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:
   inventing new dances
Friday, November 14 2003
An very strong wind blew throughout the day as temperatures gradually dropped. This morning the lanky White Pines outside the bedroom window lashed about like sea anemones in a hurricane. I keep waiting for that one pine with the rotten base to fall over. I still shake my head in amazement that someone would bother leaving trees on a prepared site without taking measures to protect them from being backed into by bulldozers. (Bulldozer operators rarely have any appreciation for standing trees.)
Yesterday we'd taken delivery of a replacement pet door ordered online from a company called This morning, with the cold wind howling through the tattered remains of the old pet door, I commenced work on installing the new one. It featured a robust all-aluminum construction and a hinged double-paned door. Unfortunately, it required a slightly shorter hole than the old door, and this meant I had to shim it a little. But most irritating of all was a locking mechanism that allows the door to be one-way in either direction. This mechanism lay outside the main rectangle of the rough opening and required chiseling and rasping to accommodate. The directions that came with the door were useless; they'd chosen to deal with the complication by acting as though there was no locking mechanism to accommodate.
The freed-up flap from the old pet door allowed me to complete the exit-only cat door for Mavis in the plexiglass gate now blocking access to the laundry room. I still entertain hopes of one day having a mechanism that detects the presence of Mavis and electrically opens this door to allow her through.

Throughout most of the day, while Gretchen did prep work for the enormous wedding cake she is making for David the rabbi's wedding, I worked on a copper wire sculpture to place on the cake's top. It was the same old drill from earlier weddings.
To get wire for this project, I cut a length of non-metallic romex and burned off its insulation in the woodstove. The heat of the fire felt so good, especially given the unavoidable chill from the cold, windy day, that I maintained it well into the evening.

After our full day of projects, Gretchen and I had dinner at El Rodeo, the Mexican restaurant in Uptown Kingston. We shared a whole carafe of sangria, and it put us in a conversational and confessional mood. We spent a good fraction of the meal exchanging stories about how we discovered the most consequence-free joy available to our species: masturbation. Later, a birthday party at the next table over kept playing various dance music on the jukebox (when their white girlfriends weren't playing Aerosmith). We were so loosened up by the sangria that we couldn't help but dance in our chairs, starting with such absurdities as the "I'm a Mime and there's a Wall in Front of Me Dance" and moving on to such creative excesses as "the Using a Telescope Dance" and "the Taking a Hit from a Bong Dance." Pantomime an activity over and over while swaying back and forth and you too can invent a dance!

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