Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   morning geek patrol
Saturday, May 27 2000
In the morning at 10:00am. I rode my bike down the sun-soaked streets to meet up with Evan down at the point of presence for his websites, and It's a ramshackled webhosting place on Ocean Park Blvd. near 29th street, squirreled away unnoticeably behind a manicurist. The plan was to have me install a web product I've been developing, mostly to see how easy such installations are in arbitrary conditions. Conditions were so arbitrary in this case that the web server wasn't even Microsoft IIS, it was O'Reilly's Website Pro. Since my stuff is all based on ASP, I was sort of nervous that it wouldn't function. But that wasn't the main problem that ended up confronting me. The thing that made the installation go badly was the fact that Website Pro caches all ASP pages and doesn't provide any documented way of clearing or refreshing this cache. I found myself in the preposterous position of having to rename the root directly of my installation with every change I made, just so I could see the consequences of these changes. Obviously, debugging a product on O'Reilly's Website Pro is impossible if its cache is really as inflexible as this.
Evan and I weren't the only ones there; Darin, the big burly guy who runs the web presence provider, was also there, mostly (it seemed) to hover behind me and repeatedly tell me not to do things unless I knew exactly what I was doing. I finally had to tell the guy, "Look, I've been doing this computer stuff for many years and I'm not a complete idiot." For once, a conversational retort had its intended effect; Darin wasn't quite as irritating after that. After I had my stuff working and Evan was cheerfully playing around with it, Darin took the time to show me a lucrative website he built showcasing "strong women."
When our work was over, we all did a breakfasty sort of lunch at a Denny's sort of place on Ocean Park. The bathrooms in those restaurants always seem to be particularly adept at ruining my appetite. I had to do a number two, so I went into the men's room and sat on the can. The toilet seat had been incised with some graffiti, but other than that everything seemed reasonably okay. But then I happened to notice the roll of toilet paper sitting loosely atop the toilet roll holder. It was clearly smudged with brown. I ended up wiping my ass with sanitary toilet seat covers. They're not particularly absorbent, but they're a lot better than dry oak leaves, which I have used many times in situations where handwashing was not an option.
Back at the table, Evan was describing with indignant seriousness the global conspiracy that keeps hemp illegal in the United States. According to Evan, in the early days of this century, the oil companies viewed hemp as the single biggest threat to their domination of world energy supplies. Hemp, Evan assured us, not only provides durable fiber and mind-altering relatives, but it's a perfect source of fuel alcohol (never mind, of course, the fuel needed to raise and fertilize hemp; hemp advocates never address these externals). So the oil companies banded together and formed the "Council on Foreign Relations," a conspiracy whose ultimate goal was to demonize and suppress hemp, mostly by focusing the attention of a nervous public on the deleterious psychological effects marijuana has on the minority groups, commies, musicians, Jews and other weirdos who use it. "The last 50 presidents have all belonged to the Council on Foreign Relations," Evan assured us, "as have probably every member of the 1 percent who own 99% of the world's wealth."
I've never been much of conspiracy fan. At best, conspiracy nuts can be somewhat entertaining, but otherwise they just wear you down and sap your energy with their poorly-substantiated convictions. So I tried to keep things light, asking if perhaps Michæl Bolton was a member of the "Council on Foreign Relations."
When I came home, I found Kim had gone off to Anthea's place in West Hollywood to hang out. So I took a bath and did some work. [REDACTED]
At around sunset, Kim and Anthea showed up. Over lunch they'd split a bottle of red wine, but now they were zinging on several mochas. They'd started out with mochas from the Starbucks on the corner of Santa Monica and Bundy and then moved on to the more powerful, more expensive & more lovingly prepared mochas available at the little coffee shop at the junction of Rochester and Santa Monica. We watched Being John Malkovich again. It was even better the second time.
After taking Anthea back to West Hollywood, Kim and I walked Sophie down to the little coffee shop at the junction of Rochester and Santa Monica. There was a DJ spinning there, and a whole bunch of hep young raver kids were hanging out, doing more talking than dancing. It was good thing we decided to check the show out; Kim had left her Holstein-patterned cell phone there earlier today. Thankfully, though it's a big impersonal city, the staff had actually saved it for her and may not have made any long distance calls with it.

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