The flooring is not wood; it's a laminate, and the design has an unusual name: Indian Tigerwood. (There really is a wood called tigerwood, and it predates the golfer, who got the "Tiger" nickname from an Army buddy of his father's. I also joked that the "Indian Tiger Woods" would probably be Vijay Singh, although he has Fijian as well as Indian ancestry.)
If I hadn't said anything, you might not know that it's something other than real wood, which is much more high-maintenance; with the laminate, I don't have to worry about spills and so on. It's a great asset to the house, having replaced three different materials in the three front areas: Faded and cracking parquet in the entry hall, beat-up carpet (that Tasha was very rough on in her final days), and some really ugly linoleum in the kitchen. Having a continuity of material from place to place now adds a lot to the area, and it makes for a striking entry to the house. I'm very happy with it, and I learned a lot from watching it being done (and assisting in some of the final touches).
When I first bought the house, I used to just look around and marvel at the fact that it was mine. This weekend, I find myself going up front just to marvel some more, at something that just makes the house that much better.
Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday to Colin, the drummer in as many groups of mine as he has time to play. He's spending the summer living a jazz musician's dream come true in New York City, practicing and studying with some of the masters.