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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Like my brownhouse:
   blue headlight douchebags
Saturday, December 11 2010
There was just enough snow on the ground this morning to make things pretty, and the sun was out and some warmer air had blown out, so it was all on display in the best-possible light. Earlier this autumn I had been wondering why it was that it seemed that our house gets so little passive solar heating in the fall, while getting seemingly so much more in the dead of winter. I wondered if it was because of the persistence of leaves or the tendency of November to be overcast (measurements of seasonal heating amounts has been eniterly subjective and memory-dependent to date). But this year I think I realized what the difference is: snow. Without snow on the ground, vegetation and soil absorb most of the sun's rays. But with snow on the ground and low-angle sun beams, light has trouble finding any dark surfaces to absorb it. So much more of it ends up coming in through windows. And it's not just south-facing glass either; north-facing glass can capture light reflected off snow-covered evergreens south-facing hills to the north.

This evening Deborah had convinced us to go with her to a party down in New Paltz. She knows a cool artist down there and the artist was throwing a party. So we agreed to go, and Deborah came over, dropped off her enormous dog Juneau, and we set out. We briefly stopped in at Ray and Nancy's place to pick up their houseguest Eric on the way.
For most of the way south to New Paltz on Route 32, I was tailgated by a car having those newfangled bluish headlights. I don't know why those headlights they're legal; they're distracting and disorienting, and they cause less temporary damage to night vision. Finally, they only seem to be popular among douchebags. After I turned west at the intersection of 32 and 208 in downtown New Paltz, the blue-headlighted tailgater leaned on his horn as he passed. Like I say, douchebag.
There's new vegan café in New Paltz called Karma Road, so of course that was where we grabbed a quick dinner despite Eric's evident discomfort with non-animal-based foods. The food was really good (even my weird burrito, which contained a lot more potato than it should have). Eric had brought a bottle of wine and the Karma Road people were cool with us drinking it there, but neither they nor we had any hardware capable of opening it, so it had to fulfill its original fate: being one of the things we were bringing to the party.
The party was in a garage-cum-studio out in the suburbs east of the Thruway. There were enough people there to make it hard to find a place to sit. They were mostly a little younger than us, but there were a few who were older than us as well. There was also a live folk country/white boy blues/pseudofunk band, and when they started playing it became a rather unpleasant party to be at. It wasn't that the music was terrible (some of the songs were okay), but it was too loud for the sort of activities that people in their 40 like to do at parties: talking, meeting other people, etc. Eventually, though, we found that a separate group was hanging out in the main house, which was warmer, quieter, and filled with all sorts of interesting pieces of art. Our host was a jewelry maker, while her sweetheart makes furniture decorated with clippings (or drawings of clippings) from comic books. We didn't up staying very long and at the end Gretchen was trying to get people to eat the last of the mint fudge she'd brought, being sure any takers that it was vegan.
Gretchen drove us all back; both Eric and I had grabbed drinks that we consumed during that ride.

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