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:
   cheap vodka flavor
Sunday, April 16 2006
Ray managed to break my coffee urn today while filling it with water. I'll bet I made 1500 pots of coffee in that urn, but never again. R.I.P dear coffee urn, it's been a good five year ride. The coffee maker that the urn belongs to was first given as a gift to my housemate John in Los Angeles from his friend Fernando. John never really made coffee, though, so the pot eventually became mine and formed the basis for my coffee habit. It served me in Los Angeles, in Brooklyn, and up here in Hurley. Now I'll have to get my fix some other way.
Continuing his swath of destruction, Ray attempted to start his car in an effort to get me a new urn but his Saab 900 refused to do anything other than crank. I lifted the hood and looked at the weird Saab things trying to determine what was the matter. It was mystery that utterly eluded me. We tried adding a little more gasoline in case there was a fuel system issue, but that did no good. Ray was convinced he'd have to stay another day, (no service garages are open on Easter Sunday). But then, some hour or so later, the car started up just fine.

On and off for the past couple weeks I've been working on a calendar project. The goal has been to make a calendar system that can display calendars of arbitrary length (monthly, weekly, daily, yearly, etc.) and superimpose multiple calendars on top of each other. Getting all the basics in place to allow for this kind of flexibility has been driving me crazy. It's very hard to focus on a project of such complexity without becoming overwhelmed. The key is to pick off the low-hanging fruit of functionality, the easy fundamentals that can be understood and created and then later orchestrated. An example in this case is a function that can take a date and then roll it back to the beginning of a cycle of some given size. The function can take today's date and then calculate what the date was at the beginning of this week. Or how many seconds since 12:00:00 am Jan. 1. 1970 it was at 12:00:00 am this morning.

Depending on my mood, every month or so I buy a plastic two quart bottle of cheap vodka or gin. (Alcohol of this quality in this quantity never costs more than $15.) I have noticed that the flavor of cheap vodka is noticeably less tolerable than that of cheap gin. At one time I thought that all vodka had that certain cheap vodka flavor, and on some level it does (this is why I mostly drink gin these days), but that truly awful quality is most apparent in certain brands. I've been working my way to the bottom of a bottle of Barton's Vodka this April and find its flavor especially appalling. It claims on its labeling that it is charcoal filtered, but that filtering hasn't come close to erasing a flavor that somewhat resembles battery acid. The first sip is always the worst, but after that I acclimate and find it reasonably drinkable.

There was an article in the New York Times tonight about the resurgence of mausoleums. I saw the following picture on the the New York Times homepage and chuckled:

Behold, above the door: doesn't that read "Fuck" to you? I'm sure that was deliberate; it's really hard to have sympathy for anyone in this day and age so anachronistically egotistical that he wants to be preserved for all eternity in a marble temple. Write a book or something! Mausoleums are so 3050 BCE!

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