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:
   dinner with neighbors
Friday, December 17 2004
I had a housecall across the street from my own house, at the residence referred to by Mr. Meatlocker as "the 70s House" due to its unfashionably-modern boxy architecture. The people living there are the ones who moved there this summer from the City. The house is the most obvious manmade object outside my laboratory window and there's an oddness to being on the inside of a neighbor's house you see every day. Looking out its windows I could see my house, the laboratory window that frames the world as I see it for hours each day and also the driveway, which I cannot see from my laboratory. Indeed, from the neighbor's desk I could more clearly see whether or not Gretchen had returned home from Kingston than I can from my desk.

A week or so ago Gretchen had tried to plan a dinner party for both the downhill neighbors and the neighbors in the 70s House but had run into a glitch when it was learned that Mr. 70s House wouldn't be able to attend a party in our house due to a severe cat allergy.

(Let me just jump in here to say that I don't believe all the people who say they have cat allergies; I think many of those people really just dislike animals. Perhaps some of them were diagnosed as allergic to cats when they were children, as I was, but never made an effort to discover that their allergies were fleeting, mild, or depended on the specific cat.)

So Gretchen and the various neighbors decided to have a meal at a nearby restaurant instead. Eventually it was decided that we would go to the Reservoir Inn, which is like the Hurley Mountain Inn but features more tasteful decor, slightly better food, and a complete absence of hunters' trophies.

The downhill neighbors picked us up at about 7pm and we met the other neighbors at the Inn. Being a Friday night, the place was crowded, far more so than I've ever seen at, say, the Hurley Mountain. Being a semi-celebrity in this township, Mr. Downhill was able to quickly fetch us a table despite the crowded conditions.
Dinner conversation linger for awhile on the topic of how various couples had found each other and subsequently been married. Mr. Downhill told us all about the clever schemes he used to separate Mrs. Downhill from an earlier high school boyfriend fifty years ago. I couldn't hear clearly over the din of the restaurant, but it had something to do with pig butchering.
Gretchen and I told the stories of how our respective parents met. Independently, they met in Chicago and moved to the suburbs of Washington, DC. I talked about the cultural shock that ensued after my family moved to rural Virginia from Maryland suburbs; how the redneck neighbors eventually started shooting at us. Why? "They thought we were a bunch of city slickers," I oversimplified. "And that experience means I'll never take good neighbors for granted," I said, gesturing with my wine glass towards the other end of the table.
Later Mr. Downhill regaled us with the story of the last time he ever went deer hunting, when he ended up killing something like five different deer. The last of these he accidentally hit in the highway and had to dispatch with a knife after he drove it home and found it standing in the back of his truck.

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