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:
   the bitch is dead
Thursday, May 29 2014
This morning a phonecall came suggesting that perhaps we wouldn't be allowed to adopt those two cats from PetSmart after all. The rescue group that places cats in the cat room at PetSmart had checked on our references and determined a number of troubling things, including the fact that both our male cats have never actually been to a veterinarian since arriving at our house (Clarence in 2003 and Julius - aka Stripey - in 2004). It turns out that there is a law on the books that cats are required to stay up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations, obviously something we have allowed to lapse (and not out of fear of the autisms). In the past we've always had some kind of "in" with adoption agencies (or else they've been desperate to get rid of critters). In this case, though, everything was being done by the book. The indications of rejection were humiliating and insulting, but there was nothing we could do to remedy the situation. While Gretchen was relating this information to me, the phone rang with one of those calls that offered to refinance our credit card debt, in this case with money from the "Stimulus Package." Such calls are always a fraud designed to obtain credit card details (though for some reason the existing framework does nothing to crack down on the people responsible). I picked up and asked how they'd obtained my information. The bitchy woman on the other end of the line said that it was me who had called her because I'd hit "1" on the phone keyboard. She then said she had other clients waiting and hung up on me. Just one of the things that infuriates me about the present American paradigm is that such businesses are viable.

I spent most of the day stomping out bugs on the skyscraper wiring closet project I've been working on for the past couple months. It was stressful work because the client (one level removed from me by my intermediary in Pasadena) was supposedly freaking out about the state of the project. It's never good to have a client freaking out, even if it's through an intermediary, and between that and the scoldy message from the cat adoption people, I was left in something of a funk.
Eventually I went on a firewood-gathering mission a little ways down the Stick Trail. I'd only cut a few pieces before I could hear the dogs going nuts. It was late enough in the day that I assumed they were reacting to Crazy Dave and his two Australian Shepherds (Crazy Dave is a tenant of our downhill neighbors and he walks his dogs in these same forests every evening). But when I ran north up the Stick Trail, I found that Ramona and Eleanor were going nuts about our neighbor Tommy, the guy who has been mountain biking these woods since well before we arrived back in 2002. After calming the dogs down, I chatted with Tommy about critter news and things that interest both of us. He told me his dog Kate (the one who had severely attacked Eleanor back in 2010) had recently died from an abdominal tumor. That dog was a real terror, so my reaction later was one of "Ding-dong, the bitch is dead." Tommy said he'd gotten a replacement who was a real sweetheart, which (he seemed to suggest) was refreshing. I showed Tommy my battery-powered chainsaw, a recent innovation he might find useful for maintaining his bike trails and he was suitably impressed.

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