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:
   no idea the world could be so kind
Friday, May 14 2004
The world is outraged by the recent college-frat hazing played by Al Qaeda on the hapless Nick Berg. Darn it, Al Qaeda, you boys need to settle down and stop horsing around! Can't you see the rest of us here are trying to study?

Everybody needs to read this. Bill Gates may have given $2000 to Bush/Cheney 2004, but Slate still has some good stuff in it.

The house painting crew came out again today to continue their work preparing the surfaces of our house so they could eventually be painted barn red. I came back from a walk in the woods and swatted down all those nasty snake-hiding weeds on the east side of the house while Gretchen and the head painter dude shot the shit out on the east deck. She made sure she told him that I'd grown up in the backwoods of Virginia; I'd told her about the "snake conversation" we'd had yesterday and she couldn't let him go on believing we were a bunch of ignorant city slickers. Later I joined the conversation in time to learn that one of the crew used to be a serious alcoholic but had recently found Jesus and given up the bottle, a development his boss didn't seem to be too happy about. Hearing this, we knew we'd hired the right painter. Of course, this particular head painter homeslice seems to have an unusual gregarious style; he probably had us doped out as a pack of satanists from the get go.

This evening Gretchen and I went to a barbecue of sorts in Stone Ridge hosted by one of our mutual clients, the kayaker-explorer for National Geographic. Actually, it wasn't technically a barbecue because everything was cooked using conventional kitchen equipment (without a grill).
Lots of fun people were there and we knew just about everyone: the Stone House People, Mr. and Ms. Eagle's Nest., and the Eagle's Nests' daughter's babysitter and her husband. Within our politico-educational demographic, there seem to be only handful of circles of friends in the Hurley-Marbletown area, and they keep being recycled for their character roles like the extras in the Simpsons. For Gretchen and me, our role is to be the young people at the table most likely to say entertainingly shocking things. For Gretchen, the shocking thing is usually related somehow to gay sex. For me, it ranges from pedophillia to jihadist sympathies. For example, at the table tonight I recited something very similar to the first paragraph of this entry, keeping a straight face as the eyebrows around me rose.
Dinner tonight was built around roasted lamb, although there were a few vegetarian side dishes, particularly in the finger-food phase of the barbecue. Unfortunately, though, the chief vegetarian side dish was ratatouille, which contains eggplant, a plant for which Gretchen has a strong psychological aversion. So she subsisted on asparagus. The spears were huge, which made me fear they'd be bitter. But somehow they were delicious. And we, in turn, were delicious to the many biting insects common at this time of year.
We'd brought both our dogs with us, but we'd forgotten to feed them and they were ravenous. I kept handing them little pieces of lamb. They'd had no idea the world could be so kind. Later Gretchen realized that the meal had been very "Atkins friendly."

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