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:
   computer crisis Christ
Thursday, December 18 1997

  needed to save my mother (Hoagie) from yet another computer crisis, so I set out for Staunton in the Dodge Dart at around noon. I still have an invalid inspection sticker, so I placed a thick leathery Southern Magnolia leaf under the windshield wiper in such a way that it obscured the incriminating numbers. I know all the tricks.

Up over that big blue mountain and down into the increasingly hazy, increasingly populous Shenandoah Valley, its turkey houses mockingly glinting at me to assure me that in the 90s, white meat is most definitely in. Whatever, I eat turkey and all, but I think the turkeys are having the last laugh as their concentration camps devour my homeland.

After lots of struggling and fighting, Hoagie's Macintosh is now acting as it should, the printer (a first-generation StyleWriter) is working, and there's an idiot-proof HandyMan toolbar.

My mother is slowly learning HTML, and today I taught her about how the hexadecimal colour conventions work. She wasn't learning anything especially fast (she seems to have some kind of mental block that prevents her from grasping the intuitive), but we got to the point where I could call out a six digit hexadecimal number and she'd be able to give me an accurate description of the colour it represented.


oagie had an ancient copy of the Boston Globe from 1954 which featured her family posing with their farm animals. It was one of those "let's go fawn over a local celebrity" pieces, the kind local papers are known for. My grandfather, Clarence DeMar, was, you see, a famous marathon runner. Here, then, is a photo from the article, with the text of the original caption. My mother, Hoagie, is referred to as Betty, and she is the 17 year old girl you see beside the old man (who was only to live four more years).

Barbara, Margaret, Betty and Clarence with Animals

HOW'RE YOU GOING TO KEEP HIM DOWN ON THE FARM?- Twin daughters, Barbara (left) and Betty separate "Sparky" the cat and "Carla" the German shepherd from possible troubles as mother and father, holding prized hen, look on.

Anyway, here I am in my Shaque, working on my musings. It's cool to have the internet everywhere I go.


'd been drinking lots of blush vino for the duration of my Shaque visit. But I didn't feel especially drunk on the drive home. I was, however, especially adept at immersing myself in fantasy. I imagined that I was in a video game, and that the darkened scenery racing by was the display from a powerful computer executing nearly perfect landscape perspective algorithms. I looked for glitches and artifacts, and I even imagined I could see some. The waning more-than-quarter moon hung high over the distant hills to the east and illuminated the clouds. It never shrunk no matter how many miles closer I drew. Those programmers thought of everything.

A pickup passed me, and I suddenly realized the difference between this game (the game of life) and a videogame. When a truck passes you in a videogame, it's an affront, it means your score is going to be lower than it might otherwise be. But I was already driving over the posted speed limit, and my blood alcohol content might also have been over the legal limit. To defeat all the other drivers on this "race" would be an excellent risk to take in a videogame, but here in the game of life, where small setbacks are accepted on the road to more subtle victories, such risks are foolish. I suddenly realized that the virtual world gives a different sense of risk to those who are immersed within it. Big risks in the virtual world are tiny risks in the real world. If you die virtually, you can come back and try again. If this journal should suddenly take a turn, and I become a raving white supremacist rapist of little black boys, pissing off all my readers, I could always come back under a new name and win back a new readership, having only lost a year and a half.

one year ago

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