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:
   funky house, man
Thursday, May 21 1998


t was another hard day of moving: boxing up my stuff by category. One box was labeled "analog studio equipment" and contained two conventional tape decks, a four track, cables and effects pedals. Another box had power supplies and 5.25 inch drives. One fairly large box was completely filled with ISA expansion cards, most of them designed to control MFM hard drives or provide archaic video. There was also a milk crate completely crammed with electronic cables. Almost everything I packed today had something to do with electronics, though I also loaded my car with all my biggest paintings and power tools.

I discovered that the $10 tire I'd bought for my Dart had inappropriate measurements; the five lug nuts were about an eighth of an inch too far from the center of the wheel. I had no idea that this measurement was a variable along with all the other ones I knew about: number of lug nuts, "dishiness of the wheel" and size of central hub aperture (I finally know how to spell aperture, Nancy!). I think I'm just going to give up and buy either a new tire or another car. The city of Charlottesville, by the way, appraises my car as being worth $125. At that rate, my car would be totalled if I got two flat tires!


ell, here I am in Staunton, again making a swap between old useless stuff and new useful stuff in my parents' Honey House attic. To smooth everything out with my mother (she usually feels invaded when I show up with lots of crap to store in her Honey House), I brought her lots of soapstone and I gave her the watch I found the other night.

Right now my mother is playing with her horses. The infernal useless things freak out at the slightest noise, so I have to put unloading my car on hold. Tomorrow my mother has plans of heading off to go on some kind of horse ride competition thing and her horse Folly will have to ride in a trailer. But as of right now the stubborn beast absolutely refuses to walk through the goat pasture gate. I much prefer my hobbies, thank you very much.


  went into the room of my psychotic brother, Don, today. He wasn't there, but it was an experience all the same. I hadn't been in that room in a long time. In the 80s, I actually shared that room with him, living in the upper bunk bed. Now the room is entirely his, and his unique stamp is on every funky surface. For one thing, the walls display his various awards for running races, some elaborately framed. There's also a picture of him holding Beauford, a white and grey tabby tom cat who died of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus years ago. But the most remarkable thing is the floor. It is heavily populated with tall pyramids of books, each volume laid flat, stacked largest to smallest vertically on plastic bags so as to keep them safe and pristine. The upper bunk of his bunk bed is likewise populated with book pyramids, their foundations built on an unstable layer of long-forgotten clothes. Near the closet is a carefully stacked mound of more than a dozen identical white running shoes. In his own way, Don is much tidier and more organized than the rest of us, though he doesn't seem concerned at all about sanitation in his abode. Dust and spider webs are left completely unchecked, his broken bed is an abstract riot of numerous dark overlapping stains and the foot paths winding among the pyramids cross over layers of long-forgotten scraps of paper and shag carpet matted so flat by the pounding of feet that it almost shines. I wish I'd brought my digital camera.

Seeing Don's room made me more aware that, indeed, my entire childhood home is funky in a similar way, though with less deliberate organization and more attention to sanitation. I guess this is what you get when a family of nature-loving, material-object-collecting slobs lives in the same building for well over twenty years.


ack down the dark 40 miles of interstate and into Charlottesville, I found Deya mixing paint. We sat around drinking the last of yesterday's Mad Dog and discussing the things we need to do before we move out. This is the biggest move of my life. It's like totally overwhelming, man.

Speaking of "man," we were watching Pop Up Video on VH1, and it was showcasing Canadian videos from the 80s. Back then there was some kind of Canadian version of the "We Are the World" übergroup, you know, where a whole gas chamber's worth of celebrity musicians is herded into one room and made to sing a schmaltzy song that somehow raises money to feed people in whatever overpopulated African country happens to be plagued by starvation at the time. Übergroups would never happen in the 90s, now they'd be considered fake and excessive, but back in the 80s, no one had any taste and more was always better (except for me; I thought übergroups were ludicrous even then - the 90s came early for me, man). Well, back to the point, according to the Pop Up people, Neil Young was told his singing was "too flat." His response was, "That's my style, man." I found that hysterically funny. The use of the word "man" for punctuation is always funny, especially when you get to see it in print.


one year ago

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