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

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Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   gerbil wants to improve his pecs
Thursday, December 24 2009
I found myself watching (well, mostly fast-forwarding through) Terminator 3, Rise of the of Machines, mostly to see if there had been anything left to add to this multi-movie universe. Sadly, the answer turned out to be no. Terminator III is to the Terminator franchise as Windows Vista is to the Windows 95: big, bloated, expensive, but of less utility.

Out just beyond and the Chamomile, I was there with my chainsaw again today and managed to have an unusually productive session with the same chain blade that had seemed dull on my last episode of cutting. The key to happy bucking with a chainsaw is arranging a trunk so that it is perfectly supported for multiple bucking cuts. I achieved this today by undercutting a long trunk and having it one half of the bisected trunk land on a pile of smaller sticks such that a very long section cantilevered out across the ground. There is no better situation for rapid bucking than that.
Due to a snow-and-rain-filled weather forecast, I thought it best to bring in the driest of the wood I had just bucked. So I ended up bringing in two full carts. I carried all of this up to the woodshed and then split it and stacked it away.
All of that firewood gathering added up to several hours of backbreaking work. I couldn't imagine going to a gym to get such exercise. To do so would be an incredible bore while simultaneously placing me on display as someone with an embarrassing amount of vanity. We all pity the gerbil fruitlessly spinning a wheel in his cage, but at least we don't view him as a douchebag, a gerbil who wants to improve his pecs so he can pick up lady gerbils on the beach. Even if I were to go to a gym once, it would be hard to find the motivation to go again. As it is, the only motivation driving me to do the firewood gathering that I do (and that I don't particularly enjoy doing) is the palpable physical necessity of heat. This confluence of necessity and hard work has conspired to sculpt my body into that of a Greek god.

This evening Gretchen and I did our yearly Jewish Christmas a day early. We started out by going to that mediocre Chinese restaurant that doubles as a furniture and knick knack shop at 907 Ulster Avenue. Then we drove up to the Hudson Valley Mall and saw the movie Up in the Air, about a guy who flies around the country firing people for bosses who don't have the guts. The first half hour or so of the movie was pretty good, but ultimately it lacked what it needed to sustain itself. The biggest mistake was probably the casting of that younger woman Anna Kendrick to play the awkward technocrat who has developed a system for firing people over the internet. She was such a weak actress that in scenes involving her and George Clooney (the star), the cuts of him seemed as if they were spliced in from an entirely different film from the one featuring cuts of her. Clooney's co-star (a woman closer to his age who plays the role of a love interest) is actually good, although (as Gretchen pointed out) the big reveal that happens near the end isn't really all that plausible given her character up until that point. Gretchen also took offense at the sudden turn toward the pro-settle-down-and-start-a-family message that we're suddenly and unexpectedly hit with at the end.

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