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:
   Honda Civic dashboard deconstruction
Monday, November 24 2003
I don't know how this happened exactly, but somehow I spent most of the day working on installing a new stereo into the Honda Civic, which I usually refer to as "Gretchen's car." Having done this sort of thing before, I knew it was going to be a big hassle, so I was tempted by Best Buy's offer of a free installation (something that you get when the stereo costs more than $100). But then I learned that if I went that route I'd have to buy some additional supplies. Also, I had both dogs with me in the car, and it seemed unlikely anyone would want to work on my car while a couple of dogs licked them in the face. So I decided to do the installation myself.
Ripping the dashboard of a late-model Honda Civic isn't an easy or intuitive procedure. Screws are hidden in all sorts of unlikely places, and the sides of the various layers have to be removed in a precise order in order to uncover the screws that will allow the process to proceed. It's as if the engineers have devised a complicated three-dimensional puzzle as an installment of the retaliation they're due for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I spent hours on it, parked near the garage so I could use my soldering iron to connect all the speaker and power wires to the new connectors. Meanwhile one of our local friends had shown up for a visit. She is two months pregnant and doesn't like me writing about her, so I won't mention her name.
The three of us went out for a high-carbohydrate meal at the Hurley Mountain Inn, and our friend was telling us about how the pregnancy had forced her to quit smoking "from the stigma [of smoking while pregnant] alone." Just to give us an idea of how powerful her cigarette addiction had been, she told us of how in her mind she'd found herself rationalizing smoking while pregnant. She knew, for example, lots of people - perfectly healthy and intelligent people - whose parents had smoked while pregnant with them. She wouldn't want to be seen smoking while pregnant, of course, but she could imagine herself doing it "only in the car" or in some other super-private environment. She says that driving without smoking "feels so wrong" - the first time she tried, she found herself thinking about lighting a cigarette every second of the drive.

For the past day or so there's been a story about a couple of American troops ambushed in a bad part of Mosul, Iraq. The story is that these troops were pulled from their Humvee by an angry mob of teenagers (most people in Iraq are teenagers), beaten over the head with concrete blocks, and then their throats were slit. Finally, their mutilated corpses were thoroughly looted. It's a brutal story, one which features our boys in an environment rather less detached than the safety of videogame-like bomber scopes. It's been a lot less fun since we had to land and start walking around. As horrifying as this story is, it's also a shocking beam of truth through the media fog. It's awfully hard to write off these pissed-off teenagers as "Baathists hardline dead-enders" or "foreign terrorists," which is how the Iraqi resistance is characterized by even the least-biased of news accounts. It doesn't make sense to suggest that the attackers were anything but regular Iraqis, a savagely irate mob of them, in a place that (until recently) had been relatively peaceful.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next