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:
   a slice of privacy
Friday, November 26 1999
Without the weight of unfinished work interfering with my ability to enjoy the day, for a time I actually felt kind of bored. I think it was actually this boredom that lay at the root of the fight I'd had with Kim last night. Boredom is, after all, your mind's way of pushing you to take on more challenges and step into the unknown. One time-tested way to achieve that is to ditch your girlfriend.
Today Kim was off at work and I was alone with Sophie and this boredom. So I did the stuff I like to do these days, writing code. I wrote an encryption scheme that allows me to convert an integer value into a string of meaningless lower case ASCII letters. Since one of the keys is generated randomly and sent out along with the other letters, the sequence is completely patternless and can vary enormously for any particular integer. Thus "majhixeqhr," "kcjfkzhvju" and "cijxqtmsdz" all represent the integer 25879 (the third "j" which you see in all three of these sequences is the checksum of the pre-encrypted number; I don't know if this gives away too much information or not). I plan to use these algorithms to encrypt invitation IDs for an E-card system (among other things). The idea is to keep people from changing the IDs in an e-mailed URL. I don't know how private these E-cards are going to get.
In the evening, Kim came home and things were back to normal between us, so we decided to go out and have some "fun." Scott, the sales guy from work, had left a message on our answering machine asking what we were up to. Since Kim's co-worker Renee had left a similar communication, we decided to bring them both together, as we did some months ago, before the death of Renee's father interrupted the course of events.
Kim and I met Renee in the bar-room of our new favourite restaurant, Galoka in La Jolla. It was empty as usual. We wondered if perhaps part of the problem was the fact that the place is so darkly-lit that it always looks closed from the outside.
Things were good again with Ten Crows, though a few of his short comings started manifesting early into our experience at the bar. It turns out that Ten Crows doesn't have that much experience as a bar tender. His job experience lies more in the field of night club management, and he was evidently only there at this stage to drive the atmosphere. Ten Crows was fine when it came to serving beers, but he had difficulty fixing a cocktail for Renee or Kim that they could actually drink.
Then there was the little issue of Renee's tendency to be unnecessarily condescending, talking about Two Crows in a loud conversational voice the moment he turned his back.
Between us we split a few dishes of food and when time came to pay, the bill was only $48. They really like us at Galoka. They know that at this phase they're running at a loss and it's more important to get good word of mouth than to raise revenue. To Galoka, we're part of the marketing team.
We continued on to Scott's place, the earthy Frank Lloyd Wrightesque house overlooking the restless Pacific on Gravilla. Scott was hanging out with another of our co-workers, Nickelle and a couple of her male friends from back in Wisconsin. Charged with the dubious task of drumming up traffic for the E-commerce section of the site, Nickelle has been something of a slave driver for me of late, but I still think she's a cool chick. She looks a little like Ally McBeal.
Nickelle and friends were all intent on heading downtown to the Gas Lamp District for a drinking & dancing adventure, but you know what Kim and I think of that place. We tried to interest them in coming with us to Galoka, but, with the exception of Scott, their minds were set.
We didn't go anywhere immediately, however. We sat around drinking White Russians and shooting the shit about this and that.
Back at Galoka, it was dark and empty as ever. The male owner was behind a drum kit half-heartedly keeping a rhythm while Ten Crows was stretched out on three bar stools taking a nap. The place badly needed some energy.
Ten minutes later, everyone was dancing. The DJ who'd been scheduled to spin tonight came out from wherever he'd been hiding, as did the rest of the staff. Even Ten Crows was still good for some dancing. The second bill of the evening was only $24.
We all drove down to Ocean Beach to hang out at our place [REDACTED] each other. Scott ended up crashing on our couch.

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