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:
   toddler allergy
Sunday, August 3 2008
Penny and David came over late this morning with their friend Ava, who hails from Germany, and we all went for a walk down the Stick Trail. Ava is outdoorsy and knows much more than average about plants, but works in software product development. This meant that she and I had lots to talk about. She's the first person yet to join me in the eating of a raw mushroom I found along the Stick Trail (in this case it was a delicious bolete, one of the least-risky mushrooms to eat).
When we returned to the house, Gretchen's friend Nina (and husband and toddler child) had just arrived. Gretchen views the birth of every new child dimly, particularly amongst her friends, and particularly when it's a second or third child. The first time Nina had gotten pregnant, she lamely told Gretchen, was "to have the experience." But why then was she now pregnant with her second baby? Though I agree broadly with Gretchen's disgust at the general practice of procreation, I find her absolutist view of such things a little extreme. She hadn't even wanted Nina to visit because of this second pregnancy.
But once Nina was actually at our house, smiley faces were pasted on and everyone went into social robot mode. It was a little absurd, though, with Gretchen unironically offering an obviously-pregnant Nina a beer, but for the most part seemingly-pleasant socializing happened anyway, as if on auto-pilot. It helped that, for the first phase of this, Penny, David, and Ava were there (and Ava could speak German with Nina's husband, who is also German). For me, though, the charade eventually proved tiresome. At some point I was only in it for the pizza, which Gretchen was making from toppings leftover from Friday's meal.
When I saw that toddler toddle off with my Compaq laptop in his grubby hands, I realized I'd be much happier if somehow Gretchen and I could impose some sort of permanent ban against young children in our house, much the way people with dog allergies ban dogs. Is it possible to have a toddler allergy? Perhaps we could just say we're allergic to trace amounts of E. coli, always present on the fingertips of young children (who, let's just admit it, are fond of fondling their tiny puckered assholes and smearing their hands all over the primary-colored PVC surfaces of their environment).
Gretchen's long-time friend Mary Purdy (who now lives in Seattle) was visiting her mother in the Berkshires and came to our house tonight. She brought her latest boyfriend, a very nice gentleman named Keith, and we all had a good chuckle-filled couple hours drinking herbal tea but not alcohol. (These days Mary is a nutritionist, and she follows a rigorous science with regard to what she puts in her body.) Eventually I retreated to my laboratory and hit the hard stuff by myself.

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