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    • Kill the messenger
      I am happy that, after all this time, Gary Webb’s amazing investigative work will finally be vindicated — but sorry the journalism establishment helped push him to suicide: Kill the Messenger, an actual film coming soon to a theater near you, is the true story of Sacramento-based investigative reporter Gary Webb, who earned both acclaim […]
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    • Looks like Scottish Independence is a “No”
      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
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I see your problem

Over at No More Mister Nice Blog, the author comments on just how livid Democrats would be if Joe Lieberman was nominated to replace Janet Napolitano at the Department of Fatherland Homeland Security:

And though it’s a small step in the scale of things, it could also be the final straw, the act that finishes the job of alienating the liberal base that worked to elect Barack Obama twice.

Um, just out of curiosity, what was it the so-called “liberal base” saw in Obama in the first place that led them to believe he was one of them?  It’s like putting the first piece of a complicated piece of Ikea furniture together incorrectly and then, halfway through, looking at a badly constructed sideboard and a pile of wooden pegs and cam screws. (No particular reason for this metaphor, why do you ask?) Nothing fits and you have to take it all apart and start over.  It’s frustrating and maddening.  Obama didn’t fit from the very beginning.  But I suspect that only people who actually understood what “liberal” means realized that.

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In other news, my basement walls are exposed after demolition of the damaged and mildewed paneling.  As expected, the previous construction was shoddy and the walls uninsulated.  Now that the concrete block is exposed, I get to spend the weekend cleaning, waterproofing and sealing the suckers up so the room can be rebuilt and finished next week.

It’s a lot more fun than I make it sound.  Really, it’s a field day.  I can’t think of anything I like more.  In fact, I would be completely selfish to keep all this DryLocking pleasure to myself, so if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, by all means, bring your nappy roller and masonry brush and join the fun!  No, no, don’t thank me.  It’s the least I can do.

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And here’s a picture of my local mall:

IMG_2014

If you are a fan of horror movies, you might recognize this place as the location of one of George Romero’s zombie movies.  Yes, this is THAT mall.  Well, it’s been 40 odd years since the zombies moved to Pittsburgh and at first there was a lot of local prejudice.  It was hard to make friends with them, they seemed to have their own night culture and, ok, they smelled.  But gradually, over time, they started to assimilate.  There were a few human-zombie romances that ended tragically but teenagers are all about melodrama, am I right? These days, it’s not unusual to see glassy eyed couples together.  And while brains cuisine kind of didn’t catch on, zombies have gotten used to putting french fries on their sandwiches.  It’s like they’ve always been here.

 

Cleanup day

Hi guys, I have to clean up today. A lot of my stuff in the basement is ruined. It remains to be seen whether any of the furniture down there can be saved. There’s also a question of whether the DVR and media stuff were high enough above the water line. The nintendo accessories took a hit. And all of the three full boxes of American Girl clothing, furniture, and dolls that I lovingly packed into plastic bins not two weeks ago, toppled over into the silty water. My eldest daughter’s childhood memorabilia is probably beyond salvaging.

And then there are the walls. The fire department removes only enough water to keep your electrical connections dry. The rest just stands there until the water gets reabsorbed by the earth. All of this happened before I even knew the basement was flooded so there wasn’t anything I could do about it anyway. The basements on our side of the street have never flooded before so my neighbors and I thought we were safe.

We still have no power. The generators are droning away in the driveways of those few individuals who were lucky enough to have one or could borrow one. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But today, I have to air out the basement ASAP or mold will take hold. And without electricity, I can’t use a wet/dry vac or a fan or dehumidfier. My freezer is thawing out, though the beer was still cold enough last night. I’m headed out for coffee before I have to haul the contents of my basement out to the street.
Later…

Conflucians Say: Before and After

Well, the basement is finished.  Yeah.  I’m worn out.   Actually, all of the construction, priming, painting, flooring is done.  I still have some shelving to put in as well as figuring out what the heck I’m supposed to sit on down there.  I should have some decisions made this weekend.  Stimulating the economy is both fun and nervewracking.

Basement Before:

img_0359Basement After:

img_0001

And join me tonight at 10PM EST for Conflucians Say to talk about your House remodeling plans.  That’s on Puma United Radio (PURrrr)

conflucians_200

Sunday: We’re making progress(?)

We’re about to crack open our 3rd 5 gallon drum of drylock as we are finishing our first bottle of Beaujolais. There’s a low fat cassoulet in the oven waiting for us to finish the second coat of drylock.

I just have to say for the record that drylocking a basement sucks, er, is of low quality. But we are almost done. Pretty soon the contractor can move in and finish this baby up. Will we finish by Christmas? I doubt it but fir sure I’ll be watching the Superbowl from down here.

This is an open thread.

Monday: Picking up the pieces

img_0359This is my basement.  600 sq ft of wasted space.  Yes, it looks dark and dreary.  But I’m about to do something about that.  The plans are at the township planning board right now.  While Ed the Inspector makes sure my contractor has planned for enough fireblocking, it is my job to get this huge, wasted space ready for framing.  That’s what I’ve been doing all weekend.  The room looks pretty empty now, except for a few stray cans of paint and some wood scraps.  But up until Friday, it was full of the same stuff as most everyone’s unfinished basement: boxes of old stuffed animals, saw tables, chairs in need of repair, old clothes, obsolete computer equipment and lots and lots of junk.  I filled the dumpster to overflowing and took 5 boxes of clothing to the bins at the local big box store parking lot. And the fun is just getting started.  In the next week, I have to drylock this whole thing.  Fun, fun.  Any PUMAs who have time on their hands want to learn how to wield a masonry brush?

So, if you don’t find me hanging around here much in the next couple of weeks, it’s not because I don’t care anymore.  It’s because I am trying to pick up the pieces of the life I once had before the blog took over.  I’ve been blogging for 11 straight months and my house is in need of some urgent TLC.  I’m still here and I’m still paying attention.  It’s just that it’s hard to spread drylock when you’re tied to a laptop.

I’ve seen a lot of mischief on the threads and there have been some temper tantrums.  My email box is overflowing with “She hit me! Make her say she’s sorry or I’m taking my ball and going home.”  Seriously, guys, let’s dial it back a notch.  The election is over.  We always knew that we were going to be disappointed no matter who won.  Let’s focus our efforts on constructive things.  Like doing something about the passage of Prop 8 or making sure that Harry Reid knows that we’re still interested in Hillary Clinton’s healthcare proposals.  Or making sure the media understands that we do not identify with Michelle Obama’s Mom-In-Chief role.  We want to be in charge of something.  That’s what we’ve been raised to do.  That’s what we’ve fought all our lives for.  We aren’t interested in taking a subordinate role to any man and we don’t want to hear about Michelle hosting the PTA meetings or having cookies and milk ready for Sasha and Malia when they get home from school while she gives up her career.  She is NOT our role model and we will not be dragged back to powerless domesticity.

Whew!  That article really ticked me off.  We may need another vent thread.  In fact, we may need one each night for 4 years.  In the meantime, let’s get our lives back on track too.  Tell us what Do-it-Yourself or home maintenance problem you’re tackling this fall. By the way, does anyone know how to keep tree volunteers away from the foundation of the house, permanently??

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