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:
   exquisite sixer mixer
Sunday, December 5 2010
In cutting down mid-sized (~30 year old) White Pines south of the house, I've had problems with them getting hung up on other trees as they've fallen. The other day I was able to use a rope to help pull one tree off of another, but today that trick didn't work and I was forced to leave the half-fallen tree lodged in a mid-sized Black Cherry tree. It turns out that the majority of trees immediately south of our house are Eastern Hemlocks and White Pines, with a smattering of Northern Red and Chestnut Oaks, various species of hickory, and at least one Black Cherry. This distribution of tree species doesn't match the forest as a whole; instead it seems to reflect the gloomyness of growing up on a steep north and north-east facing slope (a gloomyness that completely vanishes once a tree is able to rise into winter sunlight at a height of twenty or thirty feet).

This evening I visited Penny and David over in Marbletown, bringing only the dogs and a six pack of beer, Gretchen having used the honest excuse that she was "socialed out." The six pack was a perfect mix (an "exquisite sixer mixer") in that it had six entirely different brands of beer: Sierra Nevada Torpedo (a fairly good Imperial IPA), Stella Artois, Becks Dark, an unusual German beer brought up from Maryland by Gretchen's parents, and two other beers. An exquisite sixer mixer is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can bring over when you're visiting your friends. It's a lot more thoughtful and fun than a conventional six pack.
Soon after arrived there was a mystery puke on the floor that Penny thought Sally had vomitted up. But then why would she have been eating it? And why didn't it contain kibble? I fingered young Milo, but Penny and David claimed he never puked unless he was very sick. So it was a mystery.
After the puke conversation wound down, Penny put out a variety of middle eastern snacks which were all very good, but I had to hurry to eat them before they were inevitably contaminated by Milo. He's a cute kid, but he's not my kid, and I'm just not going to find hummus appetizing after witnessing him running his fingers through it. It's rare to see a parent who can keep a kid from doing that when the food is at kid-friendly elevations above the floor. We get used to decades of our lives lived under the social contract wherein people don't gratuitously run their fingers through shared platters of food, and it's not an easy paradigm to abandon.
At some point in the evening I casually used "David Wαllιs" as the paragonal name of a class of cautious that lies as at the "extremely cautious" end of the spectrum of risk-aversion. I was actually referring to myself as being the "David Wαllιs" of the family, with Gretchen being, well, perhaps the "Penny Blαττ" (though, as Gretchen pointed out later when I told her of this conversation, she's the "David Wαllιs" and I'm the "Penny Blαττ" when it comes to such things as fondness for alcohol). Anyway, this seemed to be a bit of a stick in poor David's craw, and he kept bringing it up throughout the rest of the evening.
At about nine, David and Penny put Milo to sleep, and soon, off in the distance, we could hear Milo crying. But he wasn't actually crying. He was making loud non-verbal shrieks that sounded utterly different from conventional involuntary sobs. He was clearly making a conscious effort to rejoin the party. And so eventually Penny went and got him, which was, as I pointed out at the time, a reward for all that unpleasant shrieking. It was like feeding a dog scraps at the dinner table; it's just not something you're supposed to do. I will say this, though, Milo was nothing but well-behaved and adorable once Penny fetched him, rewarding her for her bad parenting decision. (It was a whole microeconomy of improper rewards.) He'd been a little naughty before bed, flinging bits of apple randomly around the room and walking on the furniture. But now all he did was smile broadly and softly pronounce the few words he knows as he cuddled with his mamma.

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