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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   Eulogy, the movie
Thursday, December 8 2005
Last night Gretchen burst into my laboratory at some point with a beaming smile on her face. "It's a blessing in disguise," she said, referring to our purchase and immediate dissatisfaction with our Toyota Prius. She'd done some research and found that the bluebook value of a 2005 Prius is about five thousand more than what we'd paid for ours. We could just throw it up on and get something cheaper with virtually the same gas mileage as our fancy-pants new car. It would be very John Capriotti for us to do this, but sometimes John Capriotti methods are the most appropriate ones for the situation at hand. (Obviously I can't further describe who exactly, in my life, it is that I'm referring to, since I'm using his last name. I'm doing this in an effort to mimic how I would say these things in the confines of my own home.)

Gretchen and I rendezvoused at Sears and ended up buying the model I'd liked most during yesterday's visit. It's nearly 22 cubic feet and burns 488 kilowatt hours each year, about 60% of the refrigerator it is replacing, which is smaller by nearly two cubic feet. Of course, the efficiency devils are already active in my head, trying to imagine ways to hack the system so that I can, say, take advantage of the cold half of the year.
In the past gone through the ordeal of buying items at Best Buy, where the hard sale for an "extended warranty" is common even for disposable electronics worth only $100. So I expected our $1000 refrigerator to have an available extended warranty for me to not take advantage of. But no, the sales lady never mentioned the existence of any such thing. Maybe that's part of the party being missed out on by the old brands, the dinosaurs of retail. Perhaps they just don't know that extended warranties are the most profitable products a company can sell, and all they require is an aggressive sales force.
Gretchen and I swapped cars after our refrigerator purchase, and that meant Gretchen got a Prius containing two dogs while I got a slightly battered Honda Civic. I immediately drove to P&T Surplus and bought that forty inch long piece of four inch copper type L pipe. It had "$35" written on it, but the P&T guy sold it to me for $30, perhaps because I was looking mildly retarded. He did ask what I was building and I said "a heat exchanger" and he nodded his head as if to say "you're buying a great thing for such a project."

This evening Gretchen and I watched the movie Eulogy, a zany comedy about what happens when the various neurotic, moronic, and precocious members of a dysfunctional family come together to mourn the death of their patriarch, who turns out to be much more than the man they knew. The most striking thing about this movie is the range of the humor, from basic slapstick (granny falls from the sky on a pair of lovebirds making out in the grass) to the engagingly psychological (why are those two savvy-but-oversexed twins drilling holes in their grandfather's casket?). In the binary rating system we use to measure the quality of films in our household, Eulogy earned a solid "let's burn it!" That's in the modern sense of the verb "burn," not the one used by crowds of Creationist apes after John Lennon declared the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

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