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:
   December 6, 1996, Friday-Liberatingly Pathetic
Friday, December 6 1996 Big snowmen were constructed on the grounds of the University of Virginia by the festive students revelling in the season's early but substantial snow that had come to witness their exam preparations. From Cocke Hall, I sent Jessika an e-mail that I knew was not going to make the future a bright place.

I napped until 5pm, got my paycheck, and then purchased Vampire on Titus by Guided by Voices, new, for $12, and went to my house to have a listen. I was struck by how very low fi this album is. But hidden in the murkiness and lousey production are some really beautiful songs. One odd short little song that I especially like is "Donkey School":

Donkey School

I jest
And breathe in...deeply
I lie...completely still
It's not the things you said
It's not the things you did
It's not the way you move
Learn pig learn

There's something creepy about that tape hiss in Guided by Voices albums. It's like an existential background, more empty in a way than pure silence. It surrounds loud bits like the bugs the suburbanite wants to banish but cannot from his precious yard. Still, it's not just this that keeps me coming back to Guided by Voices. Even their obvious rip-offs have an endearing quality, as for example the jangly guitar texture at the end of "Sot" that could almost be a sample off of an early REM album.

I went to the Downtown Mall for the first Friday of the month art gallery extravanganza that Charlottesville is famous for. First stop, bozART, and there was Nathan VanHooser and wife Janine, Jessika and Ana and Nemo. The salsa there was had olive oil in it I think. The best thing in bozART this month was a great multimedia horse -or dragon?- made by A. Faith out of wood, zillions of rusty nails and curly metal shavings.

Then it was off to Gallery Neo, which was well stocked with photography (including stuff by Jen Fariello and a number of former bozART members) and Steve Keene paintings stacked up like firewood and costing about as much. The vino situation at Neo was very good, thus holiday cheer abounded.

How much does she really want to sell burritos?
A nearby and tiny burrito stand was also having an opening for some anomalous reason. I told the lady running the place I'd mention her on the Internet, and she made some ridiculous comment about not wanting to be, expressing the standard dumb American "fear of the other" reaction. I wondered to Jessika and Ana if maybe she should also relocate her burrito stand to the middle of a field. How much does she really want to sell burritos?

The Mudhouse was also having an opening. I chatted anxiously with Nathan while I watched Jessika check her e-mail on the Mudhouse computer. She took forever before she finally got to my letter. Then she read it. I could see her doing it. The crisis was about to begin.

She came up to me and demanded that I state out loud to her what I'd written. I didn't have much of a chance to respond though, since she accused me of being a coward and socked me in the left cheek and left, Ana and Nemo close behind. She whisked past a very puzzled Bn, replying negatively to his obligatory "what's up?" I told Nathan I'd be going and I went my own way home, in the opposite direction from the path I saw Jessika and Ana taking. Soon though Jessika was behind me and she wanted to talk. So there we were, sitting on the damp ground under a tree on the edge of Water Street just uphill from the ice park. I still couldn't really get into what I'd said in my e-mail. Just I won't be coming over as much, that there is nothing interesting left between us, just a series of events where I do her bidding, and that I'm sick of it, and that I'm sick of Morgan and his parasitic behaviour. She was pissed off and even accused me of being sexually aggressive while asleep. This is when I decided not to continue the conversation, but as I rose to leave she asked, "What, you're going to leave it like this?" and attacked me again, this time actually getting to use those steel toed boots of hers. It was as though she felt she had no recourse but violence. She even hurled a hasty snowball at me after I fell to the ground. Then she stared at me for a moment and then just left, going east. I went west, to home, to bed, and slept for two hours before work.

This is a good job for crying.
At Comet, then, I tried to listen to Vampire on Titus but couldn't enjoy much other than "Donkey School." I found much better solace in track number 3, the most melancholy, of Overwhelming Colorfast's Two Words. It felt good to cry now and then. This is a good job for crying.

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