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:
   fishy lad in Newburgh
Thursday, October 24 2002

setting: Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York

All day the broadcast media was abuzz with the news about the capture of the Washington area sniper. He had a big thing for geographies named Washington (state and DC) and Montgomery (the city in Alabama and the county in Maryland). Now that they have their man, it's pretty obvious the sentence that the prosecution will seek. There's a black guy who was killing white people. How much do you want to bet that someone will request the death penalty?
I find it interesting that for a long time everyone thought the killer had been driving a white van. In the news reports, it seemed like a white van was always nearby whenever anyone was killed. I remember thinking, "Well, that's because there are lots of white vans and white vans always look suspicious." Sure enough, in the end, there hadn't been any white van involved at all.

One of the reasons I'd timed my time back in Brooklyn for when I did was to deal with a few remaining computer repair clients. Making house calls and working with my hands in the guts of computers and my mind inside the lightness of their operating systems seemed terribly beside the point, what with my thoughts and priorities entirely focused on home repairs and the techniques of remodeling. But when I actually work, my job is all about computers, so I somehow got into it, despite my lack of interest. Today's first job was real doozy, sending me out to a computer store to get additional supplies. While I was in there, one of the customers was talking supportively about the big anti-war demonstration that was to be held on Saturday. This reminded me of a graffiti I think people should start painting on every available surface: "WAR 4 SUV."
My second housecall only lasted about 20 minutes, and it mostly consisted of me providing a couple lessons to a woman I'd visited before. That time she'd had whiskey on her breath, but tonight instead she had some much older relative stretched out in a hospital bed in her living room, looking as if on the verge of death but amazingly cheerful and talkative nonetheless. When I left, the woman never even offered to pay me, and I'd been there so little time I didn't even care. But later when she left a question on my answering machine, I thought it fair not to return her call. It's time to move on, away from my Brooklyn clientele.
I spent the evening loading up my truck with stuff. The bulk of the weight of this load came in the form of books. I spent lots of time arranging these books in the bed of my truck so as to minimize the amount of space they occupied. Later on Gretchen returned from a day of work and helped out. We also cleaned out our basement storage, which seemed to be comprised mostly of empty boxes. We flattened these and "reverse dumpster dived" them into the cardboard recycling dumpster at the old folk's home.
After my truck was loaded, it was time to head back to Hurley. I was felling kind of sleepy, so I popped a few ephedrine pills for the road. Somehow I missed all the Thruway exits on the Palisades Parkway and ended up taking 9W north all the way to Newburgh. 9W experiences some steep grades south of Newburgh, and my truck was so heavily laden that on some of these I could only go 30 miles per hour.
While I was pumping gas in Newburgh, a young man walked up to me and asked if it was okay to pet Sally (I had her out on a leash). I could tell by the way the lad was acting that he wanted something. It was about 1:00am and he seemed devoid of either purpose or possessions. He gave me some sort of story about needing money for a cab ride, and though I'm not normally charitable to hard-luck stories, I gave him three dollars anyway. After I walked Sally some distance from the station and then came back, the young man tried to interest me in smoking some pot with him, but there was something fishy about him so I said no thanks.
I'd carried another bookshelf on my roof this trip, satisfying myself that it had been put together with screws. Unlike the last bookshelf I'd tried to carry on my roof, this one did not fly into pieces.

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