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

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Like my brownhouse:
   inch-worms, birds, and earplugs
Friday, May 29 2015
This spring, the oak trees up here on Hurley Mountain have been suffering from a caterpillar infestation. The culprits are a sort of green inch worm (they move about by pulling their hindquarters up to their front quarters, forming a loop with their bodies, and then extending the front part of their bodies forward to collapse the loop). After the caterpillars reach a certain size, they turn brown and can be seen inching their way across the ground. The constant rain of their frass (excrement) makes a pitter patter sound in the forest that can be mistaken for the sound of drizzle.
While it might be bad for the oaks, the inchworms are great for the birds. They've apparently divided up the area around our house into many much-smaller territories, as it takes very little land to support a nesting bird given the richness of the food supply. All these birds sing loudly outside our windows in the early morning, forcing Gretchen to wear earplugs and cover her head with a pillow. And there you have it: Gretchen is forced to wear earplugs because of an inchworm infestation.

This morning Susan (of Susan and David) came over to walk dogs with Gretchen. This time, as an experiment, she brought her dog Olive (though not Darla) on the theory that outbreaks of fighting among our dogs are precipitated by Darla and not Olive. The last time our dogs had been together (months ago) there had been a huge four-way fight in the forest that had been difficult to break up. The walk ended up going okay; there were no fights, and the dogs all had a great time. Afterwards, back at the house, Olive lay on the floor busily chewing one of the many bones available while Ramona lay in the space between Susan and Gretchen on the couch. Meanwhile I was tinkering with a radio-controlled shock collar Susan would like to be able to use on Darla, who bullies Olive so much when they're walking that she has had to begin walking them separately. At some point Olive quit chewing her bone and started staring at Ramona, something that concerned both Susan and Ramona. Ramona evidently sensed hostility, because she began to growl. And then, just like that, Olive had leapt upon Ramona to attack. Gretchen was underneath the whole thing, and managed to kick Olive in the ribs while Susan fired a shot from the air-powered pet corrector. That seemed to do the trick and the fight was over. That was evidence, of course, that any theories that exclusively blame Darla for our troubles with intercanine enmity are incomplete at best.
The other day, Gretchen unfroze a big bag of injera from Silver Spring, so today I ate several meals based on it. Injera is good with anything, particularly refried beans (which is also good with anything), but also sauerkraut, and that chick pea "fake chicken" salad that Gretchen makes (and which she made today).
Later our friend Sarah the Vegan came for a nice little alcohol-free meal out on the east deck. I'd been working all day on the web crisis I'd been working on all week, but by this point I needed a little break, so I came down from the laboratory, snacked on some chick pea salad (this time with crackers) and sipped from a glass of water. Sarah said she's been having trouble motivating herself to complete a fact-checking assignment that will require more effort than just looking things up in Wikipedia.

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