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:
   completely politically inert
Wednesday, January 24 2001
It was cloudy and rainy this morning, but then the sun came out. Oh joy.

He has no idea

There was a little network glitch at my house this morning and the router somehow became confused. I knew something was amiss when, while I was sitting at my workplace workstation, "VictorVodka" unexpectedly dropped off my AIM Buddy List (he's my home workstation identity). Shortly thereafter my phone rang and it was unemployed housemate John calling to say he was sitting at my computer (in my bedroom) and he wanted to know what he had to do to get the network up and running again. All he had to do was reboot the router and everything was cool; my computer has played no role in the maintenance of the DSL internet connection since I quit using Proxy+ back in early December.
But I was kind of unnerved by the knowledge that there are things that can happen in my absence that would cause John to sit down at my computer. He uses my printer, which has always been okay, but I consider my computer to be, well, private. I have an expectation of privacy about it because it is in my, you know, bedroom. Part of the reason I bought the router was to further limit the role that my computer plays in John's computational life. Now the only role it should be serving for him is that of print server.
Why don't I want John poking around on my computer? Well, friends, I still lead a double life when it comes to my housemate. He has no idea that I keep an online journal. What would have happened had I been careless and left my online journal open on my screen, either in Homesite or as an actual browser window? I'm usually careful to close all that stuff before I leave because he might be the sort who snoops around, but I'd prefer to think he doesn't.
I'd also prefer if he didn't sit down at my computer and imagine he's going to do something that's going to make the internet come back. He tends to be overly-confident in his abilities (that's not a bad thing mind you; it's the best way to learn if you ever want to master any sort of computer technology). But the last thing I want him doing is exploring my machine in search of a magic configuration window.
Another consideration: John's impulsiveness, combined with his hyperactivity, results in an unusually high number of accidental breakages, and I don't want the "bull in a china shop vibe" in the sanctuary of my bedroom.
But did I tell John any of these things? Of course not; I kept them stewing away silently inside me because I don't want to put any sort of unnecessary cloud over our friendship. The only message I conveyed to him was subtle. When, via AIM, he made a joke about kicking my monitor in hopes of bringing back the internet, I responded by saying, in a very straight manner, that my computer has nothing to do with the household internet connection.

A detail from one of John's recent paintings.

She seems to be completely politically inert

Now I will spend some time writing about Linda, my polyamorously-confused erstwhile boss. She knows about this journal but has made a conscious decision not to read. This affords me the same luxury I have with nearly all real-life people I know these days; I can write about her without any concern about real-life feedback.
I think I've figured out a basic incompatibility with Linda that transcends all the commonalties we might share intellectually, musically, etc. She seems to be completely politically inert. She's a bright woman and can talk intelligently on a wide variety of subjects, but I've never heard her make a single political statement, not even about things as obvious as, say, the reform of marijuana laws or the equal rights of women. Instead, most of the things that really interest her seem to relate to her personal troubles dealing with the world. She's the epitome of self-obsessed. This gets irritating after a few hours, I can tell you. But then she tells me something like "you're the only one whom I can talk to" and the flattery buys her another fifteen minutes.
Still, there's no way I can take it on a regular basis. Indeed, I've been consciously and subconsciously sabotaging every "date" she's tried to arrange with me since the new year. I justify my behavior as sexual frustration and the desire not to be physically teased, but it's probably somewhat more intellectual than that.
Furthermore, many of the problems enmeshed in Linda's self-obsession are positively bizarre, yet she's too sensitive to talk about them. A case in point in the recent rash of collages she's been working on, mostly made of arrangements from magazine clippings. They're compositional-sparse and even somewhat elegant, and the colors are nicely-balanced, but all of this is easy to overlook due to their content. All of the collages feature naked girls cut out of porno magazines juxtaposed with enormous gleamingly-erect disembodied penises. Linda has told me she has some pent-up issues related to "damage" done to her by pornography at an early age, but she won't give me any details, just that the collages help her deal with it.
In my opinion, Linda would be a whole lot more fun if she enjoyed running around under the cover of darkness doing politically-tinged mischief. She'd be a perfect match for me if she was into that. But no, alas, she only wants to watch movies and bore me with problems she doesn't wish to fully articulate. Sigh.

My favorite of several collages Linda emailed me today.
It features the smallest penis and the least-naked chicks.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next