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:
   self-made pizza
Friday, February 21 2020
Alex and I had a meeting late this morning with the head honcho on the progress of our project (now a month or two into its anticipated year-long trajectory). Mostly good things came out of it, including an endorsement of a simple four-table redesign of a sprawling multi-table mess in the original DBase version from 30 years ago that we are replacing. The boss man also tried to encourage us to use LogiReports, a proprietary reporting system created by LogiAnalytics that we apparently pay $35,000/year to use. But the problem it solves is never the most serious one in report creation. In the case of our reporting needs, the biggest problem is understanding the old reports in DBase. After that, the cognitive effort required to construct a report is just knowing how to compose the query in SQL. But if you're using a system like Logi, which abstracts that away behind a GUI in an environment where you can't even perform joins between tables, you have a whole additional unnecessary learning curve. I would say it's probably easier to train someone to write basic SQL queries than it is to figure out how to get a report out of Logi. Indeed, Logi itself has a lucrative income stream just in running training sessions for people (who must fly to their headquarters) trying to absorb their proprietary, untransferrable knowledge.
In the early afternoon, I decide to try riding my electric motor scooter from work to Bubby's (a half mile away) to get a burrito. As I wheeled the scooter out, I was a little sensitive that I look like a dork (in a way that might upset the quiet, mysterious vibe I've been cultivating), but the thing is so small and non-flashy that nobody even noticed. The day was sunny but unseasonably cold, and I found the air rushing over my face, hands, and ears punishing. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the scooter seems to have a maximum speed, even going downhill. And it turns out that Red Hook actually has hills, though they're of the most gentle variety. They were so gentle that the scooter didn't have to labor much when climbing them. Getting into Red Hook is definitely faster with a scooter, though I had the feeling that scooting around Red Hook is not the highest use for this kind of transportation. It'll definitely be better when warmer weather arrives, but even then I have my doubts. I've already been researching ways to hack the scooter to give it more speed and range. When I got back to the office, some people did finally notice, with Joe asking incredulously if I'd just ridden that thing all the way from Hurley. I should mention that I hadn't bothered locking the scooter (I have no lock for it), though as I'd eaten my burrito, I done so in the Bubby's window (which is very sunny at this time of year) to keep an eye on it. You never know when the 20 year old version of me is going to come along and grab it (something that would arguably be karmic justice).
Some sort of justice happened at the end of the day when I was about to leave. As usual, I had to piss, so I thought I'd start the Subaru, take the piss while the car got a little head start on being warm, and then drive home. But, since I had my work-issue laptop with me, I thought it prudent to lock that in the car (just in case a 24 year old version of me happened through). To do this, I had to separate the radio fob from the ignition key. But then, after pissing, I found the fob would not unlock the car. It was as if the engine running made it deaf to radio commands. I tried all the doors, but they were all locked. As I was contemplating my predicament, my boss Alex wandered past and soon was fully committed to getting me into my car (though he had the attitude of a world-weary father dealing with a teenage fuckup of a son). I found I could pry the windows far enough to introduce various probes, the most promising of which was a fibreglass pole designed to signal to the snowplow to keep it plowing beyond the parking area. One of these had snapped off and was available for poking. Unfortunately, though, it was a wee bit short to reach diagonally across the car from the rear passenger window to the window and latch controls on the driver's door. But then Alex remembered he had some narrow snap-together aluminum rods designed for holding up posters at conventions attended by municipality professionals. This time, while Alex pried the window as wide as seemed safe, I reached across the car and eventually poked the window controls, rolling down the rear driver's side window enough for me to get my arm in. With Alex's help, it had taken less than ten minutes to regain access to my car. Obviously I'm never separating the key fob from the key ever again.

On my drive up Dug Hill Road this evening, I stopped again (and put down my road beer) to gather yet more wood leftover from the recent utility line clearing project. The wood was more marginal than what I'd gathered but included some skeletonized dead pieces I could burn almost immediately.

Later tonight I made a pizza from a lump of pizza dough Gretchen had left me before driving to the City yesterday. I rolled the dough flat using a bottle of olive oil as a rolling pin (we have a rolling pin, of course, but I didn't want to look for it) and then decorated it with pickled peperoncino peppers, canned mushrooms, fresh garlic, pasta sauce, and Violife yellow vegan cheese. The result was better than a lot of pizzas others have made for me. I wouldn't say it was the first pizza I'd ever made, but it was probably the first pizza I'd made starting only with dough since I was a teenager. As a side note, I should mentioned that canned mushrooms are easily as good as the fresh kind. I need to make sure we always have those on hand.

I walked the dogs past the abandoned go-cart track again tonight, and on the way we passed this globe of bluestone our neighbor Georges has been making for several years now. I've placed a can of Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA (my road beer of late) on it for scale.

The pizza I made tonight.

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