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:
   scary first day of Spring
Friday, March 20 1998

he warmth and rainlessness of yesterday was but a memory; cold rain fell all day. In the evening, as the Sun made the turbulent crossing from Pisces to Aries (on this the first day of Spring), lightning slashed across the sky hitting nearby points with loud roars of thunder. Nicholas the Cat and Wilbur the Cockatiel were terrified, and to an extent, so was I. Jessika and Deya, however, enjoyed the display and went about making things even scarier. Jessika turned off all the lights, lit candles, and put on allegedly scary music comprised mostly of screams and groans.

Later on, the 1980 sequel to the movie Amityville Horror was shown on one of the premium teevee channels, and Jessika insisted on watching it. It was a big boring utterly predictable disappointment. Part of the problem was that it wasn't scary at all. But beyond that, there was absolutely no character development, no real suspense, and lots of pointless opening of doors to look for things that weren't there. I've found that to be a frequent problem with haunted house movies. If just once the protagonist would open a door and a horrible scary monster would actually be there, the entire genre would be enriched enormously. I'm so spoiled by such wickedly imaginative shows as the Simpsons (one of their hilarious "horror" reruns was shown today) that most television (for me) falls completely flat.


et me back up to a time much earlier in the day. While the rain pelted down, Peggy and the Baboose arrived. Peggy's car has been experiencing some sort of brake problem on the left front wheel, and she's been putting off looking at it. I suggested that we go look at it right now, despite the rain. Perhaps it was something we could fix immediately. So we went out in the rain and yanked off the wheel. It didn't look good, folks. There was metal powder accumulated on the brake mechanism and no detectable shoe at all on the inside surface. It had worn down to metal, and this metal was now cutting a deep groove into what had been the smooth surface of the brake disk. There wasn't anything I could do about it; the whole system was ruined and probably wouldn't be able to deteriorate any further. I have no idea where she'll get the money to repair the situation, but in the mean time she continues to drive, confident that the three brakes remaining are sufficient. I suggested she get it worked on as soon as possible, especially to have the brake shoes on the other brakes repaired before they too are ruined. Her husband Zachary is notoriously hard on cars, and I'm sure his rambunctious driving going up and down Carter's Mountain has decreased the lives of the brakes enormously.

Despite the bad brakes, Peggy drove us all to Barracks Road to hang out for a long time at Barnes and Noble bookstore (on the way, I dropped off yet another application at UVA's Department of personnel). We (with the exception of the baby) all got coffee, but finding nowhere to sit, had what I termed "a Mentos moment," finding a place to sit on the floor just outside the Starbucks Coffee café section. Jessika flipped through very glossy magazines, finding people she thought looked like various people she knows, including me (I look exactly like that one guy -the bass player?- in the British band Blur).

During another geologic epoch in the New Age section looking at astrology books, Peggy, fueled by a caffeine overdose, grew impatient, and claimed she feared she would explode.


n other things, Wilbur the Cockatiel is becoming much more vocal with each passing day. We're trying to teach him the six notes of the wicked witch theme music from the Wizard of Oz ("doodee doodee doo doo"), but he can only do a couple of the first notes. He does, however, do really good impressions of Bob White Quails and a Whippoorwills (or, at least, impressions of my impressions).

one year ago

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