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:
   better than making babies
Wednesday, July 1 1998

acky Jen ran across me in Cocke Hall and asked if I wanted to go to Ann Arbor Michigan for the Fourth of July with Krazy Thom and Catherine DeGood. It sounded like as much fun as anything else I could be doing, so I said sure. We leave early on either Thursday or Friday. Perhaps we can consider this stage one of my road trip, although I'll probably come back to Virginia before moving on. But who knows? Freedom, it's all about freedom.


n the way to Deya's place, I walked along Main Street past Hot Tomatoes pizza. At one of the circular tables, in the company of two wallet chain punk rock guys, sat Chaz, my nemesis. He said something to me, so we got to talking in that typical way that we do in these sorts of situations. He's got a certain steadily-maturing Eric Huffman charisma-of-intimidation about him, though in a way Chaz is a bit more subtle. When he talked to me, he put on a very superficial patina of friendliness, the kind where insults are delivered with the expectation that they will be ignored. And, playing my role in this encounter, I cheerfully ignored them. He asked if I was still writing, and I said I was. He said he'd been reading my site during summer school at Albemarle County High School, but that it was kind of tricky to find. Not wanting him to miss out on the fun, I offered him one of my new musings promotional flyers, hot off the press. I had over sixty with me after all.

Strangely enough, every time I talk to Chaz, I find myself hating him incrementally less. Today, for example, despite his antagonistic aura, I had the feeling that he wasn't my first choice for an enemy, even if he might be my last choice for a friend.


ack at Deya's place, Wacky Jen had her car jacked up and was taking a tire off and replacing it with the "donut." The tire she was removing was one she'd stolen recently to replace an old dangerously bald one. It seems that Jen has been experiencing pangs of guilt since stealing the good tire, and today had resolved to return it to its rightful owner. The plan is to sneak out tonight under the cover of darkness and do the grand switcheroo and reclaim her old tire. I really don't understand why she's going through all this trouble to repay her karmic debt, especially in view of the fact that (according to Jen's surveillance) the victim has already replaced the ratty old tire she'd installed on his car. I know how the fates work, and it seems just a little too likely that Jen will get caught in the act of returning the stolen tire to its rightful owner.

Jen and I sat up on the balcony, sipping Mickeys Big Mouths, talking, and cutting the fringes for my musings promotional flyers. We were mostly discussing my musings, why I do them, how I came to do them, and why they're so important to me. Analyzing the situation, it didn't seem to make much sense; there didn't seem to be any objective reason to put all this effort into putting my life online. True, it's a way for me to deliver my creative products to the World, but beyond that I finally had to admit that it's what gives me satisfaction in my life right now, and that's what's important. This is sort of a pathetic admission, especially after having just read some disturbingly insightful paragraphs over at Wendeee's site. Perhaps I'm crippled in lots of ways by this creative pursuit I've been following, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is what I want to do.

Reflecting on this somewhat later, after Wacky Jen had left for a bartender shift at the Tokyo Rose and as I approached Olssen Hall on bike (having gone on a nostalgic run to the Old Dominion Fried Chicken place), I realized something much bigger. We humans have lots of ways to spread information. We can do it in the ancient time-honoured fashion, that is, by reproducing. Certainly that particular method is never far from my mind, at least the basic activities that lead to that kind of information dispersal. And evidently most humans (as well as all other life on Earth) are content to stick with spreading only that sort of information. But with us humans and the multi-level informational infrastructure we've created, there are more options available than expanding our fraction of the global reserve of nuclear DNA. We can paint pictures, build sculptures, and write books, poetry, web pages, software, and music, all things that have the potential to enter the minds (and now machines) of entities near and far and cause them to share, in some way, our experience. Why do I like the web? Because it allows me to spread every possible form of my creative voice to all who wish to accept it.


  hung out with Deya back at her place in the evening. We watched a little teevee, mostly one of those ABC evening news magazines. Tonight's show was all about the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners in China and the girls in Hispanic LA street gangs. What I couldn't get over was the fact that China had enough people committing serious crimes to execute as many as 43 on a single day at a single prison. I know China is a big country, but from the sound of things, you'd think there was an unstoppable crime wave sweeping the country. It just goes to show how human life gets devalued in conditions of severe overpopulation. People start looking at the heads of their neighbors and thinking about useful household applications for human skulls.

Franz and Elizabeth came over and helped us watch part of MTV's Loveline, the show where people call up and ask panelists about their sex problems. The panel consists of a straight-laced, logical grey haired man with a medical degree, a goofy curly haired guy who likes to say humourous, shocking things, and, for the ladies' perspective, a tidy well-postured woman who always seems to be disturbed by everything said by the goofy curly haired guy. Somewhere in the show, a celebrity inevitably joins the panel, but we didn't watch it that long. Then Elizabeth felt compelled to give a sardonic cultural critique, pointing out that all the problems faced by women callers were "sexy" and the men usually complained from a position of power and boredom, playing right into the fantasies of the demographic group obviously being targeted by MTV's advertisers.

When we weren't critiquing television, we four sipped from two bottles of beer Elizabeth had brought. They were "Hop Pocket Ale" or some such, and their grapefruity flavour reminded me of the Dremo Sasquatch I'd had at the Bardo.

It seems that Franz and Elizabeth are also going on the upcoming road trip to Michigan, and Deya wants to go as well. While we were trying to figure out logistics, Wacky Jen arrived and added what she knew and told us what her schedule looked like. Since I had to get some things from the Shaque before the trip, I decided it best to head back towards Staunton right then.

And so here I am, in the Shaque. The evening is actually rather cool and all these fans blowing on me are not especially comfortable.

one year ago

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