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:
   measurement of the state of gentrification
Saturday, August 31 2019
This morning during Saturday morning coffee, we discovered that Ramona had withdrawn to the couch with a dead squirrel, a big fox squirrel with no obvious injuries. Ramona wasn't attempting to eat or really defend the squirrel. If anything, she looked like she might by cuddling with it, like something that had been so adorable that she couldn't keep from killing it Lenny-in-Of-Mice-and-Men-stylee. Supporting this interpretation was the fact that Ramona seemed guilty and was trembling visibly. I knew the squirrel would cause trouble if it stayed in the house, so when Gretchen later took the dogs for a a walk, I put the squirrel up on the roof of the woodshed. There vultures and crows can deal with it.
Gretchen had some poetry reading she had to drive to two hours away, west across the Catskills, and while she was gone, my time-squandering staycation continued. Today I decided to try drinking that old depleted marijuana in tea form. I just tossed a couple fat buds like tea bags into hot water and drank. It was a surprisingly tasty beverage, with unexpected sweet notes. After a couple hours, I was definitely feeling the effects, which were what I would characterize as a general lowering of my IQ and ambition and a noticeable increase in feelings of foreboding and paranoia. There were none of the brilliant mental connections and insights that pot smoking occasionally gives me. This was a good mental state for binge-watching golden-age television shows. I still had most of the second season of Ozark to watch, and that pairs nicely with the lethargic mental state I was in. But I only watched about one and a half episodes.

This evening after Gretchen got back from her poetry reading (and I got out of the bathtub), we quickly decided to do our date night at Stella's, the old-school Italian restaurant in Uptown Kingston. I felt like I hadn't dined there in ten years, but we'd eaten there only a little over four years ago. As we had last time, we ate in the little outdoor nook adjacent to the roofed sidewalk characteristic of Kingston's central Stockade District. The reason we don't eat at Stella's often is that we kind of forget about it as an option. It's not obviously a great choice for vegans; pretty much the only main course for us was angel hair pasta with marinara sauce, though we got some deliciously-overcooked broccoli rabe as a side with that and the two were great when combined. In the past, the big draw at Stella's was the salad, which, before we were vegan, we would get with cheese (and it was so good that on one occasion we actually got a huge catering-style tray of it to go). But even without the cheese, it's amazing. Somehow the romaine lettuce is so perfectly-tossed that every leaf is coated with a thick layer of garlic-infused oil. It has to be one of the most caloric salads out there. There's also the bread basket with the bean dip, but today that dip required a fair amount of salt and pepper. As for wine, which I had and Gretchen did not, you really can't go wrong with the house Montepulciano. I had two glasses of that, though I managed to spill a tablespoon of the first one into the checkered table cloth when my knee impacted the rickety table.
Being in Uptown Kingston, we of course had to take the measurement of the state of gentrification it had reached. Uptown is still a palimpsest of old and new, with Stella's and Snapper McGee's being part of the old. (Snapper McGee's advertises $1 happy hour drafts!) There is also Kingston's distinct menagerie of weirdos, which, today, included an elderly homeless woman who looked to have been semi-effaced by the effects of both heroin and methamphetamines. But there are a number of stores that look like they belong in Soho, selling some random mix of things (such jewelry, pillows, and handbags) displayed sparingly. It was hard to imagine such stores making money anywhere; I thought maybe they were real estate investments populated with tax write-offs. Gretchen stood in the entranceway of one such store loudly giving her opinion: "No! Hell, no! What is this shit?"
On the drive home, something reminded Gretchen of the song "Mustang Sally," which then reminded her of the movie The Commitments, a warmly-gritty movie from the early 1990s set in Dublin, Ireland. While waiting for that to download, we watched an epsidoe of Shark Tank, the one where, to Gretchen's delight, Mark Cuban invested in vegan dog food. I'd started drinking more marijuana tea, so I only made it through eighteen minutes of The Commitments before heading off to bed.

Charles and Gretchen's feet out on the east deck for Saturday morning coffee.

A hummingbird in the jewelweed near the house's front door.

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