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, March 7 2004

setting: Southern Vermont

John's dorm room at the college that employs him isn't the usual cinderblock cell in which students are doubled up for privacy-free semesters of studying, wanking, and fart ignition. He's been given three rooms and a bathroom, although one of these rooms has its own hall entrance and can be separated from his suite and redeployed as housing for two students. When Fernando was staying with John he lived in this room, but since Fernando left it's mostly been used to spread out rolls of tar paper acoustic insulation so the toxic vapors can evaporate away. (More on that in a bit.) Last night I slept in this room. Its bed was more comfortable than Julie's loveseat, but it wasn't ideal. Now I know why students aren't normally assigned to this room; there's a very loud mechanical device nearby whose relentless humming has the potential to drive young impressionable minds (particularly those with learning disabilities) completely insane.
I, on the other hand, was satisfied simply to wake up without yesterday's hangover. For breakfast, John and I went to the local lesbian-owned diner whose consumption of bacon and maple syrup astounded me the last time I ate there. We both ordered the famous turkey club (which, like everything else, comes with bacon). After yesterday's debacle, John was excited to see me eat.
The weather was brisk but sunny, so after our meal we walked around the downtown for fresh air and a few chuckles. We stopped briefly in front of the town hall and looked at the massive granite war memorial junking up its front yard. I was astounded to see that even more people from this town had died in the American Revolution than had died in the Civil War (I'd never seen that before). "Wow," I said, "If it weren't for the folks of this town, we'd all be listening to techno right now!."
Across the street, we went into a consignment shop to have a look around. Such places are always the same: full of mildly-interesting artifacts that one could never imagine buying. The store and its policies prompted John to tell me a little something about Vermont culture: people in Vermont really don't care one way or the other if they get your business. If you show up as the store is closing, they won't stay open even one minute longer. If you show up at a restaurant 15 minutes before the kitchen closes, you'd better not have any hopes of a hot meal.
John had scheduled a big project to take advantage of this increasingly beautiful Sunday. He was going to rip the lining and flooring out of his Subaru Impreza and insert a layer of inexpensive asphalt sound-deadening insulation, the kind normally used in building construction. This was the stuff he'd been airing-out in his spare bedroom. Supposedly there's a different product commonly used to deaden the sound inside luxury cars, but it costs a lot more than the stuff John bought. He figures it's essentially the same stuff, obeying exactly the same laws of physics. Little glitches and idiosyncrasies eat away at John and he'll go to great lengths to eliminate them. He loves his Subaru, but he can't stand the road noise.
John needed a few additional supplies before getting underway, so we drove out to the Brattleboro Home Depot. It's a new Home Depot, somewhat scrawnier than usual, and since this is Vermont, it's come with a fair amount of controversy. Yesterday as we'd driven past we'd seen a dozen protestors holding signs saying things like "Buy Local" and "Home Depot Destroys Local Businesses." But nobody had been holding any signs warning about the coming of the robots. John let me drive most of the way so I could feel for myself what an ass rocket the Subaru Impreza really is.
I stuck around for awhile while John tested out a heat gun on a plastic bottle and then began tearing the interior out of his car. Interestingly, it all seemed to be held together by little plastic rivets which could be inserted and removed multiple times, a technology similar to LegoTM blocks.

The drive back to Hurley, New York was largely uneventful, aside from the fact that I went 90 miles per hour for much of the distance. That little Honda Civic really zips along when you want it to.

My return home overlapped slightly with a visit by friends up from the city: Ray, Nancy, and a friend named Rebecca. This greatly inflated the hugging-to-hanging-out ratio for the day.

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