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:
   muffler replacement in the rain
Wednesday, July 25 2018
I ate three 500 milligram guarana capsules and later popped a 10 milligram tablet of recreational ritalin to prepare for a screening interview for some sort of remote IoT (Internet of Things) development contractor job a major medical/pharmaceutical company, which had all been arranged by a recruiter based in India. I'm not excited to be working for a company that is part of what is wrong with America, but I also need a job. And it's also useful to be doing as many interviews as I can (if only to feel like I am making progress in my job hunt). I'd made as much progress as I had in getting this job because Lua is on my resume, and I know Lua only because I had to integrate a web app with Adobe Lightroom (and plugins for that application are written in Lua). So I expected to get some rather technical questions about demanding knowledge of Lua. To prepare myself, I'd revisited some of my old Lua code and also checked some resources on the web, reminding myself that, for example, Lua does not use semicolons in its syntax and that its concatenation character is ".." (as opposed to "." in PHP or "+" in most other scripting languages). Today's call was with actual Johnson & Johnson developers and amounted to extremely basic screening. They mentioned some terms and had me define them. These included "the difference between frontend and backend," "the difference between Javascript and Java," and "What is a for loop?" I answered them all rapidly and conclusively except for the last one, which was about some sort of obscure Windows IoT technology. For that one, I immediately copped to complete ignorance, which was probably the best answer, as that question had probably been added just to test whether or not I was a bullshitter. In any case, I made it through the screen, which, easy though it had been, constituted a victory. I would allow myself to drink.
First, though, I wanted to finish the Subaru exhaust pipe replacement project. This morning I'd managed to cut off a nub of metal on the flange of the upstream pipe, but I still needed to drill out an attachment hole in that same flange. The going was slow with every drill bit I tried. But then I used a smallish titanium dioxide bit while applying pressure on the powerdrill with a flat bar prying against the underbelly of the car. This made the drill act as a makeshift horizontal drill press, and it didn't take long to make the hole I needed. I could then enlarge the hole with other tools. After I had my holes, installing all the new exhaust pipes was a fairly easy (if dirty) job. I didn't have proper gaskets, so I fashioned makeshift ones using furnace cement and fiberglass mesh. The new pipes were added up to a slightly longer arrangement than the older ones had been, though there was enough tolerance beneath the car to allow for it. One of the hooks for hanging the exhaust system was somewhat out of place, so I retained a crude loop of steel wire I'd installed back when all I was trying to do was to keep the old pipe from dragging on the road. Rain fell for most of the time I was working, and at one point there was even a downpour. By then, I was glorying in my drenched filthiness. After hosing off in the yard and taking a brief shower, I went out to the car and fired it up. To my delight, it no longer sounded like a Harley Davidson motorcycle (or whatever the four-cylinder equivalent would be).
Meanwhile Gretchen was working at the bookstore in Woodstock without Neville because she intended to attend a show tonight at the Colony Café. The performance would be by Brittany Howard, the vocalist from Alabama Shakes. But when Gretchen went to buy tickets, the Colony was an overcrowded madhouse. So she decided not to go after all. She and her friend Celia went to the Stockade Tavern in Kingston instead. There, among other things, they discussed what happened to my job application at the software shop in Dutchess County. As you may recall, I had a great interview over there but then was essentially ghosted. What the hell had happened? Celia's husband is VP working at that software shop, and according to him, there's been some sort of hiring freeze. But Celia was pretty sure he wasn't going to like hearing how my interviewers had handled the situation. When Gretchen came home and told me all this, it made me feel better about my job hunting progress, that (at least in that case) it wasn't me. After being fired from a job, it's easy to fall into paranoia, assuming you've been placed on some sort of secret blacklist. Being ghosted after an interview is precisely the sort of thing that contributes to such a feeling.

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