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:
Wednesday, September 4 2002

For some reason the weather today was so beautiful it seemed intoxicating. I was out on the street and there was this oddly perfect mixture of sun, shade, heat, humidity, and breeze. I actually felt more of a connection with random people on the street simply because the weather was so perfect. Perhaps when conditions outside our body approach a certain set of parameters, our individuality breaks down and we dissolve temporarily back into Gaia, or whatever its Hindu/Buddhist/Marxist/Biological/Cosmic equivalents might be. (There probably are no Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Mormon equivalents of Gaia, since those religions have always stressed humanity's transcendence of nature.)

This new job I have, such as it is, isn't always the happiest job in the world. Today, for example, I was over at a woman's house for an hour trying to get her CDROM and modem to work, but I accomplished nothing more than diagnosing her CDROM drive as defective. Having achieved so little, I felt like a chump as she wrote me a check. The defects in my people skills are strange. On the one hand, I despise the superficiality of professional behavior and protocol. And on the other I have powerful empathy with my customers. I sympathize with them when I haven't come to their rescue, when my visit has been little more for them than just another wad of money flushed down the toilet. I'm nothing like those West LA assholes who kept not-quite-fixing Bathtubgirl's Volvo's brakes for $800 a pop. Perhaps one has to be "in the business" for a certain amount of time before one comes to think that the customers are all idiots and that the "product" is refined shit.

Gretchen has been baking a several different wedding cakes for Ray and Nancy's wedding, which will be happening upstate this weekend (yes, we're going). My involvement in this wedding has been about as minimal as you'd expect, though this evening I got cracking on my assignment: to build "bride and groom" sculptures to stick into the tops of the cakes. What with my recent experience not-quite-building 2.4 GHz antennas, I decided to go the metallurgical route. Using heavy gauge copper wire and segments of copper tubing originally intended for use in 2.4 GHz antennas, I soldered together a combination of the symbols of Mars and Venus, a rather abstract representation of a bride and a groom. In an effort to unify its coloring, I initiated a round of electroplating using the melted zinc cores of modern pennies as my plating metal. This worked amazingly well, far better than my many attempts to plate steel with copper. By nightfall the sculpture was noticeably grey from accumulated zinc.

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