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

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Like my brownhouse:
   some good luck
Tuesday, April 10 2001
I don't know how clear I've made this, but I've been pretty marginal financially for the past eight months or so. All my woes ultimately grow out of the purchase of my expensive condo in West LA. As you probably recall, I bought it about a year ago with my then-girlfriend Bathtubgirl and she and her mother raised slightly more than half of the necessary funds. When Bathtubgirl and I eventually broke up (August, 2000), I had to begin paying back both her and her mother. And when I didn't pay them back fast enough, I had to transfer the debt I owed them to credit cards. The amount of debt that I now carry on credit cards would be devastating were it not for the fact that I keep getting introductory offers from Platinum Card companies. Responding to these offers has allowed me to transfer multi-thousand dollar balances wholesale and pay low interest rates (two or three percent) for as long as eight months afterwards.
Sometime this month, the introductory rate of both my Citibank Platinum Card and Discover Platinum Card were scheduled to end, and this would have immediately jacked about four thousand dollars worth of debt into the evil 21 percent interest bracket. So, just before leaving for New York, I applied last-minute for a Chase Manhattan Platinum Card, hoping to bounce the debt into a low interest place for another eight months or so. But when I returned from my vacation, it seemed the card hadn't taken on my old debt. Perhaps I'd been rejected, even though I had supposedly been pre-approved. It's happened before.
This afternoon I had my taxes done at the H & R Block up on Wilshire, and when all was said and done I had a multi-thousand dollar refund coming my way (owing largely to the substantial deduction I got for interest paid on my mortgage). I'd expected a refund, but I'd had no idea how big it was going to be. The refund alone was all set to solve my financial woes, but then I went to check my Discover Card balances and low and behold, I had credits on them (over $1000 for the Citibank Platinum Card). Chase Manhattan had evidently come through after all!
It was such an embarrassment of good financial tidings (especially against the backdrop of internet bust and Bush Recession II) that this evening I decided to go shopping.
Actually, it didn't start out that way, but it was sort of unavoidable once I came down from my bath and started putting on my shoes and jacket in front of an especially bored-looking housemate John. When I said I was going to Ralphs, he said he'd come along to if that was okay. What was I supposed to do, say no it wasn't okay? I think John mostly just wanted to check out the hotties we reliably see there.
Thus what would have probably just been a mission to pick up some bread at the grocery store and some other items in the SavOn turned into a showy impulse-buy-fueled adventure. We trawled all the aisles, tossing anything we remotely needed into our baskets. Most of these things were practical (a new Brita filter, sponges, yet another power strip, bread, tomatoes, avocados), but some were not (Knob Creek Whiskey, an expensive bottle of blue-colored gin, a bottle of some sort of expensive alternative to spicey V8 Juice). I told John to get whatever he wanted (except Heinz Green Ketchup - I hate that stuff), that this mission was all about impulse purchasing. The total at the checkout counter came to 111 dollars. I've never spent that much at a grocery store and still been able to carry it out on foot.
Later Fernando came over and we all went out for Fish Tacos at the nearby Rubios. John and I always ask for the water glass and then take softdrinks instead. Tonight as we sat around with our water glasses full of different-colored beverages, I observed that Los Angeles really needs to start doing something about the quality of its water supply.

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