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").


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Like my brownhouse:
   overheard at the curry house
Sunday, October 16 2005
It was another early morning wakeup for me, well before sunrise. I was eager for the sunrise so I'd have enough light to work on fixing that infernal roof leak.
When I was finally able to climb up on the roof, I was more radical with my application of the tarry roof goop, prying up shingles and working it up underneath them. It seemed the problem was that the highest part of the pillar footing was resting on the lowest part of a shingle, meaning that shingle provided a relatively large collection area for channeling any incidental water under the pillar and (thus, possibly, through the lagbolt hole into the roof).
After this work I ran one of my hose tests and the roof held out for about a half hour before tiny drips started coming through. Any leaking at all was unsatisfactory, so I had climb back up and do some more work. This time I actually cut the bottom of the shingle the pillar was resting on so I could get up under it and squoosh the tar into what must have been the headwaters of the leak. This time my fix held through a hose test lasting two hours. That was good enough for me.

This evening before dark, Gretchen and I drove across the Hudson to do our usual Redhook routine: giving the dogs a run in the buccolic fresh air (and Lyme ticks) of Poet's Walk, followed by Indian food at the Red Hook Curry House, which has a great Sunday Night buffet.
In the forested part of Poet's Walk we saw that an outhouse-sized sculpture, which had looked like a tall piece of weathered bluestone, had collapsed under the combined effects of soaking rains and gale-force winds. It turned out that it had been made entirely out of newspaper.
We must have arrived at the Curry House at peak hour, because we actually had to wait for a seat. As we did so, we noted the lack of initiative of a table of diners who were done eating but were in no hurry to leave. I was famished at this point so I kept affecting a gangsta cadence while voicing comments loud enough to be overheard, such as, "Oh, I'm just cold coolin'!"
Later, as we ate, we couldn't help but overhear a loud conversation at a nearby table. Three generations of family were sitting around talking and based on their conversation it would have been a fair bet that some of them were members of the faculty at Bard. They'd been to South Africa and could speak in complete sentences.
But then the conversation shifted to the subject of dog breeds, and at this point everything they said just made us want to grab them by the necks and shake them. One of the young women at the table wanted a dog, but she couldn't decide which breed. She kept listing breeds, along with their supposed attributes. A Rhodesian Ridgeback might be totally awesome, but they need like a lot of like space and they're like totally jealous. Australian Shepherds are like totally smart, but they like need lots and lots of like exercise. She continued in this way, with the others chiming in to name other breeds as they thought of them. By this point the conversation had become nothing but an ongoing list, with each trying to top the others with obscure new entries. It was very much like that conversation we'd had at the campfire in Krueger National Park in South Africa, when the dopey girl at the fire kept asking our guide what various wild animals tasted like when cooked. Gretchen hates it when people make generalizations about dogs and fail to think of them as unique individuals. Furthermore, the notion of trying to ensure a reliable dog experience by only buying purebred dogs from puppy mills is repulsive on multiple levels. Here were these obviously intelligent, educated people sitting around a table revealing an unexamined ignorance so complete that it made us want to strangle them. Instead of strangling, though, we started having a mock conversation about various human ethnic groups and what to watch out for when dealing with Gypsies, Russians, and Germans. At some point the young woman did mention all the dogs rendered like totally homeless by Hurricane Katrina, and how that like totally sucks. But then she just dropped it and continued her inane musings about what purebred puppy she should like totally buy.

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