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:
   pushing myself outward
Saturday, February 27 1999
Whatever. Slowly but surely, Kim and I are learning how to fight. Today we had the kind of fight we normally have, but it led to a positive resolution. I was acting in my usual evil fashion, not wanting her to distract me from my oh so important work, whatever it may be, and she was accepting her place at the margin of my life with unusually positive resignation. Then I involved her in a tour of my past online works, especially the gallery section of the Big Fun Gallery. I view at as one of my works of art, something to show anyone and everyone. I'd assumed she'd toured my site and seen it all, but she'd never seen this. She was impressed and depressed by it all. My old friends were so interesting, active and adventuresome. She was nothing in comparison. She suddenly felt inadequate. I must be terribly unhappy now without all those crazy distractions. We had a fight about it, the kind of fight she normally fears (and in this specific case definitely did fear) I'd write about. But then we resolved it. I explained that I simply don't have the time to blow on adventures like I did back when I was unemployed. I don't have time for anything anymore, and what time I do have Kim fills completely adequately. Kim's spirit seemed renewed by this argument. The day was even more beautiful than usual, if that's possible, and she went out and sunned herself.
Meanwhile I was fielding emails from Heather Bissel, who had apparently just obtained an AOL account for herself. Ah, Heather Bissel. I'll never forget the time she proposed to those of us in her clique, "the Sweet Faction," that the west stairwell of the South Hall dormitory at Oberlin College (where she was then living) should smell like an urban subway. She said that she'd developed the habit of urinating there and she suggested we do so as well as often as possible. Now, though, she's more subtle about her subversive antics. She's a letter carrier in New Jersey and has been dating a "well to do, funny, fat, Jewish momma's boy" for the past four years. She's also been stockpiling food in anticipation of Y2K.
In the evening, Kim was off rubbing bodies and I was at home mostly thrilling to the fact that I have ISP access from my computer and no longer have to carry floppy disks to Kim's machine just to update my website. I have a few doubts about my ISP, though. I wanted to get Kim an email address there, so I called them up and was put off for "20 minutes" by some bitchy-sounding female tech support person. I've had that job and know what a pain it is to answer phones on a Saturday, so it was no big deal. Over an hour later some dude on the next tech support shift called me, and he was trying to tell me I couldn't pick an email address that didn't have a number in it as well as a name. Sheez, where do they find these tech support people?
I almost did the easy thing, staying in and not going out. But what kind of pathetic loser am I becoming? I realized today that I put no special effort into friendships anymore; I suppose this is from a subconscious realization that the more friendships I have, the more obligations I seem to suffer. I've become as greedy with my time as I am with my money. I want it all.
But Scott from down the street had suggested I meet him down on Newport Street tonight; he'd be entertaining some chums from out of town and thought I might like to tag along. So I fixed myself a genuine screwdriver and headed out. As I passed the various jubilant sidewalk contingents, rocking parties and darkened houses, I realized I'd probably reflect on this night some future day if I should ever become a single man in California.
I found Scott and friends in Pacific Shores, hanging out in a booth. Both Scott and his wife Justin were there, as were a number of friends. Jenna the German girl from my complex was with them, actually wearing a blue dress and being a little less college-sweatshirt-and-hair-tie (you know the look; it's unnecessarily unglamourous). Scott's other friends included an extremely intoxicated aging skater dude melting hopefully into Jenna the German girl and a bawdy, friendly couple. The couple was comprised of a loud fat woman dressed in fishnets and her mustache-sporting bald husband. "We bald guys stick together," he proclaimed at one point, expressing unity with the bouncers of the town, adding, "Have you ever noticed that most bouncers are bald?" The wife (who'd been pressing her massive breasts into my shoulder the whole time I'd sat beside her in the booth) later asked me if I'd heard about Monica Lewinski's plastic surgery. "She got her love handles removed; they cut off her ears!"
We ended up back at Scott's place, where the two fourteen-year-old co-babysitters were just concluding a game of darts. They were spunky, outgoing girls, and seemed to delight in the fact that to all appearances, a party was descending. Their attitude definitely was a concern to Scott (and more particularly, his wife Justin), especially when it became clear that the girls had no intention of leaving. They were making up every excuse to stay and I could see that they had a lot of respect for Scott and Justin, especially their stylish wild side. In hopes of being allowed to sleep in the garage, they complained about the abuse they'd suffer at the hands of a quadruplegic parental figure. It didn't really fly, though. And soon after Scott took them home, the party dissolved. I went home and fell asleep.
Scott and Justin had a great collection of Legos for their kids. It was a ten year old set, but much more advanced than the Legos of my childhood. I haven't really had an up-close look at Legos for a good 20 years. In the meantime, they've sprouted wheels, handrails, and even shrubbery. I remember when the most specialized Legos you could get were the transparent blocks used to simulate windows on jets and buildings. When I was a kid you had to mentally cancel-out any extra "attachment nipples" (whatever they're called) and build every detail in a three-dimensional rasterized format. You don't have to do that quite so much any more.

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