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:
   punky yellow wood
Wednesday, October 2 2002

The guy selling the Honda Civic drove out to Park Slope today after his night shift in the East Village, where he works as a policeman. The car was painted "pull me over red" and, aside from a scrape on the bumper, looked to be in near-perfect shape. No oil was leaking from the engine when I looked underneath, and there were no obvious structural problems when I sighted down its sides.
We both test drove it around the block and it seemed to work well enough, though it wasn't really all that easy to tell at the sedate speeds achievable in Park Slope. But at least the brakes worked and when we pushed on the gas pedal the car made a convincing display of acceleration. It was in far better shape than any car either of us have ever owned in our lives, and all we could think was, wow, we're getting off cheap here. So we agreed to the asking price and took down the VIN number and set off to contact our insurance company. Gretchen had originally planned to try to talk the guy down, but then she decided that she liked him too much, mostly because he carried himself with an unusual blue collar humility, denying that he was anything more in life than a lowly beat cop, happily married to a woman named Amber.

The mostly-wooded section of Prospect Park just west of Flatbush Avenue is an easy one to oversimplify. I could, as I have been given to doing in the past, refer to it simply as "the Vale of Cashmere," even though the Vale is but a small section of it. There's also the "Rose Garden," "Nelly's Field," and the seemingly-unnamed forested lowlands down by the zoo where the Carribeans stand around waiting for things it would be unfair for me to think much about. I often refer to the men of the Vale as "gay Carribean cruisers in search of anonymous sex," but that too is an oversimplification. There are other demographics who frequent "the Vale," and as a dog walker, I am not alone. There are other dog walkers, some of them neurotic white women, others friendly white gay couples, others Pit-Bull-walking African American gangstas. The prevailing attitude of the Vale is one of affable anarchy. For the most part people are friendly and tolerant of diversity and petty crime. No one challenges a guy's right to drink forties, passively solicit sex, walk dogs off-leash, urinate, smoke marijuana, or litter.
One of the demographics I've never mentioned is the African-American after-work Rose Garden crew. Distinct from the gay Carribean cruisers, this is a group comprised exclusively of black men. But they don't seem to be either Carribean or gay. Starting at 5pm every day, they can be found hanging around at the north end of the Rose Garden. Some of them bring their dogs, others bring beer. They sit at the little concrete tables, the ones with the built-in checker boards, often playing tunes on a stereo and socializing loudly. Since there are never enough chairs to accomodate the number of people who turn up, they've taken advantage of a storm-felled Tree of Heaven (helpfully cut into pieces by park employees) to fashion makeshift seats from segments of punky yellow wood.

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