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:
   stores versus dumpsters
Sunday, February 28 1999
I took the PCMCIA card reader back to Fry's, this time traveling alone in Kim's Volvo. Since I was alone, I could walk around and look at things leisurely. I loved being able to look at gadgets without having to shoo off excited sales associates or have to go be somewhere soon. I ended up buying 64 Megs of SDRAM, an impulsive move by any definition. I had some time to kill with the customer service lady while we waited for things to arrive at the counter. She was black and unusually friendly. She wasn't attractive, but I found her engaging, mostly because I sympathized with her plight. Her days are long and dull, and often as she stares out at the racks and racks of candy and snack foods that line the customer aisles, she gets hungry. Yet she's forbidden to eat on the job. She said that the more customers she gets, the faster time flies. Her attitude seemed to pervade the place. She's a cog and the machine and she knows it. I'm so glad I don't have a job like that. I may be a cog in the machine, but my ten hour days pass effortlessly and (though I shudder to admit this) I often look forward to Monday and the tackling of projects left over from Friday.

When I got home, I immediately tore my computer apart and plugged in the new 64 Meg DIMM of RAM, all anti-static precautions bedamned. And when I started it up, it claimed a RAM failure. As often as I've worked with PCs, I've almost never encountered a RAM failure, and the times I did, the failure had nothing to do with the RAM itself. In this case, however, nothing I did would make the RAM test out okay. Believe it or not, I had a dud DIMM! It seems I've become cursed in some way; I cannot buy new electronic things that aren't defective. It's terribly demoralizing and doesn't give me much confidence in the manufacturing, especially in the orient where all these defective gadgets are made.
It was another glorious day, and though we probably should have done something interesting like go out to the desert, or even just walk three blocks down to the beach, Kim and I elected instead to sit on a Mexican blanket in the front lawn sipping cocktails, watching the non-Obecians trying to park on the spaceless streets so they could partake of our lovely beach.
Earlier today I'd noticed a motorized treadmill in the dumpster for the adjacent apartment complex. It had a huge 1.5 horsepower DC electric motor in it, and I wanted it, if only for the large permanent magnet (should it prove nonfunctional). After repeated trips to my toolbox, I eventually extracted the thing. When I hooked it up and gave it some juice (using its own controller circuitry), it sprung to life with incredible macho strength. Beeeeeerrrrrrrawwwwwwwwrrrr! The only thing that seemed to be wrong with it was that the speed-control potentiometer had become flaky with age. But that's just a $1 part. I figure I can use this powerful motor to build a centrifuge (or perhaps an electric-powered bicycle). Isn't it amusing that the equipment I find in dumpsters generally works more reliably than the stuff I buy new at stores?
Meanwhile Kim was chatting semi-drunkenly with one of the lesser-known nice neighbor boys of our complex. This neighbor boy has a huge iguana, which he decided to bring outside, cage and all, to enjoy the sunshine. Sophie the Schnauzer took one look at that primitive beast and froze in what looked to be fascinated terror. Up until this point she hadn't been aware that such creatures lay within the realm of possibility. Dogs can't read books, so there will always be things that lie completely outside their universe of understanding. She began to moan and whine, and as her courage grew, she started barking as well. Before long she had her paws up on the cage while the lizard looked on in irritation, occasionally snapping his long whiplike tail powerfully against the cage, in close proximity to Sophie's face. The iguana lost the tip of his tail a while ago and it still hasn't healed. Eventually all the snapping made the tail start to bleed cold red reptilian blood, urged along by an inefficient three-chambered heart.

Yet another observation from rock and roll radio: isn't it an injustice that no one can understand the wonderful lyrics of Pearl Jam songs, yet Creed, a Pearl Jam rip-off band, enunciate their pathetic lyrics comprehensibly?

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