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:
   local pan-Asian fail
Sunday, May 20 2012
I spent the day jacking the north side of the greenhouse roof to the point where it could be jacked no further (the south end had pivoted down to touch the roof above the door). Near the end there, the bottle jack had to be so high that it teetered somewhat atop its pyramid of concrete blocks and wood, which was proving difficult to stabilize. I'd done some math and calculated I might be able to raise the north end of the roof as much as 72 inches, but in the end all I could manage was 58.5 inches.
With the roof out of the way, I could visualize the new north wall. Since I'd layed up all the supplies to make it, I immediately set about to assembling it in driveway near the garage. It was a standard stud wall with 55.5 inch studs on 16 inch centers between a 14 foot sill plate and a 14 foot top plate. As always, I used large drywall screws as my fasteners of choice.
I was interrupted from my wall assembling by dinner time. Gretchen had arranged with Ray, Nancy, and Deborah for all of us to meet in Stone Ridge at a new restaurant there called Asia Restaurant. Nancy had been there once and had the Pad Thai and thought it good, though yesterday Jacinta had told us about a dish she'd had there that she recommended we avoid. We're always eager to try out new restaurants, and, since Stone Ridge is so close, it would be nice add another restaurant to our possibilities.
Asia Restaurant was packed when we arrived; though they actually have more seating than they have parking spaces (both we and Deborah parked in what technically were not spaces, partly to give our dogs shade). The inside was over-air-conditioned and more tasteful than most Asian restaurants (though I've found that pan-Asian places like this one tend to be a bit self-consciously hip).
We all ordered drinks, which all turned out okay. But a first course of soup looked a lot better than it ended up tasting. It had a hearty red color that suggested complexity, though its only flavors were salt and grease. Later our entrees came out, and I was a bit underwhelmed by my red curry, which seemed like it could have used a little of the salt from my soup. Gretchen, who was underwhelmed by her Pad Thai, sampled the other dishes at the table and concluded that my mediocre curry was probably the best thing any of us had ordered. Suffice it to say, we won't be going back to Asia Restaurant unless there are guns held to our heads. Also, there's this: Nancy can no longer be relied on to provide restaurant reviews. But we're still interested in her movie reviews. (She says, and Ray confirms, that Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is actually good despite what I'd read in Slate.)
Gretchen invited everybody back to our house for drinks, and while all the ladies when out to the East Deck, I stayed out in the driveway working on prefabbing the greenhouse wall I'd begun earlier. Ray sat in a recliner nearby, sipping a glass of my birthday Knob Creek (given to my by Sarah the vegan). I was also drinking whiskey, but I was paying far less attention to it than I was to my project. Deborah's dog Allou and Ramona were playing like crazy, racing all through the yard. Whenever they ran through the garden I'd yell at them to get the fuck out. And then I'd look to see what plants they'd mowed down and trampled. As the damage increased, I reacted increasingly harshly, culminating in an over-the-top bellowing of "NOOOOOOO!" as our guests were slowly making their ways to their cars to leave. This obviously embarrassed Gretchen, who evidently didn't like our guests seeing me revealing my inner-psycho. "You sound like a crazy person!" she declared, to which I replied, "I don't fucking care."
But before that incident there were a couple hours of socializing. I completed my wall and Ray helped me carry it down to the greenhouse and put it provisionally in place. Then we joined the ladies on the deck. As spontaneous parties go, this was a pretty good one. Gretchen even called Paul and Ingrid, and Paul drove out to join us in his enormous truck.
Among other things, our conversation dwelled for a time on Gretchen's recent "firing" from her position as site coordinator for that prison college program she has been working for. Paul asked me at one point why Gretchen was being fired, and I found myself cutting through the bullshit and saying that it was because of a personality conflict, which was a leap Gretchen herself wasn't ready to make, at least not openly. But it only makes sense that way; obviously if her superiors in the program didn't want to get rid of Gretchen, her unwillingness to work summers (when little actually happens in the program) wouldn't be considered a "firing offense."
At some point Deborah couldn't find her glasses, which reminded me that I hadn't seen my favorite pair of eyeglasses (the one I'd gotten in 2010) since before we went out to the Asia Restaurant. So I went down to the greenhouse to search for them there, and, not finding them, I proceeded to look in every conceivable place for a couple hours, continuing long after our guests had left. But I turned up nothing. This was a real bummer; those glasses actually have a more useful prescription than whatever my optometrist prescribed for me this year, and I also like their frames better, and supposedly those frames are no longer available.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next