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:
   pot without booze
Wednesday, January 14 2015
Though I haven't spoken with her in a year and a half, today was my mother's 78th birthday. The reason she hasn't reached out to me is that she is still angry because I reclaimed some of my old field guides from her house after my father died, and one of them, which Gretchen subsequently mailed back, had technically belonged to her (it had been a copy of a book that had belonged to me). My mother has become a serious hoarder in her old age, and I imagine she's even less rational about her stuff now than she was 1/52nd of her life ago, when I last communicated with her. Ten years ago, she used to use the internet and we would exchange emails, but I think that was only because my father enjoyed using the internet, and so it was there for her to use as well. Without him around, her curiosity about the world and her desire to connect with other people in it are not sufficient for her to require internet access.

This afternoon, Gretchen drove down to New Paltz to meet Jenny and Doug from the Willow farm animal sanctuary, and from there they carpooled down to the City to partake in some sort of benefit. Gretchen would later report that the festivities (which were catered by the vegan restaurant Blossom) were very "WASPish": there was lots of booze but very little food. Hundreds of people were there, and to feed them, every five or eight minutes a tray bearing six small items would come out of the kitchen.
Normally when Gretchen goes away, I throw myself a one-person party involving booze and perhaps other mind-altering substances. But right now I have an elaborate series of drinking rules that, for complicated reasons, require me to drink no alcohol for a ten day stretch. Today was day number eight. Those rules didn't prevent me from doing anything else, however, so I decided to see what it would be like if I smoked pot and didn't drink. There have probably been fewer times in my life when I smoked pot and didn't drink than I have fingers on two hands, and most of those occasions were incidents of "wake & bake" (the other occasions might be the first two times I ever smoked pot and that one time the database administrator got me stoned in the middle of a workday when I was employed at CollegeClub in San Diego).
I'd read something somewhere about mango juice containing substances that could intensify a marijuana buzz, so late this afternoon, I drove to the Uptown Hannaford to buy bottles of Naked mango smoothie (I prefer Odwalla, but Hannaford quit selling Odwalla Mango Tango). While there, I also bought three flea combs and two bottles of antacids so that I can have one of each in the laboratory and in a number of other places in the house. By the way, I've noticed that devices with handles (such as combs and toothbrushes) have all become swollen rubber-padded monstrocities. Gone are the days when an object like a flea comb comes with a simple wooden handle apparently made on a lathe. It seems such handles are not sufficiently ergonomic, and anything lacking a padded pistol grip with sculpted-out indentations for each finger is too much of an ordeal to operate.
Another thing I hoped to get while I was in town was a bottle of Dramamine, as it apparently contains a stimulant I have not tried (chlorotheophylline) in addition to a Benadryl-like sedative. But the only bottle of it I found was a tiny $8 travel bottle at the Walgreens, and it lacked that stimulant. Instead, I bought a can of mixed nuts. Unfortunately, though, my experience of eating them was ruined by the fragrances that had been on the hands of the cashier who sold them to me, fragances that found their way onto my hands and required lots of soap and water to scrub away.
I didn't smoke my pot until 10:30pm, after all my tasks for the day were done and I was in the bathtub. Following the instructions I'd found online, I'd drunk my mango smoothie about an hour before. I only had one toke from my bowl, and it gave me a good long-lasting buzz that was, for 20 minutes or so, a bit too intense. But I never lost my shit and overall I had a good time. I stared up at the ceiling and made up songs by taking phrases ("Less sharpened elbows and more childbearing hips") and using their inherent musicality to form the basis for a melody as well as a counter-melody (that is, the melody of the underlying instruments). I don't really know anything about music theory, but I have a lot of experience listening to music. So I have a good sense of what a song should sound like in the same way that I have an intuitive sense for what proper English grammar is. As I was thinking these things, I realized that the thoughts I was having were no longer really about songwriting or music theory, they were thoughts related to the meta-subject of how music theory itself works. At the time, I understood this to be a "derivative" (in the calculus sense) of the underlying subject matter. This had me seeing that layers of knowledge behave like layers of calculus derivatives in one direction and integrals in the other.
Later, after I was out of the tub, I suddenly had to help my man Mike out in Los Angeles with a server issue. I don't know if it was my being stoned or the terribleness of its user interface, but I could not make Skype do what I wanted. I needed to see Mike's name so I could right-click on it to share my screen, but his name was gone; the only names I could see were of people I wasn't presently talking to. Normally what one does in a case like this (and what one has intutively done with GUI since 1984) is go to a menu and find the command to expose the hidden thing that is now needed. But Microsoft apparently doesn't believe in exposing functionality with menus any more; the stuff I saw in the Skype menus all looked to be vestigial references to functions nobody would ever need. The only way to fix Skype in this case was to quit it and have Mike call me back.
At about 1:00am Gretchen came home, and she could tell I was stoned. She also thought I'd been drinking, which I let her go ahead and believe.

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