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
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Irving housing

got that wrong

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Like my brownhouse:
   turds and vomit at Ray and Nancy's
Tuesday, February 28 2012
I went to Ray and Nancy's house again today to check in on their cat Francis, and while I was there I realized I'd made a mistake during my last visit. Francis uses a litter box that resembles an igloo, and the dome comes off to clean it. But when I'd put the dome back down, I'd done so in a way that made the entranceway face the wall, rendering it inaccessible (even for a cat). I could tell it hadn't been used since last time I'd visited, because it didn't contain any turds or new clumps of piss. The question, then, was where had Francis gone? I checked the bottoms of the closets (which each contained a few inches of what I assumed to be dirty laundry), but they all passed the sniff test. It wasn't until I went out to the living room that I found poor Francis' makeshift litter box. She dropped a few poops on the carpet and used Suzy's (the dog's) pillow and blanket to absorb her piss. So I gathered up the turds (all of which were black and rock-hard, very unlike, say, those produced by Marie, aka "the Baby") and washed out the pillow and blanket in the sink. You can wash something as long as you want, but it's almost impossible to wash out the smell of cat piss. In the end I aborted an attempt to dry these things in the dryer and hung them out on the line instead. This wasn't going to be the sort of fuck up that I could clean up and pretend hadn't happened. So I wrote Ray and Nancy an apologetic note. With the house reasonably clean and the note on the dining room table, I was headed for the door when Sally started to wretch. I tried to grab her and get out the door before she could puke, but it was too late. She open her mouth and sprayed a revolting chunky black liquid all over Ray and Nancy's bamboo kitchen floors. The puke consisted of one or more of Francis' hard black turds, which Sally had managed to eat. They weren't chewed up too well, but enough of them had dissolved to make the cleanup just that much harder.

This evening I found myself yet again watching Doomsday Preppers, the series on the National Geographic channel exploring the lives of people who prepare for the apocalypse. While the things these people do to prepare are generally the same (hoarding food and weapons, preparing urban escape plans, and occasionally building bunkers or fortifying their houses), the apocalyptic events they fear to be imminent are often very different. Some of the fears make more sense than others. Being somewhat prepared for "black swan events" (huge earthquakes, severe hurricanes, various forms of economic collapse, or nuclear terrorism) makes a certain amount of sense. But a good number of these people are concerned about events that are physically impossible, such a "pole shifts." Their thinking is often muddled on what a term like "pole shift" actually means; sometimes it means a reversal of the geographic poles and other times it applies only to the magnetic poles, though for some reason it always results in massive earthquakes and continents scooting about at high speed and ending up in less-pleasant climates, though for some reason the preppers never strap their jars of canned food to their shelves. Where is the energy for such an event going to come from? And what can the risk be of a geological event for which geologists can find no precedent in the geological record?
Today's episode of Doomsday Preppers featured a modern primitive survivalist in Maine who was teaching his kids to live off the land when the population bomb hits a critical mass. The irony, of course, was that this guy had had three kids, and was, in effect, contributing more to the problem than he was to the solution. There was also the story of a woman in Salt Lake City who is hoarding food and water to weather an imminent "government takeover," though she didn't seem too clear on which government would do the taking over or what to do about it. As part of her prepping, she'd bought a house with a view of the Utah State Capitol building so she could "keep an eye on it." To me that just sounded insane; looking at the outside of a legislative building is no way to monitor what is happening inside it. And being so close to the center of a city when the fear is of a "government takeover" makes no sense whatsoever. But it still makes more sense than fears of a polar shift.

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