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:
   couples Scrabble
Friday, February 15 2002
One of the recent commercials running in the New York area is for the "Twin Towers Fund" and features a monologue from Timothy Stackpole, one of the firefighters killed in the September 11th terrorist attack. Since the tape had to have been recorded before September 11th, one would expect it to be grainy and unprofessional, in the style of anti-drunk-driving commercials in which home video clips are used to show children killed by drunk drivers. But no, this video was done professionally. So I find myself asking, "What was the occasion for its being made?" One has to pay careful attention to what Timothy says in order to puzzle out the tape's intended application. He says that rescuing and helping people give him a "high." My guess is that Timothy's message originally had some sort of anti-drug purpose. If this was the case, I find it interesting that in order to showcase his humanity, it was necessary to edit-out the part where he advises kids not to take drugs.

In the evening, Gretchen and I hosted something of a word game party for a few of our friends. First we played a round of "couples Scrabble®," in which each of our three boy-girl couples constituted a team. (If someone five years ago had predicted that I'd be playing couples Scrabble® today, I would have laughed in his face.) Gretchen and I experienced such a bad run of letters that there was a brief period during which we actually possessed three Ns and three Us. If you don't know what this means in Scrabble®, well, it sucks.
Later, while the others played several rounds of Boggle®, I did the antisocial thing over at my computer.
Promptly at midnight, WinAmp (our robotic DJ, as pre-programmed by me) began playing Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" just as the guests burst into song, "Happy Birthday to You." Unlike the "whom" referred to in the Metallica song, the "you" mentioned in "Happy Birthday to You" was a reference to me. You see, now that it was the 16th of February, it was also my 34th birthday. A few minutes later, all the word game people presented me with hand-written happy birthday notes. Nancy had made one featuring a depiction of me seated on my birthday present, an ergonomic swivel chair that Gretchen had bought for me earlier in the week. A note created by Debora contained crude drawings of the consumables that people associate with me these days: Olde English malt liquor, mint chocolate cookie ice cream, and V-8 Juice. And Gretchen wrote me a difficult-to-read message on a Scrabble® template sheet (presumably these sheets are used for recording a Scrabble® board at the end of a game).

Today was the two year anniversary of my last full day of employment at I don't know if it comes across in my entry for that day, but the dread I remember feeling was overwhelming. It's important to recall that someone had tipped me off about what was going to happen the next day, and I left work in an agitated state. I haven't admitted this until now, but that agitation had such a profound effect on me that it lead me to commit a heinous act of "fecatage" as I left the office that day. That act involved, well, human excrement. That's all I'm willing to say.

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