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:
   moving couch in the rain
Thursday, August 24 2023

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

There are lots of little humiliations that come with a job search, and it was one of the reasons I knew to stick with my last job ("ride that horse") as long as they would keep me ("until it dies"). Perhaps most humiliating of all is when I'm asked to enter my education, and the best I can do is mention that I have a high school diploma from Riverheads High School. Sometimes the application form will then ask me for the phone number of the institution I graduated from, and I find myself having to look that up. All these years later, what does any of that matter? Indeed, what would a college degree matter? I am very different person from the guy I was in my late teens and early 20s. Another humiliation is how poor I do when tested for my knowledge. I've been doing this stuff for decades, but I keep only a small fraction of it in my head. Today, for example, LinkedIn convinced me to take a multiple choice quiz on JQuery to prove my knowledge to potential hires in case I placed in the top 30%. I've never bothered to learn JQuery, but I encounter it regularly and understand its patterns and how to tweak existing JQuery to get desired new behaviors. But when quizzed on it, it turned out my knowledge of it is in the bottom 30% of all those tested. That's pretty demoralizing. But yet the job hunt continues.

Gretchen and I took the dogs (Ramona and Neville) to PetSmart late this morning for their monthly claw trimming. Gretchen's hope is that by scheduling regular trimmings, the quicks inside their nails will eventually recede and allow the dogs to have shorter nails, which (she hopes) will make walking more comfortable for them and they won't be such couch potatoes. When we arrived, the "salon" was full of dogs (and one cat), all getting haircuts. The amount of black and white fur removed from a small dog looked to be as large as the remaining dog. "You should make a sweater with that." "Trust me," one of the staff said, "that's filthy; you don't want to make a sweater with that!"
After the dogs were done having their nails sanded down (and after Gretchen had given the stank eye to a woman with a small dog who'd said something mildly breedist about Neville), Gretchen and I waded into the Walmart next door to look for induction-stove-compatible pots suitable for making pasta (since all of ours were aluminum and won't work with stove's magnetic mechanism). We even had a magnet handy for testing the pots. But Gretchen quickly gave up on the Walmart selection and we drove to Target, where she found a beautiful big eight quart stainless steel pot. While there, she also got a little sauce pan.

Back at the house in Hurley, I started loading up the Forester for this weekend at the cabin. We'd checked the weather, and it had seemed to rainy for the things Gretchen likes to do there, so I'd be going there with just the dogs. Since I also wanted to take the old teevee room couch to the cabin (for use in a basement hangout I want to create there) and get more styrofoam and Wonderboard for my foundation insulation project, I would have to use the Forester. This would be the first time driving the Forester to the cabin since the snow melt last spring. Unfortunately, it began to rain as Gretchen and I wrestled the couch onto the Forester's roof. But I covered it with tarps and plastic and hoped for the best.
Before getting to the Thruway, I made a detour to Hannaford, mostly so I could get a good road beer (instead of the kind of beer one settles for at a gas station). I selected Old Rasputin imperial stout, one of my favorite boozy beers. I also bought a container of mushrooms and two bags of tostadas. The checkout woman asked how one eats those tostadas, and I said (truthfully) that I often just eat them straight. I said they were hard to find and usually can only be found in places with "lots of Hispanic people." While there in that Uptown strip mall, stopped at JKs to get another half gallon of gin for the cabin, where I go through it surprisingly fast (Gary's Good Gin seemed perfect).
On the drive up the Thruway, the wind eventually pulled one of the tarps loose and I could see it flapping uselessly in the back window. So I pulled into the Capital Region Welcome Center and spent some time redoing the rigging of the tarps and the ropes. This made it possible to get to the cabin with the couch not too badly exposed to the rain. But once at the cabin, a long downpour kept me from unloading the couch. Later I discovered that whipping of the wind had torn up the plastic sheet I'd been depending on, so the couch probably got pretty well drenched in parts. But my hope was by setting it up near the heatpump-based water heater, the dry air coming out of it would quickly dry out the couch.
It was after 5:00pm by the time I got to the cabin and the rain kept me bottled up indoors. So I played around with my computers, asking ChatGPT to write me another country music song, this one about the exposure of hypocrisy among liberal elites regarding strip mining once a layer of tofu was found in the rock.

Today's ChatGPT-authored country music song.

Later, before bed, I watched a mortifying body-camera clip on YouTube about an elementary school teacher exposed for being drunk on the job on the first day of school.

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