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").


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Like my brownhouse:
   marketing types remain stupid
Friday, October 31 2003
Ah, the good old days of the dotcom boom, when I had a job and fussed around with inane marketing people, most of whom seemed to have been hired for their good (if freakishly asymmetrical) looks. They didn't have the brains of a vacuum cleaner bag, but they sure looked good when they crossed their legs. Those days are as gone as the World Trade Center and Habeas Corpus, but I still occasionally find myself working with marketing types, and they're still the vapid high school cheerleaders they used to be. Dealing with such people entirely electronically (and second hand electronically at that), I don't even get the benefit of their shapely gams and ovoid rumps sheathed unforgettably in drab business miniskirts. (You can tell the parts of a woman that interest me.)
Today I was updating the website of my only web client, the guy who travels the world and writes about his adventures. I had all these sponsors' logos that needed to go up on the site, and my frustration with the ignorance of these people regarding the internet gradually gave way to entertainment. Most of the forwarded emails contained graphics of the logos that the marketing departments wanted displayed, but often they'd be huge images, perhaps 1800 pixels across. Somehow I downloaded those over a dialup connection. Then there is the issue of what links to make with these logos. There is never a URL supplied with the logos, so I'm left to guess what I should link them to. About 20% of the time I guess wrong, even with the help of Google.
The most internet-illiterate logo I dealt with today came from a backpack manufacturer. Instead of emailing me their logo, they sent me an email containing a Microsoft Word attachment. Inside this attachment (opened using OpenOffice) I found some text containing a username and a password I could use to log on to their special "vendor's site" and then download the logos from there. I almost screamed - I hate accepting Microsoft Word attachments even when they're justified, let alone occasions like this one.

Today I read a fascinating article online focusing on the increasing use of mortar rounds by the Iraqi resistance (the "desperate" folks our government lumps together with the folks who destroyed the World Trade Center under the rubric terrorists). Not knowing much about military tactics, I hadn't really considered what mortars do for a resistance army, and the huge manpower requirements necessary for an occupying force to fight them. Having read that article, I'm even more convinced than before that our occupation is going to get a lot worse before things start to "improve." For my part, though, I don't want things to "improve" over there during the American occupation. If things somehow found a way to "improve" in Iraq, we'd make the unprovoked invasion thing into a standard method for dealing with our internal economic problems, alongside monkeying with the Prime Interest Rate.

Gretchen was off down the Stick Trail today when I decided to walk down it myself. Not far beyond the Chamomile River, below a series of impressive bluffs, I stopped to listen to the sound of an approaching helicopter. As I stood there, it passed directly overhead, coming off the bluffs just over the trees and proceeding out across the steep valley where Dug Hill Road runs up from the Esopus Valley. It was an olive-green twin-rotor military helicopter, and it was so directly overhead that I could only see its soft metallic underbelly, the thing Iraqi Stinger Missile nerds dream about. Since September 11th 2001, when the sky was filled with useless fighter jets trying to show America that the government was doing something, I've come to view expressions of homeland military force as an unpleasant occupation. Our military is here, making a big show and being especially loud while our rights are systematically stripped away. Out on the Stick Trail I could perhaps be free, but if this Stick Trail were in any country, I could be free there too, regardless of how repressive the regime. You're really only as free as the helicopters are vulnerable.

The weather was unusually warm today and kept getting warmer after sundown. After eating a makeshift Indian dinner I prepared (it was a sort of Aloo Gobi), we went for a walk on the Stick Trail. It was the first time we ever went beyond the Chamomile River on the Stick Trail well dark.
It was Halloween, but we didn't experience any trick-or-treat-related activity in our part of the world. The Stick Trail is a perfect setting for Halloween pedestrians or Wizard of Oz nomads, but it's a network only a very tiny number of people know about.
I didn't eat any candy at all today, but I was nonetheless plagued by an occasionally severe toothache in one of my right lower premolars.

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