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:
   Passover, 2021
Saturday, March 27 2021 [REDACTED]

Gretchen didn't have any good decaf left, so first thing this morning she drove to Sunflower in Woodstock to get more of that, as well as various impulse purchases (chocolate chip muffins, vegan "popcorn chick'n," and a new kind of shelf-stable oat milk creamer. Meanwhile I walked the dogs west of the Farm Road. We went to the large glacial erratic boulder atop which I placed the corpse of Charles the Cat about a year ago. I climbed up onto the boulder to see what if anything was left, but all I could find was a small amount of hair. There was no skin and there were no bones.
The weather was sunny but significantly cooler than yesterday, so I was wearing a coat along with the shorts I'd been wearing. Lower legs aren't that sensitive to cold, but the problem was they kept being lashed and scraped by the bare limbs of blueberry bushes I was walking through. When those bushes are leafed out, the leaves soften the abrasion. But without them, I was left with calf soreness that persisted well after I got back home.
At some point I saw a pileated woodpecker fly in and land on a nearby log. I immediately froze and did my best to take pictures with my camera (I'd brought the Nikon with the built-in 42x telephoto lens). The dogs were a little slow and showed up somewhat later. Interestingly, the woodpecker was completely unconcerned about them, though I knew that if I'd been moving and making as much sond as the dogs, the woodpecker would've immediately flown away. Evidently they feel so unthreatened by domestic dogs that they will continue workng on the ground as they approach.

The woodpecker I saw today.

Back at the house, eventually Gretchen returned and we tried for a time to have our coffee and Spelling Bee ritual out on the east deck. It was warm enough for this while the sun was out, but when it ducked behind some thick clouds, we eventually decided to go inside. The panagram, by the way, was "envoking," with "o" in the middle, which did not produce all that many words.

Today was the first day of Passover, and Gretchen had bought lots of matzos weeks ago. This afternoon, inspired by her childhood friend Dina in Tel Aviv (seven hours ahead of us), she made matzo ball soup, "chopped liver," and some sort of nut load. When she realized she didn't have any Manischewitz kosher wine (for making charoset), she sent me to get a bottle of the concord grape flavor. I'd never bought Manischewitz wine before, and assumed it would be available at JK's, my favorite liquor store. After being momentarily confused, I saw they had a shelf labled "kosher wine" near the back. It was pretty well picked-over on this particular day, but they did have one big 1.5 litre bottle of concord grape. This was the first time I'd bought any alcoholic beverage since January.
The three of us ended up having a light-hearted informal seder that was mainly about eating food but touched occasionally on the points that are normally belabored in a proper seder, just to catch Powerful up on it all. He'd actually had matzos occasionally in prison, since it is available to prisoners claiming to be Jewish. But he didn't know that much about the plagues and the lamb's blood, and all the other stuff Gretchen used to take seriously but now finds arbitary and primitive.
Gretchen also poured us glasses of Manischewitz wine, which was to be my third alcoholic beverage since January 25h. My alcohol tolerance is now so low that I actually felt a pleasant buzz from just one glass.

Throughout the day, I repainted more floor shapes in the laboratory, mostly yellow and green ones not near the central axis. This evening I started repainting blue patches, which show the least wear due to their relative darkness. At some point in this, Gretchen interrupted me to say she wanted me to join her in the watching of a movie. I never have sufficient attention span for movies, so initially resisted. But eventually I agreed to watch it.
The movie was In and Of Itself, built out of a staged hybrid of storytelling and magic performed by Derek DelGaudio over the course of more than 500 live shows. The show is highly interactive, and starts with all 150 members of the audience picking individual single-phrase (or word) summaries of who they are. At the end of the show, DelGaudio dramatically "guesses" everyone's identity from their cards, one of several magic tricks that haunted me later, eluding a logical explanation. Perhaps he used an earpiece and some sort of RFID technology connecting the identities to the people. But there's another magic trick, where he somehow produces personal a letter written by a friend or family member of a specific audience member, completly blowing that person's mind. How is that done? Is it a social hack involving Facebook? Then there are the incredible card tricks, which manifest a seemingly supernatural command of a deck of cards. That suggests amazing powers of memory and quickness of mind in concert with amazing finger dexterity. Less interesting were monologues on the nature of identity. With someone like this, you don't want them to do anything but magic, since that is the thing nobody else can deliver.
Along the way, there are several glimpses of various famous people who have been in DelGaudio's audiences, including W. Kamau Bell and Bill Gates.
Perhaps the main reason I think In and Of Itself is so popular is that it plays into Americans' preoccupation with themselves. People go to the show specifically to see Derek DelGaudio "figure out" who they are.

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