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:
   a chaotic arctic sea
Sunday, December 6 1998
Kevin, the database administrator from work, came over in the afternoon as his first real break after something like two straight weeks of "challenges" with the priceless company database. It was an honour to be the preferred destination of vacation for someone who, judging just from the bags under his eyes, so obviously needed one.
We chatted and enjoyed libations in the warm serenity of the house. But one of the main reasons Kevin had come to Ocean Beach was to partake of some of the restorative rays of the sun, something he had seen very little over the recent challengesome period.
While Kim went off to yet another massage-related meeting, Kevin and I walked down to the beach.
I think Kevin had it in his mind that a Southern California Beach is always a delightful sunny place, where darkly-tanned, fully-formed giggling women chase beach balls past buff, blond dudes proudly walking around displaying their big, uh, surf boards. Unfortunately, Ocean Beach was nothing like this today. A cold wind was howling off the water, pushing little sand dunes along the beach. Beyond the protective wall of artificially-piled sand, the beach was steep and seemed to have been scooped away by the waves. They weren't very high today, but they were chaotic, intersecting at all manner of angles, tossing cold foam everywhere. It looked more like a beach in Greenland than one from the habitat of the Beach Boys. Kevin walked far out on a stony jetty looking for a "Kodak moment," but he found none. Owing to the miserable conditions, we only stayed a little while on the beach before heading home. Kevin found his Kodak target in the person of a majestic thick-trunked palm (a species I had been referring to as "Royal Palm"). We didn't settle into the sun that Kevin had been seeking until we got back to my place and drank our beers outside. The air was cool, but without the ocean winds the outdoors was perfectly comfortable.
Kim came home and Kevin decided to join us on a few errands. First we drove out to the place in Mission Valley where my CD Writer had been tested and allegedly proven itself worthy. We found ourselves standing around skeptically watching the wide-faced Chinese shopkeeper using my device to make copies. He wasn't having much success and he kept coming up with excuses for these failings, all stated in incomprehensible broken English. Kevin was absolutely disgusted and kept telling me to get my money back and not to shop at places where people don't speak English. He's a database administrator and demands a great deal of reliability from his equipment. But I'm more forgiving. I felt sorry for the Chinese shopkeeper. If the Writer could successfully write one CD, I'd agreed to accept it as okay. Eventually it did.
Next we found ourselves in Normal Heights settling some old accounts with Rita, our last landlord. Kim was dismayed by the bills Rita had waiting for us, several of which she didn't think it our duty to pay. The energy was tense, but everyone was so polite I didn't know what had been going on until after we left.
The landlord peaked through our window even when we thought all the drapes had been drawn; he's a nice guy & we aim to please, but we were freaked out all the same.
Kim decided that we simply must show Kevin our little Ocean Beach downtown, Newport Street. By now night had descended, the winds were howling stronger, and the temperatures had fallen into the forties. But Kim's from Detroit, and she wanted to go. Poor Kevin; he was dressed in shorts and it didn't take long before he was chilled to the bone. Kim's saying "I come from Detroit and this is nothing!" did nothing to make Kevin feel any warmer. Compounding our discomfort, Kim insisted on bringing Sophie the Miniature Schnauzer along, and that required that when we ordered food at Theo's, we had to eat it outside.
A distinguished-looking, well-spoken older middle-aged gentleman was sipping a Sam Adams at the table adjacent to ours in the outside patio, and Kim somehow got him talking about the nature of life and reality. The gentleman had an annoying excessively-literary way of speaking that I found irritating, but I had to agree with Kim later when she said he that he had probably been downplaying his fame and prestige. I can definitely understand a writer's deciding to hang out on Newport Street to look for inspiration and guidance about the human condition. For his part, Kevin looked to be completely bored in addition to being frozen stiff. In his head, he was probably still obsessing about the database and how badly it gets pounded every day, or, as he explains it (with pounding fist), "Insert, insert! Delete, delete!"
Ah, what a day.

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