• Nice Kitty suddenly decided zie is a lap kitty.
  • Before Christmas, my windshield wiper fluid started leaking and the tank and lines had to be replaced.  $150
  • After Christmas, my car battery died and we had to replace it.  $150 (DH and DC1 did the replacement themselves, saving on repair costs and time without car).
  • DC2 read Charlotte’s Web for the first time and cried and cried and cried.  But zie was excited to meet Charlotte’s daughters.  Does anybody not have that reaction when reading CW for the first time?  DH and I both did the same so many decades ago.
  • DC2’s school is doing Scholastic again this year.  We just got the second flyer and I dropped $300+.  Some of that was for DC1!  But we are rapidly expanding our selection of books en espanol.
  • We’d planned to get DC1 a bike for hir birthday because zie is too big for hir current bike.  But… turns out zie is still too small for the next size up and we didn’t want to just buy a bike without trying it out first.  So we had to have a family conference about what to get hir instead after the fact.  Zie picked a bunch of Pokemon manga.
  • I continue to be worn out from work.  I definitely do not want to be promoted to full any time soon because it is already just too much service.  Not for a 10% raise anyway.  Now, if it were a 40K raise, then I might decide it was worth it.
  • I was looking at our electric bill going, man, we’re using a lot more electricity than we did this time last year. What has changed? Then I remembered we bought an electric car
  • neither of my kids knows what a tater tot is.  I feel oddly uncomfortable about them not having this piece of cultural knowledge… but not enough to buy tater tots.
  • Got asked to be an associate editor for a third tier journal… one I wouldn’t ever publish in myself, while not being embarrassing, per se.  But it’s like 1/12 of the work I had as an associate editor on a top journal (although finding people willing to review will be much harder)… so should I just say yes?  Or do I just say no?  [update:  I said yes.]
Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 18 Comments »

Help me with countertops! (Please?)

Grumpy Nation!  I need your help!

So… we want to have countertops made out of quartz (or granite) that look like marble.

There are… options.

Which one?

Home Depot has two companies that make quartz.  One is Silestone and the other is Viatera.  Here’s the pictures we took at Home Depot and then the one on the right is the two Viatera samples we picked up (they didn’t have any other samples — that third picture shows minuet, a quarter, then rococo, and they’re on top of our current terrible countertop).

The main difference between the different kinds of marble-ish quartz seems to be density and darkness of the grey lines.  Rococo is busier than Minuet.  White Arabesque is busier than Snow Ibiza and so on.

Also there’s two different types of marble that the quartz is trying to imitate.  Calacatta marble is the one with the fat long marbling– it reminds me of bathrooms more than kitchens, and the quartz example counter at Home Depot looked like formica to me (though oddly, there was a great looking formica knockoff– if only you couldn’t see the seams).  I like Carerra style marble instead– that’s the one with the shorter lines.  (I guess there’s also statuary marble, but I haven’t seen any quartz knock-offs for that– probably some of what I think is Calacatta is actually imitating statuary, but without any additional color.)

One problem that I have is that I cannot extrapolate those small samples to an entire counter.  Are the busy ones too busy?  The sparse ones too sparse?

Viatera has a great webpage with lots of pictures of their different options.  When you click on a stone, it shows you a slab and pictures of completed counters.  The Silestone page is a nightmare to navigate.   (I am also really irritated with a half-dressed Cindy Crawford [only wearing a top, for tops on tops, get it?] sitting on a kitchen counter on their first page and if you accidentally click it, you see a guy WEARING SHOES standing on top of another counter.  I MAKE FOOD ON THAT COUNTER.   GET OFF.  Also, WTF, aren’t women making most of these design decisions?  Supermodels are not doing it for me.)

I found a fantastic discussion on a houzz forum with pictures talking about quartz alternatives for marble.

The prices in the first picture are mostly the “non-sale” prices because apparently there’s some kind of sale going on, but it isn’t an easy to explain one, so I don’t actually know how much they cost or even their prices compared to each other.

What should I be thinking about as we decide on a countertop design?  How are we going to decide among all of these different kinds?

How thick?

The internet thinks I should be choosing between 2 cm with 3 cm edging or just straight up 3cm.  But home depot only seems to have 2 cm and 4 cm?  I’m not really sure that’s true though… How should we decide on thickness?


Almost all the kitchen countertops we’ve seen online have either sharp rectangular corners or softer “eased” rectangular corners.  But there’s a huge wealth of different edging options. Should we just do what everyone else is doing or are there benefits to other forms of edging?

Other recommendations?

We have no idea what we’re doing.  Any suggestions on counterops would be highly welcome?

Grumpy nation!  Help a grumpeteer out!

p.s.  Several of my colleagues have built their houses from scratch and that sounds like a nightmare.  I get anxious just imagining it!

Link LOve


tw:  #MeToo unfolding in government comment forms where DeVos is trying to weaken how schools deal with sexual assault and harassment claims

Potential long term effects of missing a month of pay for government workers.

White house tips for surviving the shutdown without pay

Thankfully this did not pass

Just say it’s racist

The most sobering thing about the racial dot map

I’m not sure what to say about this link.

Links for how minors with anti-vaxx parents can get vaccinated

Metformin use in non-diabetic (non-PCOS/non-IR) obese pregnancy (spoiler:  it doesn’t help)

Work is not a calling!

I’m pretty sure that DH was the only guy who has ever been interested in me that didn’t see me as a manic pixie dream girl

I don’t understand modern music

When we move into our open office location in a few months, I am going to get me one of these.

Ask the grumpies: What would happen if trump was impeached?

Omdg asks:

What would happen if trump was impeached?

Here’s a step-by-step primer from cnn.

You need both: How to change (#notall) bad guys’ minds: A deliberately controversial post

Important notice:  today is a national call about saying no to the wall and yes to end the shutdown day.  We need phones to ring or our senators of every hue will think that the only people who care are the Fox News viewers who have been telling them to build the wall.  Here is the 5calls script https://5calls.org/issue/end-the-government-shutdown-with-no-strings-attached- and here is the indivisible script and explainer  https://indivisible.org/resource/trumps-latest-temper-tantrum-and-showdown-over-wall .

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogpost.

There’s been a lot of talk about whether it’s better to punch Nazis/shun Trump supporters, or whether it is better to listen and gently try to change them.  It’s always presented as an either/or.  The NY Times and other publications write article upon article about how the left needs to be more tolerant.  (Narrator:  It doesn’t.)

Here’s my no-research-done opinion.  We need the majority of people out there shunning Nazis/Trumpists and a much smaller number of selfless souls willing to be the “good cop” to gently listen to their feefees and to explain to them how to make their way back into society as non-racists.  We need people yelling at politicians in restaurants and throwing pies in Nazi faces and dis-inviting racist uncles from dinner and we need a lot more of them than we need that one empathetic person that picks up the pieces later.

At a recent faculty retreat, one of the professors made the point that our students don’t realize their writing is bad until they get bad grades on it.  Only then do they start listening to how to improve it.  Gently correcting comments are ignored if there’s an A on the front of the first page.  In the same way, we need a strong front of letting people know what is unacceptable in society, and then a little bit of gentle direction on how to fix it.  But not everybody has to be the teacher.  In fact, it isn’t any good if there are no social consequences and everybody accommodates the missing stair.

So go out there and be intolerant of racists!  Do it without guilt!  If you see one that has reached the bottom and wants a hand up, go ahead and listen (#DeliciousNaziTears) if you want to, but don’t feel obligated.  And certainly don’t feel the need to be nice to one who isn’t already questioning.  It’s not your job to be the Nazi Whisperer.  These people don’t deserve more time than the people that they are hurting.

Book recommendation: So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo.  Give it to everyone you know.  Then resume yelling at racists and telling them to get on up out of here with their wack opinions.

Grumpeteers, what do you think?

Belated Grumpy Rumblings 2018 Year in Blogging

Late because #1 is overburdened with service and teaching this year and has been sick and just has not had time for much of anything.   She does not like being in charge of everything, which I guess is what happens when you gain seniority and other people in seniority retire or become department chair so you end up being asked to do the service they did before they retired or got tapped for chair.  :(

Traffic continues its downward trend.  Again, blog traffic in general is down, and we haven’t really been doing deliberately controversial posts, we’re not on twitter, etc.  Or maybe we’re just not sparking joy for people and getting weeded because of Kondomania.  Comments are about the same, number of likes has more than doubled.

These are the posts that got the most views in 2018:

I think these probably show an increase in people finding our blog via googling and perhaps a decrease in conversations across blogs (or twitter) bringing in traffic.  Again, only one of these is from 2018 and the #1 post is still from students trying to plagiarize a really common composition assignment. We have cornered the market on plagiarizing a short essay about a relative’s wedding.

According to our stats, here’s the most popular posts from 2018:

Top referring sites were:

Most visitors came from The United States. Canada & India came next.

Our most commented post was DH got a 10% raise and now we’re really going to have some obnoxious money posts (note to self for next year:  this stat is now hidden under “insights” and is no longer on site stats)

I can’t get the most active commenters for the year, only for some undetermined amount of time. :( These were the 5 most active commenters on that unspecified amount of time:

1.  Revanche@agaishanlife 67
2.  rose 46
3.  gasstationwithoutpumps 44
4.  Debbie M 39
5.  Leah 38

Man, Chacha totally fell off the map this year!

Yay Revanche!  This means you get to tell us where to donate our most recent month’s proceeds from amazon sales.  Either tell us and link up in the comments (if you want more exposure) or email us at grumpyrumblings at gmail if you want it to be more secret-like.

Any blog commentary or highlights from the grumpy gallery?  Also, congratulate Revanche in the comments.  :)

Link love

Thousands more migrant children were separated from parents, according to new watchdog report

Young trans children know who they are

A handy way to keep track of your senators’ and reps’ votes on issues important to you. Of course there are other ways to look them up but this has a nice interface.

TW:  sexual assault.  We all have to survive

Mixed race authors writing books with mixed race characters

black feminist bookshop

Variation in women’s success across phd programs in economics

RIP Jack Bogle

This is a good description of anxiety

If you liked tough mudder you’ll love the latest obstacle course for adults: navigating your depression

Some controversy about the gilette ad. #1 liked it, but is disappointed that they’re only showing it online, not on TV. Good way to target demographic but not really that brave.

Modern building materials

How I fought through burnout and found a new career

So many ads for underwear

Amazing paper art (h/t revanche)

I am hooked on these videos