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:
   Taco Bell fashion
Monday, January 7 2002

setting: in an electrically-heated room on the second floor of a timbered cabin near Wolfsville in the Blue Ridge of Maryland

The bed in which we'd spent the night was so warm and comfortable that it was nearly impossible to leave. It was, I said I said at the time, a La Brea Tar Bed. But unlike the ground sloths, mastodons, and saber tooth tigers from the greater Los Angeles area, we were happy to be mired where we where. Still, Sally the Dog kept looking over at us with something approaching disgust. There were three or four inches of snow on the ground outside and she wanted to run around in it.
Not long after getting up and venturing down to the frigid first floor, I made two pleasant discoveries: the wine from last night now tasted good and there was a thermostat controlling a centralized gas heating system we hadn't even known existed.
As you probably guessed from yesterday's movie choice, there wasn't much to choose from in the cabin movie library. There was a fairly complete martial arts section, and that was about it, with the exception of the four-tape A&E series with biographies of the 100 Most Influential People of the Millennium. We only watched the top 25 of them, beginning with James Watt and ending with Johan Gutenberg. I couldn't really argue with the choices, except I really didn't think Sigmond Freud should have scored as high as 12th. (Looking over this list days later, I'm puzzled why Bill Gates and Charles Babbage scored so high and more important computer people - John Bardeen & Walter Brattain, the guys who invented the transistor and also Alan Turing - didn't place at all.)
After Gretchen's repeated urgings, I took Sally for a walk out in the snow, but I didn't do as directed. I didn't take the trail into the forest to see how snow looked piled in little ridges on even the tiniest branches; instead I walked down the roadway to see if our rental car was still okay. As I was heading down the mountain, a guy came along with a little tractor equipped with snow blades, plowing what he could as he went. He was a quasi-altruistic landowner whose property adjoined that surrounding Gretchen's parents cabin. He asked if I needed any help with my car, which, as evidenced by several sliding tracks veering uncomfortably close, was in some jeopardy. We decided he should plow me out a little place to park on the outside of the next switchback down the hill so as to get it out of the road. Before heading back to the cabin, I grabbed a couple old Big Fun era videotapes to show Gretchen.
But I guess she didn't like them, because when I showed one of them to her, she just sat there in [REDACTED] silence. [REDACTED]
A couple Boggle® games later, we packed up all our stuff, including what trash we'd generated, and walked down to the car. Getting off the mountain was considerably easier than getting to it, and once we'd made it half way to MD 17, even the private road was plowed and salted. As for the big roads, they were all completely clear.
Gretchen had been craving Taco Bell ever since New Years Day, so we stopped at the first Taco Bell we came to in Pennsylvania, somewhere near Carlisle.
This was the first time I'd been inside a Taco Bell in three and a half years. Something about real California burritos had adversely affected my ability to eat Taco Bell food. But with the right mindset, realizing that Taco Bell is a cuisine unto itself, Taco Bell food can be enthusiastically enjoyed. As we were eating our folded white flour smashed-bean and yellow cheese entrées, I looked around at the other people at other tables. Over there was a young couple who were probably just passing through town. And over there were three plump middle-aged folks, probably out on a cheap date. And then there were two groups of teenage-age people. What struck me about all the young people in this town was their eye shadow. Every one of them had it and it was always the same color: bluish-white. Obviously they were all looking to some common source for style advice. My guess was Britney Spears. Ah, what must it be like to live in small town Pennsylvania, take your steady to the Taco Bell, and do your makeup just like today's latest pop sensation?
Gretchen was happy to find an oldies station with a Motown show coming in clear and strong from Philadelphia for most of the drive to New York. She drove as fast as she could, although we got stuck behind a slow-moving cop for several miles somewhere around Bethlehem. Me made it back to Brooklyn a few minutes before 10:00pm, allowing us to turn in our rental and not have to find parking on the street.

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