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:
   roasted (unknowing)
Wednesday, October 15 2003
Gretchen called me today from her volunteer job at the Ulster County SPCA to have me come by to look at a male kitten that could be a potential Clarence. Originally Clarence was supposed to be a black cat, but this cat was fawn-colored. So I drove to the SPCA (Sally and Eleanor with me as usual) and looked at him. He was unusually playful and had a weirdly long and narrow face. Still, I wasn't sure. In my mind, Clarence was still supposed to be a black cat. There were other cats there that interested me more, but they were all adults and had unpleasant temperaments; I must have had an unusually superficial mindset, since the only thing I liked about them was the way they looked.
On the way home I stopped at Lowes, mostly to get copper pipes, copper fittings, switches, and lamp sockets. The other day Gretchen and I had been to Mid Century Modern, a furniture store in Rosendale, and I'd seen a wall-mounted lamp on a long boom arm, and I'd decided to make my own version out of copper pipes.
Back at home, though, the only thing I managed to make out of the copper parts was the base of a copper menorah, something I'd been wanting to make as an artifact symbolizing my relationship with Gretchen (her culture plus my sculptural talents). I wanted to make the whole thing, but for the design I contemplated, I needed special cross-shaped fittings, and Lowes doesn't have any of those.
I also made a small lamp that mounts beneath my desk, just over my keyboard. Using an extremely low-wattage bulb, the lamp only lights the keys of the keyboard, allowing me to type in the dark. I type quickly, but I'm not a touch typist, and I need to get a glance at the keys every now and then. (I use four or five fingers when typing, though I vary them depending on various factors, thwarting carpal tunnel syndrome in the process).

Last night Gretchen had a plan to bring our clients back to our house for dessert after dinner at the Pupuseria, but they'd bailed on us, mostly at the insistence of their teenage daughter, who goes to bed at 9:30pm every night. (What kind of self-respecting teenager is that?) Gretchen had even baked a fancy pastry, and it went uneaten.
So Gretchen invited various people to come by this evening, but all of them had excuses for why they couldn't. This led Gretchen to go into something of a funk about how we don't have any friends up here in the Catskills. I assured her it wasn't as bad as that, or that even if it was, we still had each other, but she couldn't be consoled.
Then, spontaneously, two different people came by to visit. First it was our mutual friend Kristin, who's always a lot of fun. Later Larry (the realtor who helped us get this house) came over. It was only then that we remembered that today was the first anniversary of our move to Hurley. Normally Gretchen complains about Larry being too self-centered, but tonight it seemed he was going out of his way to ask us about our lives. I always felt Gretchen was too harsh in her judgment of Larry, and tonight I really felt sorry for him as he roasted (unknowing) in Gretchen's critical analysis.

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