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:
   too many extroverts
Thursday, October 6 2022

location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY

I'd had the usual cannabis-flavored night, though this time the experience was significantly less sexual. I fully expected to have a nasty hangover today. But evidently I hadn't drunk as much alcohol as I'd thought, and I didn't even wake up with a headache.
In the remote workplace, the cellular-based internet was working nicely, with 14 megabits/second download speeds and 250 kilobits/second upload speeds. But I ran into a limit when I was trying to share my screen and talk at the same time (this was during a short meeting in which the Joe the Lead Developer was telling me and another developer how best to add a column to a table in an Entity Framework database).
Gretchen arrived in the early afternoon, having stopped at the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany along the way. We would be entertaining guests this weekend, and it would be tricky because for some reason one or more of them are both gluten-free and soy-free, though they would be bringing much or all of their own food.
Our guests arrived soon after Gretchen did. Driving from Rochester, they came in a huge Chevy Suburban. I knew one of the guests, Jasmin, but not the other two, women in their thirties named Alicia and Alex. All I knew about them was that they were part of a thruple (that is, a household containing three adults). "Thruple," has been something if a joke concept for us, usually applied to situations that aren't formally established. But these people refer to themselves as a thruple. Ahmed, the third member of the thruple, is male.
Gretchen gave a brief tour of the downstairs and the visitors made all the appropriate noises. All three of these people are loud and demonstrative in the same way that Gretchen is. I can take this from Gretchen, particularly when she's responding to my my understated energy. But I was wondering if I was going to be able to handle all the loudness and laughter that was synergistically forming a whole that was bigger than the sum of its parts. For the time being, though, I had a respite from all that while Gretchen led the circus down to the lake.
At 5:00pm, I celebrated the end of the workday by walking down to the lake myself. It was a beautiful, somewhat humid sunny day with temperatures in the uppers 60s to lower 70s, with foliage colors approaching their autumnal peak. When I arrived at the dock, nobody was there, suggesting Gretchen had led everyone on a hike (probably to the "camping area" just northwest of the lake that Gretchen thinks holds such promise but only makes me think of being covered with insect bites). So I climbed into the kayak and paddled in that direction. Sure enough, I soon heard them loudly nattering away. At the time they were just returning from the "camping area." So I paddled back to the dock and sat around with them there as they discussed such things as being "emotionally poly," and the stress of being married to an asexual. Being in the presence of four extroverts meant that there was never any pause in the relentless din.
Unlike Gretchen and me, most of our guests (with a few notable exceptions, such as my 85 year old Aunt Barbara) have been dismayingly out of shape, an elephant in the room that becomes impossible to ignore on the hike uphill from the dock back to the cabin.
Back at the cabin, there followed a loud chatting preparation of dinner involving all four of the people who were not me. That was plenty cooks enough in that small kitchen, so I retreated upstairs and did some more work on a problem that was proving impossible to fix. Eventually, though, Gretchen called me down because she wanted me to be more engaged with our guests. She did this by suggesting I fry up some chicken of the woods (which she'd brought from Hurley; it's been keeping nicely in the refrigerator). BUt as I was doing that, I made the mistake of adding some soy sauce. Oopsie! Our guests were soy-free, remember! So I fried up a second batch flavored with just salt and onions. Surprisingly, the chicken of the woods was better than I remember it being when it was about three weeks fresher. It was warm enough for us to eat out the screened-in porch. The food our guests had brought was kind of bland and featured things like kale and beets that I don't much like. But there was a peanut stew which just needed some salt and jalapeño peppers (of course, I also added some chicken of the woods to mine). I don't remember much of what was loudly discussed over dinner, just that I started cleaning up at the earliest possible opportunity and then went upstairs to continue trying to solve the programming problem that had been cursing me all day.
Meanwhile, Gretchen and the guests moved into the living room, and soon the laughter wafting up from below was oppressive. Gretchen tried to get me to come down and join the socializing, but I'd taken 150 mg of diphenhydramine and it started affecting my ability to understand what I was looking at in the Visual Studio IDE. So I climbed in the bed upstairs, put a pillow on my head to muffle the laughter, and was soon fast asleep.

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