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:
   getting a discount card
Tuesday, April 14 2015
Gretchen had something to attend in New York City, so she left at around 5:00pm this afternoon. Soon thereafter, I drove out to 9W to get supplies: a long-handled shovel (whose handle was made of fibreglass and unlikely to rot), a short-handled shovel (only available with wooden handles), two 1.5 cubic foot bags of organic potting soil (discounted from $8 to $2 each because of nasty rips in the bags), more hydronic antifreeze, and nine volt batteries. At the ShopRite next door, I was feeling warm and fuzzy about the place because of all the esoteric groceries that I like and they stock. This caused me to go to customer service and sign up for a discount card so they can now track my purchasing behavior in a database. It was the first such supermarket discount card I'd signed up for in the Hudson Valley (previously, I may have had an Albertson's card in California and perhaps Kroger card in Virginia). I have tp admit that part of the reason I signed up for the discount card was peer pressure; cashiers in ShopRite always seemed surprised and slightly dismayed when they ask if I have a ShopRite card and I tell them that I don't. The look they give me implies that there is no reason to be shopping at ShopRite without such a card. As for me, the only reason I ever became a ShopRite customer to begin with was the store's proximity to the Home Depot.
On the drive home, I stopped at the place where I like to mine topsoil across Wynkoop from the Hurley Mountain Inn. There was a chain strung across the beginning of the road out to the corn field to the north, so I couldn't drive up to the place along the levee where I usually do my mining. Instead, I had to attack a spot further to the south. Fortunately, it being early Spring, there wasn't much plant growth to fight through. And the soil there proved excellent, having that perfect birthday-cakelike texture. It was a good mix of sand, silt, clay, and worm castings with only a few rounded pebbles here and there. Back at the house, I immediately used the 25 gallons of soil I'd harvested to form the top layer of some of the new cabbage patch.
I had something of a mini-marathon with the two remaining unwatched season five Game of Thrones episodes that had been leaked onto the internet and that I'd downloaded using Bittorrent. Meanwhile, it turned out that Sarah Poiron had successfully gotten torrent downloading to work using Bitford on her Chromebook (although I had to find her the necessary .torrent files). So we could periodically compare notes as we watched these two episodes roughly at the same time. Spoilers for episode four follow, so if you're one of the poor suckers forced to watch Game of Thrones on HBO's schedule, you might want to quit reading now.
I'd smoked some pot before watching the episode, which made it even more enjoyable than usual. I could really focus on the beautiful subtexts and codas of the episode. Game of Thrones is ultimately about the messy business of politics, and how all approaches to it have their flaws. So while we all hated Joffrey for his unprovoked cruelties, in this episode we see his much kinder brother (now the king) flinching from the use of force, an absence of brutality that, we can safely predict, will eventually be exploited by others. Meanwhile, we've seen Daenerys and Jon Snow show they have just enough Joffrey in their souls to be effective Game-of-Thronesian politicians.
Another great thing about this episode is the way it showcased the intersection of religion with politics. We see how effective politicians can use religion to further their aims, and also how someone with uncorrupted piety can actually be worse than a decadent religious patriarch. The unpleasant consequences of Cerci allowing a religious cult to take over the local bueauracracy of the Religion of the Seven, giving them police power to act in parallel with secular police power, could be viewed as an indictment of the Iranian (and also, perhaps, the Saudi system), where religious police have no accountability to the secular political structure.

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