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:
   drop of precious oil
Sunday, January 21 2001
I've been having another frustrating day with my music recording. Now my big problem appears to be latency. I can't seem to record anything with synchronized tracks using my digital studio software. One track always tends to wander away from the others in a completely unacceptable (that is, noticeable) way. I tried going back to recording on my four track, but by then my creative juices had run as low as my housemate's serotonin.
There's only one consolation: using Napster and the wonders of search engine technology, I've managed to track down an obscure Guided By Voices tune I remember so fondly from a mix tape I'd made myself off the radio (WXJM, JMU College Radio) back in early 1995. The tape was lost long ago and I only remembered the song from a haunting fragment of lyrics which went "...a drop of precious oil in the all-gone machine." So yesterday I did a web search for that fragment, but I found nothing until I tried Google, where I tracked down a page containing the largely-guessed lyrics for an old GBV album called Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia (1989). The lyrics that interested me belonged, it turned out, to a song called "Trampoline." But it must be obscure because it didn't turn up on Napster until after several searches this morning. And for some reason whoever had compiled the lyrics couldn't figure out that the sort of machine for which the "drop of precious oil" was lyrically intended was "the all-gone machine." Anyway, now I have my song and I'm reasonably happy. What is that "all-gone machine" anyway? A car? An airplane? A train? A time machine? A syringe? A shotgun?

Now I'm going to say something about this thing that's going on between my housemate John and his jogging-buddy-cum-bedmate Chun. Whatever is going on, it's not healthy I tell you. At first I was sort of encouraging it, mostly because it seemed like Chun wanted it and John's justifications for it not happening were ill-founded. But now my opinion is undergoing something of a metamorphosis. For starters, there's this thing with wildly outlandish ecstasy consumption. What John and Chun did Friday night is up there with the worst excesses of Matthew Hart and Morgan Anarchy. As a rational, thinking adult, it can't help but cause me a certain amount of concern. At the very least, it's made the whole ecstasy taking thing seem considerably less attractive. But what could be the reason for such excesses? Could it have something to do with John's reluctance to enter this relationship? Remember, on some fundamental level, he is icked-out by the fact that Chun used to date his older brother. Ecstasy is all about achieving empathy and acceptance. If it had more of a lasting effect, it would be the duct tape and bubble gum holding together all the mismatched personalities of society. It would be the drop of precious oil in the squeaky machinery of community. The bleak empty sidewalks of West Los Angeles would blossom into an Athenian bathhouse of social interaction and intellectual intrigue.
Every time I took ecstasy with Bathtubgirl our relationship suddenly seemed worthwhile. I could look into her eyes for hours and there was a soulmate looking right back at me.
Then there are the gradual changes I see this relationship bringing to John's habits and behaviors. Chun is a fancy girl; she's the sort who reflexively orders the most expensive dish on a menu and then eats only half. John, as any long-term reader knows, has frugal impulses every bit as strong as my own. Yet now I see he's buying half-gallon cartons of name-brand pink grapefruit juice instead of gallon jugs of the sour cut-rate Smart & Final equivalent he and I have traditionally bought.

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