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:
   grocery stores before a storm
Friday, January 9 2009
I went into town today mostly to get provisions for my forthcoming attempt at bulk fermentation of vegetable refuse. I looked everywhere at Adam's Fairacre Farms for pectin and finally had to ask someone, and though that person had never heard of pectin, there was an employee walking by at just that moment who knew exactly where to take me. (Adam's pectin is on top of a refrigerated display, far from the baking goods section where I'd been looking.) That's the thing about Adam's: it has an phenomenal employee-to-customer ratio, and most of those employees seem college-educated. I have no idea how their business model operates, but it's a popular grocery store among Ulster County's better-employed food shoppers. On this particular afternoon, Adam's was mobbed with customers, and I wondered if it was just a Friday phenomenon. Later I was at Shop Rite (whose customer base tends to be even more white trash than even Hannaford's), but they were mobbed too. I hadn't known it at the time, but a moderately-severe snowstorm had been predicted, and grocery stores are always mobbed before a snowstorm.

Responding to the threat of snow, today I hauled back two wood carts of that wood I'd cut up yesterday. Interestingly, I found that the cart rolled rather well on the trail on my second (and subsequent) forays. The first foray had been difficult, but it had compressed the snow and left two parallel ruts which acted as "tracks" that the cart mostly stuck to on later forays. The snow also tended to even out the terrain by filling in hollows. In the past I'd thought that snow made firewood hauling more difficult, but today I came to believe that it made it easier.

I frequently write about bands I discover and like. I almost never write about bands I've heard and do not like. Today I want to write about one such band: Mates of State. On paper, I should love this band: they're in frequent rotation on my favorite streaming internet radio station (Indy Pop Rocks), my greatest living hero Ira Glass of This American Life once featured them performing musical interludes during one of his live shows, and my old housemate John (whose musical opinion I usually respect) loves them. But I hate Mates of State. I find the woman's voice shrill, and the male-female harmonies grating. Beyond that, the happy exuberance of the singing coupled with the cheesy quality of their various electronic synthesizers is a total deal breaker. It wouldn't matter if their lyrics were any good; I have never been able to listen to one of their songs all the way through. They're not bad in the way Lenny Kravitz is bad (I've never been able to listen to any of his songs all the way through either), but I'd be very happy if somehow Indy Pop Rock suddenly decided to stop playing them.

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