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:
   words of topology
Monday, November 25 2002

This morning Gretchen had a contractor guy named Darin over to look at the upstairs and give a bid on the task of installing drywall in my studio and the middle room (between my studio and the master bedroom) that we've been calling the "rec room." Darin came highly recommended from Larry, our realtor. Larry and Darin work out together and Larry is clearly smitten with him.
Given the high sloping ceilings and sheer square footage, it seemed like a big job, but Darin's bid was only five thousand dollars. Then Gretchen talked him down to three thousand, but without paint.
Darin was a very low-energy kind of guy - he looked desperately in need of a cup of coffee but declined it when I offered it to him. He has a nascent interest in computers and he offered to do a barter of computer courses in exchange for work on the house. Gretchen saw the way he was looking at me (which was sort of intense, but in that coffee-craving low energy sort of way) and she told me "He's gay and he loves you." Darin really didn't seem gay to me (besides, he has a wife and kids), but he didn't seem like your typical right-wing-libertarian Clear-Channel-enjoying macho man contractor either. He was a weird mix of uneducated and curious, a combination I have almost never run across. I could - and couldn't - understand why Larry was in love with him.

Gretchen and I blew seven hundred and some dollars at Lowes today. We bought a couple of fancy Rainmaker shower heads, ordered the delivery of all the upstairs drywall and spackle, and bought sundry supplies Darin had requested. When I was in the Lowes plumbing department, I found myself having a fetishistic interest in the copper fittings. Now that I know what the possibilities are, the different varieties all speak to me. I love that language, those words of topology.
Next we went to the main office of the Mid-Hudson Credit Union and tried to get me an account, but I hadn't brought the necessary paperwork to prove I actually lived here. Normally they would have let it slide, but now they're all super anal about these things because of mandates in the abominable USA-PATRIOT ACT. Anyone who isn't scared of an act with a name like that is probably a sitting duck for Nigerian spam.

We'd picked up a special-order triangular piece of glass whose dimensions were 24 inches by 24 inches by 33.94 inches, and tonight I made a window out of it using pieces of wood I'd bought earlier. I then went to make the rough opening for this window high up under the cathedral ceiling between the bathroom and the master bedroom. I kept being plagued by various troubles, mostly related to slightly-off measurements. The worst of these was when the rough opening I'd made proved slightly too small for the window and I had to rip it apart and begin anew.

late at night

I just dislodged a tiny wood splinter from my left eye with my fingernail. Unlike most things that get in my eye, this splinter was actually stuck in the surface of my eye (just outside the blue of the iris, a little below that and towards the nose). This is what I get for operating a skilsaw without wearing safety glasses. Happily, though, the eye is one of the fastest healing organs of the body. I once scratched the surface of my eye with a branch and it healed completely in a single day.

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