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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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basement cats ftw!
children of dune - leto 1
The ultimate guide to newspaper curmudgeon talking points by Jason Preston at eatsleeppublish.com, which is incredibly fun for those of us who occasionally--and I do mean occasionally, I like my blood pressure where it is, thanks--wander the blogosphere and read incredulously the anti-blog rhetoric carried on in--well, in blogs, actually. While I am aware it's complex and deeply meaningful and an Issue or something, I still think irony wins that anyone would literally drag out, and I quote from the article, "A blog is not a tool for journalism, it is for people in their pajamas writing about their cats from their basements."

Let's face it--society is in its pajamas in the basement with the apocryphal cats (and let me stop here and say, I just had some kind of internet orgasm being able to use apocryphal in a sentence. Carry on). I mean, are there any people left who aren't in the cat basement? I think like, investment bankers might not be, but that's because we are currently utilizing them as objects for large, burning pyres, and I bet they wish they were in the basement.

The long clung-to means of superiority--(fat) people in the basement with their cats--is my favoritest insult because:

a.) basements are inherently funny to me. While I know there are basements in Texas, I have never actually seen one. No, seriously. It's black dirt. It's like some combination of velcro and death; it does not do basements well. It grows maize well, and also, sunflowers if the field across from my childhood home was any indication. Big sunflowers. And does really freaky things to foundation. The dirt, not the sunflowers. I'm going off topic.

b.) Cats. Cats. It's so ubiquitous (internet orgasm) that it has no meaning. They have a lot of cats in the (metaphorical) basement. The thing is, I had a cat. And a lot of my flist has cats. Cats and keyboards, to my knowledge, do not do well together. If you have a cat and blog regularly, I salute you. My cat loved keyboards. In ways that weren't healthy. And when they aren't on your keyboard, making slow, sweet, creepy love, they ignore you. Pajama people in the dog basement works better. Dogs require attention and while they do not love your keyboard, at least a few dogs of my acquaintance had a deep and meaningful relationship with cords.

I'm just saying, we need a new comparison. Soonish. I don't even own a cat, though I do in fact lj in my jammies. That's the entire point of having a laptop. To write in my jammies in a reclined position.

Continuing Adventures in Blog Hopping

So everyone has seen the Stewart vs Cramer (not to be confused with Kramer vs Kramer, which is entirely different and involves the eighties and terrible hair and child custody) on The Daily Show? Yes?

No, I haven't, I read it, because the initial reaction was awe (appropriate) and then everyone--and I mean, everyone (by that I mean, a whole lot of newspapers and bloggers)--seemed to simultaneously discover the fannish concept of the embarrassment squick. Unfortunately, they didn't have the correct terms and trotted out "brutal" and "squeamish" and "uncomfortable" while the rest of us nodded and went, right, embarrassment squick. Which even in transcript, yes, it was. I watched the legendary Crossfire segment on youtube recently and twitched my way through it with a sense of guilty glee--the internet equivalent, if you will, of the school bully having his pants pulled down and discovering another bully stole his underwear. He's a fucking bully--but man, you remember when your underwear was stolen and that just gets to you very viscerally. Doesn't make him less of a bully, though.

Granted, that's the point, and the most interesting point is that interviews with anyone, as a rule, do not bring out my embarrassment squick ever. And they kind of should. I mean, I think in general, if I'm comfortable watching a hard-hitting interview and do not twitch, there's something wrong with that interview. It's not like I enjoy it--I mean, it's embarrassing--but that's what draws the line between speaking to someone's comfort zone and dragging them out of it. An interviewee, and a viewer, should be uncomfortable. And at least once, someone should wince and wince hard.

Also, Tucker Carlson's butthurt is officially fucking funny.

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(Deleted comment)
*grins* I do want to see an actual basement.

Are you talking about the difference between a finished and unfinished basement? Because, as someone with not only a basement, but a sump-pump, I feel you are confusing concepts like basements, and cellars, and crawl-spaces, and only my self-restraint prevents me from sharing my thoughts on yaoi.

Oh, yes. I have no idea. See, we have a foundation. Then we have a ground floor. And then sometimes a story or two above. But not anything below ground, or even like, a third below ground. We just have the floor.

*spreads arms* Feel free to share your thoughts on yaoi. I know in theory what all those you speak of are, but I have never actually been exposed to them.


So, fwiw, I am not a contractor, but I've experienced many basements and seen some being poured, and:

All basements begin with a hole in the ground, and depart from there. If all you have is a hole in the ground w/ dirt and stuff, what you have is a crawlspace. It's generally not too deep, (hence crawl) and mostly used to put some insulating air between your house and the cold ground, as well as to put the sewage and water and etc.

Then you have basements. This when you line the hole in the ground with cinder blocks, and put a floor in. Crucially, the floor is "floating," that is, the floor is not affixed to the walls, it's poured, but there is a gap between it and the walls of something like 1/4 inch. If you live where I do, this is so that when it floods, instead of your house being ejected from the ground by the rising water, or your basement being cracked, it just rises (a little, not generally a whole lot, but concrete isn't too flexible, so this is how it's given some maneuver room.")

Then we speak of "finished" basements. These are insulated, and hung with drywall, and generally they need to be a little deeper since the electric has to go behind ceiling panels, which takes six inches or so off the top.

ALSO: sump pumps. These are magical creatures which are connected to weeping tile (more magic) which is installed under the basement floor, usually in a ring around the bottom, designed to wick up moisture, pool it in the sump-pump's pit, and then the sump pump will periodically activate and push it out into the yard. It is generally illegal to put it into the city sewer, since anywhere you need to pump out your basement, they have problems with rising water in the sewer, too.

Basements are generally joined to the house by something called a "plate." This is mysterious and I know nothing about it.

You may have both a basement, and a cold cellar: the basement is insulated, but the cold-cellar is built outside the insulation. It is cold, hence the name! Good for storing root-vegetables.


Tucker Carlson cannot get over Jon Stewart('s abuse). I think he's just begging for more. :D

It's almost enemyslash, really. And if someone hasn't written that, they should.

Oooooooh, have they ever, my friend. The fandom was totally all over that enemyslash! (I know there was more, but...I'm sure you get the gist.)

I am pretty sure that everybody in New England has a basement. However, they are quite often *extremely chilly*. I tended to only go down there when friends were over. In no universe would I just want to hang out there by myself when I could be in a warm and cozy room with *windows* instead.

I can't watch the Cramer thing; it's too much like watching somebody kick a cringing puppy who's already down. But Carlson? He deserved every second of it and more.

Hi! I am kind of alive again!

I don't think ANY single-family homes in Texas have basements... you have your black dirt, Dallas area has clay, Houston has what they charmingly refer to as "gumbo soil" which will barely hold up a regular house without frequent foundation repairs.

I dunno. Maybe places in the Panhandle have them?

(OMG we have a FREEZE WARNING tonight and Amarillo got hit by a blizzard. WTF, Texas weather?)

I swear I saw Moses outside my office trying to corral some executives two by two.

...I cannot get over it might freeze. That doesn't even make sense.

It snowed on Easter in Dallas -- last year? The year before? I can't remember, but I took photos.

The weather is going funky. But I have no objections to extending the season in which I have reason to wear items from my extensive knitwear collection.

You know what's brill? Our president is right there in the basement with us.

...so, uh, no, I hadn't watched the Daily Show bit. And, uh. I am now. *blinks*

That was... intense.

I kind of loved the Cramer interview because Stewart was so clearly uncomfortable attacking him - not enough to not be really unrelenting and direct, but enough to make it clear that Cramer was really just the guy who had volunteered, and Stewart was using him to illustrate the point he was making. I think he told Cramer several times over the ourse of the interview that it really wasn't about him, and then at the end, he summed it up to the audience with a quite hilarious, "I hope that was as uncomfortable to watch as it ws to do."

Still, seeing Cramer's expression quickly degenerate from bouncy confidence to "oh crap" was... weirdly satisfying. Even though, towards the end, he looked uncomfortably close to tears. So, yeah. Great interview, but embarrassment squick is the word.

An interviewee, and a viewer, should be uncomfortable. And at least once, someone should wince and wince hard.

Agreed, definitely.

B)One of my great uncles had a basement. Not quite sure of the point of having a basement near the gulf where we are... but the silly thing stayed flooded. Not sure how anyone (because I have no idea if he built it, if he did it would pretty much go in with the silliness in my family) got a permit to build a basement around here.

C) There's nothing like a little dog who decides to figure out what's so grand about the white thing on a desk. Nothing like coming back from getting coffee to 3 pages of gibberish and very wet/cold keys.

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