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:
   an expensive way to watch the WNBA
Wednesday, October 18 2023
Last night a tenant at the Brewster Street rental said a rat had been killed by one of our traps but that she would be dealing with resulting rat corpse. Since there hadn't been any further sounds of rats trying to come up from the basement, it was possible that this was a new rat somehow entering the basement from the outside. The only remaining major entrance to the basement would be somewhere beneath a low wooden platform that the basement stairs lead down to. I don't want to have to tear that up, so Gretchen suggested I seal all the cracks around it.
Early this afternoon, there I was in the Brewster Street basement using self-drilling lath screws (my favorite kind of wide-headed screw) to secure steel wire mesh all the way around the wooden platform. In some places the gap between the wood of the platform and an adjacent stone foundation wall was irregular, forcing me to cut the mesh so it would conform to the irregular shape. As I worked, I listened to the audio of a Caleb Hammer audit of yet another financially irresponsible Millennial. The first time I heard one of Caleb's audits, I thought it was kind of a bore, but he's ramped it up since then and found truly horrendous cases, so now I listen to every one of them.
On the way home, I stopped at the Uptown Hannaford (aka "Ghettoford") to get some essentials: Ben & Jerry's flavors I like (as opposed to the ones we have, such as the inedible "Tonight Dough"), corn chips, beer, beans, tempeh, tofu, and pizza sauce. I would've gotten tostadas too, but they appeared to not have any of those. As I was in line in the 14 items or fewer line (with more than 20 items, mind you), the staff suddenly plopped a blind man in front of me. I said sure, go ahead. Apparently he'd been stopped in the parking lot after leaving the store with a bag full of items he'd stolen, but they were giving him a break because he was blind. He had no trouble paying, though I wasn't sure how he could tell the hundred dollar bill he paid with from the one dollar bills he also had. Because I'd let him cut in front of me, the manager discounted one of the jars of pizza sauce I was buying from my total.
I had road beer on the way to the Tibetan Center thrift store (where the only interesting things these days are a bunch of Netgear Nighthawk WiFi routers and Texas Instruments programmable calculators). Once I got home, I was ravenous, so I corn chips with augmented salsa. But then I continued to drink alcoholic beverages, mostly in the form of kombucha with gin. Before Gretchen came home, I was feeling a little too drunk to be seen by her, so I took a walk up the Farm Road and back, positioning some nice bluestone pieces to be picked up later along the way. When Gretchen did come home, she initially thought I was stoned, which I denied. I didn't deny being drunk though.

This evening Gretchen wanted to go to another bar to catch the next WNBA finals game, which would be happening at 8:00pm tonight. She'd done further research and found that that Chic's, the sports bar in the same shopping center with the Ghettoford Hannaford in Uptown, has a veggie burger. So that was where we went to catch the game. There were only about five patrons in the bar in a blond woman working as the bartender. She was too young to be as world-weary as she appeared. We again tried to get Neville in with us as a service dog, though Gretchen had a new technique. She would immediately say she'd forgotten his paperwork but was it okay for him to come into the bar? This worked like a charm, and soon Neville was nestled between our barstools on my jacket. The bartender also found the WNBA game on one of the screens, though the protocol in the bar is evidently for the sound to be off so unexpectedly progressive rock could be heard on the soundsystem. She did turn on the closed captioning, but it turns out that it's impossible to both watch game play and read closed captions. Another peculiarity was that the door of Chic's was open to the parking lot, though it was a little too cold for that, at least for the part of the bar nearest the door. At the first chance we got, we moved over a few bartstools closer to the middle of the bar.
There weren't any IPAs on tap, so I ordered a Fat Tire Ale and Gretchen ordered a Michelob Ultra. We also both ordered the veggie burger with fries. When that came out, I thought it was pretty good. It was a classic 1990s-style veggie burger. But as a vegan, sometimes I'm more in the mood for something like that than I am for something that looks and tastes exactly like beef (as several vegan burgers now do). Meanwhile, several of the regulars to our left were picking the last of the meat they could find from a pile of chicken bones leftover from whatever they'd been eating. Once they were done, that whole end of the bar emptied out, soon to be replaced by an older woman who seemed to be good friends with a Hispanic lady who works in the kitchen.
Later a youngish couple came in and sat to our right at the end of the bar nearest the door. They ended up being there after we left. When they asked if they could pet Neville, of course we said yes. He's not the kind of service dog you're not supposed to pet.
I ended up having two beers, which was about all I could handle given that the dose of cannabis I'd eaten earlier was kicking in. I think I radiated a "fucked up" vibe to the bar tender, who never bothered asking if I wanted a third beer. She closed our tab somewhere in third or fourth quarter of the game.
Perhaps she was reacting negatively to some mild mocking I'd made of Sean Hannity when he appeared on the bar's Fox News screen (yes, that's the one screen they dedicated to "news"). Periodically I'd look over at that screen and I'd seen the chyron crawl doing what Fox News does to destroy our country: manufacturing rage out of nothing at all. One infuriating example of that tonight was their apparent mission to somehow forge a connection between Black Lives Matter with the Palestinian extremist group Hamas.
As for the game, it was a little harder to follow without the sound on, but when I paid attention, I was able to understand and enjoy what was happening. Amusingly, at once point I referred to the Aces as "the bad people," a lazy moniker related to my assumed role (for this game at least) as a Liberty partisan. Things got exciting at the end when the Las Vegas Aces were ahead by a point but there were only seconds left of play. The New York Liberty had possession and made an elaborate play that resulted in a basket, but it was fired maybe a tenth of a second too late and didn't count. This meant there would be no game five of the finals; Las Vegas had won New York had lost. Oh well.
At some point in all this, Gretchen suddenly realized that our going out to bars to watch WNBA game was vastly more expensive than it would've been for us to buy a sports package for a month on some streaming service and drink our own beers and eat our own food at home.

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