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:
   like folks do in horror movies
Wednesday, December 22 2004
Late this afternoon, in a (failed) effort to forestall houseguest Carlos shitting once more on the basement carpet, I took the dogs for a walk on the farm road just uphill from the house. About a quarter mile down that road I saw a large bird of prey swooping through the trees. It was so big that at first I thought it was a turkey. But when it landed about 100 feet away, I realized it was a large owl, probably a Barred Owl. It sat on its branch looking at me with about the same fascination with which I looked at it. It kept turning its head this way and that in continual 360 survey of its world. Sometimes it would turn its head all the way around like folks do in horror movies. It was such an awesome bird that I stood waiting for it to fly away before I'd take my next step. Minutes passed. Then, off in the distance, I heard the "Meow!" of Clarence the cat complaining in the distance. He likes to come along when I walk in the woods, but he tends to join the walk late and lag behind, often being quickly outdistanced and discouraged. Today, though, with a huge owl spotted in a tree nearby, I couldn't risk Clarence making it this far. He's big and strong for a house cat, but he wouldn't be the first big cat on Dug Hill Road to be killed by an owl. So I doubled back and caught him up in my arms. He'd been walking in wet snow and was delighted to be lifted from the ground. He was so happy to see me that he drilled his wet nose into both my cheeks and my forehead too. But cats are funny about free will and before long he was struggling to get back down to the ground, where he could sabotage my every step by dashing his head against the ankle of whichever foot was closest to home.

This evening Gretchen and I watched a movie she'd ordered on Netflix called Mean Girls, yet another movie about the ordeal of fitting in in America's most irrepressible oligarchy: high school. There's a lot of ways for a movie like this to either fail or fly, and this one is most decidedly one of the latter. The occasions when this movie could have taken the easy or cliché path and instead chose something either more daring or more clever are too numerous to mention. It's only very near the end where the movie sags a little as it maneuvers into tidy uplifting ending expected of such movies. As I was watching Mean Girls, I was reminded of something I'd read about its interesting and innovative use of split-screen cinematography in the parts of the film where the girls put available phone technology to use in advancing their nefarious sociopathic schemes. I still have a weakness for movies set in high schools, but it's rare that I watch one that so convincingly reminds me of how horrible that experience could occasionally be.

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