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:
   Don's foldable red cart
Monday, June 21 2021
Back in Virginia, my mother Hoagie has apparently stopped driving her Subaru after being freaked out by a few breakdowns, one of which might've only been the result of her failing to put fuel in the tank. (Such routine car tasks apparently become increasingly difficult to organize as dementia worsens.) Without driving, then, she and my brother Don are forced to use other techniques to get food from the grocery store. They'd been relying on the kindness of friends and neighbors to drive them to and from the store. Don, who doesn't really have the skills to understand when he's imposing on people, has been known to call people, sometimes at inconvenient hours, to have them give him rides. Otherwise he's been walking to and from town, carrying what he can in a backpack. The closest grocery store is the Kroger at Statler Square in Staunton, and it's 5.5 miles away, which is a long way to walk when carrying any amount of groceries in a backpack. There is a neighbor about a mile from Hoagie and Don named Denise G., and she's one of the people Don has been known to call for rides. Recently she gave Don a foldable wagon to help him transport groceries. Today Neil D., someone from my old electricity and electronics class back in tenth grade, saw Don walking past on US 11 and took a picture with his phone. It showed Don pulling his wagon with a cane, something Don had told me he uses because its handle is too short. I sent Gretchen the photo, saying where it and the wagon had come from, and she remarked, " takes a village of rednecks."

Don pulling his wagon towards Staunton from the south on US 11 today at 38.112838N, 79.072231W. Click for a wider view.

This evening we had the dinner we'd planned to have yesterday, but instead of Eva and Sandor joining us, it was Kacey and Konco from across the street, along with Powerful (who is often not around during dinner time). Gretchen had made an Asian noodle dish with grilled slabs of tofu, and we dined out on the east deck. Dinner conversation was largely centered around the topic of parole and how difficult it is for parolees to avoid being sent back to prison. Parolees are required to obey hundreds of rules that do not affect non-parolees. They're also forbidden from working in large swaths of the labor market. And, since they cannot be in contact with non-parolees, they cannot share the few living arrangements that are open to them. This is why many parolees quickly end up back in prison and often spend the rest of their life with a few short punctuations of "freedom" interrupting long periods of incarceration. Had Powerful not ended up with us, he would've been dumped into a shelter, probably sleeping on a bunk bed in a room with other random men during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. (Interestingly, some people in BPI, the prison college system he graduated from, thought he would be more likely to receive the clemency he eventually got if he opted to be released to the shelter instead of our spacious house upstate.)
The air was still, and after dark the mosquitoes got pretty bad. I put up three "mosquito traps" I improvised using funnels and plastic jars containing a small amount of baking soda and vinegar (producing carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes). But if they worked, they weren't very good, and we eventually relocated into the living room, where Gretchen, Kacey, and I had a totally separate conversation from the one being had by Konco and Powerful.

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