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:
   stress without booze
Friday, May 4 2001
Last night before I went to bed my housemate John was telling me he had to pick up a friend named Pinkis at the airport. I didn't think much about it; most of the time when John has a friend to pick up at the airport I see this friend once or twice on a weekend evening and that's about it.
But in actuality the person John was going to pick up with none other than Gretchen. She'd been missing me a couple weeks back and gotten on Priceline just to see how cheap of a ticket she could get and had managed to buy a roundtrip for only $125. And so, with a burst of commotion a little after 1 am, there she was in my room. I was a little embarrassed (but not too much) because my room was a complete disaster at the time, with cardboard boxes and networked computer equipment everywhere. The sheet on my bed hadn't even been changed since the last time Gretchen had visited back in late February. But it was a good reunion.
During the day Gretchen arranged with John for us to go to some sort of vegetarian restaurant over in Westwood, a place called Native Foods. I met them at one at my place (they'd been on the beach all morning) and John, being the only one with a car (he still has two), did the driving. Native Foods has a pleasant little balcony dining area within spitting range of the kitchen, a place where tempeh is marinated and fried in all manner of mysterious wholesome brown substances. We ate all sorts of tempeh: deep fried, batter fried and marinated sandwichified.
John and Gretchen, not having normal workaday jobs, have lost all sense of the proper pacing of a lunchbreak. After lunch we found ourselves walking half way across Westwood Village through throngs of fresh faced UCLA students in pursuit of icrecream because John wanted some and was eager to show Gretchen this part of town. But when we got to the icecream place there was a massive line and we had to abandon the idea. By this point I was making noises to the effect that I had an ongoing deployment back at my workplace and I needed to get back.
Gretchen and John came with me into my office to check out my work environment and take the alley microwave back to the house. As usual my wing of the building was mostly empty and quiet, with mine being the only non-vacant cubicle in a cluster of six. "I'm thinking about moving into these over here!" I proclaimed. John thought the quiet and lack of distraction was nice, but he didn't think it said much for the health of the company. "Man, you need to find another job," he said.

In the evening back at my place I suddenly noticed that my network connectivity wasn't working on my main home computer. Out of the blue, it was just refusing to communicate. This quickly threw me into a foul mood. I felt terrible to be so distracted with debugging such a complex problem at this special time with Gretchen visiting me, but my computer is my connection to the universe, and I had to make the fucker work. For awhile at least Gretchen seemed content to hang out with John and eventually I snapped out of my funk enough to make up my absence to Gretchen. Then I need a nap to compensate for all the late night talking we'd done last night.
In terms of a Friday night, Gretchen and I didn't do anything but hang out on the couch while John and Chun went out to see a movie. I decided to play one of my Guided by Voices CDs (Under the Bushes Under the Stars) but of course the disk wasn't in its case. John definitely has his virtues, but keeping entropy out of a CD collection is not one of them. I never did manage to find that CD, becoming increasingly frustrated as I searched. Gretchen tried to convince me to give up so I could relax and have a good time, but I was in no state for such advice. Eventually I yelled at her and we had a huge, mostly passive-aggressive fight. In the midst of this I decided to go back to debugging my networking problems. Gretchen didn't know what to do so she tried to go to sleep.
I think my big problem tonight was actually a lack of alcohol. I'm trying to wean myself off of booze as a form of stress management, but without a drink I don't really know how to deal with pressure and frustration. I'm sure I once had a method for coping with stress that didn't involve booze, but that was years and years ago.

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