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:
   Warm Day Wasted
Saturday, February 1 1997
It had been so demoralizing that we in the tech department had considered just letting the tech phones ring.
I had such a miserable hangover when I stumbled off to work at 9am I wondered how I would make it through the day. I thought I might puke for the first few hours of work. I wasn't tired in the least, however; in fact I'd been awake since 7am, fully rested.

The guy from Sprint was there testing the phone lines for our modem bank. They all tested good, though, and it seems now that the terrible spate of "cannot negotiate a compatible set of network protocols" among our Windows 95 customers was mostly related to internal reworking of infrastructure over within the Centel building. Of course, some of our less polite customers had a tendency to blame us tech people, even occasionally resorting to obscenities over the phone for a problem we were powerless to solve. It had been so demoralizing that we in the tech department had considered just letting the tech phones ring. By the way, this problem of protocol errors has been EXTREMELY COMPOUNDED by a bug in Windows 95 that makes it necessary to reboot-yes reboot- a computer if it once gets a protocol error in order for the machine to not immediately get another protocol error. And another. And another.

But things had settled down so much today that I had the leisure to create a uniform reporting sheet for keeping track of protocol errors by geography and user login name for the few protocol errors still out there. The telephone guy was adamant that phone problems be solved as they are detected and even suggested I call him at home in the middle of the night if need be. Nathan VanHooser came by briefly and told me that he managed to get his Windows 95 lab at CATECH networked to a printer using a small .DLL file he'd had me download for him. (Yes...of 5 megabytes he thought he might need, all he really needed was a single little file.)

After all the telephone troubles over the last few days, I (and probably others among us techs) have felt an exceptional eagerness to please our customers. So, for example, when a Mac guy asked if we did repairs of hardware, I said we didn't but what the hell, I wasn't doing anything just then, and why not just bring the machine by and I'd have a look at it anyway. He had one of those older 040 machines that lose video output when the battery that runs the Real Time Clock and CMOS stuff wears out. It's a classic but little-known problem that I first encountered when working as a temp at Cavalier Computer at UVA a year ago. I didn't have a battery, but I told him what he needed and he left relieved that he didn't need a new motherboard.

In other things, I acted as though I was Altavista's Webspider Scooter in Sam 'n' Ellas' Punk Rock Chat, reporting seemingly computer-generated messages and repeating lines from other chatters with their words screwed up into insulting remarks, which the others though were for real. It was hilarious.

I also discovered a powerful unorthodox technique for getting to the top of Altavista Search results. For fear of this technique becoming widespread, I won't say what it is, but it takes advantage of the latest relevance rules.

The air was warm and wonderful that I entered as I left work at 5:15pm. It was unfortunate to have been inside all day in such weather.

My housemates were all getting ready to go see Star Wars back at my house. This time they allhad tickets. They were getting dressed up in their finest clothes. That's how you go to movies when you are from the world my housemates come from.

The countryside is littered with the irate former landlords of Big Fun people.
I went briefly to Nemo's house out on High Street in the Dodge Dart. Nemo and Ana were there, and I chatted with Ana some about stuff. I hadn't been there since the 20th of December, you know. The reason I went today was because Bill Egan had told me that Ana, Raphæl and Nemo were all moving out on the first of February (and I was worried about the fate of some of my paintings). But it turns out that the little teenage family aren't moving out after all. They'd planned to move into Peggy and Zach's old place on Altamont Street (where Matthew Hart and on-again-off-again-girlfriend Leah had been squatting for a couple weeks). But that place is a disaster and the landlord is furious about the mess and the casual and abrupt manner with which Peggy and Zach abandoned the place. The countryside is littered with the irate former landlords of Big Fun people. So Ana figures Jessika's old room can be rented out to lessen the rent load presently being borne, and a move to a cheaper place is unnecessary.

Nemo is longer and looks much less fragile these days. But he still pukes at the slightest provocation.

Our society is nauseating in most respects but in many ways it gets the little things right.
I was on the Downtown Mall briefly, enjoying the warm air. The scene reminded me of late 19th Century Paris as portrayed in the paintings of Impressionists and pseudo-Impressionists. I happened to notice that on Saturday nights most people my age are dressed very fine. Everyone looks more attractive and more co-operative in their roles as cogs in THE MACHINE. It's beautiful and it's disgusting. Our society is nauseating in most respects but in many ways it gets the little things right.

I'd tried to find other interesting things to do on the Corner. But Morgan Anarchy had been smoking opium and was in a daze. He and Jesse and other shady figures went to some new dreadful hangout on the corner of 10th and Wertland while I tried and failed to find a more wholesome way to spend a Saturday night. Finally I bought a 12 of Beast Ice and went back to my house.

I ended up hanging out alone with Katherine D'Good's Alsatian dog, Deeoji, as I watched part of an old Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry movie (The Enforcer) from the 70s. I enjoyed looking at all the monstrous mid-70s gas guzzling cars that played such important roles throughout. I was feeling tired and lay down to take a nap...but that was how my evening ended.

I still need to work on yesterday's musings. I'll say when it's done.

Today I bought a used Jawbox CD, Novelty at Plan 9 for $6. It's on the Dischord Label, copyright 1992. This is yet more music in the atonal grunge category. Some of it sounds almost identical to Helmet (especially track 11, "Tongues"), though it is more gratuitously atonal, borrowing some from the Fugazi sound (Jawbox and Fugazi are both DC area bands). The drums are good in that marvelous unpredictable way pioneered by Metallica and the guitars are like blowing tapestries of sound coming into and then going out of the chosen key of the moment. The band falls down to a mellow folksy sound on track five, "Spiral Fix" that would be better left for bands such as Sebadoh, but they regain their talents for the rest of the CD. The performances are all very tight and it makes for an exceptionally good listening experience. This is a CD purchase I most definitely did not regret. I'm finding that by sticking to used CD purchases, I temper my urge to splurge, as well as force more creativity into the selections I make. There's less of a monetary penalty when I buy the totally wrong thing. And I can purchase something based on a vague feeling that I liked one of the songs I heard once on the radio.

One of these days while I was in Staunton, I had a horrible dream that one of my feet had such terrible athelete's foot that the fungus had sprouted zillions of little orange hairlike fruiting bodies, putting bushy orange hair all over the sole of my foot. That was a good dream to wake up from.

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