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:
   a bear's grey whiskers
Wednesday, October 13 2004
The dogs treed another adult bear today, this time just below the Canary Ridge Trail (which Gretchen calls "the Overlook Loop" since it has a commanding view of the Esopus Valley). I heard the barking and ran (or, actually, slid) down a very steep hillside in time to get a clear look at the bear. When he saw me, he came down the tree and ran away, Eleanor in hot pursuit mere inches behind him. The bear had what appeared to be grey hairs around its muzzle, possibly indicating that it was an older individual. Eleanor and Sally pursued him for hundreds of yards, probably until he climbed another tree. I could hear them barking in the distance, and I did my best to call them back. About fifteen minutes later they returned, first Sally and then Eleanor. I examined Eleanor carefully to see if the bear had taken the opportunity to slice her open, but happily (and somewhat unexpectedly) she hadn't been injured.

I had a housecall in a black Kingston neighborhood at about 4pm today. Several young men sat on the steps of a house across the street from my truck drinking beer out of red plastic cups and talking very loudly among themselves. The whole street seemed to be alive with people interacting exhuberantly with one another. It's rare to see this sort of ad hoc public community in white residential neighborhoods, unless (of course) there's a resident gang of skateboarders. I've never really understood skateboarding, but then again, I grew up on a gravel road.

A pair of guys came out today from Direct TV to install our Tivo system. Because of the way Tivo works, it needs at two separate feeds directly from the dish. Satellite feeds are not like regular cable feeds in that they cannot simply be forked when additional receivers are added. Separate cables must reach all the way to the dish itself. One of the guys had come out before to attempt this installation, but he'd had gave up because of the height of our roof. Today, though, Direct TV sent a two man team with a forty foot ladder. One of them was skinny young white guy whose trousers hung a good eight inches below where one would normally expect them to hang. Not being part of hip hop or wigger culture, I've always been curious about the gravity-counteracting force that keeps trousers worn this way from slipping even further down. Are they safety-pinned to the boxer shorts worn beneath them? (There's always boxer shorts underneath, and these always conceal everything that might otherwise be exposed.) Sometimes my trousers slip down my ass until they hang from the plumpest part, and I have to be careful because I never wear any underwear. Usually, though, my shirt hangs low enough to conceal what might otherwise be revealed. Not that it really matters; all people in our society (even the blessed children - the homeschooled included) are well-acquainted with ass cracks of working white men.

I did try hacking the Tivo a little, by the way. I removed the "capacity limiting" jumper from its 40 Gig hard drive in hopes of gaining a little extra storage, but then it wouldn't boot. It also wouldn't boot when I swapped in a different hard drive, which would make sense if part of its operating system actually resides on the hard drive.

Tonight Gretchen and I watched the final presidential debate of 2004 and, yet again, we were struck by the feeling of it's no contest. Bush was trying to be the class clown while Kerry being, well, presidential. Every time I looked at Bush I felt embarrassed for the whole idea of democracy. It's an indictment of our system (and our forefathers share some of the blame) that this lame-joke-slinging, golf-cart-riding cowboy is leader of the most powerful nation on Planet Earth.
Near the end of the debate, after Bush had given his evasive non-answer to the question about the strong women in his life, Kerry answered with his own non-answer and managed to get bigger laughs with better jokes than the ones Bush had just used. I savored the look on Bush's face; he'd been one-upped, and he knew it, and it made him sick. (I wondered if he was going to lay his golden fiddle down and slither back to Hell.) The only thing that could have been better would have been if Bush had enough awareness of his performance to know how truly wretched it had been.

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