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:
Thursday, August 5 2010
I would be leaving for Virginia tomorrow, so today I slammed my way through some lingering web development tasks. The more time-consuming was on an online game whose pacing needed to be altered by a series of hacks to its backend. The other was on that speculative website for medical facilities and small businesses I've been working on since December. There's a guy involved in the project who does the art and design. He's good enough at what he does, but he tends to be combative and defensive about little things. This all came to a head yesterday when the design guy took offense at my decision to name a stock picture of a doctor he's selected "alcoholicdoctor.png." A decision had been made to replace the content of the picture with something else, but I didn't feel the need to change the name. The new picture, whatever it looked like, could still be called "alcoholicdoctor.png" and I wouldn't have to do anything. But when I'd made this point via email, the designer guy had shot back a response to the effect that if he were a potential client and were to see the name "alcoholicdoctor.png" flash by (presumably in the status bar), even on a demo site, he'd know that the people responsible were "unprofessional clowns" and wouldn't want to have anything to do with it, and so he was refusing to rename his new images with that name. So I mocked him by saying that yes, I was wearing enormous shoes and a big red nose "even in this heat" and that that file name was far from the only unprofessional thing going on in the site. But today I relented and changed the name of the file to "real_professional.png" as another bit of tweaking. By this evening the designer had told the guy we've both been working for that he no longer wanted to work directly with me, and because that could not be arranged, he's no longer part of the project. (Which hardly matters, since his work was pretty much done, and, like me, he wasn't being paid.) Evidently he's a member of a certain personality type with which I inevitably clash. Such people tend to regard trivial details as major points of principle and do not respond well to my sense of humor. Most of all they hate being mocked. My college nemesis Daniel R. Reitman was perhaps the most concentrated example of this personality type, but it exists to some extent in a lot of people and sometimes I have to learn to live with it. But the designer had been screaming apocalyptically about the need for professionalism a few too many times and it was either him or me.
This evening we were visited by Eduardo and his girlfriend Genevieve, the couple who house sat for us last Thanksgiving. We know them through Eduardo's mother, whom Gretchen met years ago dog walking in the West Hurley Park. E & G had come up from the city to move some stuff into their mother's raised ranch in West Hurley. It's a house that Eduardo's mother had attempted to sell a couple years ago when the current housing crisis was already getting under way, and in order to make the sale she'd had to act as the purchaser's bank. I imagine you know can guess how that ended; the purchasers eventually stopped paying their mortgage and Eduardo's mother was forced to evict. By the time it was vacated, it was a shambles. Numerous holes had been punched through the drywall, the wooden flooring all needed resurfacing, and their were several new piles of debris scattered on the grounds. Supposedly the sheriff's office had become familiar with the house from the many fights that they'd been called to break up there. After fixing up the house, Eduardo and his mother hope to use it once more as an Upstate retreat, since it's otherwise useless as an asset (being impossible to sell in this market).
Eduardo and Genevieve didn't stay long, but it was long enough to tell us about the house disaster and some work he's been doing reading (and even affecting voices) for an audiobook. He says his most recent read was a poorly-written zombie novel, but it had been a fun job.

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