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:
   superglue where the staple had been
Tuesday, September 4 2012
I awoke this morning not long after 5:00an to the sound of Sally falling down the stairs into the basement. She's done this several times before and it never seems to hurt her, but it can't be a pleasant experience for a seventeen year old dog. I carried her back up to the first floor and set her down, whereupon she proceeded to gallop about in the only way she can, bending her back legs almost entirely at the hips. Such energy is unusual for her and I wondered if something was amiss.
Meanwhile I'd left Ramona unattended without her cone of shame in her first floor office corral, and at some point in all this chaos she managed to pull out one of the staples holding her knee incision together. Though the staple's absence didn't seem to be affecting the wound, when I found it I on the bed clothes I tried reinstalling it, but there was no way to get it to stay. So I deployed my usual solution for injuries requiring stitches: I put a dollop of superglue where the staple had been.

Today was to be another day at the office down in Manhattan, so again I caught the 7:30 am bus. There was WiFi on the ride down, so I took the opportunity to research bagel shops along my walk from the 4th Street subway station on 6th Avenue. I was delighted to find that Bagels on the Square, a great bagel shop Gretchen and I used to patronize when staying at Penny and Davids' place, was very close to the station. Unfortunately, I didn't know precisely how to order a Tofutti-cream-cheese bagel and I think I ended up with real cream cheese instead, but I ate it anyway. Father Demo Square (which is technically a triangle) is the perfect place for eating a bagel. The pigeons there aren't too agressive with their begging, perhaps because a large sign on the Father Demo fountain has trained people not to feed them.
The work day went unusually well. We're at the point in this hellish project where everybody knows their code really well and changes are mostly about reconfiguring method calls or adding a line or two of code.
For lunch, I went with two co-workers to a sandwich shop called Bite at the narrow slice of block where Mulberry St. meets Lafayette St. at Bleecker St. Unlike, say, Two Boots Pizza, Bite has a very chaotic customer service protocol. You go up to a counter, say what you want, and then disappear into the crowd of people waiting for sandwiches. Eventually one of the guys announces the name of your sandwich, and you run up to take it and pay for it at the same time. My colleagues wondered what would happen if two people happened to be waiting for the same sandwich. Such a "use case" must happen regularly, and yet there are no mechanisms at Bite to prevent it. The sandwich I ordered was some sort of Middle Eastern eggplant thing, the only vegan sandwich on the menu. It was good, but I'd ordered it spicy and it definitely was not.
After work, I headed off to the East Village on foot as clouds gathered overhead. After making it over to Avenue A on First Street, I walked up to 14th Street, and then over to 1st Avenue and headed south again. That's how I like to walk around the East Village. I noticed someone had pasted little opaque squares over the middle fingers of the glowing red outstretched palm icons signifying "do not cross" at the pedestrian crossings. This made them look like heavy metal salutes whenever they glowed. It was clever and awesome in the way that so much of the spontaneous creativity in a big city can be.
But then it started to rain. So I ducked into a bar at the corner of St. Mark's Place and 1st Avenue. As I drank my Lagunitas, I tried to check the internet on my iPhone, but I could get no WiFi signal. So I discretely flipped open my little laptop and held it beneath the level of the bar as I did what I did. But eventually one of the staff told me that they turn their WiFi off and become a "laptop-free-zone" after 5:00pm. That seemed fair, so I closed it down. But you have to wonder why they even bother with such things given that nearly everything anyone does on a laptop can also be done on a smartphone. The people sitting alone at bars in Manhattan are not really alone; they are always preoccupied with their three-inch glowing screens.
The rain forced me into another bar on 3rd Avenue just south of 14th Street, where I enjoyed a second Lagunitas before catching the L subway to begin my trip back home. Happy hour IPAs in Manhattan only cost $3.50-$4.00 each, so the only reason to stop drinking them is a concern about tomorrow's hangover.

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