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
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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   free Britney
Friday, February 12 2021
At some point today, I trudged out again west of the Farm Road to retrieve a load of previously-sawn wood buried under humps of snow.

Today in the mail I got a two meter string of RGB LEDs, which I then proceeded to hang attach in a north-south line directly overhead where I sit in front of Woodchuck, my main computer. The strip comes with an adhesive strip on the back, and it seemed best to apply it to something painted with gloss or semi-gloss paint. Unfortunately, the semi-gloss I had on hand (last used to paint the floor back in 2017) was so clotted at the bottom that I couldn't mix it back into the solvent, so the paint ended up being thin, runny, and likely to drip on everything. In the end though, I had my light strip in place, which provides a little extra overhead light above my workstation.

This evening Gretchen made a hearty vegetable soup with gnocci and beans, and it was perfect for this long dreary phase of cold we've been stuck in. (February being worse than January is definitely a pattern I've seen in other years, but it's particularly bad this year.)
After dinner Gretchen suggested we watch the new Britney Spears documentary entitled Framing Britney Spears, which answers the question: Britney Spears: what is she doing now? What I hadn't known was that Spears has been trapped in a conservatorship run by her father Jamie for the last twelve years. I wasn't familiar with the term "conservatorship," but essentially it's similar to power of attorney, with the subject of the conservatorship losing most control of his or her life and finances. Usually it's obtained for elderly persons suffering from dementia, not a pop star. For this reason, there aren't mechanisms for conservatorships to be unwound and rights returned to the person supposedly protected by it. Framing Britney Spears shows us the path that led to Britney Spears' conservatorship: her early fame, her increasingly chaotic romantic life, and how she semed to melt down in the tabloids at the dissolution of her marriage with Kevin Federline, exemplified by her deciding to shave her head. During this period, we're shown scene after scene in which Spears is hounded by mobs of paparazzi, and in that context, it's hard to see the mileposts of her flameout as anything but a natural reaction to her circumstances. As the documentary pointed out, in the early 2000s, there still wasn't much of a framework for understanding successful women and their problems, and it was too easy to dismiss their antics as being "crazy." And people didn't understand concepts like "postpartum depression." Indeed, the old clips of society reacting to Britney's troubles looked dated, though they're only 14 years old.
Stuck in her conservatorship, Spears nevertheless had enough of her shit together to bank $1 million/week with a residency in Las Vegas (the main thing she's been doing that I wasn't aware of). This leads inevitably to the question: does Spears really need to stay under her father's control? The answer from the courts is apparently yes, perhaps because no judge wants to break new legal ground on the dissolution of conservatorships. And so Britney Spears remains trapped, unable to even choose her own lawyers, while those running her conservatorship live off her fortune (and use Spears' own fortune to pay lawyers fighting to maintain the status quo).
In response to this situation, the so-called "Free Bitney" movement has assembled online, with "activists" working to free Britney from her father. For people like us, with our experience in activism designed to change the world, seeing such narrow activism devoted to the life of one very wealthy pop star trapped in legal amber saddened us. The whole documentary was actually pretty weak sauce. The story of conservatorships was interesting, since I'd been unfamiliar with them. But there wasn't really much to the story of Britney Spears' experience in one.
I'd taken 150 mg of pseudoephedrine early today and this evening I ate a couple nuggets of canabis. After an hour or so, there were a few fleeting minutes when I thought perhaps I'd eaten a bit too much and would need to bring myself down with alcohol. But the moment passed, and tonight proved to be my 19th consecutive one with no alcohol. I don't think I've ever gone this long without alcohol as an adult.

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