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:
   leashed drone
Friday, July 20 2018
The last two or three times the grass needed mowing, Gretchen did it. Today while she was walking in the woods, I did it, though it wasn't much work. A large part of it had turned to desert in a recent drought and hadn't recovered even after drenching rains. In some point I ran over a garden hand tool, the kind with little pointy tines. The mower blade sliced through those tines as if they were made wax.
Dina, Gilaud, and the two kids (now eight and eleven years old) arrived a little before 2:00pm (the 11 year old daughter having just been picked up from summer camp). The family now live in Tel Aviv, Isræl, though Gilaud spends a fair amount of time in Boston, and he and his 8 year old son were just in China. After the chaos of their arrival settled down, we sat in the living room drinking beverages (Gilaud and I were drinking beers, though everyone else drank lemonade) and talked about things, including my June ouster from Mercy For Animals.
While in China, Gilaud and son had purchased a cheap drone, the kind that lacked even a camera. Bargaining had resulted in a price of about $12. But the drone came with no instructions and had proved impossible to control. We took it out into the yard and the only button that made it do anything sent it careening into the garage. I decided we should attach a leash to it until we figured out the controls. A simple sewing thread was all we needed for that; it was plenty strong enough to resist the drone's towing strength. With that, Gilaud managed to figure out how to fly the thing, though it crashed a few times, usually ending up with thread wrapped all around one of the propellor shafts.
Later we all walked to the pool at the farm at the end of the farm road and went for a swim. I mostly just hovered in the water in various places, though the kids did everything, including diving (or cannonballing) off the board. I was in a bit of a situational funk, which the conversation around me did little to distract me from. Eventually I climbed out of the pool to sun myself on flagstone. It was a little too hot from the sun, though I picked a wet one that was being cooled by evaporation. I kept feeling electric zaps that made me wonder if there was stray electricity in the environment getting me when I brushed against the surface of the pool or vegetation, but then I saw (and killed) the culprit: a smallish grey horsefly.

Back at the house, Gretchen whipped up a big dinner featuring two salads (including a raw kale one I was loath to try) and two different pasta pesto dishes. One was Italian and the other was Thai. I was a bit more engaged once I had some food in my stomach, and at some point I told the tale of the time Ramona was pursued by an exasperated mother bear. I also described a number of my friends who are into conspiracy theories. The bright little eight-year-old wanted to know what some of those conspiracy theories were, so I mentioned some believed by my friend Mark: all the lunar landings were faked and the CIA has a way to turn off gravity whenever they want to. I also mentioned the "9Eleven was an inside job" theory most associated with Billy, my former colleague Nicole's husband.
It had been Gilaud's 44th birthday recently, so Gretchen had made him a beautiful heart-shaped banana cake. She tried presenting it with lit sparklers as well as candles, but the sparklers wouldn't ignite without persistent flame. Eventually the kids and I got the sparklers going, though they were about the most reluctant fireworks I've ever dealt with.

After the kids went to bed, I poured a glasses of Jameson with single large cubes of ice for Gilaud and myself, while Gretchen drank some port. Our guests had great trouble staying awake after that given the huge number of timezones they'd just flown across. Gilaud had been in China only a few days before.

Tonight as I lay in bed tryng to go to sleep, I heard the first ominous "cha-cha-cha-cha" katydid call of the summer.

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