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:
   Village of Gardiner
Thursday, March 7 2019
At lunch, I asked the new guy Marc if he wanted to go get burritos with me at Bubby's, and he said sure. It was another brutally-cold day, so he drove. In addition to me talking a little about the Costa Rica trip and him telling me about a side project building an electronic entry system for an adult entertainment business, we shared grievances about Javascript frameworks. We agreed that they don't actually solve problems that need to be solved even as they introduce other problems.
This afternoon's coding was sucked up into a vortex of little problems, mostly all of which were a byproduct of Microsoft-based technologies. In the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is the Query Analyzer, a tool I've been using since 1999. Now that I'm once again working mostly with Microsoft SQL Server, it's my main database tool (along with SSMS generally). I've probably complained in the past about how much fussy menu-based interaction has to go into the simple process of restoring a Microsoft Database from a backup (which compares unfavorably to the single command-line issued to do the same in MySQL). Maybe there's a single command-line equivalent in sqlcmd, but I already knew that particular command-line tool to be fussy and brittle. But let's go back to Query Analyzer. Why are its errors so terrible? Why can't it give line numbers where errors occurred? Why does it bother telling you "Msg 241, Level 16, State 1, Line 2" when there is no documentation (that I can find) of what Msg, Level, and State mean?
When I got home after work, I found that the kitchen window had been successfully replaced. A subcontractor for Home Depot and come out and replaced the dual openable panes with a single undivided square window that couldn't be opened. Without the central pole, the window looked larger and it definitely let in more light. I'd been worried that replacing a window on one of the coldest days of the year would result in an expensive loss of heat, but Gretchen said the hole (approximate nine square feet in size) had only been open for about fifteen minutes.
Tonight was the night we'd be doing that postponed birthday celebration down in Gardiner. It was for Jeff (of Jeff & Alana) and the venue was a restaurant/bar called Gardiner Liquid Mercantile (GLM). The hook at GLM is local foods, that is, they try to source all their food and beverages as close to Gardiner as possible. For this reason, Gretchen didn't have great expectations for the vegan options. So we stopped for a snack at Commissary in New Paltz. There I got the Socialist Soup and Gretchen got the stuffed tofu. The stuffed tofu is a block of tofu hollowed out to contain other things, many of which are ingredients in the Socialist Soup (which also contains cubes of tofu, presumable removed from the blocks of tofu used to make stuffed tofu. Thus you'd think the two dishes would taste fairly similar, but not today. I had a taste of Gretchen's tofu and it was much better than the tofu in my soup. It was saltier and more completely infused with savory goodness. Perhaps my particular batch of soup wasn't up to standard, though it wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed with some soy sauce and the shaker of shichimi. I also had a cup of drip coffee. As we dined on these things, Gretchen told me some scandalous gossip about one of her newer friends.
Gardiner is about seven miles south of New Paltz, and I have rarely had reason to go anywhere near it; indeed, I'd never actually been to the center of the village. It's a sleepy place, no bigger than Rosendale but a lot less pretty. We walked into Gardiner Liquid Mercantile, which has an overlit businesslike front room and a carefully-designed back bar area with a very high ceiling and a rusty old horse-drawn plough hanging from the rafters. The person working the bar was a skinny youngish guy with long hair and lots of monochrome tattoos. Initially it was just Gretchen, Jeff, Alana, and me, but then later Chrissy arrived. Somehow the five of us were able to sit around a tiny table for something close to a meal with drinks, though Alana and I had to hold our plates of tofu tacos (they weren't very good) in our hands. That there were vegan options at all was a little surprising (there was also a mediocre veggie burger, though the fries were excellent). And then it turned out that our bartender was also vegan. There were a few cracks visible in GLM's mission of providing exclusively local food and drinks. My IPA came from Poughkeepsie, which isn't too far away. But limes and lemons were used in some of the drinks. Also, as I pointed out to the people at my table, the music on the sound system should've been from local bands, but all the bartender seemed to be playing was Fugazi (which hails from nearly 300 miles and at least 16 years away). As for the drinks, there was a drink menu, but the bartender was happy to free-ball after a short dialog. That was how Gretchen got her specially-made sour cocktail. I wasn't perfectly happy with the sazerac I ordered, which tasted a bit too much like a crypt. But it's hard not to love a bar that pays so much attention to ingredients and customer preferences.
Conversation topics ranged over some interesting topics. There were Chrissy's latest AirBnB nightmares, which included guests turning the heat up to 75 for an entire weekend and a new hotel tax being levied by the City of Kingston. The Chrissy told us about her new crow friend, who nervously takes peanuts from her but is clearly not part of the gang she befriended for the four or five years prior to 2018. At some point Alana told us about the plans for Jeff & Alana's marriage, though such topics are only interesting to women and gay guys. I was more interested in a story about Alana's parents and the houses they rent every winter near Mexico City. They're also thinking of buying a house there, but Mexico isn't the most stable country in the world and maintaining a house down there could be a headache. But it's the kind of thing I could see Gretchen considering visa vis Costa Rica. "We're turning into your parents," I declared.

The state of the Mitzvah Wall this evening at Commissary in New Paltz.

A poster seen in the window at Commissary in New Paltz.

Info about ice caves in the bathroom at Gardiner Liquid Mercantile.

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