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:
   what happens at Cancun
Monday, June 17 2019
Increasingly in recent days, the air conditioning in the office has been run too cold for comfort. While I can combat the chill with a sweater or jacket, that does nothing for my hands, which can actually get a bit stiff in these conditions. I'm not the only one who feels this way; Marc showed me a winter hat (complete with ear flaps) he'd been forced to wear on Friday. I suspect the source of the excessive air conditioning is Joe, a thick slab of a man who looks like someone who is most comfortable in conditions most others would consider frigid. If it keeps being this way, I will definitely be transitioning to doing more work from home (though that too has its issues, most of which are a consequence of there being so many bored cats).
John, one of my former colleagues (he'd left in November) returned to the office today from his new home in Boston for a brief meeting on one of our legacy Ruby-on-Rails applications (which he is the only one who understands). John was a popular on the development team, so they all decided to go out for lunch with him at Cancun, Red Hook's family Mexican restaurant. I'm sort of shared between that team and an older (both in terms of when it was assembled and in terms of the ages of the people on it) team, so I came along as well. There were more of us this time than there had been a week before, and this time things got a bit crazier. I can't say all that happened, since, according to Marcus, "what happens at Cancun stays at Cancun." But three people had "the ultimate margarita," and these proved so strong that I couldn't really understand the things being said by one of my colleagues after he or she had drunk one. In addition to the margarita drinkers, two of us (including me) ordered beer (I ordered a Negra Modelo), while three of us had no alcoholic beverages. Since the new guy Richard (the developer from Ecuador) was there and Marcus, the head of the development team, was there as well, there was some probing questioning. Marcus asked how we felt about abortion, saying he used to support it until he had his first kid (back in March). He also revealed that he was something of a Republican, which didn't surprise me. But he also said that he only votes in local elections. The level of political apathy among my colleagues in my workplace is a little shocking to me. But I suppose shouldn't be all that surprised given that they have few other interests outside of videogames.
Another question that came up (which was perhaps a bit too direct given the sensibilities of the modern workplace) was if anyone at the table was gay. Nobody was, though I offered that I was married to a lesbian, eliciting a fist bump from Jake for having scored a "conversion." There was also a question about homophobia, and nobody admitted to being a homophobe, which was a little comforting.
Back at the office, John and all the people (except me) who had consumed alcohol ended up hanging out in the smoking area for something like two hours.

This evening Gretchen would be going to see The Dead Don't Die, a new zombie movie, with Ray, Nancy, and others. Unlike Ray and Nancy, neither Gretchen nor I are into zombie content, but supposedly some scenes for this film had been shot in local Hudson Valley diner. Just before Gretchen left, I noticed Oscar the Cat was across the road, which was unusual. So I thought it best to encourage him to come back home. As I was doing this, Ramona and Neville got between the Prius and me as the former was backing slowly in my direction. Neville got out of the way, but Ramona was clearly oblivious, and remained so even as Gretchen (who could not see her) arrived at the part of the driveway where she likes to (for reasons I don't quite understand) stomp down the accelerator. I wasn't going to be party to another unnecessary death in our driveway, so I screamed "NOOO!" at the top of my lungs. This worked, and Gretchen stopped. But she seemed irritated that I had responded this way. All I know is she would much prefer that momentary irritation to the lifelong memory of having backed over Ramona the Dog.
Meanwhile, Beatrice the pileated woodpecker continues to grow. She now spends most of her time in the hole of the nest, looking out a the world. In terms of her vocalizations, she still mostly just does the hoarse grunting sound ("Ahgahhk ahgahhk ahgahhk ahgahhk!") that tells her parents she's excited to eat. But she can also do a flawless adult cackle, the one that sounds a little like "Cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh cayh!."
I did some drinking tonight, mostly in the form of gin mixed into a bottle of clear birch beer I'd bought at the Red Hook Hannaford several weeks ago. Just before going to bed, I took a xanax. I hadn't actually tried taking a xanax after drinking alcohol and wanted to see what that was like. I remember Gretchen getting back from the movie, but I fell asleep shortly thereafter.

The next thing I remember was Gretchen telling me "the quills have all been removed." Was she talking about the baby woodpecker? How did that make any sense. It turned out that the xanax and alcohol had allowed me to sleep right through an incident that began with Neville returning from the forest with a muzzle full of porcupine quills. Gretchen took him to the emergency vet and the quills were all removed, probably at great expense. Normally the removal of porcupine quills results in immediate relief for the quilled dog, but not so with Neville tonight. He whimpered to himself for much of the night, sometimes loudly and persistently enough to wake us up.

Neville tonight at the emergency vet

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