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:
   YouTube classics
Tuesday, November 7 2023
Since I lost my job back in July, my many applications for jobs have led to almost nothing. It's okay, since apparently we have enough base load coming in from our rental properties that I never have to work a salary job ever again. Still, though, I figure the right job will come along eventually so long as I keep applying, and once I have a salary job again we can go back to the absurd lifestyle where we don't have to budget while still saving enough money to buy a house every few years. Today, for a change, I suddenly had a lot of interest from recruiters, and I met with two different ones this morning and then dealt with another throughout the afternoon. That latter recruiter wanted me to take a technical skills test that would apparently lock me into a single window without copy & paste capabilities so that I couldn't cheat. I figured I could have a laptop nearby to cheat with (I'd use ChatGPT of course, since its software development skills are good enough for such screenings). But the job also would require a background check and a drug test, humiliations I don't need at my age. I may still take the test just to see how good my cheating skills are (such cheating would better mirror how I actually work). But hopefully I'll land a job that doesn't make me have to jump through such hoops.
In the meantime, I'm working on that spec project for my old boss Alex. It's on a PHP backend with no frameworks, though of course I'm kind of writing my own framework in the process. I supposed I could be using one of my old frameworks (such as Tableform, most of which dates to 2006), but it's best to write new code that takes advantage of the many things I've learned in the last seventeen years. Back in 2006, for example, I tended to pass complex data objects around as delimited strings. Now I pass around the actual objects. I still don't use MVC layering or objects, since neither reflect how I model the world in my brain. In fact, the main reason to write code in the imperative the way I do is how easy it is for me to maintain and extend the code.
Early this afternoon I took the big battery-powered Kobalt chainsaw just southeast of where the Stick Trail crosses the Chamomile and cut down a dead somewhat-skeletonized chestnut oak. It was tall but only medium thickness (about 12 inches at breast height) and fell with a nice crunch. It provided enough wood for at least four backpack loads, three of which I brought back to the house today. Unfortunately, some of the pieces near the bottom were too damp to be used as firewood, and I put those in the back tranche of the woodshed.
For my foray to retrieve the second backpack load of firewood, I convinced the dogs to come with me, and they kept on going down the trail beyond where I left it to retrieve the wood. On my foray to get the third backpack load, I found Charlotte near the north end of the Stick Trail and Neville slowly trudging homeward near the Chamomile. When I passed him, he sat down and waited for me to load up my pack. He's the kind of lazy dog that quick brown foxes (or his spry sister Charlotte) are prone to leap over. I should mention that the weather was unseasonably warm, allowing me to retrieve that last load wearing just a teeshirt and sweat pants.
On Tuesdays Gretchen teaches in the prisons. Now, though, she's down to teaching creative writing in one prison, as the poetry course she'd been teaching older prisoners in the other prison has ended. This meant she returned home at around 4:30pm instead of something close to 9:00pm. We then drove down to Old Hurley to cast our votes, since it was election day. The entire Hurley board was up for election, which meant a lot of filling in of shapes to be read by a machine that (according to Big Lie dead enders) simply ignores your choice and cast votes for whoever is the most socialist, gay, or foreigner-loving person in the race. For some reason the shape needing to be filled had been changed from a smallish oval to a fairly large rectangle. That would've been easy to tackle had we been given Sharpie markers, but instead we were given ballpoint pens. This made filling in the shapes an unnecessarily labor-intensive process, particularly for older folks afflicted with arthritis. (It reminded me of my attempts as a kid to make "carbon paper" by blackening a piece of paper with a pencil.) This accounted for why the line to vote stretched out of the town hall's doors into the parking lot (something that rarely happens). While waiting in that line, Gretchen was surprised by all the unfamiliar hip-looking people there to cast votes. Were these all covid refugees from New York City, the people who had driven up rents and made it so I never have to work again as a software developer?

This evening Gretchen made a delicious curry from potatoes, cauliflower, and faux chicken, which she served with rice.
This morning I'd taken a recreational 150 mg dose of pseudoephedrine, which didn't help me as much as I'd hoped with Alex's project, though it might've made retrieving all that firewood seem like less of a schlep. This evening I wound down with 150 mg dose of diphenhydramine. As has happened before, that combination gave me a pleasant feeling that compelled me to stay up and watch YouTube videos, though unfortunately it didn't give me the energy for anything productive. I've noticed, by the way, that suddenly YouTube is dredging up all the greatest hits from my YouTube history, reminding me of music I've loved (such as by The Gathering, the Moody Blues, and Momma) and whole fields of interest whose rabbit holes I've gone down (such as music theory). Perhaps the YouTube algorithm changed, but it's also possible that my reaction to the latest interest it's been trying to feed me (woodworking and power tools) was so tepid that it launched a fallback to classics from my history.
One consequence of staying up later than I otherwise might've was that I learned all the great victories progressives had won throughout the country, such as the enshrining of abortion rights in the Ohio constitution. Republicans had tried every trick in the book to thwart this outcome, including summarizing the language of the amendment with a longer version full of pro-fœtus buzzwords.

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