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:
   gay hitchhiker
Tuesday, March 31 1998

ll morning and into the afternoon, I typed a paper for my Dad about the biota of the Craig Creek Valley in western Virginia. It's boring typing, just like the Bible must have been a bore to type. My Dad's texts are largely comprised of comma-delimited lists of plant species (most with scientific names). These mind-numbing lists remind me of those endless who begat whom lists with which someone saw fit to pad the Bible.

As I typed, I kept behind a closed door. I was feeling weird about my housemates after the last couple of days and didn't want them interrupting my flow with a meaningful scowl. I also played Slayer's South of Heaven fairly loudly. The galloping double bass drums and overall apocalyptic scariness of Slayer puts me in a good mood for typing boring texts; I only required a single cup of coffee to type up 20 pages of manuscript (which came to 7 pages of single-spaced 12 point printout). My Dad's writing, by the way, is only legible by a tiny fraction of the earth's population. It's the functional equivalent of writing in an obscure Inuit dialect. Good thing for him he spawned someone fluent in his creative output.


ho says that my web efforts don't pay off? Today, for example, I got some free psychological advice. I also got a pissed-off missive from Jessika, who finally had a chance to read some of my recent musings. I saw her in the Olssen lab when I came in to print out my Dad's Craig Creek Valley paper, and either she acted like she didn't see me or else she really didn't see me. I didn't want to deal with her just then so I didn't indicate my presence either. I think, people, my problem is mostly that I'm socially apathetic. But who can blame me, really? Everytime I appear in public some scrawny redneck Chaz worshipper thinks s/he'll get props by punching me or my friends in the face. It's such a bore to write about that I find myself trying to avoid it as much as possible. The result: I've squandered all my friendships, I have no sex life, I have no job and I only interact with a couple of girls who are (like everyone else) fine in reasonable doses, but who are slowly turning me into a complete recluse.

It was a beautiful day yet again, reserved this time for driving the Dodge Dart back over the mountain to Staunton. The mission was mostly to deliver my Dad's latest paper, but I also was hauling a trash-picked black and white television to replace an old one that had bit the dust at the childhood home.

    My parents are thoroughly imbedded in the past and for some reason are opposed to the concept of watching colour teevee. They used to be opposed to all teevee, but in 1983 I bought my first computer, a VIC-20 with three kilobytes of RAM and a 1 MHz 6502 microprocessor (for $85). To view its picture, I had to get a cheap black and white television. My parents were initially appalled to have a teevee in the house, but then they found themselves watching the news and there's been no going back.

As I was approached the US-29 bypass on Fontaine Avenue, I saw a round middle-aged man on the side on the road holding up a very legible sign with the word "Waynesboro" on it. I pulled over and he climbed in. He smelled of body odour and his darkly-tanned face was a speaker grill of pores. His mouth was so hideous that I didn't want to look, though I found myself trying to sneak a peek anyway. His teeth looked as if they'd been filed down half way and the gaps between them filled with mashed potatos. The moment he started talking I could tell he was mildly retarded. He said he'd come to Charlottesville to see his "boyfriend." Hmmm, that seemed like a pretty direct way to come out to someone he didn't know (and who might well be a homicidal redneck homophobe). He went on to talk about hitch hiking, girls, and homosexuality. He asked if I was married. I said no. "Good! Neither am I!" he declared.

Then he asked if I'd ever picked up a woman hitch hiker. "A few times," I said blandly. "I've also been picked up by women while hitch hiking, but not very often," I added.

"Have you ever been picked up by a gay person?" my rider asked.


"He probably wanted to do it to you," my rider said crudely. "Do you know what I mean by that?" he asked.

I changed the subject somehow, but it inevitably returned.

"Some queers only want to do it to other people," he announced.

"I imagine there're all kinds," I agreed.

"You ever let someone suck your dick?" my rider eventually got around to asking. This guy was getting weird, and I had to put an end to this sooner or later. He couldn't be as direct as all the queers who have picked me up, people who, it could be argued, I owed. This guy owed me, true, but I didn't want any.

"Yeah, but I only let girls do it," I said, hoping I wasn't allowing any room for misinterpretation.

"Yeah, me too," my rider lied. He didn't say much more for the rest of the ride. I stopped to let him out near the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center not far from Staunton, and he patted my leg and thanked me for the ride when he climbed out.


ack at the home place, nothing much was different. The dust was a little deeper on the top surfaces of the various things that haven't moved since the 70s. When I eventually got around to replacing the teevee, and was amazed at how much dust it had collected.

Something about the childhood home always makes me sleepy, so I took a nap in the Shaque's bunk. When I awoke, I thought for an instant I was back at Kappa Mutha Fucka and that Jessika was spying on me.

My mother cooked lots of chicken for dinner. She also brought out some butter for my brother, an extra special unhealthy non-staple to celebrate the occasion. I cracked a variation on one of my stock jokes about Julia Child's cooking style, saying (this time without the Julia Child voice), "Use one small chicken and one pound of butter." My Dad's comment was even funnier, "I'll bet Julia Child has killed more people than Saddam Hussein."

My Dad had me spray some sort of biological warfare agent (a dissolved fungicidal bacteria) onto the cherry trees in the yard. They're all infected with a fungus called "black knot," and some appear to be dying, which is sad, since I distinctly remember when my Dad planted the first of those trees back in 1975. I was a little suburban kid in those days, and we'd take weekend "trips to the farm." Planting trees, getting in touch with the earth, all that stuff stood in the place of the religious rituals that most kids suffered through (and later abandoned for rock 'n' roll).


ith the usual carload of food items, I returned to Kappa Mutha Fucka.

It's a little stressful around here now, though it's kind of nice (if a little lonely) not to have Jessika trying to get me to come out and play every fifteen minutes. However painful it is for all of us involved, I think it's time I grew up. I'm sick of being eight years old.

I can understand Jessika's cold response to my musings of yesterday, for those musings contained a number of heresies against the doctrine she operates under.

Heresy one: I said that I have more fun doing things on my own.

Heresy two: I said that I have little in common with "the group."

Heresy three: I said that I find myself acting artificial around her.

one year ago

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