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 Dynashack is not party central
Tuesday, May 20 1997

A scientific factoid: the frequency of disaster in the asphalt highway ecological niche prevents long-term animal and plant habitation.

    He told me that a carload of his gutter punk friends had just driven up from New Orleans in a stolen car.

      ran across a surprisingly sober Morgan Anarchy at Higher Grounds. He told me that a carload of his gutter punk friends had just driven up from New Orleans in a stolen car. Just inside Charlottesville, they'd been pulled over for speeding. According to Morgan, the driver, Matthew Hart's old friend Mud, hadn't even raised any suspicions with the arresting officer. But then he started saying stupid stuff like "I'm just borrowing the car, honest officer." Now he's in jail. The only New Orleans gutter punk released onto the streets of Charlottesville was Morgan's "on the road girlfriend," Kriana. She's the same girl who beat the hell out of (and pissed upon) El Duce of the Mentors (see the March 17th entry). She's also a notorious kleptomaniac. News that she and other scruffy losers (in jail or otherwise) were in town did not please me. I didn't want them deciding that my house was the cool place to hang out.


      purchased four CDs today. There were lots of good CDs in the Plan 9 used bin, and I need to replenish my pillaged collection. Here's what I got:

    • X's Hey Zeus (1993) on the Big Life Label (a division of Polygram) for $7
    • King's X's Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (1989) on the Atlantic label for $4
    • Robert Pollard's Not in my Airforce (1996) on the Matador Label
    • Sugar's Besides (1995) on the Matador Label for $7

    Gretchen Goes to Nebraska has, like other King's X, a strong soul influence. But the instrumentation is absolutely original, especially the tonality. This particular album has been credited as one of the best products of the late 80s metal scene. But to call it metal is to cram it into a needlessly narrow category. To tell you the truth, I don't really enjoy this album as much as I thought I would.

    Not in my Airforce, on the other hand, is better than expected. I'd read some bad reviews, but this album (a solo project by the primary member of Guided by Voices) is really rather good. It's very low-fi and quirkier than GBV, in a sort of Syd Barrett way. This is a manifestation of the unbridled solo-musician effect. The CD is full of analog tape monkey-business and the sound of cheap instruments. I have no idea what the lyrics are, but I already like many of the verbal riffs. The guitar, mostly played by Pollard, is better than I would expect and rather hypnotic.

    Besides is a collection of random junk from Bob Mould's most recent band. I like cluttered-attic albums like this a lot. There's an especially memorable tune called "Clownmaster" (track 6) that incorporates an eerily machine-tight implementation of the infamous Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" riff (doo doo dachicka doo doo) floating on clouds of distorted guitar textures. As an added bonus, the CD is loaded with a Quicktime video of "Gee Angel" I'm impressed to pull such high-bandwidth stuff off a $7 CD.

    I haven't had a chance yet to listen to Hey Zeus, but stay tuned.

    She still has a month left to decide whether or not to get an abortion. In the meantime, she's sticking to just marijuana.

    s I was coming back from doing work at UVA's Cocke Hall, I heard someone shouting my name from a little to the east on Wertland Street. I turned around to see Matthew Hart, Monster Boy, Morgan Anarchy, and a girl who must have been Kriana. The news they bore was that a new house had been found for Matthew, Leah, Monster Boy and myself. I've been anxious for a replacement for my current residence, which can only last until the end of June. But I haven't been looking for a new place; I've left that task to the likes of Monster Boy and Matthew Hart, both of whom work many fewer hours than I do.

    The aforementioned ensemble all came to my porch, and a good fraction of them went on in. I have heard a lot of really awful stories about Kriana, and I was not pleased having her in my house. As an opportunistic, sociopathic gutter punk, who knew what she'd do. Despite being covered with a thick layer of grime, ornamental bottle caps and inevitable suntan, she actually looked rather innocuous, but looks can be deceiving. Later I learned that she's really not that bad when she's sober. And she's been sober since discovering that she's pregnant. Yes, for three months now she has borne Morgan Anarchy's potential spawn. She still has a month left to decide whether or not to get an abortion. In the meantime, she's sticking to just marijuana. The prospect that anyone could have parents as drunk, dirty, disgusting and destitute as Kriana and Morgan Anarchy seems to support the theory that the Universe is a cruel joke of God.

    Sure as hell Wade had no intention of paying any of his workers $18/hour.
    Kriana and Morgan went off somewhere and they were replaced by Cecelia the Brazilian Girl. A flunky from Wade Apartments arrived and hand-delivered an ultimatum to me, the only resident of the house then present. It said that the grand pooh-bah of Wade had been touring his properties and been dismayed by the horrendous condition of our front porch. On Thursday, the note informed us, our porch would have trash removed from it by workers at the rate of $18/hour/man. Where the precise figure of $18 an hour came from, no one can say. Had Wade decided that the bill would be $50/hour/man, I wonder what recourse we would have for such extortion. Sure as hell Wade had no intention of paying any of his workers $18/hour. I joked that Monster Boy should clean the porch for $16/hour, thereby undercutting Wade's grunts.

    Matthew drove me out to our next potential home. It's off Jefferson Park Avenue (JPA) on a dead end street called Observatory Street. We walked around the house, kicked the tires, and liked what we saw. It's a small but well-built brick house with two porches, a back yard, detached garage and a basement. I joked that we might consider renting out the basement to Peggy and Zach for $50 a month. I imagined that it was a creepy soggy crawl space. But you must understand, fussiness and a demand for creature comforts is not characteristic of my friends.

    Peeing and pooing your pants is no longer adorable once you're out of diapers.

    ack at the Dynashack, a number of my housemates drifted in and out while I hung out on the porch with my friends. These included Andrew, Steve and Elizabeth. They were gone when the Wade flunky gave me the ultimatum note, but when they came back I showed it to them. Elizabeth seemed to be in an especially aggravated mood, and this news made her even crankier. When Steve was gone she informed me that he had expressed a desire to move out of the Dynashack for the final month, that the place had become too dreadful. He didn't want to live in a house that was constantly being invaded by the likes of Morgan Anarchy, his enemies, and (more especially) Morgan's dirty, disgusting friends. And despite my egalitarian tendencies, I have to agree. What now does Morgan have to offer the world except his fragrance? Furthermore, those who attach themselves to Morgan are beyond horrid. Not only does Toni Dirtbag subscribe to the theory that "your beer is my beer," but he also spills more than he drinks. And no matter where he is, he spits. He could be in your house, he could be in your room. No matter. As Matthew Hart puts it, it's not the spit itself that's so bad, it's the attitude behind it. I really don't see what's so wrong with a few of the basic conventions of most human societies. The rebellion of gutter punkdom is needlessly disgusting. It's really rather easy to wash ones hands after wiping ones butt. It's easy to not spit on someones floor. Peeing and pooing your pants is no longer adorable once you're out of diapers.

    I agreed with Elizabeth that Steve shouldn't have to leave, that we should be able to excercise more control over our house. I said I wasn't happy with Morgan Anarchy coming over, that he was a "disgusting gutter punk." The fact that I said this freely in front of Morgan's friends (Cecelia and Matthew Hart, especially) perhaps demonstrated my sincerity on this matter, so Elizabeth suggested we have an impromptu house meeting when Steve returned in order to discuss what measures we were willing to take to make conditions acceptable enough for him to stay. Elizabeth suggested that the others (Matthew, Cecelia, and Monster Boy) leave for the meantime. She said she liked them all, but she didn't like the element they attracted, which she described as "scummy." Elizabeth was correct in this assessment, of course, though the term "scummy" had resonance that offended Matthew. Later he expressed the opinion that he felt most unwelcome after this conversation, and I found myself clarifying the matter by saying Elizabeth does like Matthew, but that tensions had been running high and that the situation had become desperate.

    He hasn't been exactly low-impact after all; when he isn't sleeping he can often be found sitting in the living room blaring goth music.
    All of us residents remaining in the Dynashack (everyone but Ches, who has departed for a European vacation) convened on the front porch to discuss what would be done. I agreed that Morgan Anarchy was not to be permitted on the property. If he showed up he would be politely asked to leave. I was confident that he would obey our wishes, that, after all, he wished us well and that any badness that attended him was not deliberate. We agreed that Monster Boy would have to stay in my room if he stayed at the Dynashack any more, and that the latest he could stay in any case was June 1st. My housemates want their living room back, that he'd had two months to get his shit together and that had been generous of us. He hasn't been exactly low-impact after all; when he isn't sleeping he can often be found sitting in the living room blaring goth music. Furthermore, Monster Boy cannot entertain guests at the Dynashack. In his defense, I said that Morgan Anarchy hardly knew Monster Boy and that Morgan had been coming to the Dynashack because of me, not Monster Boy. I said that Monster Boy was a better house guest than many we could have had. We circulated the names of certain other people, and my housemates agreed. I Went on to say that I didn't want my ability to entertain guests abridged, but I agreed that there was no reason my friends should be hanging out when I'm asleep or absent.

    We also discussed the need to clean up the porch and fix the broken glass in the front door.

    The meeting went very well, since we all reached consensus on the matters discussed. As a de facto co-operative environment, the Dynashack is far more functional than other places I have lived. We're all reasonable, intelligent people with good social skills. That's all it takes to succeed.

    Later we all sat around sipping vino and feeling good about our new resolve. I tinkered with an old Macintosh SE to which I'm trying to restore functionality.

    All she had to say to induce a moral obligation was that she is pregnant and that she is going to be needing money.
    Peggy and Cecelia the Brazilian Girl came over and hung out for awhile. Peggy is staying in town with her husband Zachary's mother. The old Rising Sun Bakery still owes Peggy hundreds of dollars. Peggy isn't particularly assertive, and she probably would have just let the matter slide. But Elizabeth, who occasionally manifests activist tendencies, convinced her to call Terry, the owner of the now-defunct business. I heard Peggy pleading her case. It wasn't difficult. All she had to say to induce a moral obligation was that she is pregnant and that she is going to be needing money. I don't envy Peggy. Not only is her chosen husband (and father of her child) one of the more irresponsible men in Charlottesville, but he's also unemployed and a huge money drain. He's still tangled up in an expensive legal mess resulting from his having been busted with dozens of hits of LSD a year ago.

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