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:
   twenty dollar lunch in Red Hook
Tuesday, May 18 2021
Oscar has been waking me up earlier and earlier every morning. For at least the second day in a row, he got me out of bed before 6:00am. Powerful had gone to New York City this weekend and was expected not to return until this evening, so I thought I'd give Gretchen some alone time by working at the office in Red Hook. (Had I done it when Powerful was around, the time would not be strictly alone, though Powerful spends most of his time here in the basement or out smoking cigarettes in the driveway.) I drove to Red Hook in the Nissan Leaf and didn't bring any dogs because I didn't want any distraction for the kind of work I would be doing today.
I parked the car behind the Red Hook Court, where there are places for electrical cars to be charged. Most such places locally had been free but started charging money about six months ago, but they're still free in Rhinebeck, and, I would learn, they're still free in Red Hook as well. From there I walked to my workplace, a bit less than a half mile away.
I don't know who had been in the office last, but the place was empty and had a somewhat-stronger version of the smell it usually has, which is hard to describe and is more chemical than organic. I tried to make myself a cup of coffee from the Keurig machine, but it failed to start (and I tried everything). Fortunately the hot water tank fired up when I plugged it in. Over at my desk, my wireless mouse refused to have any effect on my mouse cursor, and when I opened it up, I found one of the batteries was all crusted with the white corrosion. The last time I'd been in this office, Donald Trump hadn't even lost his re-election.
My work-issued laptop had a completely different setup from the way it had been the last time I'd used it. Now it had an image-copy of the SSD in Wolverine, to which I'd added the sort of software you'd want in a computer not reached via Remote Desktop: the Foobar 2000 music player, Media Player Classic, LibreOffice, Slack, and the stupid Office Teams desktop application. My task today was to get the import that had vexed me yesterday to happen. I decided not to continue with attempting to understand how the importer C# application worked; that could wait. I just wanted the import to work. So far, most of the problems had come from a single dBase table (in a version converted to Microsoft SQL Server) that had experienced some form of corruption. What if I just eliminated all references to that table in the migration script? So that was what I did. And, amazingly, the import worked. Within the next two hours, I had the database live on the production server for the client to see. All of this would help lift Alex (my boss) out of his despondency. (His problems include more than just the stress of not knowing whether the app we've been developing will generate revenue in time. Recently on a walk at the quarry, his dog Winnie impaled herself on a stick and tore a football-sized hole in her skin, and some of that skin has since suffered necrosis despite repeated trips to the vet. Additionally, Alex's 92 year old father is in the hospital for double pneumonia resulting from Covid-19 even though he'd been vaccinated against it.)
It was a rare instance of workplace success, so I rode my electric scooter (which I'd been keeping at the Red Hook office) to where the Leaf was charging and drove it into the middle of Red Hook. I was hoping to get a burrito at Bubby's, but of course it's closed on Tuesdays, and there was no way I was going to Wildflower. So I went into Yum Yum and ordered an Impossible Burger with kimchi. (Yum Yum was empty except for an elderly couple sitting at an indoor table; it was puzzling why anyone wouldn't want to dine outside on such a beautiful day.) [REDACTED] Before eating my burger, I drove out to the CVS to get some more pseudoephedrine. To buy this OTC, one is required to show a driver's license and produce a signature, a procedure designed to keep people from buying pseudoephedrine as a precursor for methamphetamine production. As always, I signed with a squiggle. But this time my squiggle was rejected, and the cashier (a somewhat patronizing gentleman who seemed to suspect my intention was to manufacture methamphetamine) said that I had to do a real signature, and that my squiggle looked nothing like the signature on my driver's license. It took two attempts, but I finally got my 96 count of generic, along with a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol (91% is still impossible to find) and an energy drink.
Back at the office, I was doing some snooping around and managed to discover the secret liquor cabinet, probably stocked by Marcus (since it was near his desk).
At around 3:00pm, Gretchen said Powerful had already returned. So there was no need for me to be in the office giving her alone time. So I went to Red Hook Hannford to get some tea and a few other things and drove back home. Meanwhile Gretchen was in Zoom meeting with a classroom in Idaho. When that ended (hours later!) Gretchen was beat and needed a sugar fix. Fortunately for her, one of the things I'd bought at the Red Hook Hannaford was a french bread, which Gretchen normally considers repulsively trashy. (When I was a teenager, my father used to buy french breads as an indulgence added to the usual organic-and-whole-grains groceries he preferred.)

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