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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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   elements of a former owner's taste
Wednesday, December 4 2002

Darren brought an additional homeslice to help with the grunt work of hanging dry wall in the middle "rec room" of the attic. This additional homeslice was a different homeslice from the two additional homeslices Darren brought the other day. I get the feeling that the moment any of these additional homeslice have money in their pocket, they need to take the day to spend it. I'm extremely familiar with this reaction to money and the opportunity to either earn or spend it. My brother Don, who gets some of his Supplemental Security Income as spending money one day each week, always reserves the day for a spending spree in Staunton, Virginia. He usually blows most of the money on greasy American fast food, though he also occasionally buys toy soldiers or books about dinosaurs, genocidal dictators, or werewolves.

I've been working on finishing the area around the foot of the basement stairway. The other day I erected the last of the solid oak pillars, this one to support the hallway of the main floor (in lieu of the remnants of an old load-bearing wall whose two-by-fours have already been repurposed in various places in the ongoing attic construction). Today I put in the last of the basement wainscoting, finally burying the last of a particularly nasty form of wallpaper. Now the only wallpaper remaining exposed in the house is a strip of Edwardian-style floral plates around the top of a room Gretchen is calling "the second guest room." This particular wallpaper hadn't been quite as awful as the others, and so Gretchen (in her infinite mercy) had given it amnesty. This was a good thing; I believe that certain elements of a former owner's taste should be preserved, no matter how bad or absent those tastes might have been. It's a bad analogy, but this is sort of like preserving some Indian teepees in a museum after evicting their occupants from their land (although in this case we actually paid the "Indians" full market value for their land).
Speaking of the house's former occupants, Mike, the former owner-builder dropped by today to dig up an heirloom rose bush in the front yard and give us some manuals for the various appliances. I showed him around and he was clearly impressed with the progress we've made since moving in back in mid-October. "You've already made this place worth $100,000 more," he proclaimed, adding, "I know. I'm in the business." (He is, after all, a real estate agent these days.) I was hoping I was making him more proud than sad. Proud that his initial vision for this house (hardwood floors and a completed attic) are being carried to completion and not sad that he isn't here to enjoy it.

In the evening I picked Gretchen up from the Kingston bus station.

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