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:
Wednesday, December 11 2002

Yesterday's hydronic heating work had been done as an emergency measure to facilitate spackle drying in the studio. But my success at installing it put my mind fully in a hydronic heating mode, and other projects (such as the bathtub installation) were brushed aside. Today I plotted a strategy for running heat into the master bedroom suite. This was to be a much more complicated operation, since there were two rooms to heat and a limited number of places to run the copper pipe. If I ran it all the way through those rooms and then back, how would I get the pipe under the door to the studio and ultimately to its source on that floor, the chimney shaft? I didn't want to get into the messy business of prying up subfloor. As I walked around looking at the bathroom and the walls, I suddenly realized that I could just run the copper pipe return for the master bedroom into my studio (which is at a lower level and will eventually be reached by a low flight of steps) - it would then pass under the entrance doorway in the triangular area beneath these steps - no messy subfloor business whatsoever!
I then set out to build this grand loop, which would require over a hundred feet of copper pipe. Gretchen returned from a day spent in Brooklyn sometime early in the process. I ended up staying up until five in the morning building most of the circuit. I ultimately had to stop when I ran out of solder.
As I worked, I was listening to the sort of station I rarely patronize. In my radio, you see, the antenna wire had pulled out of its connector, and I was so busy that it was easier just to find another, stronger, station than put the wire back in. I ended up on WRCH, a lite 'n' easy station just a little higher up the dial than WDST. Tonight the program was being DJ'd by a woman known simply as Delilah. Between sappy love tunes by anyone from Frank Sinatra to Dan Fogleberg, Delilah would interject herself regularly to tell us to relax, not worry, to take a little time off from whatever it is we're doing to just take it easy. It was as if she was some sort of K-Mart PA-based therapist, doing what she could to contain the blood pressure within the otherwise empty heads of frosted-haired floozies. Periodically she would take phone calls, mostly from people who were some combination of both sad and in love. Just for a touch of seasonal joy, though, she also talked to some guy who had just completed the Christmas decorations on his house, decorations that were making his electric meter spin "like a helicopter." Though such decorations might ordinarily be of a seasonal nature, 15 months after September 11th, these are no ordinary times. In glowing lights he'd rendered a huge American flag, complete with an important statement for all to read: "GO USA!"
I was so wrapped up in my work that I didn't get around to changing the station for hours. During this time I gradually came to a creepy realization. Delilah wasn't based at WRCH, the station from which she was supposedly broadcasting. She was in some form of crypto-syndication, kept in a box somewhere centrally with her show distributed nationwide and carefully edited so as to appear local. She was accepting phone calls, but the caller's conversations were edited in such a way that there was no broadcasting of geographic references describing where they lived. Though Delilah periodically gave station identification, I could clearly hear a slight change in voice quality indicating that the part where she mentioned the station's call letters were not recorded at the same time as her surrounding speech. And who knew when she'd actually recorded the show? It was being played late at night but she could have done the whole thing on tape during normal business hours. She never once mentioned any items in the news or weather conditions - discussing these matters would have been impossible in the context of crypto-syndication.
Eventually I heard the station say that it was part of Infinity Broadcasting, and the moment I heard this I understood everything. Infinity Broadcasting is another massive radio conglomerate, much like Clear Channel Communications. Such conglomerates have streamlined operations and reduced their workforces to practically nothing, leaving robots to handle most of their actual workload. Entities such as Delilah might as well be robots too; her warm soothing voice could possibly be handling DJ duties on a series of Infinity Broadcasting country music stations as well, in that case under some other DJ handle such as Mindy or Anna Lee.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next