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:
   rubbery puppy at Comeau
Tuesday, December 20 2011
Though it's looking like I've already landed a good job working remotely for a company in the City, I still had one last interview planned, this one scheduled for this afternoon in Woodstock. It would be with the people who operate a local form-of-creative-art festival.
I arrived in Woodstock a little early and tried to find an open WiFi hotspot to check my email. (I was still waiting for some sort of confirmation for that typography firm job I'd interviewed for yesterday.) But no, as "free now" as their concert was and as open as they are to peace, love, and oral sex, everyone in Woodstock had locked down their WiFi routers against freeloaders (and I didn't have time to run a WEP crack, which takes 15 or 20 minutes).
The "interview" had initially been conceived as this form-of-creative-art festival dipping a toe into the ocean of iPhone apps. But it quickly became clear that their needs were more fundamental than anything an app could solve. Their whole infrastructure is a seven year old monstrosity based on Filemaker. All their site administration happens through that program and must be exported from there to the MySQL database that supports their website. Still, the existing setup actually seems to work well for them, and their office manager has become such a whiz with FileMaker that she can build her own tools. The problem is that their website isn't designed with maintainability in mind; in fact much of it exists as static HTML pages. To really fix their web infrastructure problems will cost them more money than a non-profit can normally afford, so if I give them any help, it will be around the margins.
The meeting went on for something like an hour and a half, during which time a couple people came in: one distributing a free newsletter, and an electrician who hadn't yet been paid.

Afterwards I took the long-suffering dogs for a walk at the Comeau Property, where we ran across three people and a small puppy. One of the three people turned out to be named Eleanor and was 16 years old. I pointed out that Sally was 16 and my other dog, the one enthusiastically playing with their small, rubbery puppy, was also named Eleanor.

This evening Gretchen and I watched Super, what we initially thought would be a comedy starring Rainn Wilson. Wilson is inherently funny in just the way he moves, after all, and (as in the Office), he had been cast yet again as a stunted, deeply damaged authoritarian. Furthermore, the content seemed likely to be comic: Wilson's character, humiliated and shamed after his wife leaves him for a shady character, decides to become a real-life superhero. But we could tell that the movie was taking a strange turn when the superhero, for want of a superpower, starts using a pipe wrench to subdue his criminals (whose crimes might be as petty as cutting in line). By the end it had turned into a gory splatter flick, with scenes that wouldn't have been out of place in a genuine horror movie. There was also what might be the most improbably sex scene in all of cinema. Despite the fact that Super ended up being something of a cinematic mess, I actually found it reasonably compelling. The balance of comedy and shock reminded me a little of A Clockwork Orange (though, of course, it is nowhere near as good). Gretchen, though, found the movie to be a grotesque disappointment.

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