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:
   watching the Dictator
Saturday, May 26 2012
After an elaborate brunch of leftover gourmet vegan food, the four of us (me, Gretchen, and Gretchen's parents) set out of Cottekill to patronize a moving sale hosted in that little church owned by the ceramic artist Ayumi Horie. Ayumi is moving to Maine and selling a bunch of her things, and our friends Michæl and Carrie had joined forces and brought things of their own to sell. Meeting us at the moving sale were Paul and Ingrid, whose church in the Rondout makes the Cottekill one look like a dollhouse by comparison. By the time we arrived, the moving sale (held inside the church) had been picked clean of anything anyomne would actually want, though there was a single intriguing item: Michæl's old Dobsonian reflector telescope, about the size of a large cannister of carbon dioxide. Paul couldn't really understand the point of owning a telescope when better pictures of the sky are freely available from those with vastly better equipment. Though I can see Paul's point, I'm interested in using big telescopes to look at terrestrial objects. I'd love to attach a webcam to a big telescope and use stepper motors to control where it points so I can spy on the many things visible from the solar deck. I asked Michæl if the telescope could be used for looking at nearby objects, and he replied that it was "surprisingly good." So then there we were, out on the edge of Cottekill Road pointing the telescope at distant trees and telephone poles. We could see pine needles 150 feet away as if we were holding them in our hands, though at that rivulets of air in the atmosphere made the picture shimmer as if under water. If the telescope was a bit smaller I would have bought it, but it was just too fucking much telescope.
Ayumi gave some of us a tour of her ceramic studio while we were there, but the most interesting back there was a beautiful globular stack of finely-split firewood which resembled a work by Andy Goldsworthy. It turns out that Ayumi has started a Facebook group called The International Society of Woodstack Enthusiasts.
Paul and Ingrid joined Gretchen, me, and Gretchen's parents on our next stop: the Bywater Bistro in Rosendale. The place was closed for the afternoon, but the door was open and a guy happened to be there, and with a little persuading he sold us drinks to be had out in their lovely back garden. I was the only person in our party to drink an alcoholic beverage (Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA).

This evening Gretchen and I went out with her parents to the mall to see the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie The Dictator. We'd heard mixed things about it but it ended up being a delightfully funny movie, full of Airplane!-style slapstick and even some Occupy-Wallstreet-inflected satire. Not all the acting was very good, and occasionally the over-the-top attempts at comedy fell flat, but we all had a good laugh.
For dinner the four of us went to La Florentina, our favorite Italian restaurant. Gretchen's parents weren't as impressed by the food as we were, but we had a good meal and the wine eventually put Gretchen's father in that sweet spot where a pleasant mania merges with perfect comedic timing to produce the sort of humor one rarely hears coming from somebody's father.

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