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:
   fun with pure oxygen
Friday, September 27 2002

When I took Sally for a walk this morning, she did her usual sniffing and peeing, as well as several instances of unsuccessful prey pursuits. I was thinking about the behavior of dogs visa-vis their urine, and again I was reminded of email. This thought first occurred to me four years ago when I was walking Sophie, but since then I've had time to reflect on ideas like "art," "creativity," "permanence," and "meaning." Maybe a dog's message in urine is no less permanent, in the grand scheme of things, than email, than art, than any other lousy meme. Perhaps a dog's interest in reading and writing in a virtual world comprised of chemical messages is no more or less pathological than what I am doing right now. It's a depressing thought, but as with most depressing thoughts, its ability to bring me down is as temporary as a cigarette.

Today Gretchen had her IUD put in for real. Since the doctor had experienced trouble before, this time she scheduled a full operating room visit at the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn Heights. I was in the hospital for the entire seven hour process, most of which was spent waiting for Gretchen to recover from the general anesthesia.
I'd brought Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle to pass the time in the waiting room. During the hours I was there, I managed to read nearly half of it, despite the constant distractions. Most of these were coming from a middle-aged lady testing her cell phone's ringer to the inexplicable delight of a group of enthusiastic strangers. Extreme boredom is, I think, a form of mental illness. These distractions caused me to looked up from my book briefly to daydream. I found myself thinking about the technology in that irritating little cell phone, and how all its complexity was far beyond the understanding of everyone in the room. Chances are the people who invented most of the technology in that phone have nothing in common with this woman, but here she is benefiting from it all the same. For some reason this seemed vaguely unjust, like a Creationist benefiting from a drug regime based on Darwinian principles.
Eventually I was called into the recovery room to see Gretchen, who had just been wheeled out of the operating room. She was groggy but coherent.
Later I was summoned again, and this time Gretchen was sleepy but alert, and had no memory of things she'd told me earlier. She was actually psyched to just get up and leave, but then suddenly she had a bout of nausea. Her color changed to a shade of green and her skin went cold and clammy and suddenly there seemed to be a wave of panic as the nurses put her on oxygen and gave her more fluids. Again she recovered, and as we waited for Gretchen's discharge, I kept taking hits from Gretchen's oxygen mask as a convenient substitute for espresso. It wasn't a dramatic thing, but pure oxygen definitely helped add clarity to my weary brain.
When the one mean nurse on the floor determined that Gretchen's blood pressure was still too low for her discharge, I decided to go hit the streets to take care of my dwindling reserves of blood sugar. I went to a pizza joint and devoured the greasiest pepperoni roll I've ever had the pleasure to pick up with my hands.

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