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
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Backwoods Home
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Like my brownhouse:
   Beer Run
Wednesday, August 11 2010

location: five miles south of Staunton, rural Augusta County, Virginia

I went into Staunton fairly early today, chosing this time to go to Cranberry, a sort of natural food store and healthy food deli combination in the heart of downtown. Gretchen and I had been to this place before and she'd been impressed by the food. I ordered a tempeh-and-quinoa wrap that sounded like it should have been delicious, but it ended up being bland and a bit too soy saucy. Still, the internet was good and I managed to get some good work done. [REDACTED]
Eventually I moved on to Coffee on the Corner, my new favorite Staunton coffee shop. My new favorite coffee shop food when outside the land of non-dairy cream cheese is a bagel with hummus and tomato, and that was what I had for lunch.
Eventually I went to visit my father at the nursing home. On the way there, I stopped at Kroger for fresh vegetables (my father loves baby carrots and his teeth are still plenty strong enough to eat them). While there, I ran into Hoagie, who was also on her way to the nursing home and also shopping for fresh vegetables that my father likes to eat. Hoagie, who has almost zero expenses, hasn't been especially good about paying for stuff on this trip, so when she offered to give me some money, I said sure.
Also with Hoagie was Don, so it was the whole Mueller family there in my father's room while he did his usual old crankypants routine. There's nothing much new to report: the food is bad and he's still anxious all the time.
Back at the doublewide, I made further fixes to the Subaru's gas filler tube, which failed another leak test. This time I pulled off the right rear wheel so I could get a better look at what I was dealing with. Sure enough, I'd missed an entire archipelago of rust holes, some of which had to be fixed with five minute epoxy putty (instead of the JB Weld, which is soupy and hardens slowly).
Meanwhile I'd made contact with Nathan, my childhood friend over in Charlottesville. After six, I began driving the 40 miles between us.
Nathan still lives in that same house on Little High Street. He and is wife Janine had had a kid named Afton since I'd last seen them, and now the kid was three and a half years old, with a big messy head of impossibly-blond hair. They'd just prepared a dinner which I could sadly not partake in because it contained chicken. Otherwise, though, it was completely vegan. We sat out on the deck (now with a roof and screened in too) and I drank an IPA from Nathan's refrigerator and sniffed various aroma therapies scattered on the picnic table.
After the kid went to bed, Nathan and I went out on the town like it was the good old days. We started out at a place nearby (in Belmont) called Beer Run. It's the ultimate beer and wine store but also has somewhat-snooty restaurant food, friendly informative waitresses, and a big crowded outside patio. Here it was Wednesday and the place was jam-packed. Now this place really was like Portland, Oregon. It was rocking that whole "playground for adults" thing that had so struck Gretchen and me about Portland. Beer Run nearly had the diversity of IPAs one would find in a Portland bar (though none hit quite the notes of perfection of those available in Oregon). [REDACTED]
Next we went to The Box (the place that used to be known as Atomic Burrito). It's still the same scene, with live bands or DJs and lots of people drinking PBRs and a beer that closely resembles Red Stripe. The band tonight was some sort of Alt-Country act and Nathan and I really enjoyed them. There wasn't even a cover charge. [REDACTED]
[Later I would learn that my arch-nemesis Chaz, the teenage thug who terrorized my house on Wertland Street back in 1997, is now all grown up and a businessman these days. He owns the Box.]
Nathan had stopped drinking a beer or two before me, but the burden of all those IPAs must have made our drive back to his place a somewhat dubious adventure. I didn't even take my glasses off when I crashed on the bed in Nathan and Janine's guestroom.

Hobo (the perennial outdoor cat) on the driveway in front of the doublewide.

Hobo out on the doublewide's back deck.

Hoagie's little slice of redneck heaven.

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