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:
   little black mosquito
Sunday, April 20 2014
It was another gorgeous day (sunny, but perhaps just a touch too cold). For Sunday morning coffee, we tried a partially-open container of pre-ground SarahBeth French Roast coffee leftover from some function Gretchen had attended in the City. It tasted like dirt, so we had to throw it out and make a different french press. At some point Gretchen drove down to the City again to attend another writerly function. Shortly thereafter I drove into Uptown Kingston to get some much-needed supplies: three boxes of Red Rose tea, some form of IPA (the best Hannaford had was 12 packs of Harpoon, which is not my favorite), cheap booze from the liquor store for the laboratory liquor cabinet, and some much-needed vegetables. Because Gretchen would be gone tonight, I bought an eggplant and a green pepper, two things I love in a stir fry but which Gretchen despises. I'd forgotten that it was Easter Sunday, so initially it was a little perplexing that the plaza around the Hannaford was so empty. (But not completely empty; as always, there were a few marginal characters waiting for a muncipal bus near Hannaford's entrance, one of whom was wearing big white earphones and shouting loudly and profanely at nobody in particular.) It turned out that Hannaford, which in recent memory has been open 24 hours, would be closing at 3pm today. Happily, J&K's Wine & Liquor was open (as it nearly always seems to be).
This morning the firewood load I'd managed to salvage had weighed in at 100 pounds. Because stores of firewood for burning in the remains of this heating season (which I keep in the living room) had dwindled, I went out on a second salvaging mission late this afternoon just a short distance down the Stick Trail (not even as far as the Chamomile). Normally I get down to the Stick Trail via a set of stone steps I built about 11 years ago, but some years ago I began work on a "mountain goat" path leading down the escarpment behind the woodshed. The idea was to have a gentle non-stepped path, perhaps with a steel cable strung along it to help with moving large loads of firewood directly to where it will be stored. Now that I am bringing all my firewood in by backpack, it makes sense to develop that mountain goat trail further and avoid the somewhat precarious (and narrow) steps. So I worked on this trail, reorganizing the many loose chunks of bluestone to build out a wider ramp for gradually climbing the escarpment. As I did so, I listened to the RadioLab episode about the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by congress like a chicken with its head cut off after the tragic events of 9Eleven. I'm a little disappointed by the gradual evolution of RadioLab away from being a program about science to one about just anything, like This American Life. But I suspect RadioLab ran up against the limits of its hosts' scientific understanding and felt the need to branch out.
This evening I made myself a delicious stir fry with eggplant, green pepper, mushrooms, tofu, and onions. Unlike Gretchen (who cuts them longitudinally), I cut my onions latidudinally, producing nice rings which work as long structures in a stir fry. I cut a half green pepper longitudinally, producing large c-shaped pieces that, in my opinion, are what made the stir fry. As in the the past, I also used lots of soy sauce, some Vindaloo paste, and freshly crushed hot peppers (they look like these) from last season's garden (though I add them to everything, over the winter I only managed to use about 10% of last year's harvest).
Gretchen returned earlier than expected, a little after 10:30pm, while I was still downloading tonight's episode of Game of Thrones using Bittorrent (it had become available 15 minutes after the broadcast ended). The download was going slowly, so I took a nice hot bath (solar-heated water in the tank was 145 degrees Fahrenheit). As I bathed, I was joined by strange little fly that looked like a black mosquito. It landed on the edge of the tub, and didn't seem interested in sucking my blood, so I let it be. I actually felt a weird kinship with the thing, as if it was a friendly kitten who was following me around. So, when, a minute later, I saw it had fallen into the tub and drowned, I felt a little sad. I also rescued it and put it outside the tub. Insects tend to recover from drownings better than tetrapods, so it's possible it survived.

In addition to being Easter Sunday, today was also 4/20, the big marijuana holiday. I was too busy with web programming to smoke any pot, though I did take 120 milligrams of pseudoephedrine and drank my usual quota of alcohol.

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