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:
   human popup ad
Saturday, September 24 2011

I don't usually depend on professionals for tasks, but sometimes it's just easier to outsource things to somebody with the right tools and experience. That really only applies to car maintenance, tax preparation, and specialized work on the well, though it might also apply to things like roofing. Today I decided to have our car guy Kel install two new axles on the front of the Subaru. Since he's conveniently a mile and a half away at the bottom of the hill, Gretchen and the dogs came with me and we walked home through the woods.
But since Sally is 16 and not the spry dog she used to be, the walk didn't go as smoothly as similar walks have gone in the past. On a steep escarpment, it's possible for Sally to trip on a stick, land wrong, and then go tumbling down the slope. I rescued her after one such incident and carried her up the slope to avert several others. But it's hard enough to climb such slopes even when you're not carrying a 43 pound dog and have not yourself turned 43. At one point there I almost needed to sit down, so taxed was my power plant. But finally we made it to a contour we could follow to the bottom of the Mountain Goat Path, and from there it was clear sailing (though the trail was blocked in places by recent tree falls).
Back at home there was a message on our answering machine from Nancy, who needed help getting her dog Suzy out of the car. Suzy was having age-related balance problems and couldn't walk. Nancy had taken her to the vet, who couldn't think of anything to do except for giving her (Suzy, not Nancy) a shot of Valium. Suzy weighs about 80 pounds, but she was harder to lift than an equivalent mass of sweet potatoes owing to her disoriented wriggling. That dog is built like a Sea Otter and about as hard to hold.

This evening Gretchen and I went to the ongoing film festival in Woodstock to see the documentary entitled I'm Carolyn Parker, telling the story of a woman determined to restore her house in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. I wanted to like it, but in the end it was a documentary hyperfocused on a woman who really wasn't all that interesting. I watched Treme because I am interested in New Orleans culture, but, aside from some close-up images of deep-frying chickens, there wasn't actually all that much New Orleans culture in I'm Carolyn Parker. After the viewing, there was the customary question and answer session with the people behind the film (in this case the producer), but that ended up being marred by a woman who got up and talked at length about the New Orleans documentary she was making. I described her to Gretchen as a "human popup ad."
We were a little hungry, so we ended up going to the upstairs of Joshua's (my favorite place to drink in Woodstock). There was nobody up there when we arrived and Gretchen knew the bartender (she'd worked at the Garden Café), so it was sort of like hanging out in our living room. We ordered fries and drinks and at some point the bartender talked with us about her new Bittorrent habit and her nervousness about getting busted for downloading movies. "Just say one of your asshole neighbors was probably using your WiFi," I chuckled. The irony, of course, was that this was in the context of a film festival, complete with character actors and their overly fixed-up control-freak girlfriends (a pair matching that description showed up while we were there at Joshua's).

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