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:
   database cancer
Friday, March 19 1999
Cancer in the database (as Kevin the DBA described it) caused all manner of trouble today, including 2 hours of downtime while the Grand Pooh Bah was trying to show off the site to a group of stuffy investors.
Eventually Kevin managed to extract and destroy the heart of the database cancer, but traces of the roots remained, and these managed to grow into other cancers and metastasize into all sorts of bad places, causing strange and unexpected symptoms. For example, unbeknownst to anyone, it was impossible for a potential user to register a new account on our site for several hours. As databases and computers become increasingly fast and encompass ever-vaster tracts of memory and disk space, they begin to manifest some of the unpredictable and even intelligent behaviour of organisms. They get sick, they spontaneously recover, and sometimes they even die. They need to be carefully groomed and given enormous amounts of attention by a human who understands them intimately. As Kevin has pointed out, the database gradually comes to "grow" on the person administering it. The administrator becomes an intimate component of the machine.

The chaos from the database "challenges" wasn't nearly as rough on me as it was on Kevin; I was just thankful that the power stayed on. You see, the ever-growing numbers of our machines has begun overloading the circuits and flipping circuit breakers, often forcing me to go on sub-table expeditions trying to find workable routes to live outlets. You see, I cannot stand being idle when I'm at work. There's just too much in need of doing.

I managed to sneak out of work before the sun had set for the first time since daylight savings time ended. The ride back to Ocean Beach is an entirely different experience in the full light of day; I felt like a little like I had traveled back to some place I knew as a child. Things I knew intimately were still there, but had been strangely altered.

There was a little emotional chill between Kim and me in the evening as we went to get some Mexican food to go down on Newport Street. She'd been reading my journal again; you'd think she'd know better. Her feedback is uniformly negative, so I'd rather not hear it. Just for once, I'd like her to bring up something that I'd written that doesn't relate to her.
The dark-turquoise post-sunset sky glowing between the tall Newport Street palms was so gorgeous it looked like a painted set, especially with the sliver-like crescent moon and other assorted celestial junk presently in or near Aries. I heard little snatches of conversations as people walked past, for example, "...she has a lava lamp, but she's the kind who would have never have had a lava lamp back in the 70s..."

Kim, always excited to play Cupid, had arranged for tonight a double date that included Kevin (the DBA from my workplace) and Jenna (the German girl who lives in our small courtyard community). Kim and I have long viewed them as a possible close match; they're both obsessive clean freaks, conservative, appearance-sensitive, judgemental, and sexually overselective. Kevin is also a little taller than Jenna's 70.5 inches, which is an important consideration; Jenna does not like short guys (or guys who chew their nails, smoke cigarettes or lots of other things).
Soon after the two prospective lovemates arrived at our apartment, they were both happily discussing their diet plans. Jenna is on the "no carbohydrate" diet, a fad diet that's been sweeping Southern California. The principle is that if you can keep glucose out of your blood stream, you'll be forced to burn the fat in your body. This means that though the diet forbids bread, pasta, some cheese, anything made with potatoes, beer, wine, fruits, vegetables, it allows such unhealthy foods as bacon, eggs, steaks marbled with fat, and anything made exclusively from dead animals. Co-incidentally, Kevin was just about to go on the no-carbohydrate himself (having seen the Director of Web Development, also recently on the diet, chowing down on a big plate of bacon one morning and still losing weight). They compared notes and talked about personal exceptions they'd made (Jenna: fruit) or wouldn't be making (Kevin) to the diet's stringent rules. Though the diet allows dieters to eat as much meat as they choose, it's not an especially comfortable diet. For the first day of the diet, the low-blood-glucose condition makes the dieter irritable and sleepy. I'm sure it also lowers the dieter's IQ; the brain needs its glucose. Mind you, neither Kevin nor Jenna is in any sense overweight. Kevin is always talking about his gut, but I've never really noticed it. As for Jenna, the diet appears to be feeding her psychological need to "control" things, something for which her job as a flight attendant provides few opportunities. She also admitted to having a "prisoner fetish." Kevin's had two tales of spending weekends in jail after being involved in bar-room fights (in which he felt the need to defend the honours of a lady friends). You can take the boy out of the South but you just can't take the South out of the boy. You can also take the girl out of Germany but you can't necessarily take the Germany out of the girl. At one point in the conversation she rhetorically asked with disgust, "Do you know we're still paying the Jews for the Holocaust?"
We watched the movie Studio 54 about the famous New York nightclub where the rich and famous used to mingle with carefully-selected nobodies beyond a well-guarded velvet rope. That was back in the age of disco, before the IRS cracked down on the place and ushered in the 80s.
The movie put us in the mood for our evening diversion. In downtown San Diego we went to a huge night club known as Club Montage. I thought the scene was going to be fairly gay, but it wasn't. It was, however, a Sodom & Gomorrah of Biblical proportions. On all the many bars were 2 inch pads of papers and little eraserless pencils so people could collect phone numbers.
I was rather drunk by this point and was feeling (in my usual socially selfish way) that Kim was being just a bit too much of a burden. It wasn't so much that I wanted to pick up chicks, mind you, but I didn't feel like being part of a couple in such an environment was the best way to experience it. I must be looking older because the unknown girl who seemed most interested in me asked if I was one of the DJs and insisted I must be even after I said I wasn't. DJ is a position of power in a nightclub, and power is always related to age. Remember that when Kim first introduced herself to me, she did so by asking if I was "doing sound" at an outdoor concert.
Eventually the shit went down between Kim and me. I rudely told her to stay the fuck away from me and leave me the hell alone. It was an outrageous request, of course, but I was an insensitive drunk and wanted to surf the social scene without her. She was infuriated, naturally, and refused to give me any peace. It wasn't like I could get away from her, so I abandoned my solitary desires and said I just wanted to go home. We went outside and hailed a cab, leaving Jenna and Kevin behind without saying goodbye.
The fight continued once we made it home. I tried to go to sleep on the massage table in the computer room, but Kim would have absolutely none of that. She threw herself upon me and punched me several times until I found myself upon the floor. If I actually wanted to sleep at all tonight, it was clear I'd have to do it with Kim. I've slept with Kim every single night beginning August 4th, 1998.

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