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:
   devoured while gardening
Saturday, May 9 2009

I took the dogs with me to Stone Ridge to get a few things like short galvanized deck screws and polystyrene-compatible Liquid Nails at the Marbletown Hardware Store ("the world's only rock and roll hardware store"), and on the way back home I stopped at Davenport's (a large produce and gardening center) to buy composted manure, mulch, and baby plants (various cabbage relatives and tomatoes). Had my greenhouse been a little further along this past winter, I could have grown these plants from seeds, but that trick will have to wait until next year.
Back at the house, I powered through the entire setup and planting of our modest garden (which is about 150 square feet in size). This involved removing the old tomato poles and skeletons of last year's plants, spading the entire surface by hand, hoeing the clods into bits, spreading the manure, and then planting, mulching, and watering the thirty or so plants. At some point the biting flies of May discovered me and the delicious vulnerability my dirty hands gave me. Had they not been there, gardening would have been more of a pleasure than a chore, but they made the experience miserable. They left dozens of welts all over my body, particular on the calves of my legs, where weeping wounds soon formed yellow crusts tangled inextricably in my leg hair.
Down at the greenhouse, I began digging a trench at the base of the east wall below the window, similar to (and for the same reason as) the long trench I'd dug along the south wall. Windows prevent me from completely burying a wall in soil, so beneath each window (as well as the door) I need to provide a styrofoam skirt extending out from the wall at an angle. The trench along the east wall only needed to be about six feet long, so I dug it deeper and wider than the ditch along the south wall. This will allow a deeper and wider subterranean skirt of styrofoam. As always, Stripey the cat (Julius) stayed close as I worked, mostly lying still in the nearby grass but occasionally venturing into the ditch to explore the new terrain or rolling on his back dangerously near the ditch's precipice in what seems like an intentional comic display. (I've seen more extreme examples than this; Sylvia the cat occasionally rolls on her back on house's roof ridge.)
This evening Gretchen and I watched a movie we'd never heard of before called Sex Drive. It's strange that word of the existence of this movie had not yet reached us, since it is absolutely wonderful. It's got it all: it's a gross-out comedy, a teenage love story, a road trip movie, and it's chock full of technological plot devices. Chief among these is an internet chat, which causes our nerdy oversexed virgin hero to go on a road trip to "go all the way" with a beautiful woman he meets online. He steals his sadistic older brother's vintage muscle car and brings along a couple friends (one male, the other female) and all kinds of craziness ensues, though it mostly defies cliché and movie convention. For example, there's a car chase scene, but it takes place in a corn field, where the poor visibility becomes a minor plot device. Then there's a huge chunk of the movie that mines the thick comic veins of Amish Rumspringa. With all the movies I've seen, it's astounding that I've never seen a comic sendup of Rumspringa before. This one wasn't just funny, it was wickedly nuanced and yet still managed to present the Amish in a sympathetic light. There were also several entertaining comic threads exploring things like the roots of anti-gay obsession, sexual confidence, and talents for both opening and closing sexual "deals."

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