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:
   debate pasta party
Friday, September 13 2019
On my Friday afternoon visit to the Tibetan Center thrift store, I was surprised to find nothing of interest there; I'd expected to at least find a few remote-control cars without remote controls, which (in the past) they always seemed to have a fair number of (and which I only recently became interested in). The only thing of even moderate interest to me there was an old camcorder with 8x optics, and that was only for the optics. But it carried a $20 price tag, which was absurd for what my plans involved. (I can't imagine anyone, no matter how nostalgic, spending $20 for such a device.)

Back at the house, Gretchen had arranged for Sarah the Vegan and Nancy to come over to watch last night's Democratic Presidential debate. She'd cooked up some green beans and roasted some mild peppers, and, when they arrived, Sarah brought pasta, sauce, and meatballs (all of which needed to be prepared) and Nancy brought salad and a couple Corona beers (for me to get them out of her and Ray's refrigerator). Those roasted peppers ended up astoundingly good, but the brand of vegan ravioli Sarah had bought was surprisingly bad, having a dreadful dissonant flavor note in whatever had been used to fill it.
We ate our dinner upstairs in the teevee room while yesterday's debate played from the DVR. I haven't taken much interest in the field of candidates or what they said and done, since whoever ends up bubbling to the top will earn my unlosable support. That said, tonight it was clear that some candidates are better (or at least more charming) than others. Joe Biden seemed very much like the befuddled old man that has become the emerging media narrative. He made such unforced errors as bringing up Alzheimer's disease early in the debate and then later making a nonsensical geriatric reference to record players. Other candidates didn't come off too well either. I've never been a big fan of the Bernie Sanders angry old guy schtick, for example. And Kamala Harris seemed unnecessarily mean, while Amy Kubacher's emphasis on moderation seemed needlessly anachronistic. For me, the biggest standout of the evening was actually Peter Buttigieg, who seemed warm, affable, and genuinely interested in solving problems (as opposed to his political career, even though he surely must be interested in that as well). In my mind, I'd had him as just another middle-of-the-road white guy, but after seeing his performance, I'd say he has a promising future ahead of him. For now, our country might still be a bit too primitive to elect an out gay man as president, but who is to say? At this point it's pretty clear Donald Trump has smashed whatever glass ceilings remain for those with what had been disqualifying attributes.
Meanwhile, Nancy's dog Jack was having a great time, first playing with our dogs (particularly Ramona, until she got sick of it and went off to bed in the king-size bed in the upstairs bedroom) and then obsessing about the cats, first Charles and then Diane. Charles doesn't usually worry much about dogs and seems to think he can defend himself okay. So, now that Clarence is no longer with us, he's usually the first cat to appear when friends are over. Today he was unusually cuddly with Sara, climbing into her lap and treading for an extended time in a way that he normally only does with me. Sarah is still recovering from a bad burn she experienced last week after heating water in a glass container that wasn't designed to be heated (a very Sarah thing to do). It had exploded, of course, drenching her thighs with scalding water. She says she has huge blisters now, reminding me of that time back in April of 1996, when I fell hand-first into a bonfire and ended up with a peach-sized blister on my left hand, and there would still be a big flap of loose blister skin on my hand when I would be arrested for public intoxication on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall about a week later.

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