Today, in addition to being the first day of the rest of my life, marks the ending of the lifetime of the ceramic tiles in my kitchen. Now, I've written before of my dislike of this tile and its accompanying brown grout, but now that it's going away, I feel I need to point out its virtues. For 14 years, this tile has uncomplainingly accepted scorching hot pots on its surface. It has helped disguise the crumbs that I failed to wipe up, and even tried to camouflage errant sticky spots. It has borne up under heavy things dropped on it. All in all, it's been a pretty good support, which is why I've been loyal to it thus far. But it's ugly, and the grout was breaking down, and now its time has come. The End.