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:
   somatic déjà vu
Monday, June 6 2011 [REDACTED]

In an effort to introduce a little more exercise into my life, today I decided to go on a modest firewood gathering mission down the Stick Trail. I usually don't think much about firewood at this time of year, and I almost never cut wood in the forest except in the heating season, but today I did both. I went south down the Stick Trail just a little beyond my normal firewood-gathering range, went downhill (to the east) about 150 feet, and cut up what I took to be a long-dead chestnut, producing about a single cart's worth of pieces (roughly 5% of the firewood our household needs for a year). I carried them up to the Stick Trail and created a new pile to be fetched with the cart, but I did not bring them home. The whole job, as measured by the podcasts I was listening to, only took me about an hour. It was a hot, sweaty job in the summery conditions, though the absence of rains for the past week seemed to reduce the prevalence of biting flies (which, at this time of year, mostly consists of mosquitos).

Rechargeable AAA batteries, clothes pins, and six-plug modular surge protectors were three of the things I drove into town later to buy. I hadn't eaten much food, so my stomach was feeling odd and my blood sugar was low, though this was all being felt through the prism of the tablet of Gretchen's Celexa I'd eaten earlier. It made these yearnings sufficiently different from normal hunger pangs that I could go about my business mostly without too much distraction; I could observe them while refraining from indulging them. Celexa also has the effect of intensely desexualizing social interactions, and on several occasions today (particularly at Adam's Fairacre Farms, where I'd gone to buy cabbage and pepper seedlings as well as a largish eggplant) I had brief moments of somatic déjà vu of feelings I hadn't experienced since I was prepubescent.

This evening, partly in an effort to give Gretchen more alone time, I went down to Ray and Nancy's place down in Old Hurley to watch The Bachelorette with Nancy (Ray having already left for his loading dock job down in the City). Nancy had gone to the Hurley Mountain Inn to get an order of curly fries, which we ate with Boca veggie burgers and, as Nancy put it, "all the fixin's." I'd brought Nancy a bottle of wine and a couple Icehouse beers for myself, though the Celexa in my system made the beer taste a little like brake fluid, and I found myself choking it down slowly.
Nancy had promised that tonight the shit would be going down on The Bachelorette, and the show didn't disappoint. It was only the third show of the season, the one featuring the unmasking of the guy who had been wearing a black mask so the dim-bulbed bachelorette would first get to know him "on the inside." That unmasking was anticlimactic, revealing a slightly-nebbishy guy with crazy darting eyes. The bachelorette found him a lot older than expected, and not in a good way. It was to be his last show. (I'm pretty confident that the idea for him to wear the mask in the first place had been introduced by the producers.)
The key to any good reality show are the cringing moments of "I'm so glad that's not me!" Tonight these were served up in abundance. The best of these came when our bachelorette, seemingly chosen because of her thin skin and fragile emotions, was seated in a throne at a sell-out comedy club and it was the job of the bachelors to "roast" her. What could possibly go wrong? It was during this segment that we learned just how sorry the state of creative writing is in America, at least among interchangeable white guys who look like they just walked off a lineup designed to identify a date rapist. At least as presented by the editing, their idea of a roast was tiresome repeat references to the bachelorette's small breast size, an unfunny observation that should have been retired after the first douchebag made it. Really, was there nobody there who knew how to make fun of a woman without focusing on the deficiencies that crop up when picturing her during a masturbation fantasy?
Later we were treated to the decision by Bentley (the douchiest of the douchebags who, he'd claimed, was only on the show for self promotion) to leave the show. The bachelorette had been warned about Bentley via a series of back channels, but this had only made her come to see him as a challenge. So she took his leaving as a personal, heart breaking failure. I would have felt bad for her, but she's pretty much the female version of her douchebag suitors: vapid, superficial, and unimaginative. To the extent that she's not inclined towards date rape, it's only because her body lacks the necessary testosterone.
After the Bachelor, Nancy had me watch a little of Your News Now, a local Hudson Valley news channel only available via cable (so we can't get it up on the mountain via Dishnet). It's got it all: green screen weather reports, news casts, and cheaply-produced advertisements for local businesses. Unintentionally, it has the campy look of segments of Dr. Steve Brule. It's hard, after watching so much material aping this style, to take it seriously. Nancy treats it as if it's just more of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show.

A huge wolf spider living near our household drum composters (we have two). His or her armspan is approximately three inches. A week ago, one of the composters experienced a serious population explosion of maggots that has since subsided. This spider eats well.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next