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:
   ra ra ree
Tuesday, February 9 1999
The weekly company meeting was this morning, as usual for a Tuesday. Such meetings have the possibility to be uplifting, even for a jaded, cynical non-Capitalist such as myself. True, the principle theme of every meeting is the rapid seizing of market share and the many dollars we stand to earn should our stock options not prove worthless. In addition to my long life's experience, it's partly this company that contributes to my cynicism. The primary duty of the "team coaches," you see, seems to be the making and breaking of promises. There was no bonus for our weekends and long nights of work. Projects are never delivered when promised simply because we don't have the appropriate tools. And many have been the times I've heard the Grand Pooh Bah promise some sort of dispensation only to later see him fail to deliver. Surprisingly, though, I think I'm one of the few in the company who isn't counting on being rich after the Initial Public Offering (IPO), whenever that is.
The thing that instantly cancels any uplift I might feel at a company meeting is the cheer. Yes. Of late, our company has revived its cheer, and we as a group are made (like students at a rural public high school) to say it in unison at the conclusion of every meeting. Usually the call for a cheer is made by none other than Karen the over-involved member support girl, who usually leads the meetings. We stand in a circle in the central meeting room, put our hands together and shout the cheer. Some people know it all by heart, and others, such as me, can only nod our heads to the beat so as not to be ostracized for not participating. Since the number of our employees has swollen so much of late, some of us are forced to form a second ring around the inner circle and place our hands on the backs of those in front of us to connect to the "spirit of the moment." I have never been one to play along with the crowd, and humiliations such as this will probably be the thing that sends me fleeing this company some day. I find group cheers to be frighteningly fascistic and destructive of both individuality and creative impulses. Furthermore, they are anti-æsthetic. Believe it or not, our cheer contains the phrases "Ra-ra-ree!" and "Make some mon-ey!" I'm not shitting you. If you've read my journal for very long, you know what torture this must be to me.
In other things, I've been getting more negative feedback to the overall direction of my life, a definite risk when one publishes his life online, has a large readership, experiences a change of life, and continues to write. Here's some of the more interesting bits of back and forth that recently occurred on my mailing list (which has more of a potential to be a free-for-all these days):

You turned into boring guy. It was a hoot reading about your life in Charlottesville. I read your journal because your life was different than mine. You're just like everybody else now. Living with a girl who drives you crazy, 9 to 5 job. Have you joined the Elks yet?

Dude--what happened to your cross-country trip?


yup, that is some fairly pathologic jealousy. you could find yourself limbless one day, chained up in a closet for safe-keeping.

we lived through an unpleasant, irrational jealousy episode once, long ago, but it happened when we were living in two different cities and for whatever reason my best friend in DC happened to be female. not quite the same as just talking at a party. nowadays we find it hugely amusing to watch each other be hit on, though with the passage of time this happens increasingly less often, which is depressing.

on the subject of SO vs. journal, I was going to suggest you peruse and pass along this

and also

wherein you'll find the useful comment

"But I have made my peace with the fact that the character 'Annette' in Scott's journal is not necessarily identical with me. She is a foil for humorous comments or, occasionally, a vehicle for injecting self-deprecation. She points out his faults and has many of her own. She allows him to project feelings of warmth and humanity, but also selfishness, pettiness, and ego."

personally, I don't think you've been unusually mean or nasty or unpleasant to the old battle-axe. look what Dave Van gets away with.

good luck, however



gus, the challenge is to remain interesting now that you share the same handicaps as the rest of us. any half-literate leading a thrill-a-minute, happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care bohemian existence can write an interesting journal. but if you can keep us awake when you're just another cog in the corporate machine, well, that's an accomplishment.


I just don't understand that attitude that some people have [like the Lowdown]. I think they must not read your journal very closely, or only skim it to see the barest outline of events. Your life may be a little more ordinary at the moment than it was, but the whole trajectory of your life is still interesting.

Besides, the way you think is just as extraordinary as ever, and your comments on daily life are just as acute. I dunno. Good riddance to stupid readers.


I came upon a fierce storm on the bike ride home from work. The weather was perfectly nice in Mission Valley, but halfway between the mouth of Mission Valley and the Pacific Ocean, rain started coming down in torrents and a terrible headwind fought my progress. Before long I was drenched. Interestingly, after my clothes were completely soaked I felt like I was drowning, even though I could breathe without difficulty. I read somewhere once that skydivers don't need to breathe during free fall since they absorb all the oxygen they need from fast-flowing air passing over their skin. Since a cyclist also has fast-flowing air passing over his skin, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that an important fraction of a cyclist's oxygen also comes through his skin. When a cyclist gets wet, obviously that source of oxygen is cut off, thus, possibly, the sensation of drowning.
By the time I made it home, the rain was over. I took a hot bath and drank some vodkatea.
Kim and I had another in our long series of fights tonight. She accused me of being mean, nasty and unloving when I was in a cranky mood and needed time to write. I was kind of abrupt with her, true, but as she pointed out, I set high standards for myself and I push myself far too hard. Later we discussed our relationship in more detail and I told her that we fight more than I've ever fought in any relationship. I attributed our continual animosity to the great differences in our personalities and interests. I also said that it's unfortunate that people cannot change their personalities much and it's sad that we will probably always have lots of fights. She was incredulous about this remark, claiming it was a cop-out. But when I pointed out that neither of us has changed much in the seven months we've known each other, she didn't disagree. Somehow we ended the evening on an amiable note.

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