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:
   the office, post-pandemic
Friday, July 16 2021
I got up early and got ready to go to the office, the first time I was being required to do so since my colleagues and I were allowed to work from home due to the pandemic. (I had gone in a few other times, mostly due to power or internet outages at home, to give Gretchen alone time or to deal with deadline-sensitive tax builds.) Our corporate overlords had decreed that we would have to resume working in the office again, though (given that they're based in Tennessee, a place famous for its low vaccination rates, official hostility to the very idea of vaccines, and coroanvirus obliviousness) I don't know how well that will be working out for them back in their home office.
As I had usually been back before the pandemic, I was the first to arrive at the office. The place had a weird chemical smell that seemed vaguely like formaldehyde, which was reason enough for the head honcho to open a couple windows later in the morning. I did my usual morning rituals: plugging in the hot water pot and eating a granola bar (though it had managed to get a little stale in its package after 16 months on the shelf). I then dropped the Chevy Bolt off at a nearby auto garage for its first New York State inspection. (Gretchen had managed to finagle an inspection for "some time" today despite their crowded schedule.) Web reviews for this shop had been negative, mostly due to the right wing radio heard playing in the shop. I noticed a Romney/Ryan bumpersticker on a refrigerator, which seemed like a tepid expression of political preference compared to what could've been there. I'd brought my electric scooter to make it easy for me to return to the office.
Gradually people began to trickle in, and at around 9:30am we had an all-hands meeting, mostly about the new office-work regime. It turns out we'll all still have lots of options for working from home and I'll only be going in twice or three-times each week. Near the end of the meeting, the head honcho asked who among us had gotten covid-19. Three hands shot up, the three youngest people in the office. Cameron, the office's only female employee, said that since she had covid, her dog has smelled "like bananas," something her doctor says is the result of permanent damage caused by the virus, a relatively-mild example of "long covid."
Perhaps because I was in the office and had relatively few ways to screw around, I managed to have a fairly productive day. It also helped that I never took a proper lunch break because I was thinking I would do it when the garage said my Bolt had been inspected, something they never actually did. A little before 5:00pm, I rode my scooter over there and was delighted to see that the Bolt had been inspected (it passed, no surprise there). So went in to pay. Another customer was there to pick up his Prius and he asked what I thought of the Bolt (which is a question I get asked more than I've ever been asked about any car). As always, I was effusive in my praise. But it was clear at that point that the guy hadn't really wanted to talk about it and was only making small talk, so I turned my attention to a calendar of classic hot rods. (My view: hot rods: what's the point?)
Back at the office, I grabbed my laptop and headed for home, stopping on the way to recoup $0.40 of deposits at the Red Hook Hannaford and then buyng a $10 container of salted cashews, which I ate all the way home (since I hadn't had any lunch). Later I would have a little itching on my finger that could've been the result of the trace urushiol in all those cashews. Gretchen had made ravioli for dinner, but I could only eat a little due to the way I'd trashed my appetite.

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