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
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Like my brownhouse:
   developing a Spanish language film library
Sunday, May 16 2004 Me these days:

Yeah, I've needed to cut my hair since February, and I've needed to wash it since the day before yesterday. Oh, and there's a missing shave visible there too! For some reason few of the coffee stains on that teeshirt turned out in this picture. I've been wearing it since 1991 or 1992, and the neckband is visibly ruined in real life.

In the late morning Gretchen and I drove to Woodstock to sit in the audience during the taping of a lefty political variety show called In Your Face. The sign out in front had a crude picture drawing of a naked George W. Bush (from the waist up) with little hands coming in from off-screen, one with a finger pointing to his also-off-screen genitals and the other balled into a fist with a thumb pointing down - an obvious visual play on the Abu Ghraib sexual humiliation photos. We'd heard about today's event from Mr. and Ms. Eagle's Nest, and they'd reserved us seats in the front row. Actually, there weren't quite enough seats for both of us, so I sat in the back while various lefty luminaries talked about torture and sang songs about George W. Bush. At some point I wandered around back of the building (it was at the Colony Café) to take a piss because the bathroom was occupied. I didn't have to look too carefully at the ground to find numerous tiny artifacts in the soil, most of them clothing buttons or ceramic remnants from antique plumbing fixtures. [REDACTED]
It was a beautiful sunny day featuring unusually clear air, and on the way back home past the Ashokan Reservoir we stopped at a huge roadside pile of random bluestone fragments and selected the best pieces for resurfacing one of our concrete walkways.
Later we went into Kingston and bought paint samples at Hertzog's, the Uptown hardware store. Gretchen loves that place, partly because they're so inexplicably dog friendly. Today Sally and Eleanor were running around off-leash throughout the store and the staff kept handing them treats. Every department seems to have its own supply of dog biscuits.

I experiemented more with the 800 MHz Yagi antenna I'd built yesterday, connecting it to a hitherto-unnoticed antenna connector on my cellphone. It's a tiny gold-plated phono-style jack hidden behind a little rubber plug. There's an identical connector on Gretchen's older Motorola cellphone.
As a result of my experimentation, I determined that the nearest cellphone tower lies to the northeast. I can get three or four bars using my homemade antenna indoors in my laboratory, although that's not spectacularly better than my phone's normal reception in the scattered, shifting hotspots already present. I'm still not sure I really "get" how to make Yagi antennas. There are many varieties of them, even for a given frequency, and I'm terribly confused.

In the evening Gretchen and I began watching Y Tu Mama Tambien, a Spanish-language film set in Mexico. Since we'll be beginning an intensive six week course in Spanish tomorrow, we'd like to have a good library of Spanish movies around (an easy thing to accumulate with the help of a Netflix subscription, a copy of the banned DVD XCopy Xpress - still available on KaZaA Lite! - and a DVD burner). For now we're watching with English subtitles, but ideally we'd like to watch it with those turned off.
As for the movie, it's a difficult one to characterize. On the one hand you have this pair of teenage boys who aren't too different from Beavis and Butthead, and the atmospher is charged because they're headed to the beach with a hot older woman. But then the narration keeps coming in awkwardly over the dialogue (which is turned down so quickly that it sounds like a technical difficulty) to tell us the underlying reality, which is nearly always tragic.

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