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:
   would have liked to dump my trash on the Trillion Dollar Mile
Wednesday, October 23 2002

setting: rural Hurley, New York

Today I would be driving with Sally back to Brooklyn, but first I had to wait for the guys from the gas company to come out and install a gas line for the new gas range. As I waited around for them, I undertook all sorts of projects.
The first of these was to replace some of the old fluid in the brake lines of my truck. Before I began, I siphoned out the old fluid using the only tube I had available, a piece of copperline. I kept sucking on the fluid trying to get enough to initiate the siphon flow, but I kept failing. So I gave a mightly slurp, unable to see where the fluid was in the line. Sure enough, I got a bunch of it in my mouth, forcing me to wash my mouth out with soap and water. I don't know exactly how bad brake fluid is to ingest, but my gut reaction is that it is pretty damn bad for you. The brake fluid didn't have a distinctive taste, aside from being greasy and a little bit bitter. What was more surprising was the taste of the soap, Dawn Ultra dish liquid. It was salty.
Next I hauled the gas range in from the garage, wrestling it out of its massive cardboard box, and then backing it up to the slot in the counterspace where it is supposed to go. At this point I realized that there was no place to plug the range in. It required a conventional 120 volt outlet, but the only kind reachable behind the stove was the massive 240 volt outlet for the old deposed electric range. The irony here was that the house has an excess of outlets, so many in fact that they actually interfere with the look of the rooms. So I had to extend a circuit from an outlet behind the microwave oven.
Later on I found myself ripping the linoleum out of the half bathroom. It's a sort of wallpaper for floors in that it's glued on tightly and sometimes only comes off in little pieces.
As I approached the toilet, I decided I had to get it out of my way, so, for the first time ever, I actually unbolted a toilet from a floor and removed it. I'd been careful to flush it a few times first, but even so there was a nasty streamer of toilet paper hanging down from the poo poo chute as I lifted it away. Interestingly, I found that the toilet had actually been sitting on a thick brick of hardened grease forming a gasket between it and the subfloor plumbing.
The gas guy came much later than expected. He was a roly-poly youngish man covered with tattoos and piercings. He took one look at the situation presented by the house and decided he couldn't do anything about it today. He'd need another guy and he'd need to install specialized equipment. This had something to do with the sheer size of the house and the location of the gas range with respect to the driveway, the place where the people refilling the tank would have to park. So, in the end, there'd been no reason for me to stay.

On the drive back to Brooklyn, I had the bed of my truck full of old dry wall from the wall demolition. I had the idea that I would dump it somewhere along the way, preferably as close to home as possible. But up in Kingston where disposing of trash costs money, nobody is so foolish as to leave their dumpsters unlocked. So I found myself hauling my trash south down the Thruway. As I approached New York City, I decided my time for finding a suitable trash receptacle was running out, so I got off at the last exit on the Palisades Parkway and drove through suburban Jersey hunting for a dumpster. When I saw a sign labeling a stretch of road "The Trillion Dollar Mile," that seemed like a place crying out for the trash of others. Unfortunately, though, I found no place discreet enough to pull over and pull off my dirty deed.
I found myself stuck in crawling traffic going most of the way down FDR drive. It was about 8 or 9 pm, but I guess rush hour never really ends in Manhattan.
After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, I soon found myself terribly lost in the tangle of streets in the part of Brooklyn between its downtown and Williamsburg. There are no numbered streets or avenues in this region, and it was only by finding streets familiar to me from the names they have where they end in Prospect Heights that I was able to tease my way back to Park Slope.
The house was looking especially barren when I arrived. Gretchen had packed most of its contents into boxes. The cats seemed perplexed by the quickening changes happening to their home. For her part, Sally was happy to be back, no matter the state of things.
At around 1:00 am, I went out into the darkness and emptied out the back of my truck, putting most of the drywall in the dumpsters of the nearby old folk's home. Their overflowing, stinking dumpsters have been the nadir of the walk to the park since as long as anyone could remember, so now it was payback time.

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