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:
   living in a specific cat's territory
Friday, October 25 2002

setting: rural Hurley, New York

I was unpacking my truck with the radio blaring NPR when I learned that Paul Wellstone had died in a plane crash. It was one of those unspeakably horrible tragedies, killing not only him, but his wife and daughter as well. It was the sort of news that rips away the thin paper of optimism and comfort and reveals the harsh, ruthless mechanisms that drive the universe. No divine, benevolent puppet master would fumble the show so miserably. I'm surprised we haven't heard anything yet from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson about how the plane crash was divine retribution against Wellstone's pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-Jewish, pro-Satan, anti-War-4-SUVs views.
The bob-tailed black cat belonging to the former residents of the house showed up today, and I let him inside. Sally was delighted (if a little unnerved) to have a new feline companion, and she kept charging around, swatting at him, and even barking when she could think of nothing else to do. As for the cat, he was very dog savvy and knew exactly how best to hold his own.
I was wondering if perhaps the cat had walked all the way here from downtown Kingston, where his human family had moved. Not able to find their number in the phone book, I called our neighbors (the parents of the cat's family) instead. The old woman told me, in what I take to be her usual will-not-stop-talking-until-you-say-you-must-go style, that the cat had objected strongly to living at the new house in Kingston and it had been decided that he should live instead out in the country with the parents. But the moment he got permission to go out the door, the first place he went was back to his old home, the place he'd spent his entire feline life. The parents agreed to come and take the cat back, but they also made the point that the cat should probably relocate to some place much farther away. Cats cannot be moved short distances.
It's interesting how different cats and dogs are when it comes to geographic territory. Dogs are inherently nomadic, and are perfectly comfortable pulling up stakes and hitting the road whenever circumstances demand it. In this respect they have a lot in common with our prehistoric stone-age ancestors. This accounts for the fact that dogs were the very first animal domesticated by man. Cats, however, resonate with a much later stage in the of human culture, the stage when man quit wandering and settled down to build cities and grow grain. The mice attracted to the grain stores attracted cats in turn, and these cats eventually came to be domesticated. But cats, like agricultural crops, are very much connected to a specific piece of real estate for life. An individual cat can happily belong to an individual person if that person is willing to live in that cat's territory for its entire life. But if that person should want to move with that cat to a new place, the relocation will not happen anywhere nearly as smoothly as it would with a dog.
Household renovations today were mostly related to the putting down of hardwood parquet floors in the main floor's half bathroom. I did this using adhesive-backed EZ-Parquet squares, and the process was, as promised, amazingly easy, though I never actually got that goofy smile on my face that you see on the face of the woman depicted on the packaging.

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