May 09, 2007

Bad Carpentry vs. Bad Masonry.

My mom needs a little deck or patio in her yard. Since her budget for this is pretty close to zero, I'm trying to figure out whether it would be easier/cheaper to build a little wooden platform there (something sturdy enough to last a few years), or simply level it out and use brick/sand to make a patio in between the "dog runs" and people paths.


Posted by Attila Girl at May 9, 2007 01:57 PM | TrackBack

easier? last longer? definitely brick and sand. Probably a tad more expensive, though.

You just level out the dirt, place the bricks (spaced, of course) and pour the sand on top. Then you spread the sand into the spaces with a broom. keep adding sand until the spaces are full of packed sand.

Pretty straightforward, and no measuring or cutting to goof up.

Posted by: caltechgirl at May 9, 2007 03:27 PM

Go to a few good home centers and look at the choices for pavers and concrete paving blocks. Look for something that stands up to abuse--'accidentally' drop one from a decent height on some others. With the range of choices available, you can create a masterpiece jigsaw puzzle that would amaze everyone (with your copy editing/graphic design superpowers). Caltechgirl's advice is right on the money, but remember you'll need a good bed of sand (at least 1-2 inches, compacted), so you may have to remove a little topsoil. Use a couple 8' PVC schedule 40 pipes, 1" or 11/2")and lay them on a layer of sand and use them to screed off a consistent thickness of sand with a long, straight board and two people. Slide the pipes back and gently fill in the void with sand from an empty coffee can and level off. Start placing brick/pavers and continue until you are done. Avoid cutting by dry fitting your design first. Make it as big as you like with no cuts. A pro would use a gas compactor with that sand afterward but you can just keep doing it and walking on it until the joints don't accept any more sand.

Posted by: Darrell at May 9, 2007 08:10 PM

Okay--so the piping is there to compress/level the sand? Like a rolling pin would do to a pie crust? (Without the spreading effect that pie dough produces, presumably?)

One more question: If I have to start (and maybe even finish) this project without my male cousins or part-time brother around, can two strong women do what's necessary? (If necessary, I can recruit A the H, but his deadlines are NASTY these days.)

And do I need to dampen the ground before I level it off? I guess that would help.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 9, 2007 09:53 PM

Oh, yes, and--what kind of sand do I need for this?

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 9, 2007 10:02 PM

Well, you KNOW which one I'd opt for.

And past experience shows that one woman all alone - even a crip - can do this just fine.

Slower, perhaps. But doable. I use some great one-person shortcuts.

Yes, sand. (More on sand below.) Your local building code folks may have opinions on this, about what kind of sand is required. Also, whether you are supposed to file a permit first is their call. Should they insist, then whether or not you decide to comply is your call. In my little town folks swing both ways. The permit fee here is usually $50.

The sand under the bricks should be compacted too. First you level it (scree), but that doesn't have to be elaborate. Me, I first just sort of spread it around by shovel, eyeballing it for level.

Then - and this is important - compact it. Rather than rent a power compactor, I use water, and, like Darrell said, simply walk on it. Works great.

Water compacting is a very old, recently scorned, but very effective means. I use it all the time. I like to run the hose on the sand, then walk around on it in a squarish spiral, back and forth, until it's really solid. You can feel when it's ready with your feet. (The cats used to greatly enjoy this exercise, BTW. Often more as spectators than participants, since they didn't like to get their little paws sandy, unlike their mama.)

Now: When done walking, I water it again. When the water pools in a level manner? Then I know it's level, and ready to lay the brick. No fussing around with a long mason's level, unless you love to for its own sake (moi?!?).

If there are lower spots in the sand, the water will gather there to tell me so. I add a little sand, walk on it, water it. This saves me costs in not using 2x4's or pipes to scree it first, and effort and manpower. It's a good way to work alone. Then, because it's tested for how level it is after the sand is compacted, it's really a more sturdy sand bed in the end. Better product, easier, faster, cheaper. What's not to like?

D's thoughts on patterns are also great fun. He's absolutely correct about the variety you can create with today's pavers and such.

Patterns are an old, old art. With brick you can also make patterns, of course; and these patterns, *bonds,* are often traditional and have names (running bond, herringbone, basket weave). My paths are running bond and one slave path; my driveway is a staggered modified basket weave; my front patio is herringbone.

Now: A few years ago, in my interest in developing ever new brick bonds, I meandered my way into thoughts that came to always remind me of you. Dig this: Quilting.

Quilting patterns arise from the fact that most cloth scraps are linear-based, right? Squarish. Think *Log Cabin.* Someday I'll be making decorative mosaic brick or tile patterns based on quilting patterns.

So even though modern pavers come in more interesting shapes than just rectangles, that doesn't mean you can't make cool patterns with bricks.

Me, being something of a stick-in-the-mud on this, I like my St. Joe Brick, purchased straight from the brickyard in Slidell, Louisiana, hauled home in our own truck. Of course, this is not always an option for everyone.

But if you are enamored of real brick, the kind made of clay and fired - as opposed to the concrete pavers - you'll likely pay a little more up front, but increase the value of your home improvement job enormously. My brick driveway added at least $10,000 - $20,000 in value to the house, far more than concrete pavers would, and actually cost less than pavers to construct. If you shop around, watch ads and such, used Chicago or St. Louis etc. brick can still be had for less than concrete pavers. And they are beautiful. Just gorgeous. It's, it's Nordstrom's vs. Sears. Pavers are perfectly okay, but brick is elegant.

When you place the bricks, after you've laid them out and are satisfied with the placement, whack them into the sand with a hammer or mini sledgehammer (*maul*). It really makes a difference. Even though this is still *dry paving* - meaning, you're not using mortar - to set the bricks firmly into the sand will help them hold their place for years longer.

When you put the top sand on? I use the hose again. I carelessly toss a lot of top sand on, spread it sloppy with a broom or shovel, hose it into the cracks, add more sand, etc. till done. Much less work than using just a broom, and in the end? In my experience, it's a far better product. The water gets the sand tight in between the bricks like nobody's business. You will be amazed how much top sand those bricks will eat.

Many people discover this fact only after the first rain they get after they broomed the sand in. They'll sometimes tell me the top sand *washed away.* Wrong, It simply washed into the little air spaces between the bricks that they didn't completely fill the first time around because they didn't use water.

Really, any kind of construction sand works. Your local Home Depot type place sells different grades (meaning size, and sometimes type, of the sand grains) by the bag. Or, you can get a cheaper small truckload from a construction supply place; some will deliver for cheap, some not; most let you pick up a load in a rented or personal pickup truck. Bulk buying can save a lot of cost.

Again, your local building code folks may have some firm opinions on what kind of sand is *supposed* to go there. Me, I like to use our local *sugar sand,* which I just dig up in the yard and wash in the wheelbarrow until the loam is gone and there's nothing but pure white sand left.

The local building code folks tell me this is WRONG WRONG WRONG and sugar sand can never work well as the underlay OR the top sand because it's WAY TOO FINE GRAINED!!!

and of course, as I meander all over my paths and patios all built using sugar sand - and the driveway, done Their Way - I have comparative proof positive they're full of it. But hey. Facts never changed government's mind before. Why should today be any different?

Have fun!

Posted by: k at May 10, 2007 02:19 AM

Depends on who is doing the labor: if you have someone else to do this, definitely go with sand and masonry.

If YOU are doing it, keep in mind that all of that sand and masonry material weighs a TON (literally, or MORE), and involves a lot of digging and moving this heavy, heavy material around. "K's" info above is very useful, with the minor exception that there is absolutely NO shortcut in dealing with the weight of all of the material it will take to get a good solid finished project (other than getting someone esle to deal with it).

If it were ME doing it, treated lumber will last quite a while, and is much less involved, takes much less exertion, costs are similar or less than the masonry option, in addition to looking a bit more professional when finished (my opinion only). Some minor rough carpentry skills are required, along with a circular saw, a level, some deck screws and an electric hand drill. Do really do a bang up job, you might want to pour concrete footers at the base of the steps, but then again maybe you can get by with a few pavers as the base.

Have fun.

Posted by: Dr. Steech at May 10, 2007 07:24 AM

The PVC pipes insure a consistent depth of the sand...and when you run the straight board(your screed--I use a 2x6, if handy) over the two pipes(think rails, as in railroad)you have a level surface. If you are still unclear, think the pipes run north and south, and your straightedge moving east and west). Use builder's sand--available at any home center in bags, or have delivered from a landscape center by truck. You can check your local classifieds for used brick and pavers(pavers are thicker, fired longer, and carry heavier loads. I agree with k about using water to compact the sand in the joints. I would have mentioned it after you decided to go ahead with this project. I would add, use the retaining strips they sell at home centers around the perimeter of your finished patio, and stake them in with the aluminum stakes they sell there too. It keeps the outer pavers from moving...and once those move, the whole patio can start pulling apart. A patio made of pavers is a good job for the 4th of July weekend. Have everything ready to go, and invite friends and family over to provide the labor--cart and pass the brick. You can set the bricks, placing each one straight down-sliding it against the adjacent brick avoiding disturbing your sand base. You'll knock it out in one day---assuming you don't start serving the beer until after it's done. You can go modular with this project, if you like. Finish a small design that satisfies her needs, then expand it when you are in the mood. Lay out the whole design first, of course and anticipate problems with the grade for the future sections.

If you go with wood and a basic design that is in contact with the soil, use pressure-treated wood for the part that touches the ground.

Normal brick is not designed for horizontal use where water can remain in contact. Only a very thin layer of the outside of a brick is fired hard. If you scrape (damage) that outside skin, you'll find that the interior is quite soft. That's why ordinary brick can't be used in areas like Chicago that experience freeze-thaw cycles. SF/Cali??? That's another matter. Pavers are designed for horizontal applications. They are fired for a much longer time and the hard layer is very thick.

Posted by: Darrell at May 10, 2007 09:14 AM

It turns out the mom has a pile of used bricks she forgot to mention, in the garage. I'll have to find out the origin of 'em, but it's tempting just to try them out on a cost basis.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 10, 2007 09:39 AM

Finding a load of used brick in the garage of the house in question is a Sign!


I wouldn't worry too much about their origin, myself. It's not like you'll be driving cars on it, right?

I'm perhaps a bit more casual about the brick specs than some folks are. But I really do have good reason. Here's how my St. Joe Brick has performed in real life.

-First, this is *colonial wood mould face brick,* meaning currently it's not considered standard construction-grade brick - although it was, and very much so, in the past.

-It's not glazed; just ordinary uncoated clay brick. The whole brick is permeable to water, and when you dunk a dry brick in a tub, it'll bubble for 10 minutes soaking up water like a sponge. Rather than being a detriment, this is actually a big plus in a hot area: they are *air conditioner* bricks, that cool the whole house down by evaporation.

-St. Joe Brick is handmade by a bunch of semi-literate old black guys, filling a mix of sand and clay into wooden moulds, then drying and firing the brick. I've met most of them personally. They do use some big antique mixing machines and such, so it's not ALL done by hand. The kiln where they're fired is an ancient and beautiful *beehive* kiln made of *fire brick.*

-The resulting bricks are speckled with melted iron pyrite and other minerals, and have some cracks and things too. They're not hard to cut by hand, for me anyway; I cut them by hand faster than my neighbor does his with a machine.

-While they're not hardened the same way *pavers* are, they're at full thickness. Pavers are generally *split,* meaning they're only around half as thick as a brick. So while there are gains in strength with specifically made pavers, there's also some loss.

Now: All the above facts make modern paver people scorn the heck out of my brick. They'll allow that St. Joe might work on *decorative paths* - IOW where no one would actually walk, so it wouldn't have to bear any weight. But on a real sidewalk?

Or - heaven forbid! - a driveway? Like, where cars drive and park?

After I finished the driveway, it was perfectly fine for a couple years holding car and light to medium truck traffic. Then came Hurricane Wilma. Not only were other people's asphalt and paver driveways disrupted by the actions of toppling trees and tree roots pulling up, just the flooding and windstorm damage messed up a lot of people's drives. Piles of upended and broken pavers were scattered everywhere.

We, of course, had the famous Two Trees on the House incident, and so forth.

Walter brought the big rig home. He used it to hoist the 25' queen palm back up. He left the rig on the drive for a couple weeks so we could use the engine batteries to power the house via a converter.

This all means, that very heavy truck not only parked on my dry-paved St. Joe Brick driveway, it drove all over it, manoeuvring around to pull up the queen palm.

Not one brick was dislodged. Not one brick was even cracked.

So, IMO? Whatever strength brick you use for that back patio, with the type of traffic the patio needs to hold, will probably be just fine.

Posted by: k at May 11, 2007 06:04 AM

I guess you've never seen a spalling brick, k. When moisture enters a brick and freezes, the face splits off, and the brick eventually crumbles away over time. Those of us who live in areas where the temperatures dip well below freezing know it well. Even in warmer climes, there still is a problem with stratification fatigue caused by wetting/drying cycles. The mechanism for this is that moisture absorbs into the brick during a "damp" cycle, and the brick expands due to the moisture to a finite depth. The brick with no moisture or little moisture at greater depth, expands less. Then the brick dries out (dry cycle)and shrinks to some depth, while the "steady-state" (inner)portion of the brick stays the same. At this interface of wet-dry cycling, the brick fatigues and eventually spalls. The durability of brick results from incipient fusion and partial vitrification during firing. Since compressive strength and absorption are also related to the firing temperatures, these properties, together with saturation coefficients, are taken as predictors of durability. However, because of differences in raw materials, a single value of compressive strength or absorption will not reliably indicate the degree of firing.

And Chicago "penny" pavers are 11 1/2" x 4", btw, never split. Pick one up and you'll notice the density right away. It's definitely a "two-hander".

You are right that it probably won't matter much. Whatever brick is used, you'll get 10, probably even twenty years of service out of the project... I like to shoot for the ages myself. I take pleasure in knowing that I will someday annoy someone generations into the future when they dismantle my work.

Posted by: Darrell at May 11, 2007 09:29 AM

Don't let me interrupt the argument, but I was just told that the bricks in question are from the patio off of my old bedroom--the one we moved into in the 1970s. They used fresh bricks when they rebuilt it a few years back. These are the old bricks; I'm sure they'd do just fine.

Though I must figure out how to cut 'em, and what to use as an edge.

i moved the doghouse off of the area in question yestarday, and it's nice. Though the paths could use some attention; I might just throw some pea gravel on 'em for now.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 11, 2007 10:47 AM

Try to lay out a pattern that doesn't require cutting, first. I would go to a discount tool store and get a 4 1/2" angle grinder and a masonry grinding wheel. You should pay under $30. Draw a line on the brick with pencil, lightly score(following the line), then repeat light passes until your cut is over an inch deep. Place cut line over an edge and tap with a mallet. Snap! You can score the line with a chisel and hammer, and repeat until you get to the critical depth. But that is a lot more work and a lot more problematic.

Posted by: Darrell at May 11, 2007 11:37 AM

For some reason I keep fantasizing about a round patio, but I do know that would be cutting city. The alternative would be to transform the edges into little herb planters . . . impractical, right?

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 11, 2007 12:10 PM

Have you looked at those gazabo kits? they are all over places like Home Depot and such.

Posted by: Bloggermouth at May 11, 2007 04:32 PM

For a truly circular pattern, every block has to be cut (angled). They sell pre-fab kits in paver brick for these designs. The pavers themselves are angled t provide a uniform joint(gap). You can't have wide gaps filled with sand in a do-it-yourself design. It wouldn't hold up and just think what would happen if your stiletto heel got caught in one of those spaces. The angle grinder will give you good clean cuts, even if you aren't experienced with power tools. It's a lot safer than a circular saw with a diamond or masonry blade too. I would buy some thinner cutoff wheels they sell at Home Depot. They fit angle'll find them near the pneumatic tools in cardboard bins. Pep Boys has inexpensive grinders. They're good enough to hold up for several jobs like this. They might sell the cut-of wheels as well.(??)

Take your X-acto knife and make a template out of thin cardboard to work out your design on paper.You'll see what cuts you'll need--and any gaps.

Making planters in the edge is a great idea! Better still because all you have to do is leave some bricks out! I did something like that once using the standard sizes for planters at the nursery. I could just pop a new plant in the space to change things out. Incorporate a drip irrigation system and you'll have a winner!

Posted by: Darrell at May 11, 2007 08:00 PM



Of course I've seen what can happen to brick in freezing temps.

I'm from Chicago.

Part of my point was that LMA is not.

Neither is she building the Dan Ryan expressway.

I know that my own brick work in Louisiana, and here for a shorter period so far, has stood the test of time, and it looks like it will continue to do so.

When I say these things I mean no personal disrespect to you. I myself truly have no interest in arguing. While I know many people do enjoy it, it satisfies nothing in me. I'd far prefer to send you a box of mangoes instead.

In the time I have left here on earth, I like to enjoy my own work, and like to see others do the same. I don't look at building backyard foot-traffic patios in the same light as a driveway or a building. I like to see people do something they haven't done before, and I'm fond of brick, and I know LMA enjoyed the work she did a while back on construction.

So my point was that a person can do a good quality job on a first time attempt without being too intimidated by the engineering details. Especially in an area that doesn't experience freezes. That's all.

Posted by: k at May 11, 2007 09:43 PM

Oooh. I knew that one was coming.

Come on, K--you know how guys are about over-engineering stuff.

My own goals are modest, however: I'm hoping she'll get some use out of this over the summer, because (being my mom) by next summer she will have staked out another sitting area in her yard that is EVEN MORE PERFECT!

Got the mangoes. Ate one. Yummy! See separate post.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 11, 2007 10:19 PM

Ever read the words "you can't do it" in any of my comments? My philosophy is always "I do it, so can you!". You can add "I can help" for people I like, as well.

And didn't I posit a plausible mechanism for product failure in climates where freeze/thaw cycles are not a factor, like SoCal?

Is selecting a product designed and engineered for a specific application over-engineering? Especially considering that when this thread started there was no secret stash of bricks in the garage. I am never one to suggest that anything you have on hand go to waste. And I have not suggested buying anything since. Except the angle grinder for safe cutting, of course.

Engineers sweat the details so you don't have to. That's why we go to bed thinking about point loads on that patio surface. Why we think about 125-pound women wearing high heels and that 1/4" point of contact that will generate 2000 psi of force. How an even smaller edge on metal patio furniture when someone is leaning in the chair can generate loads exceeding 8000 psi--enough force to pulverize concrete! We think about our dreams of one day establishing our homes as sanctuaries for all those 0-size models persecuted and driven from their jobs in Europe...and imagine those point loads on our patios! And those legs! It's not easy!

Posted by: Darrell at May 12, 2007 02:28 PM

On the other hand, a little bit of spalling here and there, and the occasional cracked brick make for a bit of character in a wall or patio.

My back yard is full of brickwork done by the previous owner using salvaged brick. It doesn't look terribly professional. Some of the bricks are spalling. But I wouldn't trade any of it for professionally installed, "properly engineered" walls and planters. It has character. Same with the bathroom which was tiled with salvaged tile taken off the old courthouse building during a renovation a couple decades ago. "Naive art" is what I think some people call it.

If YOU are doing it, keep in mind that all of that sand and masonry material weighs a TON (literally, or MORE), and involves a lot of digging and moving this heavy, heavy material around.

Darrel, you are always going to get in hot water implying that all this brick and sand is too much for the little ladies to handle, especially when they've already proven otherwise.

Posted by: Desert Cat at May 12, 2007 07:59 PM

I'm not really worried about that part: both the mom and I are reasonably strong, and we have access to handcarts. I have noticed that I like to buy stuff like gravel and sand in small bags, when feasible, but there is always a way.

D, I don't suppose it will make any difference to point out that I it's unlikely I'll ever wear heels in my mom's backyard? Didn't think so.

Of course, to be fair, there are a lot of very big people in my family—we tend to run either short and squat (except me), or reasonably tall. Most of my relatives pack a lot of weight, one way or another.

I'm thinking 9 x 10, right now. That'll work for a first foray into masonry.

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 12, 2007 09:44 PM

Can't anyone read. I supported the brick patrio idea from the very beginning. First sentence:"Go to a few good home centers and look at the choices for pavers and concrete paving blocks."

Posted by: Darrell at May 13, 2007 07:06 AM

No, no--you're being great. But there's a school of thought out there that you're over-cautious WRT brick.

I, however, like to have as much information available as possible, so I welcome everyone's input.

This is going to be terribly exciting, if I pull it off!

Posted by: Attila Girl at May 13, 2007 11:49 AM

I was thinking about this: "Darrel, you are always going to get in hot water implying that all this brick and sand is too much for the little ladies to handle, especially when they've already proven otherwise.--Desert Cat"

Never said it. Never will.

I just don't think spalling is beautiful. Or bricks are found in nature. Or that I must buy bricks from Gaia-worshippers with Pica who crap them out in sacred hand-carved wooden forms and dry them in solar ovens.
If I wanted spalling, I'd take my 12-gauge and do it myself with teflon-coated double-ought hand-loaded shells. . .

But none of that applies to you. I'd use what I have. If it wasn't enough, I'd buy something that would go with what I had, and work it into the design. I'd eliminate cuts unless I totally needed to add curves for the site/grade. If I had hundreds of cuts to make, I would rent a wet cut tile saw with a sliding bed/stationary diamond blade(with a big enough blade to do the cut). If I had only a few cuts to make, I would use the angle grinder and buy it. When done, I would use polymeric sand from the home center for joint locking(Home Depot , et al), weed control and to prevent insect mining.

Be it big or be it small,
do it right
or not at all.
Burke's Law

Posted by: Darrell at May 13, 2007 08:29 PM

"Right" is a matter of what you're after.

Sandblasting would probably produce a nicer weathered appearance, although I've considered (but never tried yet) putting bricks together with a sand slurry in a cement mixer to soften the edges and give the appearance of weathering. There's nothing I hate worse than the angular, glazed appearance of brand new brick in a well-established garden.

I *have* seen instructions on how to get moss/algae started growing quickly on new brick to give an established appearance however. Moss+yogurt in a blender, thinned to a slurry and then sprayed on. Haven't tried that yet either.

Posted by: Desert Cat at May 13, 2007 09:52 PM

There's a reason some people become engineers, and some become artists.

Conversation is an art too. Some folks can discuss things cordially even when their opinions or tastes differ. Others become outraged and stomp about implying the other folks can't do a worthwhile job, and are stupid new-agers to boot. It's often seemed to me that a reaction like that is what truly separates the men from the boys.

Darrell, the funny thing is, since you don't have a blog of your own, I really did come by to say *Hi* and see if you might like a box of mangoes. I'm sending a box around to everyone who helped out with the scooter fund, to say *Thanks for doing such a nice thing.*

But it looks like I must have dialed a wrong number. Sorry.

Posted by: k at May 14, 2007 01:44 AM

I agree that written conversation is an art. And a big part of that is not mispresenting what the other person is saying. Go back and re-read my comments and see if your words apply. Or if I was being mean. I was just giving tips I picked up over the years from doing many such projects. Like using pipes and a screed to insure a consistent bed sand level for the base--something I know you can never eyeball. Sample a few dozen points in an eyeball job with a steel rule, and you'll see what I mean. And you find different grades of sand specific to the individual uses--base, quick leveling, interlocking--at the home centers, too. Tips and tricks of the trades. Copy and paste where I say that anyone's ideas are worthless. You'll find that the comment box is blank. Ditto with mean remarks with your name attached, k. Just conversation. I guess not everyone can handle it. We agree/we disagree--conversation.

Your welcome, k! No other thanks necessary.

And you'll find a whole range of tumbled/distressed pavers and stones at the home center, btw. Edge-softening is something the manufacturers picked up on, too. Go figure.

Posted by: Darrell at May 14, 2007 08:49 AM

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Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
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The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
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Donald Sensing
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The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
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TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
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Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


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