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:
   dinner at Deya's
Saturday, March 14 1998

  had a depressing series of experiences with some non-critical computer hardware. It was depressing mostly because of how obsessed I was with the project. When I spend countless hours with obsolete equipment only to find I can achieve nothing, or to have it suddenly just stop working, I quite naturally enter a phase of misery.

I took breaks from that project to help Jessika put together her new "tussin bike." The frame is freshly painted a sparkly red, and it was just a matter of putting all the little parts back on. I wanted Jessika to do as much of the work as possible, but she doesn't have an intuitive knowledge of such things. I couldn't just sit there and answer questions. I had to get in there and do lots of it myself. One especially humourous moment came when Jessika (using a hammer I had jokingly suggested as the appropriate tool) tried to attach a cotterless crank to the bottom bracket only 90 degrees from the opposite crank (anyone who has ridden a bike should know that cranks oppose each other at 180 degrees).

The soundtrack for the entire day was VH1's "Eight days of Eighties." It was nostalgic in a vaguely depressing kind of way.


arious people came to visit throughout the day. First it was Peggy and the Baboose, then it was Monster Boy.

Monster Boy, Jessika and I went on a walk to the JPA Fastmart to get some beer. On our way down Observatory, we passed a fallen trashcan. Jessika would have impulsively kicked it, but I was nearer to it, so she suggested that I do the dirty work. What the hell, I gave it a gentle boot. It rolled a short way and then returned to exactly where it had been. A plain-looking long-haired grad student woman across the street felt it was her civic duty to confront me about what she saw as antisocial behaviour. "Why did you kick over that trashcan?" she asked. It did no good to explain that I hadn't kicked over anything, the woman had already decided I was part of the problem sweeping America. When she asked me another hostile question, I answered "because I'm a sociopath!" I don't think she expected such words in my vocabulary. We all had a little chuckle over that one.

With dozen Schlitzes, we returned to Kappa Mutha Fucka and drank a few of them.


hen Deya returned from work, we bid Monster Boy adieu and the three of us headed down to Deya's parents' house in southern Albemarle County near Scottsville. We'd been invited to dinner. The occasion had something to do with the fact that Deya's mother, Marianne, will be flying to her native Sweden for a monthlong vacation on April 1st. Deya drove on obscure little roads and the drive seemed to take forever.

At Deya's childhood home we joined both Deya's parents (interestingly, everyone at Kappa Mutha Fucka has parents that are still married) and Deya's older brother David, who had driven from Richmond with his cockatoo Shelby.

During a dinner of spinach crepes, little chicken pieces, some sort of tasty Indian potato concoction, I tried to eat as much as I could without coming across as a glutton. The whole time Shelby the Cockatoo screached and hooted at the top of her lungs. She hated being ignored.

After dinner, we drank coffee and ate cake and icecream while talking about a variety of subjects:

  • The complex but little-known behaviours of cats and other animals
  • The artificial market created by advertisers for new cars (despite the fact that used cars work just as well and cost thousands less).
I also heard some jokes I'd never heard before, especially:
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Periodically David and Marianne would communicate in Swedish, which to my ear was indistinguishable from the random syllables being uttered by Shelby the cockatoo.

Jessika, Deya and I were drinking vino, but not very much. The other day Deya said she thought maybe she would try not to drink as much in the future. She figures if she drinks less, she can save money. It makes sense to me, and with her as an example-catalyst, I'd like to drink less myself. Indeed, there are other reasons to drink less alcohol. Perhaps if I cut way back on drinking, I can better develop social skills I've allowed to grow soft over the years. All of us use alcohol as a frequent social crutch, but it's a bad crutch. It blunts our humanity and makes us act in foolish and embarrassing ways. As I said earlier today while discussing this issue, I used to be able to do everything I do now, and be happy doing it, while hardly drinking at all. (Just by way of example, I'm much more successful with romance when I'm sober or nearly so.)

When we finally made it back to Kappa Mutha Fucka, we had a fairly low key evening.

one year ago

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