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:
   Sally runs through Purebred Hill
Tuesday, July 24 2001
I adjusted my schedule today to accommodate the reality that I'm still mostly working with people on the West Coast. I went into work late and stayed late, working during the same span of time I would have been working had I never left Santa Monica. This cleared my morning schedule and allowed me to walk Sally with Gretchen in Prospect Park instead of playing sardine in a subway.
There's a part of the central Prospect Park field where a group of snooty purebred dog enthusiasts always gather and Gretchen refers to it as "Purebred Hill." Sure enough this morning they were all there, standing in a circle facing each other with their precious bundles of clipped and manicured genetic canine perfection. It was disgusting. Meanwhile Sally was off in the distance on one her own Prospect Park projects, checking her pee-mail, eating garbage, or something naughty of that nature. On a whim, just to see what the snooty Purebred Hill dog people would do, Gretchen called to Sally and she came running over, almost through the circle of upturned noses and perfect poodle pompadours. One of the Purebred Hill people felt the need to say something and it went like so, "Hello, hello hello! There's a ranger [indicating a beat-up old green four door pickup truck] and it's after 9!" True, it was after nine, the time after which all dogs must be leashed, but in the lawless city of New York the real time at which dogs must be leashed is when you look around and see you're the only one with an unleashed dog. Besides, this green truck didn't contain real rangers, just a park detail. "That's a construction crew, they don't give a shit!" Gretchen responded, in a deliberate act of foul-mouthed proletarianism, a sly cultural pie in the face of their poofy bourgeois ridiculousness.
Further down the trail Gretchen told me about all the tax-free money that can be made as a professional dog walker in New York. Then she told me about a local group of dog walkers who use mafia-like tactics to intimidate people, but not for the usual reasons. In one of their "hits" they caught a woman along a narrow path and verbally confronted her about why she wasn't being friendly anymore. She'd stopped being friendly after the dog walkers took her dogs on a few trial dog walks and then refused to walk them anymore.
It was hard to get much work done today because the phone lines were down, the email system was under continual assault from a virus, and suddenly the DNS servers had to be specified manually.
Meanwhile I'm picking up on the New York culture of getting all my food from push carts and corner pizza shops. I spent about eight dollars on three meals of food today, all of it prepared for me by random merchants. For breakfast it was a sesame seed bagel with a square of cream cheese, for lunch it was a thing of falafel, and for dinner it was a huge slice of pizza containing all sorts of things, including at least two different kinds of meat.

On the subway home I noticed that white people and black people tend to segregate themselves into clusters, often facing one another across the aisle. White people do not often take a seat on a subway bench occupied exclusively by blacks and black people do not often take a seat on a subway bench occupied exclusively by whites. In New York the races seem to segregate almost evenly into a white camp and black camp, much more so than in Los Angeles, where Asian and Hispanic groups seem to exclude themselves from whites and blacks nearly as much as whites and blacks exclude themselves from each other. Still, even given the self-segregation I saw this evening on the subway, the sheer proximity forces people to accept each other's humanity in a way that just doesn't happen in Los Angeles. Most Anglos in Los Angeles act as if they don't even notice the Hispanic component, as if the Hispanics are part of the essential inanimate machinery of the city. In New York you find yourself looking for 20 minutes at someone you'd never even glance at under the transportation paradigm of Los Angeles.
I'm still trying to figure out the protocols of human behavior on the subway. Do strangers interact with each other? Do they scoot over to let friends sit beside one another? Do strangers flirt with other strangers? Why not? You'll never see each other again and you have nothing else beautiful to look at until Grand Army Plaza.

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