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:
   rooster today and rooster through time
Sunday, April 19 2015
At around noon today, I painted a small portrait of a rooster based on a photo I found in a Google Image Search. I've painted a lot of roosters in my life, but I've always worked from memory, creating roosters that have never actually existed by combining the various features according to the rules of rooster architecture I have internalized after years of studying live chickens scratching around the small farm I grew up on. This exercise gave me an opportunity to study a rooster's face seriously and perhaps tweak my memorized formula. As it happens, everything I'd internalized about rooster faces had been correct, though (perhaps ironically), this particular rooster didn't turn out as good as the roosters I've conjured up. See for yourself.

Today's rooster.

A rooster I drew (in permanent marker) on a white board at College Club in San Diego in January, 1999.

A rooster I painted on a door at the Downtown Artspace in Charlottesville in January, 1997.

A fantastical rooster I painted circa 1996.

Another fantastical rooster I painted, May, 1995.

A rooster I painted in April of 1994.

The completion of a work of art gave me license to spend the rest of the day drinking, and so I did. I popped open a bottle of Little Sumpin' Sumpin', my first alcohol in five days, as I drove with the dogs down Dug Hill Road towards Kingston. Our first destination was the ShopRite out on 9W. The last time I'd been there, I'd mistakenly bought two big jars of grapefuits swimming in an artificially-flavored syrup, a product I hadn't even known existed. (When I'd seen it, I'd thought, "great, an unsweetened version!" not knowing that all such jars of grapefruit are sweetened and that "sugar-free" actually means "made cloyingly sweet with non-sugar chemicals." Because America is exceptional like that.) ShopRite was happy to accept the return of the two jars, and I soon had the grapefruit "in light syrup" I now known not to stray from, as well as such staples as bottled mango smoothie, bloody mary mix, Genesee Cream Ale, tonic water, and canned green beans (Del Monte "fresh cut" is the only kind worth getting).
I also made a few purchases at Home Depot: more antifreeze, various PVC electrical conduit components for possible use as housing for my barometric windvane, and three different one-outlet surge suppressors (to protect things like the microwave oven and washing machine).
On the way home, I stopped (as I have been doing lately) at my dirt mine to gather another five buckets of fine Esopus Valley topsoil. First, though, I took the dogs for a little walk in the cornfield to the north and would have gladly taken them for a substantial walk, but then Ramona decided to run over and do stuff at the distant row of bushes along US 209, where cars zip through at dog-killing speeds (as it happens, I'd seen a Turkey Vulture picking at a dead Coyote on the shoulder of 209 on our drive out to 9W). So I turned back, gathered my dirt, and wondered what had happened to Eleanor (for whatever reason, Ramona had decided to stick with me). Then I heard Eleanor barking at some kids who were trying to play (despite their stiff Sunday-best outfits) in the playground equipment behind the Lutheran church. It's the only church in Old Hurley and it most commonly appears as the building into which one appears to be driving while heading west on Hurley Avenue past the old stone houses. From my dirt mine, the back of that church sits up on a bluff a couple hundred feet to the east. I had to drop everything and go find Eleanor before she traumatized one of the kids' parents (who had been counting, no doubt, on the protection of the Lord for their anachronistically-unsupervised children). Eleanor, it should be noted, was looking like precisely the kind of stray that make dog catchers a necessity even in times of budget-cutting austerity. She wasn't wearing any collar (so as to lessen pressure on her kennel-cough-irritated larynx) and her whizzened undersized muzzle did little to qualify the overall Pit Bullish nature of her appearance.
Back at the house, I watched teevee and did all the other things I like to do on my non-alcohol-free days. Some of my time was spent down in the greenhouse with the dregs of my marijuana. Later when Gretchen got back from work at the bookstore, she immediately identified me as stoned and didn't want to have the long conversation I tend to want to have when I am in that state.

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