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:
   therapy and the Necronomicron
Thursday, March 20 1997

Now I say: The toilet in my childhood home won't take shit from anyone.

Okay, there are now some video frames up on Saturday's Pisces Party Page.

It's the first day of spring, the first day of Aries, and thus it is the Zodiacal New Year!
I got up remarkably late in the afternoon (3:30pm or so). The day was warm and sunny as it hasn't been in about a week. I hung out for awhile as yet another cool person in front of Higher Grounds. I chatted with friend-of-the-Dynashack Will about a big digital signal processing programming project he is working on. He explained how different audio effects are implemented in programming.

We even passed a peace pipe of sort, smouldering marijuana of course.
I suspect I will force myself not to take a pre-work nap tonight so I'll actually get sleepy on tonight's shift and sleep late into Friday afternoon. By the way; I have yet to receive last Friday's paycheck.

At the Dynashack I received word that Deya had called from Goth Central. I felt bad about ignoring those guys yesterday, so I went over. The scene consisted of Deya, Theresa, Persad, and Yogaville (the Buckingham County Ashram) friends Hobi and the very goth Gopahl. Hobi is the guy upon whose car I threw up the night of Feb. 28th. He's apparently still mad at me for that and some of my comments, because (according to a reliable source) he spoke of a desire to beat me up before my arrival at Goth Central today. Indeed, at first he gave me a chilly reception, which I pretended was as warm as the winds of late June. But by the time he left he was being most cordial. We even passed a peace pipe of sort, smouldering marijuana of course.

I mentioned "Monster Boy" on several occasions to the others there. For some reason that phrase just sounded good to my ears. Then I thought, "I wonder if there could ever be something called a 'Monster Buoy'?" I proceded to sketch a little bobbing floater in the shape of a little guy with upraised threatening arms: a Monster Buoy. Behind him there reared from the water a coastline of jagged rocky shores. The Monster Buoy was there to ward off ships from wrecking themselves on the rocky shores. As stoned as I was I thought this was a very clever idea. Monster Boy, by the way, has not been seen in at least a day and it is suspected he has gone to visit friends in Norfolk or Newport News or some other Lower James River municipality.

Being goths, Theresa and Persad have a big collection of various animal skulls, most of them found in the woods and fields near Yogaville by Persad. Today I found myself staring at them and "reading" their survival plans as written in their skull structures. It is easier to look at collections of skulls than it is to look at actual animals when one wants to compare animal structures, since skulls don't move and many can be assembled conveniently in one place. Looking at the deer skulls and cow skulls, I could see that they are basically different-sized variations on the same theme. But then I'd look at the pig skull (marred by an unpleasant bullet hole in the center of the forehead) and see that in the process of evolution the basic cow skull had been bent such that a forehead reared off at a different angle from the snout, getting the eyes up above obstructions and allowing them to view things with better stereoscopic vision. The dog skulls had a similar bend in them. It was obvious to me suddenly that such a skull shape must be important for an animal with a varied diet. Persad told me some of the tricks he knew about finding animal skulls in the country. He said that along the fence line between forest and field is the most common place to find cow bones. Farmers usually haul bodies there so they won't hit them later with their tractors. Another good place to find skeletons is among the trash that can normally be found in old gullies. Most of rural Virginia was subject to very abusive land practices (especially overgrazing) in the past and as a result, gullies can be found in most old fields. And most gullies are found to contain trash; all the gullies at my childhood home contain vast collections of junk thrown out mostly in the 60s and early 70s. That trash always fascinated me as a child. I spent many hours rooting through it looking for treasures.

At first Theresa and Deya were playing chess, but later on, after T&P had eaten some dinner and the extraneous boys had departed, we four went driving around in Deya's car, first to pick up a movie at the Barracks Road outlet of some video store which is decorated in garrish blue and red neon. In my marijuana-altered state it seemed comic, as did the images on all the videos. I found myself laughing a lot.

After Theresa had picked up some ice cream at Kroger, we went to the Taco Bell on the other end of the shopping center. I went into the bathroom to pee and was amazed by how effective the "Sans Clean Action" splash eliminator functioned. As I hit it with a powerful stream of urine, the little holes (perhaps 5mm across and spaced 10mm apart) somehow distributed the force in horizontal directions such that none of it sprayed back at me. It was a simple device but it did the job exactly as it needed to. That's what invention is all about. Less obvious was the function of the automated sink in which I washed my hands. It had a little eye that detected my hand and turned on the water. But I had trouble keeping my hands in the proper place and the water kept turning off.

After all, I was that kid in your class who cracked those jokes in pathetic desire for recognition, for better or for worse.
As we drove around, I felt good about hanging out with my friends, despite what I'd written yesterday. All that stuff I'd written about social castration is still true, mind you. But now I feel like the process of putting my feelings into words made me aware of the situation so that I can re-enter my social sphere armed with an understanding of what the problems are, perhaps with a view to fixing or adjusting the situation to improve things. These musings are a very real form of therapy for me; of that I've always been aware. Today though I had a more honest gratitude for the process of searching my soul and writing it down. That you, my reader, gets to read what I have written is a side issue. But that exhibitonism is equally important; in addition to my need for self-therapy is a need to be seen and heard. After all, I was that kid in your class who cracked those jokes in a pathetic attempt to gain recognition, for better or for worse.

Naturally, as is typical for such horror movies, there was the standard overuse of supposed dream sequences, that kept "crying wolf" about the reality of especially scary parts.
The movie was H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicron, a sort of Satan-from-the-seas horror thriller. In the state I was in, the plot was kind of hard to follow. It was basically about a magic book of spells and/or horror tales that, in the hands of various people through the centuries, helps them conditionally survive death. As is usual for the conditions of surviving death in horror pictures, this involves lots of hapless people in the wrong place at the wrong time being killed in the most disgusting manner that modern special effects are capable of portraying. There was a strong disconnect though between the plot in the beginning and ending halves of the movie. In the beginning, the Necronomicron, used in conjunction with a large pentagram, seemed to be best at briefly resurrecting lost loved ones (who then turn out to be occupied by octopi and other slimy seafloor nasties). Later, though, the Necrocomicron is used in concert with ice compresses and the spinal fluid of passersby to keep alive humans who may or may not actually be space aliens (it was too complex to follow at this point). Naturally, as is typical for such horror movies, there was the standard overuse of supposed dream sequences, that kept "crying wolf" about the reality of especially scary parts. But the disgusting special effects (which seemed to make ample use of disgarded organs, rubbery mannequin parts, fake blood, plastic skulls, pizza toppings, and most importantly, buckets of fake snot, the sort that Jessika's father, a chemist, is known to make). Just when a body had degraded in the most horrible manner possible, humiliated into the most foul mix of poo, snot and gore, then the eyes within the mucked-up skull would collapse. It was disgusting but still it was a pleasure to watch. Theresa thought Monster Boy would have loved it.

As predicted, I didn't take a prework nap.

Deya visited me for awhile at Comet. I let her surf the web, but I encrypted my latest musings in the "Wingdings" font while she was here so I wouldn't have to explain them.

I received a rather large amount of unsolicited email today. The most interesting of all was:

Subject: Prayer in My Public School Left Me a Bitter Child
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 22:10:16 -0500
From: FrankGarrison []

Gus your rejection of God does not in any way make the fact of God any less real. You like all unbelievers will one day stand before this God that you "say" does not exist. I can stand out in a rain storm and vow and declare that nothing is falling from the sky. The rain is still real and I will find that I am just as wet. I pray that God's Holy Spirit will touch your heart. I am the pastor of a samll Baptist church in North Carolina. I am going to add your name to the back of our weekly bulletin. I pray that God will show you His light.

Who knows, maybe all next week little children I have never met will kneel beside their beds and mumble "and Jesus let yourself into the heart of the Gus."
I have no idea how to respond to this, so if anyone else would like to respond for me, that's fine with me. Just be nice to this guy. His intentions are touchingly good after all. The salvation of my particular soul is worth so much to a small town Baptist pastor that I am to be mentioned on the back of a weekly bulletin. Who knows, maybe all next week little children I have never met will kneel beside their beds and mumble "and Jesus let yourself into the heart of the Gus." It's a thought that almost brings tears to my eyes. I am honoured. But it is clearly ridiculous. Why would a perfect Creator have made a defect in me so egregious that He will have to find me wanting on some future day of judgment? Why would a just God have to be petitioned by some obscure North Carolinians to pay special attention to my soul?

Jamie Dyer said some encouraging things tonight that made me more financially irresponsible than I have been all week. When Deya and I went out to see the comet Hale-Bopp (we couldn't find it) she continued off to bed and bought an Italian Sub at Little John's on the Corner for $4.57. That took the place of the "ramen augmented by a can of vegetable soup" that I typically eat for mid-shift dinner.

Being as I have been tonight, mostly tired, distracted and what not, I have been absorbing more of the Web than I have been weaving. Here's a cool site I found:

Trademark Infringement, Copyright and Censorship on Web Sites
Ever-expanding index of web sites that have been closed, censored or threatened with legal action because of trademark or copyright problems.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

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