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:
   Michelob of an IPA
Saturday, May 3 2014
The woman at the emergency vet had given some advice about what to do to prevent an immediate recurrence of Ramona getting quilled by the porcupine in the woods near our house. She said that porcupines are slow-moving and this one is likely to be around for a couple weeks. She said we shouldn't let our dogs out at all and that Ramona (at least) should be on a leash when going on walks. I usually dismiss such vet talk as being insufficiently-informed about the particulars of our house, yard, and the nearby forest. And Gretchen usually does too. But ever since the incident with Walter the cat (where he escaped and disappeared partly because of our cavalier attitude), Gretchen has wanted to follow veterinarian prescriptions to the letter. So Gretchen leashed Ramona before taking her and Eleanor on their morning walk. And she insisted on latching the pet door during the day (she did so in a way that allowed animals outside the house to come in but not go out — though Clarence knows how to pull the pet door inward, allowing him to use the pet door in both directions even in this mode). I thought these precautions were ridiculous, and when Gretchen went off to work, I left the front door wide open (because the day was warm enough to do so). As for Ramona, her mood seemed decidedly muted today, as though the quilling and the drugs had taken the usual bounce out of her step. She mostly just lay around and slept. I will give Gretchen credit for one thing regarding the Ramona's post-quilling prescriptions: she agreed that Ramona didn't need to take the course of antibiotics we'd been given. We'll save them for some occasion when emergency antibiotics really are necessary.

Speaking of emergencies, this afternoon I drove into town to get an emergency bag of dog food. While I was out and about, I also got some beer for less-formal beer drinking occasions (I'm going to try Genesse Cream Ale for this application). Since I had to go out to 9W (Petsmart is the only place that has vegan dog food in stock), I got my beer at Beer World. [REDACTED]
As I drove around, I listened to the local pop station, since it's the best way for an old fogey like me to be assured that I won't encounter the tired old music of my youth. I've noticed in the last few years the emergence of interesting new crossover types of pop, ones that combine genres like gospel with electronic dance music or bluegrass with hip hop. It's a window into a future where the well-policed boundaries of these genres have broken down completely and fun new mongrel forms emerge to be appreciated by a United Stated populated by people of uncertain racial heritage.
I found contemporary pop music much less palatable back when I was coming of age in the 1980s, a period when I should have been embracing pop no matter what it sounded like. I think this was because I hated the sound of primitive electronic synthesizers. The resurgence of electric guitars in the 1990s came as a huge relief to me, and by the time rock and roll died as a pop phenomenon, synthesizers had advanced to the point where I could enjoy listening to them.
Despite my recent interest in contemporary pop music, it's important to note that it still produces plenty of clunkers. I especially hate the John Legend song "All of Me," with its inane talk of curves and edges and "perfect imperfections."

This evening I met Gretchen as she was getting off work at the bookstore in Woodstock. Our friend Carrie was there, and Gretchen was helping her decide on gifts for Carrie's sister and two little babies. The decision process took surprisingly long, though I shouldn't have been too surprised given how equivocal Carrie can be. It did, however, end on a comic note when Gretchen said that the babies would shit themselves when they saw the creepy empty-bodied, stuff-headed dolls Gretchen had recommended.
The three of us met Carrie's husband Michæl at Catskill Mountain Pizza. We sat in a crowded dining room and had the usual food we eat when we're there: two different kinds of fries, pizza, and (for us guys) IPAs straight from the tap. I had some kind of mediocre Double IPA and Michæl had the All Day IPA, which he said was a disappointing "Michelob of an IPA." The pizza, though, was uncommonly good. (Quality varies a bit more than it should at CMP.)
Unfortunately, there happened to be live music scheduled at Catskill Mountain Pizza tonight. We had no idea that sometimes it serves as a music venue. Luckily, our timing was such that we were finishing our meal as the band started to play. They proved to be a surprisingly-talented folk group with gorgeous harmonies. Sadly, though, I looked around the restaurant, and we appeared to be the youngest people there (and we hadn't come for the music).
Carrie & Michæl stopped at our place on their way home. It was cool enough to justify a fire in the woodstove, and I also poured Michæl and myself about eight ounces each of my War Elephant Imperial IPA (which costs about 37 cents per ounce at Beer World). Michæl said he was still recovering from being up late at a "hardcore show" up in the Albany area last night. He said the musicians for one of the bands had been our age, as had a good fraction of the audience. All the music that used to be so young, abrasive, and subversive is going grey right along with our generation. I asked Michæl if he knew of any music that is only being listened to and performed by "the kids these days." He wasn't sure, but then ventured, "Folk?" But as we knew from our experience tonight at Catskill Mountain Pizza, it would have to be some strange new strain of folk. "Maybe it's the end of history," I ventured.

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