices and pretty vinegar bottles, etc. I removed the closet style sliding door. Looks nice.

  36. “I have been thinking of open shelves for the everyday plates and bowls. That way, my DH wouldn’t leave the cabinet doors open (he never shuts them). But I didn’t think about the dust factor.“

    It’s a lot harder for dust to collect on a vertical surface.

  37. What details, besides good materials, make a kitchen “high-end”?

    I think that’s the only thing. Would you consider this a high end kitchen?

  38. My basic taste in kitchens hasn’t changed much in say 25 years. I like white, lots of butcher block, tile or soapstone, and nothing shiny. And bright colors on the walls.

  39. Milo is, I believe, between my kids #4 and #5 in age. My oldest will be 44 this summer, so that covers a good chunk of the younger crowd here. I think I am within a year of OldMom one way or the other. I know for sure of one other totebagger over 60. But some of you are gettin’ close….

  40. I think the waterfall edge in Rhett’s pic looks nicer than the one in July’s, but neither looks right for me. I do like live edge, and whatever you call this table with the “edge” in the middle.

  41. PSA: John & Kira’s is having a free delivery sale for Easter. My sister is fortunate, as she is now getting a birthday gift from them. :-)

    @July: I also dislike the waterfall edgs, although I agree with Rhett that your pic is a particularly horrible version and the second is much better. The thing for me is that I think an island needs to have a chair/barstool if there is room, so people can hang out comfortably; the blank face of the stone just looks naked and unfriendly. The second one at least has a seating area built in. The extra thickness of the stone makes a huge difference, too.

    Also, the granite in the first picture looks like Jackson Pollock ran out of colors — it’s busy and yet boring all at the same time. The second option is much more “graphic” (yet another trend word) — has a lot of movement in it without being too busy.

  42. Mooshi – gray is EXTREMELY in right now, both for paint and for cabinets, and I predict that yes, it will look dated in 10 years.

    Our kitchen is about 20 years old, but they did it in off-white so it looks current. The only thing I don’t like is all the brass (pendant lights, grates, all the knobs, all the hinges), but I did get used to it after living here for a year – DH told me I would. We redid our former kitchen in white cabinets with soapstone countertops – I really loved that and would do it again – and were on the leading edge of the white cabinet ‘trend’ (I think it is still current although grey is ‘hotter’ now) so had no issues selling.

    Rhett – I don’t care for those beigey cabinets but it looks expensive. ;)

  43. Rhett, that kitchen would not inspire me to create anything. It’s also harder for me to keep places clean if I don’t find them attractive, so those counters would always be cluttered.

  44. Hmm, I think of the quick-in, quick out as a fad, while a trend has longer staying power but ultimately fades.

    Yes, this.

    We named DD after DW’s grandmother and she always complains that it’s an “old lady name”. Yet when she was in daycare there was another girl with the same name. But we haven’t seen another one since.

  45. Sorry, Rhett, but that kitchen looks cheap to my eye. Very bland and generic, like a display kitchen intended to be completely ripped out and redone once the apartment sells.

  46. “looks like Jackson Pollock ran out of colors “. Hahaha.

    I agree that grey is being pushed everywhere. I think the word “grey” is also being weirdly used for colors that are not grey.

  47. Hate “live edge” especially as a countertop. That would snag a lot of clothes.

    A friend of mine is remodeling her bathroom and she and another friend were talking about a separate room with a door for the toilet, separate from the rest of the bathroom instead of a having a half wall separator. They seemed to love the separate room idea, whereas I find them claustrophobic and gross. I just kept my mouth shut.

    It’s like telling your friend who is upset with her boyfriend that you don’t like him and then finding out they’re engaged. No win situation.

  48. your pic is a particularly horrible version and the second is much better.

    Also notice the but joint. The second one has a mitered joint. Amazing how much that cheapness shines through.

  49. Rhett’s pictures look expensive, but I get the sense that the people who live there are as cold and frigid as their marble counters.

    My uncle’s old kitchen looks like the 12:41 picture, only his was a lot bigger and more austere. Triple the size, add a lot more concrete. And lose some of the apples. He might have had two apples in the picture, and they would not be lying on their side.

  50. Rhett 12:41 – It is impossible to tell materials from a photo, but integrated fronts are a possible tell. I agree with Mooshi that the materials are uninviting. That doesn’t mean they are cheap in price. That is certainly a higher design kitchen than my galley kitchen, and bigger but it is hard to tell how much bigger from the strategic angle of the shot. I do like the wall ovens and the ample counter depth fridge. If I had wanted to spend the money I could have removed the soffits, replaced all the cabinets, accommodated a counter depth fridge with ice and wall oven, but also would have had to reinforce the joists and still wouldn’t have access to gas, and if the inspector required an outside vent for the exact design, then I would have to fight with the condo assoc. The only thing I miss is the counter depth fridge. It would have cost me 2 1/2 to 3 times as much and been as much overimproved for the base residence as my master bathroom, which was worth every penny.

  51. “A friend of mine is remodeling her bathroom and she and another friend were talking about a separate room with a door for the toilet”

    Oh, I love this feature in our MBA. I hesitate to say that anything is a “must-have,” because nothing really is for me, but it would receive significant prioritization. You don’t want to be showering or brushing your teeth or putting on makeup and in the same room where your spouse is dropping a load into the can.

    Also, ours has a window, and I have the screen on it, so I can open it for a quick exchange of fresh air while it’s closed off to the rest of the bathroom.

  52. 12:41 also has one of those built in cappuccino machines that are (for whatever reason) $4k.

  53. John Green’s book Abundance of Katherines (has to be spelled that way) would teenagers know more than 10+ girls their age with that spelling??

  54. I wondered what that extra appliance was on the right. Must be the coffee machine.

    I already have the t shirt holes from bumping up against the regular counter. With live edge, especially being short, I would have no intact shirts at all.

  55. I love the color of cabinets in the picture July posted. I like grays and blues. I still feel that white is first choice of all designers/builders.

  56. So besides materials, butt joint (presumably glued)<mitered<dovetail. So then soldered < welded? What else? Should everything match or is coordination king?

    Milo, Germans prefer windows in their bathrooms. If a place has them, it’s mentioned in the real estate ad.

  57. SM – I had no idea. If you’d asked me before I lived in the house, I’d say it’s a waste, especially because, like many moderately priced, recent-construction homes, there are a few places where additional windows would be nice, like the side of the formal living room. But in reality, I end up looking out this toilet window far more than I would actually use extra LR windows. It tends to be from where I notice the first hints of color in the early Fall leaves, or the first buds in the Spring.

  58. And as per Meme and Mooshi, careful placement of all elements (I still don’t like Julia Child’s kitchen. It is famous, and obviously set up the way she needed, but I just don’t like the way it looks).

    Kerri and Meme, you know they sand the edges, right? What do you think of the table with the “river” in it? My son, predictably, hates both live edge pix.

  59. One of my preferences for our recent remodel was counters with smooth rounded edges, for ease of cleaning. Our previous counters had an edge groove, it was always being cleaned and was always dirty. (Yup, both of those statements are simultaneously true. :)

    I care nothing for aesthetics and everything about ease of maintenance. Mr WCE was generally amenable and also realistic about the fact that I do 80-90% of the kitchen cleaning.

  60. SM – The counters look wrong to me, but I kind of like the table. The legs are too modern for my tastes, and the edges need more finishing, but I like the natural look of the wood and the interesting break filled in by the glass.

  61. @July – I don’t care for that look either (yours or Rhett’s), but that is exactly the kind of thing where someone will try to convince me how “classic” their new kitchen is, and I am just thinking about how it will be 100% pinpointed as a late 2010’s trend very quickly.

    “They seemed to love the separate room idea, whereas I find them claustrophobic and gross. I just kept my mouth shut.”

    I don’t like them either. SO claustrophobic.

    Rhett’s last example with the blonde wood looks like an office kitchen. In fact it is almost exactly the same as the office kitchen that I had when I worked for the housewares/furniture company. That office was all blonde wood, white stone, and grey floors.

  62. “Also, ours has a window, and I have the screen on it, so I can open it for a quick exchange of fresh air while it’s closed off to the rest of the bathroom.”

    This does seem like a good feature, but I’ve never seen one of those toilet rooms with a window.

  63. I’d like to get one with actual water flowing (and recirculating) along a rocky river bed. That would be cool.

  64. FWIW – when someone tells me how “classic” their new kitchen with a huge waterfall granite island is, I smile and nod. “Oh yes, it’s gorgeous.”

  65. I loved the tiled look for the backsplash but having had tile in our kitchen anything with joins shows the dirt with everyday cooking.
    The Julia Child kitchen worked for her and her job as a cookery expert. My kitchen, storage and fridge space is such a mouse compared to that !

  66. L – brass is super trendy right now!

    I also dislike waterfall countertops. But I do love having a separate toilet room. It is definitely something that is on my want list in future houses.

    Gray is definitely going to date a house, so I would only use it on things that are likely to be changed out semi-regularly (e.g., not cabinets).

  67. We had to work really hard to avoid too much gray in our remodel and still wound up with it for the carpet (previous carpet was a lighter gray so no change and half bathroom floor, which was dictated by patterns suitable for the small space. The local model home is all gray.

  68. Re: high-end kitchens – lighting (both the actual fixtures and the different types) inset or European cabinets, obviously expensive range, undermount sink, etc all make a kitchen look higher end.

  69. Lol at the BS Jesus story. Stream tables are commonly used in geology labs. The coolest ones (imo) start with a straight river and show it naturally developing meanders.

  70. “Oh, I love this feature in our MBA. ”

    Milo – forget the politics thread, this may be the last straw. If you like the tiny room for the toilet, I think our relationship is definitely over. So.Gross. (kidding)

    I would have to hate to clean that tiny room. A relative of DH’s has one of those rooms and it has a rug. EWWWW!

  71. “I would have to hate to clean that tiny room. A relative of DH’s has one of those rooms and it has a rug. EWWWW!”

    I just threw up a little bit.

  72. “obviously expensive range”

    I really liked the sound of SoFla’s stove, with all four burners along the back, so you can use the counter in front. No matter how much empty counterspce there is on either side, I always put stuff on the front part of the stuff when I’m cooking. I’m sure hers does not look like the single burners at the SRO hotel. I wonder how that distinction is made.

    Good point about the lighting. If you don’t have rows of cabinetry, is there a way to have task lighting near the counter, besides head-bonking pendants)? We had a range hood above the stove in the Island when I was growing up. I could swear those sharp wood corners jumped out at us.

  73. It’s funny, our toilet room is not that tiny. And we really don’t have a big house, as rooms like the living room and dining are fairly small. They’re in the traditional colonial box portion of the layout. But the kitchen goes behind the garage, and the master bathroom extends over the kitchen, so whoever designed it had a lot of space to work with there. That’s what gives us a decent sized shower, a separate tub that comfortably fits us both, a closet in the bathroom, and a good-sized toilet room.

  74. Milo – The toilet room does seem popular in your neck of the woods. The friends I mentioned both live in your area.

  75. So.Gross.

    What’s gross about it? The alternative is the flush spray of atomized fecal matter floats over the whole bathroom vs. being confined to it’s own area.

  76. In my neck of the woods, I once toured a model house just for fun that used the entire space above the three-car garage for nothing but a master closet. And, since it was a model, it was finished very well, with all mahogany (or mahogany-looking) paneling and shelves.

    It looked like a high-end clothing store.

  77. “The alternative is the flush spray of atomized fecal matter floats over the whole bathroom vs. being confined to it’s own area.”

    What is gross is the concentration of the spray on a soft and absorbent material that probably doesn’t get cleaned often enough.

  78. What is gross is the concentration of the spray on a soft and absorbent material that probably doesn’t get cleaned often enough.

    Carpet is gross, sure. But tile?

  79. “The alternative is the flush spray of atomized fecal matter floats over the whole bathroom vs. being confined to it’s own area.”

    Yes. Especially on your toothbrush, hairbrush and hand towel. Omg.

  80. In theory, a nice rolled out linoleum floor would be a lot cleaner than the grouting in our bathroom’s tile. This is one of those areas where I wonder why we pay more for less functionality.

    Different thought, I don’t normally get excited about this sort of thing, but I really like these faucets. I see them in restaurants all the time now:

  81. I could never buy a house with a carpeted bathroom. Even if everything was ripped out before I moved in. Nope, the idea is just too gross.

  82. @Rhett – What was gross was that her relative has a toilet box….with a RUG. The rug is the part that makes it extra gross.

  83. We have VERY limited kitchen cabinet space and a tiny pantry. We just added banquet seating on one wall with storage underneath it (opens like a toy chest). I like the idea of the dishes standing on end, but worry that we would not get as much in the same limited amount of space we currently do. It would definitely be easier to put away and get out to set the table.

    I don’t like that waterfall look either. But, our kitchen is small and that look would dominate the room. We are even considering next time getting a counter depth refrigerator, but it will depend on the styles available.

  84. Do toilet rooms have a sink in them so that you can wash your hands afterwards? Or is it like a public restroom where you have to open the door before you wash your hands?

    We only have one full bathroom in our house. It’s on the second floor. Our rule is that if someone is taking a shower in the full bathroom, and you need to use the toilet, you use the toilet in the half-bath downstairs. Works for us.

  85. “Do toilet rooms have a sink in them so that you can wash your hands afterwards.”

    God no. You either don’t close the door completely so you can use your hip to open the door or you use your elbow to open the handle. At least that is what I do as a germaphobe.

  86. On the sub, you had “sanitary tanks” (“san tanks”) that held plumbing wastewater until it could be discharged overboard. Toilets were flushed by opening a ball valve and initiating flushing water, which was just unprocessed seawater, iirc. The reason for the ball valve isolating the toilet bowl is so you can pressurize the san tanks in order to discharge it overboad, overcoming the varying pressure of the surrounding seawater as necessary, depending on depth.

    Before a san tank would be pressurized, a mechanic was supposed to hang a sign at the associated toilets to not open the ball valves. Obviously, this process isn’t foolproof, so there are occasional times when someone will unknowingly try to flush the toilet to a pressurized tank of poop water.

    Another, more common but still unpleasant situation is when you’re cruising along on the surface, conning from the top of the sail outside, and they want to discharge sans. It’s not a big deal normally, but sometimes they would have it pressurized a lot more than it needs to be for a surface discharge, and with a large enough sea state of rolling swells, every time the discharge point is in the trough of a wave, it’s exposed to the air. Depending on the direction of the wind, you can then have remnants of this brown mist blowing over you.

  87. I’ve been to parties where a meandering river was carved into a slab of ice and you did a shot at the end of it.

    I have one of those popular names in the 60’s that you never hear anymore. I count a lot of Lindas, Kathys, Susans, Marys and Maureens among my friends.

  88. For bathrooms w/o a toilet room, a half wall or other partition separates the toilet from the rest of the bathroom, blocking any atomized particles. It’s more open/airy but provides some privacy.

    After recovering from a c-section, breastfeeding twins and dealing with sick kids and diapers, I don’t think I have much expectation of privacy in my house, and especially not from my husband. The kids do now have their own bathroom.

  89. Our Master bath has a toilet room and it is pretty spacious. It also has the bidet. Our master bath is so large I would imagine it would be weird to sit on the toilet in the middle of that huge room.

  90. off topic – tomorrow is pi day. I went to two bakeries this morning to see if they had pie to celebrate with the kids tomorrow night – no luck. I just got emails from the kids’ school that they’ll be celebrating pie day and now I have to decide whether to make two pies tonight or to just say screw it. I maybe have ingredients for pumpkin pie.

  91. Her DH works for Kohler. It is an employee perk. Their bathrooms look like the showroom. The bathtub was $8,000. I’m currently working on her to be a beta tester for the next generation. Fingers crossed.

  92. Here’s a slightly different play on the “carried you” joke.

  93. “Try some grocery stores. You must have pie!”

    You could also swing by McDonald’s. Their apple pie is warm and delicious, and was still two for a dollar not all that long ago.

  94. I love those fancy toilets! IL’s have the Toto washlets, and I have seriously considered getting them for our house.

    I think if you are going to have a tiny toilet room, it should be something that you can just hose down.

    I’m sure that Mafalda’s is roomy enough to be awesome, and a window would help, but most of the ones that I have seen (friends and the condo we rent in Fla) are teeny tiny and have no sink. When we are in Fla I never ever close the door because of claustrophobia and lack of hand washing area, which totally defeats the purpose. What I have seen that is fine is a slightly larger toilet/wash sink area with a door, and then a dual vanity/shower/tub area that is a separate room. I can get behind that.

  95. “You could also swing by McDonald’s. Their apple pie is warm and delicious, and was still two for a dollar not all that long ago.”

    It’s not round though if you were to work in some Totebag math. I do remember someone was keeping a list of all the McD’s that still did fried pies, and I was considering hunting them down. IIRC, one of them was a McD’s stand at McCormick Place.

  96. Rhett – I am thinking of redoing the powder room. Not sure how much I want to over-improve that tiny space. But if the Todo washlet ever needs replacing, I am definitely looking into the Numi.

    I was trying to find a layout plan for my bathroom, but of course we expanded it on the reno without changing the overall footprint so it is not standard. We also have two doors – Some people have a kid in the second bedroom, so it is not a true master “floor”, and it is quicker access from the office. Coming in from the hall, on the left is a a drop in jetted tub with a full floor to ceiling existing wall on the far side. the toilet is hidden behind that wall. To the left of the toilet is a 1 1/2 sized glass shower stall. Across from the tub is the double vanity with double medicine cabinets. To the left of the vanity is the door to the master bedroom. I would love a separate water closet, but I preferred a large shower to a fully enclosed toilet. A full height wall makes a big difference over a pony wall. We don’t have an issue with taking turns if someone has an extended private need. The only conflict is if we are on a tight timeline and I forget to do my face and hair early in the getting ready process. I think generations of mothers of sons have succeeded in Pavlovian conditioning in asking their boys if they need to go right before leaving the house, so that the act of being about to leave is a trigger.

  97. The Kohler ad cracks me up. A fabulous looking couple posed in a glass room overlooking a city with a toilet in the corner? BS flag is thrown. That’s not how bathrooms work, Kohler.

    That’s just envy talking. I would love one of those. In a bathroom with walls, thank you very much.

    Reminds me of a Gael Garcia Bernal movie I saw years ago (Y Tu Mama Tambien I think?) where rich friend uses poor friends bathroom and uses his foot to flush the toilet, poor friend uses rich friends bathroom and lights a match to dissipate the odor.

  98. “So besides materials, butt joint (presumably glued)<mitered<dovetail. So then soldered < welded? What else? Should everything match or is coordination king?"

    I think there is a difference between real quality and "high-end." IMO, the term "high-end" usually means that it looks good — it has custom cabinets, acceptable-name-brand appliances (including some froofy ones like espresso machines and/or warming drawers), some sort of expensive countertop, flooring, and backsplash, and $$$ hinges/pulls/faucets/etc. But that doesn't mean that it's all actually high-quality. For ex., "custom" cabinets can be made at any cost point; what really matters is the construction/fit and finish — you want thicker, high-quality plywood vs. particleboard, full-extension heavy-duty drawer glides, soft-close, an excellent selection of interior fittings (like pull-outs and the like), and perfect construction/installation so that all of the gaps are even. That is why inset cabinet doors/drawers tend to run so expensive — it's really, really hard to execute the perfectly square door that fits inside the perfectly square opening. But I can't tell you how many generic-quality cabinets I saw that were priced at the high end because they had some fancy 25-layer "antique" glazing (back when that was the trendy thing); I chose ones that were only "semi-custom" (oh the horror), but which allowed me to specify the heavier-duty construction materials that were important to me.

    Similarly, most appliances are distinguished by various showy features, but there's a difference between, say, a real convection oven and one that just adds a blower to a regular oven, or a range that can pump out massively high BTUs vs. one that can handle both the high and low end. But I think most people who look at "high-end" mean "Wolf and Sub-Zero," as those names are reasonable markers for a certain level of assumed quality construction and performance.

    In terms of the appearance — matchy vs. eclectic, etc. — that just depends on whatever the trend is at the time. I interpret "high-end kitchen" as referring to a kitchen that was renovated recently enough that it is still in style with the modern trends (otherwise, it's "dated," which appears to be the death knell). So for now, that appears to be very streamlined and modern, as in Rhett's pictures (although I am surprised by the light wood in the one, as everything else I am seeing is somewhere on the spectrum between black and white, with the occasional shot of blue and brass).

    Of course to my mind, what matters the most is whether someone actually thought about the workflow enough to design the layout so that it is intuitive and things are stored where you need them — I can work in an ugly kitchen, but not in a bad one, and finishes are easy to change as you have the money. But then again, my priorities on this point will surprise precisely no one here.

  99. “I had to google where a McDonalds is.” I knew there was a reason I like you.

    I’ve seen bathroom setups where two half-baths each have a door to a tub/shower room between them. Makes sense when you consider how frequently each is used.

  100. Maureen was what Irish-American girls were named along with Shannon, Colleen, Kathleen, and maybe Kerry. I think it was an anglicization of Mairin, diminutive of Maire. Now I think the trend is for the more actually Irish names, many of which people don’t know how to pronounce, not to mention Caitlin which took on a new pronunciation and a life of its own.

    I saw Julia Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian — it did indeed look like a well-used kitchen.

    flush spray of atomized fecal matter This is why toilets have lids!

  101. ” A fabulous looking couple posed in a glass room overlooking a city with a toilet in the corner? BS flag is thrown.”

    They should put their Peloton next to the toilet.

  102. “full-extension heavy-duty drawer glides, soft-close, an excellent selection of interior fittings” are the kinds of things that come to my mind, long before wood joints. Ikea has them, for their fiberboard cabinets. So then you get a cheaper and cheaper-looking kitchen than the ones with wooden cabinets with the current version of ” fancy 25-layer “antique” glazing”
    I’d still like to find out what detailing SoFla has around that unusual range to make it fit in with her home.

  103. I like our bathroom layout, which is space-constrained but practical. The entire area used to be an enclosed porch that ran about 6.5′ x 21′. My closet takes up about 1/3 of the space on the left side, and then there is the entry door from the bedroom (glass, for light into the bedroom). The middle 1/3 is then a double vanity against the interior wall, and two large windows on the exterior wall (with top-down/bottom-up shades). The last 1/3 is a separate room with the toilet and then the oversized steam shower against the end wall; across from the toilet is another smaller window, along with a tiled bench that runs along that whole wall (from under the window all the way through the shower). All of the doors are pocket doors, which is pretty important in such a relatively small space. I like it because I can be doing hair/makeup while DH is in the shower/toilet room, and of course the vent fan covers both moisture and odors.

  104. Makes me think of this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nN_5kkYR6k

    I went to school with 27 Jennifers
    16 Jenns, 10 Jennies, and then there was her
    It’s the sweet shine of,
    Yeah, force of divine love
    The blessed arrival of you
    You might be the one that I’ve been seeking for
    You might be the strange delightful
    You might be the girly who shall end all girls
    You might be the sweet unspiteful
    I rode the bus with 27 Jennifers
    15 Jenns, 10 Jennies disapproved of her
    Yeah, get from my sight, man,
    Gladness is a blight, and
    Happiness stinks up the room

  105. I just learned that a local pie place delivers via Seamless. Woo hoo! And apparently the Whole Foods near me has pie.

  106. Coincidentally, I got out my pie pan yesterday, for a cheesecake. No matter what it says in the recipe that someone gave you online, replacing the butter with Greek yogurt, as well as it works in some things, is not a good idea for cheesecake.

  107. “Ikea has them, for their fiberboard cabinets.”

    Yep. It’s like the Sneetches. High-end cabinets/appliances have Feature X. Low-end manufacturers identify Feature X as something that identifies cabinets/appliances as high-end and start tacking on Feature X to their existing crappy cabinets/appliances. High-end manufacturers recognize trend and move on to distinguishing Feature Y. Repeat ad infinitum.

    My favorite was dovetailed doors on cheap prefab particleboard cabinets — it used to be that dovetails were a great marker of quality construction, because the cheap guys would never take the time. Now it is necessary but not sufficient — you know cabinets with stapled doors are poor quality, but the dovetailed drawers themselves are no longer a sufficient guarantee of quality construction.

  108. “Seriously, who has that kind of time?”

    Also, I like to see the flush. Along the lines of how I never tire of the wonders of the Industrial Revolution, I silently think about how lucky I am, of all the people born throughout history, to have this device in my house that just washes away human waste with the touch of a lever.

  109. We just had a massive “cracker box” built as infill on our block – 1.4 million dollars on spec. It is grey, gray, silver, and griege. One bathroom has 4 different shades of grey tile. The outside is dark grey with light grey on top, with some dark grey trim and a light grey door. The interior paint colors are sadness, ennui, despair, and tears.

    So many people”have always” loved grey and are so excited to change everything in their house to grey right now. Boo.

    In (very) tangentially related news, I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a teardrop trailer this week. The big decision is to take the one that is finished and ready for purchase, or to custom order. Some price difference, and the motivation to go custom is to have it be “caution yellow” or “tangerine” colored, instead of brushed aluminum.

  110. LfB – In the history of furniture making over the past couple centuries, I believe wood veneers have done a socioeconomic flip flop. They started out as an extremely high end process.

  111. Along the lines of how I never tire of the wonders of the Industrial Revolution

    Imagine walking up to it and the lid opens, you then sit down on a nice warm seat, then when you’re done it washes and dries your but and as you walk away it flushes itself and closes its lid.

    It’s not quite the gap from your toilet to an outhouse but it’s close.

  112. I like a certain level of tactile interaction with technology.

    You get that from deciding on the location and force of the spray. Do you want pulse or pulse and oscillate, etc.

  113. No, what I meant is that part of the wonder of a standard toilet is that it operates solely on the principles of gravity and fluid mechanics. You’ve got your big valve, the siphoning, the refill process that starts and ends based on the position of the float that physically shuts off the water supply.

    It’s truly a thing of beauty. But throw in a bunch of sensors and electric motors, and you ruin the effect.

  114. ^^I didn’t even mention the way that the flapper valve stays open based on its own float, so that it shuts at just the right level. It’s a marvel.

  115. it operates solely on the principles of gravity and fluid mechanics.

    It reminds me of a This Old House episode where they explained how central heating worked before electricity. The heated water circulated through the system of its own accord. Hot water rising and cool water returning to be reheated.

  116. I think I post this every time we talk about names, but I really consider it a public service. This amazing dynamic graph shows you popularity of various names over time. My parents were about 10 years late on my name (very popular 10 years before I was born). My poor BIL has a name that was very popular for girls the year he was born and stopped being a “boy name” 10-20 years earlier. All my coworkers who are naming their daughters “Sophia” and “Ava” – I gently point them to this. The problem is that pregnant parents often don’t have sense of what the preschools are full of and easily believe that Grandma Frances (or Ruby or Mabel) has a unique family name and it will be a special baby name. They don’t realize that they are plugged into the zeitgeist with everyone else and that there will be 3 Mabels in kindergarten (and 2 golden retrievers named Mable at puppy preschool).

    http://www.babynamewizard.com/

  117. ^^I didn’t even mention the way that the flapper valve stays open based on its own float, so that it shuts at just the right level.

    I never found that those worked all that well. The new pressurized ones seem to work much better and more consistently.

  118. Kerri – if you’re making pi(e), may I suggest a simple one: store-bought crust, maybe the oreo one, and fill it with pudding. If you don’t want to make the pudding, just buy Kozy Shack.

  119. “The heated water circulated through the system of its own accord. Hot water rising and cool water returning to be reheated.”

    Actually, some of our sub reactor plants can operate in this manner, at least at lower speeds/power levels.

  120. “The interior paint colors are sadness, ennui, despair, and tears.”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. I do actually love grey and have painted homes versions of grey and taupe way back when “ivory” was everything. But this is so, so, so true — especially for your part of the country in winter!

  121. Reminds me of how I discovered that Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” was literal in the upper midwest — growing up around here, all the houses were either brick or white clapboard, so I had never seen so many brightly-painted blue, red, pink, green, yellow, etc. houses.

    Then I realized that if you painted it white, you’d never find it between about November and March.

  122. “In the history of furniture making over the past couple centuries, I believe wood veneers have done a socioeconomic flip flop. They started out as an extremely high end process.”

    @Milo — Yep. The part that surprised me is that even the highest-end wood cabinets are plywood, not solid wood. Plywood is just so much more stable, so while the higher-end cabinets will have solid wood rails and stiles and perhaps door panels, the body itself is almost always plywood (if not metal, of course).

  123. Rhett – You live in a condo, right, not a rental. Is there any reason you can’t modify your master to add one of those toilets? I am sure you can afford the 5K for the sleek todo version and the plumber’s fee.

  124. Not T@B – it seems like the worst of both world – the space/shape constraints of a teardrop, all the moving parts of a standard trailer (water, toilet) and expensive to boot.

    This is pretty similar (different manufacturer) to what I’m getting:
    http://www.socalteardrops.com/page.php?p=19

    I’ll buy from a local guy who makes 10-15/year about 100 miles from where I live. Basically a queen sized bed inside, kitchen on the outside. Milo- everyone won’t fit, which is exactly the plan. I consider it a feature that I can buy a high-end queen mattress. Kids will sleep in a tent. If I get my spendy pants on I might buy something like this:
    https://www.realtruck.com/rhino-rack-foxwing-vehicle-awning/?utm_campaign=product_ads&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=786667&productid=786667&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7Z3VBRC-ARIsAEQifZRerJUWNSTf2c__cgTgi0OCq4xqUaehqsxm7q17kKc6y8ADHlSLQdgaAkWHEALw_wcB

    But probably a regular tent will do just fine.

  125. I can certainly see the benefits of that setup. A proper bed and a ready-to-go kitchen. Is there some kind of powered refrigerator/cooler/reefer?

  126. Is there any reason you can’t modify your master to add one of those toilets?

    Then the rest of the bathroom will look like crap in compassion so it will have to be redone. And then rest of the house will look like crap in companion and will have to be redone. It’s a vicious cycle.

  127. Oh… and I’m not Milo’s mom so it’s not the first thing I want to spend my money on.

  128. The bathrooms are actually the lowest priority in the house for my parents to renovate. They’ll do it when absolutely necessary, and the ones in the main house were gutted and redone as part of the overall upstairs reno, but it had been 20 years.

    Their beach house bathrooms (2) are the only parts of the house untouched since they bought the place 10 years ago. And they’re very plain/generic.

  129. That was me, Rhett, and it’s also my husband who is constantly remodeling. This fall DH wants to go to Spain, so if you see any good DEN — MAD deals, let me know.

  130. Milo that final detail in your sub story was just awesome. You conveyed the total ickuness of the situation quite effectively.

  131. Wow Rhett. The inability to install one of those toilets in a rental is the main thing that will keep me here till I drop. The shower, the tub, the great lighting, the toilet make me feel like i am at a nice hotel every day, and my bathroom is probably less tricked out than Mafaldas guest bathroom. I saved on the kitchen, because what i have including the induction range is still better than anything i had in my first 60 years.

  132. NoB, thank you for your attention to detail—that gave me a good laugh.

    Meme, I’m pretty sure I’m the only renter on here, hence my detailed fantasy above.

    Ada, your local guy makes them by hand? I think of cars & the like as industrial things made in factories where no one knows the complete process. It has always amazed me a little bit that my dad started out as a carpenter for Winnebago. I thought was of a totally different era.

    Rhett, get the toilet! You know you want it. We all know you do.

  133. “Imagine walking up to it and the lid opens, you then sit down on a nice warm seat, then when you’re done it washes and dries your but and as you walk away it flushes itself and closes its lid.”

    I’d prefer one that closes its lid then flushes itself.

  134. BTW, Pi Day reminds me of the time my 5th grade math teacher told us to bring compasses to school the next day. So I showed up with my Boy Scout compass the next day for a lesson introducing us to pi.

  135. “Do toilet rooms have a sink in them so that you can wash your hands afterwards.”

    That’s pretty common in Japan. The toilets make the water filling the tank available for hand washing.

  136. “What details, besides good materials, make a kitchen “high-end”?”

    Size?

    IMO, materials are a large part of separating high-end from other-end kitchens. In particular, any kitchen with particle board is probably not high end.

  137. “ open shelves in lieu of upper cabinets. That idea strikes me as completely impractical (who wants to have to continually dust, or clean the cooking-oil splatter off of, every item on an open shelf; not to mention having to keep the items on the open shelves constantly organized and visually pleasing)”

    Not practical if you live in earthquake country. No doors means nothing to keep the stuff on your shelves from falling off in an earthquake.

    When we lived in SV, all of our cabinet doors were baby-proofed to prevent that.

  138. No doors means nothing to keep the stuff on your shelves from falling off in an earthquake.

    Boat kitchens often have a little lip that seems to hold things in well enough.

  139. I’ve heard of the toilets with sink on top so handwashing water can be reused for flushing. I’ve always wondered how they’re set up ergonomically. Looks like whoever designed that bathroom stall hasn’t figured it out either!

    Finn, I’d forgotten all about the earthquakes. For ages, whenever AP had something about open shelving, you could count on many of the first comments being from Californians worried about earthquakes. Got to be funny after a while, as in “before the earthquakes get here…” I don’t see what good a standard cabinet door is going to do in case of an earthquake anyway, without secure latches like boats and mobile homes have in their kitchens.

  140. “I feel like if you named all the girls in my fifth grade class picture and cross referenced it with a class today, you’d be lucky to find any matches.

    In addition to Jennifer, there’s Lauren (x2), Laura, Allison, Sarah, Amanda, Amy, Kerry, Liz, Heather, Nicole, Kristie, and Lisa.”

    In DD’s current group of friends: Jennifer, Lauren, Allison (x2), Amy, and Nicole.

    In her softball team was another Lauren, Amanda, and another Nicole.

    In her violin studio, there was another Amanda and Liza.

    Her best friend at her babysitter was Lisa.

  141. “I don’t see what good a standard cabinet door is going to do in case of an earthquake anyway, without secure latches like boats and mobile homes have in their kitchens.”

    Thus the baby-proofed cabinet doors.

  142. Rhett – I agree with DR. I say get the toilet! Think how happy you’ll be every time you use it.

    We have really small bathrooms. I don’t mind and prefer smaller bathrooms since our house is smaller. Seems like a waste to have big bathrooms in a small house.

    DH is adamant that we don’t use the bathroom at the same time. We have been together almost 20 years and only one time has he come into the bathroom when I was using it and that was after my mom died and I was hysterically crying and he was worried about me. When we watch House Hunters DH gets super annoyed every time a couple says they “need” double sinks in the bathroom. He does not comprehend why people would be in the bathroom at the same time.

    I enjoyed reading this thread today. Couldn’t check during the day because I was dealing with issues with one of my directs. I love millenials and think they are great, but the one reporting to me is the definition of a snowflake. I would rather have been reading about toilets.

  143. Rhett – you need that toilet. The lid closes and flushes when you walk away. Also, it has color options…the interior bowl and exterior have multiple lighting options. And it plays spa music. Multiple spray options, and somehow Kohler figured out how to keep the sound of pee hitting the water to a minimum.

    I really want that toilet…but only if I can get it free. :)

  144. The first house DW and I bought together had two full baths, and each of them had a door separating the vanity from the toilet and shower/tub.

    We really liked that feature, as it allowed two people to simultaneously use the bathrooms without sacrificing privacy (or, for that matter, exposing others to the toilet flushing aerosolization).

    Back in our DINK days, more than once, we and a bunch of friends stayed in the home of a friend, who had similarly arranged bathrooms, including a shared (i.e., not on-suite) bathroom with two sinks and a long counter. That arrangement allowed up to 4 people to be using the bathroom at once, which really helped with that many people having to share.

  145. When we watch House Hunters DH gets super annoyed every time a couple says they “need” double sinks in the bathroom.

    I also think that about ktichens. Do coupled really make dinner together at the same time? Is it typically a two person job?

  146. I also think that about ktichens. Do coupled really make dinner together at the same time? Is it typically a two person job?

    Not always, but we often cook together and I know plenty of other couples that do as well.

  147. I might not need two sinks, but if not I would like this with lots of space on the side for all my “stuff” DH doesn’t have stuff, but he does have a large pillbox

  148. We have two sinks in our master, but we rarely ever use them at the same time. I do wish we had more cabinet space. I have a lot of stuff and I would be very happy if I had another drawer.

    Our toilet in the basement isn’t working and the plumber is coming back one more time to see if it can be fixed. It’s a basic Toto that doesn’t get a lot of use, but 95% of the users are kids. We will probably just replace with another Basic Toto if it can’t be repaired.

  149. One of the few modern looking homes in my area is under foreclosure for sale. The house is custom built, with more wood on the interior than I anticipated. I wonder what happened, did they run out of money ? Bad luck befall them ?
    Our house is older with updates and additions. It would need a gut renovation to make it really modern. It’s probably a tear down at this point given our location and area.

  150. DH and I cook together often. It helps to get the meal to the table quicker. Our kitchen is just about the right size so two can work comfortably.

    On the pie – two bakeries and two stores later, including Whole Foods – and still no pie to buy. I guess March is not a good month for pie. I took Fred’s suggestion and got store-bought crust and pudding, but ended up with two pumpkin pies. We had some leftover canned ingredients from Thanksgiving. The pie shells were not that deep and the Libby’s pumpkin can recipe was just enough.

  151. Happy pi day y’all! DH celebrated by telling the kids Monday they each had two days to memorize the most digits of pi. Wonder who will win?

    I totally should have made pie, because really, any excuse. But I spaced it. Oh well.

    DH and I don’t cook together, but we do cook and do dishes at the same time. Our workspace works well for that (on purpose) — it is basically an L, with the long side the cooking side, and the short side the dish storage and cleaning side. Added bonus that people can set the table without running through where I’m cooking.

    I don’t need two sinks in the bathroom as long as I have enough counterspace. But I do need two sinks in the kitchen so I don’t throttle DH, who does the dishes, shall we say, sporadically (i.e., when we run out of spoons). :-) My criterion for the dish sink was “as deep as possible so I don’t have to stare at all the stuff piled up in it.”

  152. Rhett, you will be horrified to know that I purchased our tickets for London and they are economy. About $520 each. Also I found us a house to stay in for $350/night! (This is 7 people, our nanny and her fiance are coming too)

    No school here for the second day in a row. I don’t know if the plows in our town need upgrading, or what – it stopped snowing at about 11!

  153. Whereabouts?

    When he did his year in Spain, the family he stayed with was in Cádiz, so we’ll have to go there. The family (the ones who are still around) are actually in Madrid, so we’ll visit them there. Then there’s his old girlfriend — I forget where she is, but we’ll probably track her down. So that’s as much as I know.

  154. We are having snow flurries. Thankfully the kids made it to school before even one flurry was sighted. You never know, there could have been a school delay or cancellation !

  155. Our supermarkets and bakeries always have pies. This could be an interesting study. Why is there an abundance of pie in the burbs vs the city?

  156. I purchased our tickets for London and they are economy.

    Economy? What is that? Is it new?

  157. Our supermarkets and bakeries always have pies.

    Yeah, I’ve never heard of not being able to find a pie.

  158. At worst one can buy a Mrs Smiths frozen pie in the freezer case of a normal supermarket. My mom never made a pie from scratch in her life. WF and TJs always have pies here, too, but maybe for PI day they would be sold out in a totebaggy burb.

  159. See, Denver Dad and I are blessed to have hundreds of Village Inn restaurants within a 50 mile radius of town. Village Inn always has pie. It’s their thing.

  160. Tons of cherry pies available at the local grocery store. My kids never had Pi day at school.

  161. Fred, ex-girlfriend apparently was in Ibiza for years, but has moved back to Cádiz. I am not pleased. I would rather see Ibiza.

  162. That’s a great fare, L. What airline are you flying?

    Our kids are out of school again today, too. Two snow days this week, two snow days last week. I have lost count of the total for the year — there have been so many. I’m nervously awaiting the school’s announcement of how they plan to make up for all the missed days (they build five extra days in June into the schedule, but we’re way past five days at this point.)

  163. Yeah, not much in Cadiz. But you’ll be close enough, and maybe fly into Seville which is definitely worth seeing. Also in that region is Ronda which you should go to. Granada is a 3+ hr drive away, so requiring an overnight, but you should definitely go to the Alhambra & Generalife there.
    There’s an interesting temple/mosque in Cordoba if you have the time. Skip Malaga. Gibraltar is kind of interesting but would be way down my list. I’ve been to Seville, Ronda, Granada all 2-3 times and would definitely go back if I got the chance.

  164. Thanks, Fred!

    Milo, it’s sort of a half-step up from Denny’s, but definitely in the same category. It’s not bad, and they have free wifi.

  165. not much in Cadiz. But you’ll be close enough, and maybe fly into Seville which is definitely worth seeing. Also in that region is Ronda which you should go to. Granada is a 3+ hr drive away, so requiring an overnight, but you should definitely go to the Alhambra & Generalife there.

    As I’m not well traveled by this board’s standards, I’m amused that I’ve seen all of these places. On our way home from deployment, we stopped in Rota. DW met me and we toured around for a week.

  166. Yeah, we didn’t see very much. We saw some of Florida a few times (space coast and Mayport/Jacksonville – yay!).

    Besides Spain, we saw La Maddalena/Sardinia, Bahrain, and Crete.

  167. When that poster was made (if it’s WWII), I think it was actually a majority of the recruits who had never before traveled more than 25 miles from their places of birth.

  168. I, too, am shocked at your inability to find pie. The local bakery behind our house has been pushing Pi Day for a week now. (get a free slice if you can recite the first 20 digits) When I walked by Whole Foods on the way to work, they had a huge sign & display of pies for Pi Day as well.

    I asked DS if he wanted a pie for dessert tonight to celebrate. He said no – he likes pi better than pie and can’t we just have ice cream? Ok, kid. Whatever you want. I didn’t really want to track down a pie. (DH is busy tonight, so it is just the two of us.)

  169. I know right? The local bakeries had soda bread, tarts, cakes, muffins, and cupcakes but no pie. At one, I could order one with 24 hours notice. Whole Foods near me is a smaller one but colleagues tell me they usually have pie. Well they didn’t. Maybe they sold out? The local grocery store had a few cakes/cupcakes, no frozen pies and only 1 kind of frozen crust. It’s a small local store, nowhere near the gargantuan suburban meccas y’all are used to. so I wasn’t totally surprised. If I went farther a field I’m sure I could have found pie somewhere, but then it becomes a PITA. The place that delivers – pies are usually over $25. Not worth it for pie I won’t even get to eat. =) The kids like pumpkin pie so were happy. And now we have a lot of pudding so all in all it worked out.

  170. Snow days and pi days—wonder how those will affect the school walkouts today. Are any of your kids planning to participate? Mine’s on spring break.

    Rocky, damn you’re tolerant. Why not demand Ibiza as a tradeoff for seeing the old girlfriend?

    We should fine Rhett $10 every time he mentions one of those toilets, to be used for its eventual purchase. He’d have one by now!

  171. I told my kids they could do what they want. Our district is being very discouraging, and AP Gov scheduled a major exam for today, right during the walkout time.

  172. “Our toilet in the basement isn’t working and the plumber is coming back one more time to see if it can be fixed. It’s a basic Toto that doesn’t get a lot of use, but 95% of the users are kids. We will probably just replace with another Basic Toto if it can’t be repaired.”

    Lauren, I’d be very surprised if your toilet can’t be fixed.

    Given that it’s a basic Toto, there’s only a few things that could go wrong. My guess is that the bowl and tank aren’t the problem, about the only way those can fail is if they literally break, i.e., the china cracks. So that leaves just the flush and fill mechanisms, which even if completely replaced would cost much less than replacing the entire toilet.

    What is the problem? Often what people think are toilet problems are actually sewer problems, although your plumber should be able to discern that.

  173. My daughter is on a plane today, including during the walkout time, so I told her, “Don’t walk out of the plane!” and she rolled her eyes at me.

  174. Finn, you’re right. It is a minor problem. The water runs, and they insisted that they fixed it, but they didn’t fix it. My plumber of 15 years retired. He was a one man operation and he said he is too old for all of the stairs, crawling under sinks etc. He was so honest and he could fix everything. Several of my neighbors use a local family owned plumbing company. I called them, but they have about ten employees, and this guy didn’t seem to care about the quality of his work. He was more concerned about how high the bill would go if he stayed longer. I found a new plumber – just a guy and his son. I just have to find the time to call him and stay at home to get this done.

  175. Last year, I think my SIL took a major dump in the kids’ bathroom and clogged it all up. Maybe it had something to do with being pregnant. After some elementary plunging, I got the water flowing, but it still wasn’t flushing properly, imo. It also became more susceptible to subsequent clogs.

    After they went home, so as not to further embarrass anyone, I went to Lowe’s and got a big old snake, the kind that you crank with the sharp screw on the end. And it took me an hour or so playing with it, cranking, flushing over and over, but I somehow hit it just right and broke up the blockage. Then it started flushing properly.

    Another factor to consider for your basement commode is that it’s really low to the sewer line, so there’s going to be much less vertical head pulling the bowl’s contents down. My upstairs toilets are three stories higher than the septic tank, but with the basement one, you have to be more careful about how much toilet paper you try to pass with each flush.

  176. “The water runs, and they insisted that they fixed it, but they didn’t fix it.”

    Do you mean you can hear the water running continuously well after flushing?

    That might suggest a problem with the flap, either not shutting once the tank has emptied, or not sealing well. If it’s not sealing, then the water would be a trickle at most.

    My guess is it’s more likely that the fill valve isn’t shutting off, perhaps because the float is set too high.

    If it flushes effectively despite continuously running water (has your water bill been high lately?), then it’s more likely the fill valve.

    I would suggest you take the cover off the tank and take a look. It’s not complicated, and that water is clean. If you have another similar toilet in your house that works fine, take the cover off the tank of that one and watch what happens when you flush, then compare it to the one in the basement.

  177. Milo, did you run the snake down the toilet? My concern with doing that would be scratching the china.

  178. I’m sure it scratched it, but not on any portions that are visible from a depositor’s normal vantage point.

  179. PSA from my plumber: The scratch marks are more likely surface metal marks that can be removed by using Bar Keepers Friend cleaning powder. (One of many lessons from parenting teens.)

  180. Mooch, how disappointing! Apparently, AP govt at that school had just been discussing the NRA before the shooting, which partially explains why they were so ready to jump in on the issue once they had the emotional impetus.

    My kid’s on spring break this week. There were apparently walk-outs at other schools in the area. I’ve offered to take him to a demo on the 24th, but he is frightened of them, after learning about the Civil Rights movements half a century ago.

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