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:
Monday, May 19 1997

Answer this: How is capital punishment not censorship?

    See a gallery of pictures from the Oberlin trip.


      went to Mudd library's A-level again and printed out another complete copy of the Big Fun Glossary web site. The internet connection there seems to be even faster than the local ethernet connection back at Comet. I know that's not possible, but that's an indication of how immediate the servers 450 miles away felt across the shrunken world of the Internet. It was eerie.

    I snuck into Harkness and left a copy of the glossary in an obvious place, hoping it would be discovered by someone who would appreciate it.

    Back at Weasel House, Rippy was still asleep. I snuck around, recovering paintings that have been at his house since 1995. Then I left town in my faithful Dodge Dart, not saying goodbye to anyone.

    I just wish they kept dressing the Amish way even in their post-Amish lives.

    Ohio's half-assed oil fields


    ain fell as I tore down Ohio 58 southward. I was mostly going 70 miles an hour, and passed everyone in my way. I wanted to get back to Viginia with time to spare before work tonight.

    The Amish were out in force today. I'm an alien invader in their world. I have technological capabilities they find threatening in their humble little 19th century lives. Lots of people find the Amish wonderfully quaint. I myself have entertained some wonderful recurrent sexual fantasies about lovely Amish girls in their incidentally gothic getups. I can only imagine what fun can be had in the back of one of those buggies. Distraction is no problem; the horse has it all under control and knows the way home. But you know, those damn Amish have too many kids. Overpopulation is a very real problem, and there isn't any more farmland in Ohio. That's why the majority of Amish kids eventually take off for the city and enter into lives of crass hedonism. I just wish they kept dressing the Amish way even in their post-Amish lives. Maybe I'll start dressing that way. It's cool.

    There are Amish and there are also oil fields in east-Central Ohio. In the 90s the oil fields have fallen into decline. There were lots more pumps active in the Spring of 1987 when I first rode a bicycle the length of US-250 on my way to West Virginia. I only saw one active pump on this trip. Some things are better left for the Arabs.

    It's gradually become my policy to avoid chain restaurants on roadtrips. One does not have an interesting life by habitually heading for the most predictable experiences. I went to a hot-orange-coloured pizza/sub place near the center of Strausburg and got a foot long Italian sub for $4.30. The only other customers present were a very old couple who have no doubt been spending their pensions there for years.

    I continued along US-250 all the way to Wheeling, West Virginia. Leaping off the edge of the world from the "Ohio Plateau" (populated by such quaint little towns as Colerain) was always a transcendental experience on a bicycle. In the Punch Buggy Green, and now in the Dodge Dart, the thrill is still there. One moment you're high on some desolate agricultural plateau and then, a few miles of steep downhill later, you're in a bustling riverport.

    I continued at high speed down I-70 into Pennsylvania, then down I-79 back into West Virginia, then over the Cumberland Plateau on I-68 into Maryland.

    Climbing the Cumberland Plateau on a hot day was an ordeal for the Dart, and I didn't push it when I saw the temperature climb into the danger zone. I added more coolant, but it still had all the coolant from the trip up, and additional quantities did not help. I was dealing with very real mechanical limitations.

    Winter on the Cumberland is a long ordeal; the trees are still barren of leaves. The harshness of the climate is demonstrated by dense stands of spruce that push aside the less hardy deciduous trees on the tops of ridges and hills.

    I videotaped occasionally, especially when I passed again through Sideling Hill, which is a sort of gateway between my East and my West. Here's a little more about Sideling Hill from "Public Roads Online":

    Sideling Hill in western Maryland had been an obstacle to transportation for centuries. Old U.S. Route 40, the modern descendant of the National Road (initiated as a federal project in 1806), executed a treacherous hairpin curve to get around the obstacle. When Maryland officials decided to build an interstate highway through western Maryland to connect I-79 in Fairmont, W.Va., with I-70 and I-81 in Hagerstown, Md., they decided they needed a straightforward crossing of the mountain. To avoid a prohibitively steep grade, they would blast a 116-meter-deep cut into the top of the 536-meter (m) mountain. Doing so required blasting, scraping, and hauling 3.44 million cubic meters of shale, sandstone, and other rock while maintaining traffic on U.S. 40. In addition, stringent erosion and sediment control requirements, aimed at protecting the trout streams that crisscross the route, complicated the task. An article about the cut noted that when the blasters were done, "They had achieved an engineering marvel: a breathtakingly beautiful man-made rock wall, revealing in tilted, multi-colored layers of sedimentary rock 350 million years of geologic history." When I-68 opened in August 1991, it included the Sideling Hill Exhibition and Tourist Information Center, housing geological exhibits. The center includes a fenced walkway onto the Sideling Hill road cut, as well as a fenced pedestrian bridge across I-68.
    On I-81, I found myself growing sleepy, so I pulled into the Virginia Welcome Center and napped for a time on a picnic table.

    When I arrived at my folks' place south of Staunton, they thought I was coming just to see them. They had no idea I'd been to Ohio. I grabbed a few things, including food and beer, and headed back across the Blue Ridge to Charlottesville.

    I don't want riff raff hanging out at the Dynashack all the time, especially when I'm not around. It's not the Horrid Crash Pad.

    he Dynashack was looking a little weird when drove up. Someone had smashed lots of lettuce into the street out in front. When I saw housemate Steve, I asked what was up. He told me that my "friends" had been hanging out on the porch again last night, even though I was off in Ohio. He also said that some stupid skinheads had hassled his little sister, rudely asking about Morgan Anarchy, who she doesn't even know. I agreed with Steve that this sort of thing is intolerable and must end. I don't want riff raff hanging out at the Dynashack all the time, especially when I'm not around. It's not the Horrid Crash Pad. You'd think my friends would have enough sense or propriety to know that. Monster Boy is not really part of the problem, but he has spent two months sleeping on the living room couch, often until the afternoon. It's a pain in the ass for the housemates. Steve wants his house back. That makes sense to me; I've been wanting my house back too. What happens when you're tolerant: you get shit upon. Just look at Big Fun. As bad as it's gotten at the Dynashack, at least it hasn't gotten quite that bad.

    I had a lot of time for a pre-work nap. The sun had just set as I went to sleep.

    See a gallery of pictures from the Oberlin trip.

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