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:
   the scarcity of the tools of creation
Monday, January 27 1997 I have been having dreams lately about a kind of high powered but inexpensive computer that runs on gasoline. The rotating gas-powered engine (which you pull start like a lawn mower) helps keep the processor cool so that it fits in a smaller package (painted yellow). Being gas powered, it is also independent of the power grid.

I want to be a low fi rock and roll god. So I went on a mission to find a four track tape recorder. The short version of this story is that I will have to get such things by mail order if I want them. In our comfortable consumer society there is much variety among the models of familiar kinds of electronics products that let us passively consume the creations of others. But it is not an easy task to acquire the equipment necessary to entertain others.

First I went to Barracks Road to visit the Nations Bank (or "bink" as Elizabeth pronounces it) and take advantage of their extended hours. Then I did some shopping. You can see exactly what I purchased by looking at the receipt at right. Note that here in Charlottesville we all must continually bump against tasteless chauvinistic football sloganeering. It's disgusting, or as Savitri Durkee said when I showed the receipt to her later on the Downtown Mall, "flawed."

Then it was up 29 North to find a music equipment place. At Albemarle Square (Rio and 29 Intersection) I found a Circuit City. But the diversity of equipment types offered there did not impress me.

I went to another outlet of Plan 9 Music in the same shopping center. I figured the demographics would be different there and thus there would be an entirely different selection of music in their used CD rack. Boy was I right. Lots of Billy Squier, Loverboy, that sort of thing. I won't even try to find those web pages. I remember liking such music in 1980 when it was the hard rocking alternative to Barry Manilow. what I bought was a Timbuk Three CD called Edge of Allegience, used, for $2. It came out in 1989. I did this since it had one song on it, "B Side of Life," which Jamie Dyer did an excellent cover of at the Jehu End of the World Party. How could I go wrong with a $2 CD?

I went to the Downtown Mall via Park Street, which Rio Road turns into, like many streets in Charlottesville, at some arbitrary location. I found myself behind a school bus. The two high school girls in the back of the bus seemed overly amused at me, perhaps because of the blond alterna-barbie hanging from my rear view mirror, the one with the "Big Fun" tank top just like in the movie Heathers.

I went to the Mudhouse to skate around on the Web. But it was no use; the ISDN connection there was not working. I had luck getting on the web and checking my e-mail at the public library, which gets internet service via UVA I think.

...she still wants to kill the boys who tormented her
At my house I sat drinking beers and chatting with Elizabeth, then with Elizabeth and Andrew. We always have such great conversations these days, full of revelations and what seems like sincerity. We discussed topics as diverse as possible racism in Huckleberry Finn (the consensus was that Twain was far ahead of his time), Elizabeth's dreadful experience as the earliest bloomer in her 5th grade (she still wants to kill the boys who tormented her, whom she remembers vividly by name), and various issues of sexual politics generally.

Now I'm at work. I was chatting with blixa again, who has learned enough HTML of late to colourize the handle as I have done here.

I should mention some CDs I have purchased of late. Yesterday I bought King's X's Dogman (1994) and Tool's Undertow (1993). What do I have to say about these? Well, I have very fond memories of King's X when I used to watch recordings of Head Bangers' Ball that my redneck friend Josh Furr paintstakingly videotaped from MTV. That was back in 1990 or 1991. Their unusual tonalities appealed to me, as did their strange timings. They were a unique metal band back in the days when androgenous front men and lousey blues progressions gave a band what they needed to appear on MTV (this was happilly all killed off by Nirvana in 1992). Dogman is a little soulful and Jimi-Hendrix-esque for my taste. But it has some very good parts and I will probably grow to like it more. It is a must-have for my ever-expanding rock and roll tonal experimentation library (which ranges now from Pavement to Pantera). The Tool, on the other hand, is not particularly experimental musically. It is just very good. The singer has a sort of haunting early Jethro Tull-by-way-of-Algeria quality to his voice and the instrumentation seems to borrow from Janes Addiction and some speed metal. It is intentionally disturbing in a weird way that is no better encapsulated than by their liner notes, which consists of an embryonic photo of a grotesquely obsese woman, in once case serving as a mattress for a normally-apportioned man. Other photographs depict zillions of disturbing facial piercings and similar mortifications...all of which look more medieval than punk rock. By the way, the Timbuk 3 isn't exactly my kind of music. It seems a little undercooked and slow. Jamie Dyer's version of "B Side of Life" is much better (and faster).

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