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:
Sunday, May 25 2003

Because we're basically part of the idle rich, Gretchen and I went on something of a shopping spree today. We drove out to the Hudson Valley Mall on a mission to buy a DVD player at Sears. Why Sears? It just seems like a straightforward, unassuming place, the kind that doesn't feel the need to position "greeters" by the door. And Gretchen has been very happy with the freezer and lawn furniture she got there.
On the way to the DVD section, we passed through the delicious tool section and I grabbed a bow saw suitable for cutting up logs in the forest. This saw looked completely out of place in the consumer electronics section, but that showcased one of the great things about Sears. The sell everything, but somehow they cram it all into much less space than, say, a Walmart.
We selected a somewhat more expensive DVD player model that could do things like display slideshows using CDs of JPEGs. We wanted to just toss it with the bow saw into a cart and continue shopping until we began dropping, but the guy who fetched our DVD player from some back room needed to make this sale. He explained that part of his pay consists of commissions. Sears is old-school like that, and for some reason it made me like the place even more.
We sort of wanted to get a telescope too, but we decided not to because I was unsure how free it was going to be. In retrospect, though, I realize it could have been as free as one of those birds Lynyrd Skynyrd was always going on about.
Somehow our shopping spree metastasized into the shopping mall proper, facilitated in large measure by a couple of egg rolls from the nasty Chinese place in the food court. They probably weren't vegetarian, of course, so only I ate them. They kept me alive so I could shop-on.
We wandered into a toy store to see, among other things, what sorts of Barbie dolls are available these days. Republican mothers of the world rejoice, there's nothing even slightly culture-jamming about any of today's Barbie models. On the way out of the store, we saw a huge twelve-foot blow-up swimming pool, and since it was only $50, we had to have it. That fucker was one heavy brick of folded-up polyshityl-fuckide.

Of late I've been collecting lots and lots of flat rocks for my next big project. The slab of concrete in front of the front door slopes decidedly-houseward, collecting water from a wide area and depositing it right next to the foundation. I have a plan to reverse the slope of this slab, but I'm trying to conserve on concrete while making the surface a little more interesting. So I've decided to slap a bunch of concrete on top of the slab and embed flat rocks in it in such a way that the resulting surface will both slope away from the house and look (and feel) more interesting.

This evening Gretchen and I drove down to Rosendale on a outing to see the new movie A Mighty Wind. We stopped first at the Rosendale café for tempeh rueben and white wine. Our waitress was formerly an employee at the SPCA who vanished unannounced one day after some sort of altercation with one of the directors. Gretchen was amazed to see her - for all Gretchen knew she'd become a skeletonized corpse in a ditch somewhere. Gretchen caught her up on the fates of the cats in the cat room, particularly the unadoptable Mavis and how she ended up with us.
I've probably said it before but I'll say it again. No food feels as healingly nutritious as tempeh. This thought occurred to me today at the Rosendale café and I was hard-pressed to think of any other food with such tangible healing power.
The Rosendale theatre is seriously old-school. It has exactly one screen, and if you want to eat something while you're watching the movie, there are a couple of snack machines willing to take your money. The ceiling of the theatre is so old that it's begun to rot away - and it's made of tin. Tonight the seats were almost completely filled - if these were all residents of Rosendale then it didn't seem possible that anyone was anywhere else.
Before the movie began, Gretchen explained that Christopher Guest movies aren't scripted - they're edited improv. One would think edited improv would be a particularly good way to put together a movie, especially when working with good acting talent. After all, if the improv should prove unfunny, it can always be edited out (unlike, say, live improv). It was a good experience, overall. In fact, the Rosendale audience laughed so heartily and so continuously that I found myself missing bits of dialogue. Interestingly, I noticed that yet again I was laughing in places where no one else laughed, and I wasn't laughing at the stuff other people found gut-birthingly hilarious. The first time I noticed myself doing that was back in Los Angeles one time when I was watching television with my housemate John. We happened to be watching some stupid sitcom and kept howling with laughter in places where the laugh track was silent. Not that we weren't aware of it already, but this definitely confirmed our sense of kinship-through-weirdness.

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