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:
   least object-oriented dog
Sunday, March 22 2009

Gretchen and the dogs met Ray and Nancy over at Onteora Lake this morning, and later they all convoyed back this way on their way to SUNY-Ulster's tennis courts. This gave me an opportunity to show Ray and Nancy the greenhouse, which they'd last seen during the concrete block stacking phase. Ray thought the rough bedrock floor and inexplicable well hole looked like the dungeon from The Silence of the Lambs.
Next, all four of us convoyed to Davenport's market in Stone Ridge, where we met up with Deborah from Kerhonkson. We bought various picnic items, including containers of split pea soup, bread, and a bag of "oriental mix." "It's for my people," said Ray, who is Filipino. Gretchen asked if the split pea soup was vegetarian and Deborah asked if any of the bread might be wheat-free. "I'm allergic to wheat," she explained. "I'm allergic to hot sauce, but I love it so!" I said, adding hot sauce to my split pea soup. "I'm allergic to cruelty," said Gretchen, ending the brief meme on a somber note.
SUNY-Ulster has six or eight separate tennis courts, and the only one being used when we arrived was being used by Penny and David (this was no coincidence). As we were getting out of our car, a police SUV rolled up and told us our dogs (including Deborah's massive white dog Juneau) had to be on leashes because otherwise they were likely to chase deer, something the police dude called a "no-no." So we put our dogs on leashes, but the moment we were inside the tennis court (surrounded by its high chain-link fence), we set the dogs free. Juneau immediately began chasing tennis balls around. Later Sally joined in. The dogs became such a nuisance to the playing of tennis that eventually Gretchen and Deborah took them to a separately-enclosed set of tennis courts, whereupon Eleanor began chasing and retrieving tennis balls, which was unusual. She's the least object-oriented dog I've ever met.
At some point, I replaced Penny on the tennis court and batted a few balls with David. With the possible exception of a few volleys in high school, this was the first time I'd ever used a tennis racket to hit a tennis ball. I wasn't doing all that well, but the people on the sidelines seemed to think I had amazing innate skill at the game.
The weather didn't prove conducive to either picnics or tennis. Clouds kept the sun at bay, and winds ruined everyone's expectations of where whacked tennis balls were supposed to go. Eventually we called it quits and headed on our respective trajectories. Ray and Nancy returned to the city, Gretchen went home to watch teevee, and Penny, David, and I went to Chefs on Fire in High Falls for a lupper of sushi and sake. Chefs on Fire is perhaps the only restaurant in the universe specializing in pizza and sushi. As I pointed out to Penny and David today, they should add a German menu and emphasize their ties to the axis powers of World War II. (On a somewhat related note, why is it that all the world's best cars are manufactured in formerly-axis nations?)
After sushi and sake, David (who was headed off to his first-cousin-once-removed's — the guy whose wife recently killed herself — house) drove me home. On the way we talked about his intentions to sell his beloved Land Rover (which we were in). It was the vehicle we used for most of last season's yard saling, and it was shame in the same way that the passing of youth is a shame. But the Rover gets shitty gas mileage and doesn't actually have all that much cargo capacity. He'll be replacing it with something like the Subaru we just bought, which is a convenient family vehicle. He and Penny are waiting for a stork to bring them a little Korean baby.
As we climbed Dug Hill Road, the Land Rover sounded like a turboprop airplane. Something was clearly wrong with the muffler. So once we got to my place, I climbed under it to have a look. Jesus, are Land Rover exhaust systems ever complicated! There are at least two mufflers of equal size, one after the other, in the exhaust pipe. Closer to the engine it branches into two and passes through several nodes that look like either mini-mufflers or catalytic converters. David's noise seemed to be coming from a failed weld on the rearmost of his mufflers.

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