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:
   dissident flypaper
Monday, August 18 2008
The other day the Russians invaded their former subordinate territory of Georgia. From what I can ascertain of the issues involved, neither Russia nor Georgia were blameless in this short war, which has wound down. Russia has said it is withdrawing, but there are no signs that it is actually doing so. Tied down in multiple wars, Georgia's superpower ally, the United States, can do nothing but foam and bluster like a chained-up dog. It has no military to lend to this fight, and, unlike in earlier times, it has no moral standing either. Who are we to say Russia can't invade misbehaving countries on its border when we invade countries half way around the globe on discredited pretenses? And we can't fault Russia for saying one thing and doing another when it comes to withdrawing from Georgia; the maintenance of a distinction between words and action is one of the most distinctive hallmarks of the Bush administration. From the fate of New Orleans to the use of torture to the policy of uniting, not dividing, the Bush administration has shown the world how it's possible to rule a democracy for eight years saying one thing and doing something different. It's been perhaps the biggest gift from a democracy to totalitarians since Neville Chamberlain's signing of the Munich Agreement. Indeed, China's use of "protest zones" as flypaper for dissidents is only a slightly clumsier version of the free speech zone/terrorist watchlist/no fly list pipeline pioneered by the Department of Homeland Security. I'm not the first person to write about the ridiculousness of the United States moralizing for liberty while it's busy adopting all the odious trappings of a despotic kleptocracy. Then again, moral hypocrisy is another diagnostic trait of the modern American Republican mentality. Let's see: Larry "Wide Stance" Craig, Mark Foley, and all the sanctimonious televangelists with their fingers in the stinkyjar. At least when John Edwards and Bill Clinton get caught with their pants down, it isn't after they've lectured us at length on the sanctity of monogamy.

I finally got the hatchback road-ready today, bleeding all the air out of the brake lines and making the brakes functional again. To do this, I actually had to replace the calipers on the front passenger-side disc brake with the calipers from the totaled hatchback. This was because the bleeder valve had proved inextricable. I'd tried everything, including welding on a piece of metal. Having replaced three fourths of the brake mechanisms on this car, I've come to a realization: if you can manage to get the bolts to turn, brake work on a Honda Civic is actually fairly easy.

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