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:
   Sally's sixth birthday
Tuesday, April 9 2002
Sally officially turned six today, though the precise date of her birth isn't known since she was already seven or eight months old when Gretchen picked her up from a Milwaukee animal shelter. That was back in the tail end of the American "name your daughter 'Britney' craze," and believe it or not, Britney was Sally's original name. We don't tease her about it too often.
I took Sally for a walk down to the pet store at the corner of Union and Seventh Avenue and bought her a couple birthday presents: a gangly green stuffed frog and an enormous rawhide bone that I mistakenly read to be labeled "vegetarian approved" (the copy actually read "veterinarian approved").

After Gretchen came home from one of her jobs, we celebrated Sally's birthday by taking all the keyads (even the cats!) to Prospect Park. Being so intimately tied to their territory, cats are never easy to transport. They can't be led and they certainly can't be herded. So we tried carrying them, but Eddie Edna was freaking out too much and I had to put her a cat cage. Noah proved considerably more portable for Gretchen, though he lodged numerous complaints along the way.
It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. Unlike the past couple of days, which have been as cold as January, suddenly the weather was a divinely calibrated mix of heat and humidity seemingly concocted by a benevolent Creator for human comfort. The only downside to this perfection was occasional light rainfall, but at this temperature even that wasn't uncomfortable. Besides, the rain had the effect of keeping God's other likenesses out of the park.
Spreading out from the southern entrance to the Vale of Cashmere is a narrow triangular field, bounded by woods on two sides and the Park Drive on the other. It was in this field, very near the Vale of Cashmere itself, that we set up our blankets. In addition to the fishy-smelling cat treats and a peanut flavored dog bone for Sally, it turned out Gretchen had brought human refreshents as well. True, they were girly malt beverages like Mike's Hard Lemonade and some sort of "hard tea" with an unpleasant lavender aftertaste, but what mattered was that they contained alcohol.
We had the cats on little cat harnesses just in case they decided to run off, but they weren't particularly inclined to making sudden moves. Noah explored his new environs with deliberation, usually not venturing into a place unless Sally or one of us humans had gone there first. However, after awhile he became much bolder and ventured through an extremely prickly bush to make it into the Vale's fountain pond (which is mostly dry at this time of year). I was standing by the whole time to see to it that he dragged his leash successfully through the brambles.
Eddie Edna mostly just stayed in her cat cage, looking around with interest at the goings on. Gretchen tells me that Noah has been on these Park adventures in the past, but it was a first for Edna.
Sally considers the cats to be part of her wolf pack, and it pleased her that they had seen fit to actually come with us this time to the park. But mostly her mind was focused on the subject of squirrels and whether or not there were any that had ventured down from trees.
After awhile Noah grew bored with the outdoors and somehow managed to shoehorn himself into the cat cage behind Edna. I carried them back to the brownstone this way. Cats may not weigh all that much individually, but when you start having to carry more than one at a time, their weight can add up.

Sally with her new frog toy.

Rarrr! My frog!

Noah in his normal beached whale pose.

Sally with Gunther the plastic goose.

Who's the birthday dog?

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