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:
   watching Anneke van Giersbergen age
Thursday, November 21 2019
About ten minutes before the end of the day, one of my colleagues told me that a data import he'd recently done with my tool hadn't made an appropriate conversion of a very important record key. So I quickly wrote a script to produce a two-column CSV containing the bad keys my importer had produced mapped to the values they should've been. Writing this extended my day about eleven minutes beyond when I normally would've left, so I made a new drinking rule stating that whenever I am kept at work beyond my normal workday to do time-critical work then I can drink alcohol. So I stopped at Stewart's and got myself a road beer. When I got home, I found that Charles the Cat had managed to knock a jar containing nutritional yeast off the island, and it had smashed on the floor, leaving a pile of nutritional yeast filled with shards of glass. I removed all the glass I could find and put the yeast outside. If one of the cats ends up eating it and dying from ingesting glass, well, I thought, that would be a feature and not a bug.
By the time I was done with that, it was nearly dark outside, but the dogs clearly wanted a walk, so I took them on a twilight stroll down the Farm Road to the go-cart track and then back home through the forest. It was a good thing I'd thought to bring a flashlight. Later I learned that Gretchen hadn't had time to walk them before doing her mitzvah for the day: driving our friend Carrie to Manhattan for a session of chemotherapy.
When I got back to my computer in the laboratory, I saw my boss Alex was losing his shit because my conversion table had, it turned out, useless values in it. He was wondering why I'd left work without confirming things with the remote colleague who would be using the values to fix the import. It made me feel like shit, but it was now too late for anyone to respond to my responses. I took this as yet another reason to drink.
I ended up watching a bunch of YouTube videos of my new favorite band, the Dutch post-metal band The Gathering. I've downloaded their discography, of course, but I haven't found their studio work as compelling as their most-recent live material. The voice of their long-time vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen seems to have matured into its best form only in recent years. That said, I found a great version of The Gatherings' "Strange Machines" from when van Giersbergen was in her early 20s back in 1996. In those days, she had so much baby fat that she didn't really look anything like the way she ended up looking in the years when her voice reached its prime (and her tattoos started to sprawl). I was so struck by the difference in her appearance (and stage behavior) that I found myself watching her do versions of "Strange Machines" both back then and also closer to the present, sometimes simultaneously. Gretchen has mentioned how sad it is to watch a person or animal age across decade of photographs, and I had a bit of that feeling seeing how much van Giersbergen had changed in 23 years, even though (arguably) she's actually got a better voice and is more attractive as a 40-something than she was as a 20-something, not that she wasn't charismatic right from the start.

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