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:
   first robins
Tuesday, March 2 2004
I saw robins this morning for the first time this year. There were a half dozen of them scattered across the front yard around the puddles of melting snow. Clarence the cat took an interest in all the springlike bird activity and ventured out onto the roof from the laboratory window, eventually walking the house's ridgeline just like Edna had done a year ago.
Later in the day temperatures briefly reached 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other day I added a second stock 25dB RF amplifier (the kind used to boost cable teevee signals) to the FM transmitter that broadcasts MP3s into the local airwaves. Later, while out running errands, I drove on the part of US 209 that lies in a quarter-mile-long line-of-sight sector from this antenna. Though 2 miles away, my truck radio picked up a near-perfect FM broadcast on my chosen frequency.
Today, while walking the dogs and later while driving to Woodstock, I tested the range along the top of the plateau (the antenna is more or less at the edge of the plateau's escarpment) and found the signal died off about a two-thirds of a mile away, presumably absorbed by the increasing numbers of intervening trees. Considering the cost of the equipment (less than a hundred dollars), that's a big broadcast range.
What I'm listening to (and thus broadcasting on WGUS) continues to be exclusively songs by the Silver Jews. One of their most entertaining quirks is their evident obsession with state geography, especially states colored red during the 2000 election. The tone in such geographic references has the air of sincerity and longing, coupled with an awareness of the comic arbitrariness of non-national borders and the absurdities of regionalism. On this count they show their hand in the song "Pretty Eyes," where singer Berman lets us in on a biological fact, "When the governor's heart fails, the state bird falls from its branch." This clever line comes immediately after the least-impressive couplet in the entire Silver Jews catalogue, where "cowboy" is rhymed with a command given to a dog, "Now boy!"

This afternoon I happened to be in "downtown" Hurley getting gas at the Stewarts and I decided to (as they say in Iraq) take out two humvees with one RPG and cross the street to vote in the Democratic primary (since I am a registered Democrat). Voter turnout was decidedly light in Hurley, at least at that hour. I was one of only about two or three voters present. Voters were greatly outnumbered (and even more greatly out-massed) by polling station volunteers, almost all of whom were obese white middle-aged women. Whoever had planned the seating arrangements for these volunteers hadn't factored in their supersized width, and they were crammed together shoulder-to-shoulder at their tables, one for each of Hurley's six or seven districts. I live in the 2nd district, and I might well have been the only person from that district who voted for Dennis Kucinich. The only thing I know about Dennis Kucinich is that all the liberals seem to like him. And he's not G.W. Bush.

Many months ago, Sally, Gretchen, and I were visiting Ray and Nancy in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and we randomly started dressing up Sally and Suzy (Ray and Nancy's dog) in Ray's old shirts. Sally got so excited by the absurdity that she started humping Suzy. It looks as if I found this hilarious. Ray snapped this picture, which he finally mailed to us today. (Click to enlarge.)

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