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:
Tuesday, January 5 1999
In the evening, after the company meeting, we all put our hands together and gave the company cheer, which is exactly as dunderheaded and cringe-inducing as anything a junior varsity football team might say before the big game. It was a call to success in the coming year, the last year before Y2K takes it all away. Part of the cheer is the meaningless series of syllables "Ra-ra-ree." If anyone told me six months ago I'd be party to such a repulsive display, I would have been quick to retort.
Meanwhile, back at home, Kim has been researching the possibility of us moving to the 2 bedroom apartment immediately next door, which becomes available early next month. Doing so would give us more room to pursue our careers: her massage, my computer crap. Today she was outside when she encountered a well-dressed gentleman contemplating the sign put out by the landlord for the place next door. He was disappointed to learn it was a two bedroom place, but then Kim told him of our possible plan, which would open up our present one bedroom apartment. He was interested, so she gave him a tour. But soon she was regretting the whole thing. The guy was, as Kim said, a "Schteve." A Schteve is a sexually frustrated man with no social skills: a Daniel R. Reitman, a loser, a dork. It's a word invented by one of Kim's friends after having met a real person named Steve. I can see him in my mind, tall, dark hair, saying the most inappropriate things. It's a little bit of me in that guy, you know, but without that grey stone holding him down, keeping him from sneaking out from beneath the door, that stone bumping down his shoulders.
Ludmilla the Brazilian girl came over for dinner. Most of what I enjoy doing with her is instructing her on the finer points of English. She speaks it about as badly as anyone I have ever befriended. She still kisses us on both cheeks as she bids us goodbye.
VH1 did a wonderfully interesting documentary tonight on the musicians from the disco era, asking question us 30-somethings all want to know the answer to: "Where are they now?" A fair number were still performing small shows or working as actors and actresses in movies. In the 90s, the Commodores, who once filled stadiums, are playing Bar Mitzvahs for a mere $45,000. The strangest thing about this show was the fact that, during the modern-day interviews of the musicians involved, one could quietly hear Modern Rock playing in the background, dubbed in over the vocals almost subliminally. Pearl Jam, Beck, U2, you name it. It seemed to me like a deliberate attempt to make these musicians seem "cool" in a 90s kind of way, as if disco was making some kind of massive comeback. In thinking about the fates of these people, I realized that the anti-disco backlash of the early 80s was probably pretty hard on their dignities. That disco is finally experiencing a bit of a nostalgic reanalysis (as exemplified by tonight's show) is probably an impatiently-awaited satisfaction. Amusingly, at the end of the show, a series of sound bites were aired in which all the big disco stars denied that they were every really "disco."
To my marijuana-affected ear, one of the songs tonight sounded like this:

These are such good times!
Good times!
These are such good times!

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next