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:
   Thanksgiving, 2009
Thursday, November 26 2009

setting: near Sligo Creek Park, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland

Today was the day of the Thanksgiving feast, so Gretchen and her parents spent much of the day preparing food or washing dishes in the kitchen, and I tried to keep out of the way. When I helped, it was mostly to take Sally and Eleanor for a walk in the adjacent Sligo Creek Park. At some point I took a bath in the modest little tub on the second floor (there's also a huge jacuzzi-style tub, but that's in Gretchens' parents' room, and I'm perfectly happy with a standard small-scale bath). It was good to get my bath in before Gretchen's brother's family arrived and dirty diapers started stacking up in the can next to that bathtub. It's mostly psychological, true, but I find it impossible to have an enjoyable bath next to an open can full of dirty diapers.
Eventually people started arriving, beginning with a [REDACTED] centerpiece of plant material simulated in plastic brought by an odd pair of classical music nerds[REDACTED]. At some point Gretchen's brother and his family arrived from Pittsburgh. The kids are really starting to mature quickly, even the youngest one who isn't yet three. Something about the oldest one being in kindergarten is injecting maturity, social, and language skills into both kids simultaneously. This made me wonder, is it possible that second-born children (at least in some situations) gain access to social and language skills at an earlier age than their older siblings? In my own life, I remember quickly developing reading skills as a consequence of my older brother's entrance into a reading curriculum. (The basal reader where it all began was the Alice and Jerry series.)
Originally there were going to be 13 adults at tonight's dinner, but the appointed hour came and the congressman who has come to two of these thanksgivings in the past had failed to arrive. A call was placed and it turned out his wife was supposed to have called and said they weren't coming. Oops! As a consolation prize, Mr. Congressman came by with one of his kids for about twenty minutes. It was a political fly-by, the kind of thing busy people do when they have lots of social obligations. At some point we learned what had happened. Originally Mr. Congressman, his wife, and his two in-laws were all going to come, but then the in-laws got word that tonight we'd be having a vegetarian feast. This news freaked them out and they balked. Meat is that important to some people.
My favorite dish of the night was the mushroom cobbler, which went well with the cranberry sauce and the asparagus. In a nod to Thanksgiving tradition, a turkey was present on our table, but only in the form of a photograph. It was of a turkey rescued from a factory farm who is now living happily at Farm Sanctuary in the Fingerlakes of New York. This turkey had been "adopted" by Gretchen's parents as part of Thanksgiving expenses.

I hadn't assisted much with meal preparation, but at some point I went into the kitchen and began washing dishes and ended up working for most of an hour.

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