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:
   McCain constrains his inner berserker
Friday, September 26 2008
We had a DVD player emergency today when our old Magnavox DVD player died and could not be revived. It had only lasted three or four years, which was longer than the DVD player it had replaced, but much shorter than the life of most consumer electronics. Our RCA television, for example, has been in continuous use since Gretchen bought it back in the mid 1990s. But that's nothing compared to the amplifier I use with my electric guitar, which I'd bought from a pawn shop in 1987.
While Gretchen was off getting her hair permed, I went into Uptown Kingston and, after checking other possible places, bought a Memorex brand DVD player from Radio Shack. (Only later would I realize my universal remote knew nothing of Memorex brand DVD players.) When I go into a Radio Shack, I usually find myself wondering if the youthful employees have any idea how thoroughly unhip their jobs are. I felt a special level of pity for the guys there today. One of them had just gone next door to bring back slices of pizza, but in the meantime a tsunami of customers had rolled in and by the time the pizza arrived, it was clear no one was going to be eating any anytime soon.
While I was in Uptown's Kingston Plaza, I went to Hanaford and recycled a massive accumulation of beer cans and bottles, many dating back to that benefit party we'd had in late July. Hanaford has machines that scan the bottles and cans by barcode to determine their acceptability, and, if they're acceptable, automatically crushes or smashes them and credits you five cents. But they only accept containers from a whitelist. To recycle empties of Miller Chill (Gretchen's preferred beer) or anything from Keegan Ales, you have to give them directly to the dude behind the desk. This particular dude was a very friendly guy who like to talk about the amount of energy saved by recycling (facts he said he'd learned while being on hold during a call to the manufacturer of the autoscanning recycling machines).
Tonight our gluten-averse friend Deborah came over for pizza night, and Gretchen made a pizza using gluten-free pizza crust. Later we went upstairs and watched the first McCain-Obama debate, which almost didn't happen because of McCain's melodramatic insistence on being apeshit crazy. McCain's nuttiness these past few days led me to expect some kind of crazy Hollywood-style madman outburst from the guy, or perhaps just a bout of rapid-fire lower-lip petting coupled with the voicing of a noise that otherwise would have sounded like "Ewwwwwwwwww!" But no, during the debate he proved reasonably serene and articulate, forming complete sentences and keeping his inner berserker in check. Sure, I was aggravated by his constant use of the phrase, "Obama just doesn't understand." But I thought Obama wasn't any better. To me, the debate seemed like a tie, as it did to Gretchen and Deborah (who had found the whole ordeal an excruciating bore). Only later was I heartened to see that, in the snap polls, Obama had come out ahead. Evidently McCain's condescension had been egregious enough to aggravate swing voters, who hadn't been as put off as I had been by Obama's relentless uninspired pandering to the low-information center of American politics.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next