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:
   presence of memories
Wednesday, February 20 2002
I've been keeping myself so busy lately that I've even been neglecting my booze. Today I worked on a project that expands on a task originally handed me by my father. He has a bunch of soil temperature data he's collected at different times of the year in the Central Appalachian forests, and he wants me to clean up his graphs and prepare them for display on his website. Graphs are a good way to visually present data on unchanging paper, and it's understandable that my father can imagine displaying them that way. But computer technology offers so many more options. In looking at his data, it occurred to me that the graphs could be displayed much more effectively using a simple interactive Flash animation. So I began the process of building such an animation. Unfortunately, it's been over a year since I tried to do anything in Flash and I'm finding it terribly difficult. I don't know if it's possible to build an intuitive interface for something as complex as Flash, but I'm sure the existing interface could be improved. It really says something that more than half my actions in Flash have completely unexpected results, including the most aggravating one of all: none.
I put my work aside long enough for Gretchen and me to watch The Straight Story, the G-rated Walt Disney movie about Alvin, a 73 year old man who drives his lawn mower across Iowa to visit his brother. Given that the movie was directed by David Lynch, the many subtly creepy moments come as no surprise. But it's the poignancy and sweetness that I hadn't expected. So many movies focus on the possibilities of youth, it was truly refreshing to see an honest exploration of the limitations and burdens of the elderly, and how (given enough quirky ingenuity) these can be exploited and transcended. These burden are not just physical (poor eyesight and having to walk with two canes). They're also experiential. We could feel the presence of Alvin's memories as if they were yet another character shadowing him relentlessly. It's a beautiful film.

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