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:
   that wave
Sunday, December 26 2004
I was all wrapped up in my goofy brick veneer and antenna projects and wasn't paying any attention to the news today, and by the time I checked in it was all abuzz with stories of a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that had happened in the Indian Ocean off the island of Sumatra. From all reports it had been the biggest earthquake in my liftetime and the resulting tsunami had been of a scale one only reads about in books (or sees in dramas featuring blond starlets). Today's event wasn't quite in the class of what will happen when a loose chunk of Hawaii finally slides to the bottom of the Pacific, but it was enough to remind the reality-based among the human species that we are on our own in the universe and all that we care about is only here because of an unusual calm in the schedule of massive earthly cataclysms.

This afternoon our downhill neighbor came over for a brief visit to drop off some cheese and, well, bacon as a neighborly holiday gesture. He's a former butcher and once over at his house I'd had some of his bacon and had said it was delicious, so he thought it would be okay to bring me some. But of course Gretchen doesn't allow bacon in the house, particularly uncooked bacon that would require the use of a pan to render it edible. For her it's just wrong on so many levels. So all we could accept was the cheese. Then, to make matters worse, he slipped and fell on our icy walkway as he was shuffling back to his truck. I say shuffling because the guy can barely walk. He's overweight and more than seventy years old, and it's a miracle he didn't break his hip when he fell. We felt terrible, of course, but there was nothing we could have done. That ice had frozen as solid as concrete only a couple days before and been continually replenished by still-trickling ground water. Then, only just this morning, it had been completely obscured by a light dusting of snow . To solve that problem will require yet more landscaping work next time it's the season for such things.

This evening Gretchen and I went to a Boxing Day party over at the residence of our first friends on Eagle's Nest Road, whom I usually refer to as "the Eagles Nests." It was a typical party there, with no special features related to Boxing Day, which is, I assume, a holiday familiar only to those who live somewhere in the former British Empire. (Mr. Eagles Nest is from New Zealand.) As usual for one of these sort of parties, there eventually was a slide show featuring photos taken by four of the many photographers present. (There were at least three people there who work regularly for National Geographic.) The most interesting of tonight's slides were a series of black and white pictures taken with a slow-action pinhole camera in Vietnam and Cuba. These were mostly devoid of people, though sometimes humans were faintly visible as blurry ghosts.
While Gretchen entertained various people with her extremist child-free quasi-evangelism, I could be found talking with various people about the joys of fossils in bluestone, do-it-yourself Yagi antennas, passive repeaters, and Mozilla's Firefox web browser. One of the National Geographic guys there told me that the day after I'd installed Firefox on his computer there'd been a two page Firefox advertisement in the New York Times. He was obviously excited to have been placed on that wave less than twenty hours before it rolled into such mainstream waters.

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