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:
   from art to Olive Garden
Saturday, November 7 2015
I got up at nearly noon this morning, having stayed up until the wee hours had enlarged. After walking the dogs, I noticed that my Ahmed Mohamed clock was no longer making sounds. Damn that WTV020SD! What a piece of junk that has turned out to be! After replacing the tiny Arduino board and the WTV020SD itself, it still refused to make sounds. In desperation, I tried replacing the micro SD card with the only other such card I have that is compatible with a WTV020SD, and damned if the clock's ability to make sounds wasn't restored. What had happened to the old card? It's hard to say; I could no longer read it with my computer's main card reader, and when I inserted it into my secondary card reader, I was told that it needed to be formatted. Initially it seemed to take a format, but later it proved unusable; ether it had been defective or it was killed by the WTV020SD. If I'd known how much trouble the WTV020SD would be causing me, I would have sprung for a more expensive audio-sample-playing system.

Gretchen returned in the late afternoon, having been visiting with an inmate at the state prison down in Fishkill. She asked if I wanted to go to KMOCA to see the art for this year's release of new Hudson Valley Seed Library seed packets, so I said sure. We were there for over an hour, and I soon ran out of things to do and people to talk to (though Michæl of Carrie & Michæl indulged me as I told him about my Ahmed Mohamed clock). The only booze appeared to be champagne, which is not really my thing, though of course I drank it anyway because I had to have something to do with my hands.
Afterwards, Gretchen and I intended to go to Kodomo for an Asian fusion sort of dinner, but as we neared it on 9W, I jokingly suggested we go to the Olive Garden instead. Gretchen actually seemed to like the idea, which surprised me because I seemed to remember her saying "never again" the last time we went (indeed, we have not been back to Taco Bell since agreeing "never again" years ago after eating burritos that resembled dirty diapers, and not in a good way). So that was how we ended up in a booth at the Olive Garden on a busy Saturday evening. Since the last time we'd dined here, they'd added little battery-powered Ziosk-branded tablets to all the tables. These would handle many of the functions of a waitress, allowing us to order menu items or pay without any human interactions at all, and it would also allow us to play trivia if we were so inclined. The waitress seemed upbeat about this technical innovation, seemingly unaware that she was in the process of being automated out of a job. We ordered pasta and each had two orders of salad (for Gretchen) and soup (for me). I also ordered my usual drink, an Italian margarita. But I'd forgotten how cloyingly sweet these drinks are, an issue made worse by all the sugar sprinkled around the rim. This sugar got wet from condensation and ran down to the stem, where it soon made my fingers sticky (and, due to the bread sticks, they were also greasy). [REDACTED]
There's a certain narrow window of irony that can be appreciated by people like us in an Olive Garden. Having just spent some time with a completely different demographic, it was entertaining and even refreshing to check out all the land whales, jar heads, and just honest-to-goodness meat & potatoes Americans, the kind one sees in political ads run by either party. It was hard to imagine any of our friends doing what we were doing and enjoying the experience, though we joked about how funny it would be if Jenny & Doug or Chris & Kirsty were to unexpectedly make an appearance.
Amid all the sincere consumption of chicken parmesan and Bud Lite, however, there was one table of young hipsters who looked like they might have also been there ironically. Or perhaps not; the Olive Garden is cheaper than most sit-down restaurants, the result of numerous little efficiencies that a non-chain restaurant would be unlikely to exploit.

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