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:
   snow microclimate on Hurley Mountain
Sunday, January 28 2024
I had a surprisingly bad hangover today, though some of that might've been the lingering effects of that large wad of cannabis I'd eaten last night. In any case, I kept wanting to climb back into bed. Meanwhile Gretchen was up and at her computer for another long day of training so she could help disadvantaged women obtain abortions.
This afternoon, we ran the boiler for an hour or so to get a tank for of water. Then Gretchen could take advantage of a pause in the training to take a shower and I could take a bath. Normally I feel great in the bathtub no matter how bad my hangover is, but it was so bad today that I didn't even feel all that good surrounded by warm water.

Meanwhile a wet snow had been falling for most of the day. It never accumulated to a depth of more than a half inch, but it covered all surfaces with a treacherous slush. So at 6:00pm when it was time to drive down to Ray & Nancy's house in Old Hurley for a dinner date, we took the Forester. I drove very carefully for the first several hundred feet, but below that the slush was gone and it looked like a rainy evening.
This was Charlotte's first time of going to Ray & Nancy's house, and I was nervous her inner psycho might manifest. Would she refuse to go into their house? Would she be aggressive towards Jack (as she's been at our house). But no, she ended up being on her best behavior. After greeting Jack outside, she came wiggling into the house and was soon playing with Jack, who was running around enthusiastically, since it's rare he's with another dog who can match or exceed his energy.
We haven't seen Sarah the Vegan much since covid, mostly because she's become good friends with someone named Rebecca who isn't part of our social network but who seems to provide nearly all the social network that Sarah requires. But tonight Sarah came to Ray & Nancy's dinner party and even brought a potted plant as a belated birthday present for Gretchen.
Tonight Ray had made spring rolls and the bits and pieces for us to make our own lettuce wraps. Gretchen later said that Ray seemed to be in a good mood and was acting like the Ray of old, the Ray she'd initially befriended twenty some years ago in Prospect Park. Part of Ray's good cheer might be related to the fact that he now only has to work two or three nights a week as a bartender to make a whole salary for himself.
I talked some about my fruitless job search and about the satisfaction of installing a mini-split. Gretchen then said something about our recent visit to Manhattan. At various points Sarah told us about her companion animal, a small dog who requires regular haircuts named Buddy. Gretchen had thought Buddy wasn't good with other dogs, but tonight Sarah said this wasn't true. So it's possible that at some point Neville and Charlotte will get to meet Buddy.
Another topic of conversation was pest control, and the relative scamminess of various companies. For example, flying ants had once caused Ray to call a chain pest control company that quickly tried to get him to sign up for a $1000/month extermination plan. He got a second opinion with a small local company, which sent out a guy who spent an hour looking at the house before telling Ray he didn't need to take any action. Sarah mentioned some wasps she'd learned to live with in her garage, though she wondered (as people often do) whether they will expand their nests next year. For some reason I find myself something of an expert on such topics, and so I assured her that the winter had killed all the occupants of the nest and that not even their descendants would have any memory of it. I also told her that paper wasps are so docile that one can paint right up to the stem of their nests without them becoming alarmed. White-faced hornets, the kind whose nests "look like the Death Star,", I said, are a different story.
We had dessert of strawberry rhubarb pie and those big amazing vegan cookies Gretchen gets from a Toronto-based baker named A Cookie Called Quest. Then we sat in the living room talking more while Charlotte and Neville snuggled and then played adorably together on the couch. We'd all been drinking prosecco, which had completely buffed away the hard edges of my hangover.
On the drive back home, it was still just another rainy evening until we got to within a couple hundred feet of our driveway. Then the landscape dramatically changed into a winter wonderland.

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