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

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Like my brownhouse:
   old dog in cool Spring weather
Saturday, April 10 2010
Yesterday (the 9th of April) is traditionally the day Gretchen and I celebrate Sally's birthday (though, she being a mutt, we don't know the actual day). On her sixth birthday, for example, we threw her a party in a forested meadow of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Yesterday was Sally's fifteenth birthday, and Gretchen was gone, so there was no party. Fifteen is old for any dog, and Sally is showing her years a bit more than she used to. She's nearly deaf and I had to build her a staircase so she can clamber up onto the bed by herself. And when Gretchen takes "the girls" for a walk in the woods, Sally only goes about half the time, and even when she goes she often loses Gretchen in the woods and comes home on her own. The recent hot weather (it was nearly 90 Fahrenheit on Wednesday) didn't seem to make Sally any younger. But yesterday clouds had come in and rain had fallen and by today conditions had cooled down to seasonal norms. It had become the sort of weather that can make Sally act like a goofy little puppy, running around at high speed in the yard with a stick in her mouth. We went on a big walk today, and though she got separated from me more than a mile away from home, she'd already experienced half the walk by that point, so in finding her way home down the Stick Trail, she was probably only several hundred feet ahead of us.

I'd run out of programming on the Tivo, so when I needed a television break, I was forced to dig into the household DVD collection (which is large and largely pirated). I ended up watching Into the Wild, a film based on the true story of a young man who followed his dream of abandoning society and all of society's attachments to find himself in nature. It's perennial dream in the American condition, a mental counterbalance to the lure of success and materialism. It's one I can relate to up to (but not including) the burning and giving away of all my money. The film's hero, Christopher McCandless, is only four days older than me and suffered the identity crisis of his early 20s at around the same time I was going through a less-intense version of the same thing (the adventures of Rory Miller also come to mind). But even then I was far too practical, aware of my limitations, and easily bored to attempt a sabbatical beyond the frontier of modernity. Still, the story was unexpectedly compelling and moving. But it could just be that I'm a sucker for stories where physical movement is the most important plot device.

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