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:
   leisurely festivity of a Sunday afternoon
Sunday, October 7 2007 Late this morning Gretchen prepared one of her multi-course vegan brunches for our houseguests David, Lynn, and wee Bessie as well as weekender friends Penny and David, who'd brought a bottle of champagne for mimosas, one of the two socially-acceptable forms of pre-noon alcohol consumption (the other being named for a ruthless English Queen). After the brunch Gretchen took Lynn, David, and wee Bessie to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary while the other David took advantage of our broadband, which is still unavailable on his road. At some point Penny and I went on something of a tomato collecting jihad in the garden. Then David, who had finished his internet business, suggested a walk in the forest. It turned out that Penny and David (who, much like vampires, usually only visit after dark) had never been on our trail system, so I was eager to show it to them. At first Penny was reluctant, so I said we'd just take a short walk. But instead we ended up taking a three mile hike on one of the biggest possible trail loops, and both Penny and David claimed to have a wonderful time. Along the way I identified trees - either directly from trunks or by their fallen leaves. Penny collected sample leaves and did her best to remember which was which, but it was all so new that sometimes when I'd quiz her she'd suggest impossible name permutations such as White Maple.
As we returned to the forest near the house, I found the spiny husk of an American Chestnut, meaning that somewhere nearby was a chestnut tree big enough to produce nuts. Such trees have been rare since the Chestnut Blight, though one imagines the power of Darwinian forces is making them more common again. Judging from all the chestnut wood still littering the forest floor (it rots very slowly), American Chestnut was once extremely common here.
Back at the house David suddenly asked if I could show him how to work the teevee so he could watch a football game: the New York Jets vs. the New York Giants. So I said sure, and Penny went out on a beer run. David is a Jets man, so for the duration of the game so was I (I certainly had no reason to be anything else). Football has never interested me, and I've never enjoyed it unless under the influence of a wacky tobacconist's wares. But I did what I could to pay attention and I encouraged David to explain everything to me. But nothing made any sense. Even the names of the plays seemed illogical. I will say this, though: the Tivo definitely rendered the game much more watchable than it would have otherwise been. Football has a huge setup-to-play ratio, and fast forwarding through all that tedious setup can distill a fairly pure five minutes of action out of a two hour game. I actually enjoyed the activity of watching it, but the game had little to do with my enjoyment.
Gretchen and the others returned sometime during the game and Gretchen joined us in front of the teevee with a beer in her hand. But she was just there for the leisurely festivity of a Sunday afternoon beer and football party. She was on the Penny side of the couch, where most of the attention was on a copy of the New York Times that Penny had purchased along with the beer and pretzels.

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