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:
   actually kind of bored
Friday, July 24 1998

y Dad cooked up some kind of vegetarian patties for lunch. He eats lots of that sort of thing these days. I can proudly take most of the credit for changes in my Dad's dietary habits. I remember when he used to wonder whether vegetarians were killing themselves slowly with malnutrition. But over the years, I've introduced him to tofu, lentils, chicken of the woods, and Mad Cow Disease, and now he's a changed man. If only I could get him to like Pantera.

It occurred to me, though, that vegetarian patties have been with us for years, incubating slowly in white trash cuisine, poised all that time for a major assault on the mealtimes of the rich and trendy. Does anyone remember Hamburger Helper, that substance that supposedly helps one's hamburger? It was basically the same stuff that vegetable patties are made from, but Hamburger Helper was actually cheap.


t was quite a bit cooler and less humid today, but I was playing around in the stream a little again as an occasional mini-vacation from staring at the computer screen. I deployed an iron post (with a V-cross-section) as a micro-aqueduct leading from the dam to a little moss community growing on a boulder downstream. Moss seems to love the rain, so I figured, why not make the rain go on forever? I don't care how much sense this makes or whether this bounty is really good for the moss, I just love to make little structures that do cool things.

When I wasn't in the stream, I was in front of my mother's Macintosh, working on a website for which I will probably never receive any kind of recognition or compensation. It sure is nice being unemployed and figuring out ways to kill the day. Gus Mueller's Life Off, coming soon to a trendy espresso-bar-lined alterna-street near you.

I've actually been feeling occasionally bored these last few days. That's a very rare feeling for me. It means my work is done, it means I have no big projects in the air. It's akin to stagnation in politics, the sort that begs for revolution the moment the first economic crisis hits.


here exists, somewhere in America, a deep-discount supermarket chain called Target.
    I've never shopped in a Target and I know nothing about it except that some people jokingly pronounce it "Tar-dzay" to make it sound more classy. The only reason I'm bringing this up is because of the odd advertisements they've been running on the local rock station.
      I listen to the rock station whenever I'm dialing into the ISP from my mother's Macintosh.
        In a mysterious failure of multi-tasking, you see, the Mac can't play CDs (or do anything) when it's dialing. And it's running System 8.1, mind you.
      The rock station mostly plays crap like Aerosmith, Everclear, Semisonic, Van Halen, Stevie Rave On [yeah I know how to spell his name, but I sure do hate the Blues, even when the musician is dead!], and cutting-edge Metallica, but back when they played more Bush, Green Day, Offspring and the Goo Goo Dolls they were a lot cooler. Modern rock is increasingly coming to resemble a long-lost lunch bag of sushi.
    So anyway, the advertisements I'm discussing here are designed to sell people on the idea of applying for jobs at the vast new Target distribution center, which was built a few years back on prime Shenandoah Valley farmland. One of the ads goes something like this:

    voice one (a rough redneck voice): Hey man, where did you get that awesome new car? And that's a cool stereo too! Did you win the lottery?

    voice two (a guy with a generic accent): No, I got me a job down at Target distribution center. It's a cool place to work with great benefits. And I still have time to cruise around and show off my new stuff [a reference to the aforementioned consumer items that define his individuality].

    voice one: I'll have to go check that out!

    Another advertisement has the rough redneck-voiced guy saying "I'm tired of the days dragging by at work and always waiting around for quittin' time." His generic-accented friend then talks about working at Target, and how the day just flies by.

It's all exactly as surreal as I'm describing it. The ads are obviously local talent, since no widely-syndicated ad would be quite as insulting as this!

How many points did I touch on there?

chinese things

A thing that's chinese about Kim: Her initial attraction to me was evidently entirely physical. That's unusual for me.

A thing that's chinese about this time of year: Peaches! Yes, the tree out in front would have broken limbs were it not for the strings supporting them. This tree, and the one beside it, was seeded years ago by a pit tossed off the porch by a member of my family. The peaches are good, though many have wounds from being picked at by birds such as Blue Jays.

A thing that's chinese about tomorrow: I'll be going into Staunton to see a couple wood sculptures made by my mother for a class she's taking. No matter how good or bad they are, it will get me out of the Shaque.

A thing that's chinese about John Cougar Mellencamp: "What If I Came Knocking?" is a damn chinese song, if you ask me.

un-chinese things

The tired & bored has-been rockstar phenomenon: Every generation of rockers wears out earlier than the one before. What's wrong with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins? He sounds about as relevant these days as Phil Collins. We've entered the age of use once & toss-out celebrities. Who are these bands they're playing on modern rock radio? Where will they be tomorrow?

My lack of vodka: I'd really like to have a vodkatea tonight.

Bumbling insects slamming yourselves senseless against my computer monitor: Except there was no sense to begin with. Evolve or perish, I say. But then I break down and carry you to the door and toss you out into the night, letting in three of your chums in the process.

one year ago

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