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:
   injuring my fingers
Monday, May 4 1998

  had a dream last night that involved fighting with the skinheads. I kept blasting them with mace in wanton gleeful sadism. Morgan Anarchy joined on their side for some reason and I beat him up most brutally. It was all very disturbing.


organ Anarchy and Jay the Gutterpunk both crashed at our house last night, slept past noon, woke up, began drinking, and are still downstairs here at nearly 4:00pm. The whole downstairs has their characteristic fragrance, which Amy from Memphis thinks resembles "peas." I wonder sometimes why Jessika doesn't get sick of hanging out with them. They smell funny and there's a limit to the play life of their entertainment value.

Josh the Gutterpunk showed up in the mid-afternoon, fresh and relaxed from his night spent in jail (he'd been caught on videotape flicking matches). He wasn't resentful at all; he was happy to have gotten a good solid breakfast of eggs this morning.

The UPS man came in his brown truck to deliver a box each to Jessika and me. It was like Christmas as we opened our respective packages in the living room. Jessika had a care package from her mother: stickers, clothes, that sort of thing. I had a digital camera, a Panasonic CoolShot, a strange little object with a fold-out LCD panel and a hearty appetite for AAA batteries. After becoming familiar with its idiosyncrasies, I took a few pictures, such as the image of Kappa Mutha Fucka you see at right.

The drummer for the Counselors came by today and asked if I wanted to sell my Dodge Dart. I told him I'd think about it, but I couldn't quote a price right away. It would have to be more than the $200 I spent to buy it originally, that's for damn sure.

Today is Jessika's first day on the job at her new place of employment, the Jefferson Theatre. For not very much money, she'll be expected to clean the place, load the projector and that sort of thing. It's a pretty laid-back career, well suited (I would imagine) to her temperament.


eanwhile, Wendy's journal is rapidly becoming The Many Misadventures of Manic Michelle. I like the new emphasis. Chances are Michelle will occupy a huge fraction of Wendy's stories, given the fact that she works at Michelle's favourite hangout.


peaking of Wendy, I followed a tip from her journal and went to the back of the Chemistry building to see what treasures I could find. I had to restrain myself. The place was overflowing with old electronic junk: disencircuited integrated circuits, extremely precise potentiometers, all kinds of automatic graphing equipment and an old oscilloscope. I don't know how long I've wanted my own oscilloscope, but if this sucker works, I think I'll do something nice for UVA some time as karmic compensation.

My mother tells me she'll pay for a storage place for my junk when I leave Kappa Mutha Fucka but that she doesn't want me to bring it home. I think, though, that my stuff won't come to that much and besides, I can just throw away a lot of ancient useless stuff occupying space in the honey house attic (the attic of one of my parents' out buildings) to make room for all the cool crap I've been accumulating.

I just realized something yet again: writing things in this journal unburdens me. Worries that trouble me become much less troublesome the moment I write them down. The issue of moving my crap at the end of the month has been one such worry, but writing about it just now has liberated me just a little.


o I brought my new oscilloscope home, and found it had some infernal United States Marine Corps-specification AC power connector. Looking around at my various power cords, I came up with an idea for an improvisation: I would cut two little slots into the end of a standard IBM power cord so the prongs on the Marine-specified power connector would be able to fit. How better to do this than, oh, I don't know, a hand held Black and Decker power saw? Bad idea. I held the end of the power cord up to the whirring blade, it grabbed it in a moment and yanked it in. It was all over in an instant. I looked at the fingers on my left hand and saw new jagged grooves in the tips of my forefinger and thumb. For a moment the vicious wounds were clean and pink. But then blood started gushing forth with unfamiliar vengeance. Oh shit, this was bad! I ran upstairs and put my fingers under cold water until I had a sink of dark pink water. Interestingly, I had not yet experienced any pain whatsoever.

When the bleeding finally slackened to a manageable drip, I put a dollop of Neosporin®Plus on each wound, covered them with toilet paper, and wrapped them up in masking tape. Then I went around the house cleaning up all the blood I'd dripped and splashed on everything. I was feeling kind of stupid, but stupid stories are what my conversations are made of these days, so I couldn't complain.

Wacky Jen and Deya came by while I was going through my new collection of LS-TTL integrated circuits. Wacky Jen understands binary math, so it wasn't difficult to explain how these little black caterpillars could be assembled into complex data processing devices. I told her of how I was in High School, when I was obsessed with digital customization of my VIC-20 computer. I'd draw up big complicated truth tables during the long bus ride home, and plug in my soldering iron before doing anything else the moment I got through the door.

Wacky Jen and Deya took a number of things back to the metal fabrication place in Belmont as a courtesy for the Blond House people (still cleaning up in the aftermath of Space Party IV).

Jessika called from her new job at the theatre trying to get a ride home because of the pouring rain. I was a little dismayed to learn all the gutterpunks were with her. They'd evidently hung out on the Mall all day while she worked and now wanted to come home with her now that she was off. The prospect of them stinking up my living room yet again made me less than eager to bring them all home; I told her to call me back if she didn't get a ride in a half hour.

Somehow they all found their way to Kappa Mutha Fucka. By this time the oscilloscope was doing a beautiful job of showing the waveforms of the teevee's video or audio signal with a cute little green trace. The oscilloscope is big, it's chock full of vacuum tubes, it heats the room when it's running, but unlike most of my electronic equipment, it's not obsolete.

one year ago

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