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:
   corporate pseudopodia
Thursday, October 16 2008
I took a break from my greenhouse project and took a bus into Manhattan for a meeting with a company there. I actually knew all the people I would be meeting with; they'd been part of back when I worked for that company seven years ago, and now they work for a subsidiary of that same company that had been absorbed and later spun off as a separate entity. I'm no expert on the behavior of corporate pseudopodia, but I am an expert on the server-side scripting language known as PHP, and it was for this reason that today's meeting was being held. The company in question was experiencing integration headaches with affiliates using PHP-based servers, yet they had no PHP talent in house. Hopefully I would be able to fill this gap.
I'd been given the wrong address for the corporate offices, and found instead a beautiful Roman temple housing a flagship branch of the New York City Public Library. Luckily I'd brought Gretchen's cellphone and was able to get course corrections and an extra one for the 40th Street address.
The office into which I walked was a cheerful one full of nubile young women and hip dudes in preyellowed/prefaded jeans. Though a similarly corporate honeycomb of upholstered cubicles, it was a much warmer environment than I'd waded into two years ago during my several-week stint as a web developer at Toyota's Torrance headquarters.
I met with Dave, the guy who showed me what the issues were (though it was difficult to absorb the precise nature of the problem) and then I met with Julian. Those who have been reading these accounts for years will remember Julian as the youthful boyfriend of my former boss Linda. We all palled around like terrorists in Chicago in those days, and (if I recall correctly) hallucinogenic mushrooms and video games were there as well. Julian actually hasn't been part of this world for years, but back in June he moved from Los Angeles to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, looked up Dave, and now he's got a part time job. He looked pretty much the same as he did seven years ago, though his long hair seemed darker and these days he sports facial hair (which he might not have been able to grow when I last saw him).

The meeting went well, Dave welcomed me to the team, and I left. Walking south on Broadway, I was delighted to see that two lanes of Broadway had been converted into two bike lanes and a pedestrian sitting area (complete with tables supplied by adjacent restaurants). To keep motorists from using the lanes, it is punctuated with large ceramic planters.
I was just walking to be walking in the city. Living upstate where people are sallow-skinned from too many Cheetos and excessive Diet Coke, it was good to be among so many relatively photogenic and fashionably unchallenged people. As I rounded a corner, a woman was handing out free soft drinks and I took one. It was some newfangled Pepsi drink called Diet Pepsi Max, a purported maximization of all the current fashions in liquid beverages: twice the caffeine, zero calories, and zero carbohydrates (that last one actually strikes me as "so 2002"). I drank it for a few blocks but didn't much like it. I could taste the absence of sugar, and every other component of the flavor seemed harsh. Furthermore, I felt a little exposed drinking something that everyone else in the wave of people coming up the street was also drinking. I wasn't even half done with the horrible thing before chucking into a trash can.

By the time I got to Port Authority, I had a fairly urgent need to piss. I'd had two cups of coffee during today's meetings and then I'd had that horrible Pepsi drink. But the men's room near the gate to the Kingston bus was closed for cleaning, and people were already boarding my bus. I decided to hold it and get on the bus.
The bus was fairly crowded, and a young woman took the seat beside me, flipped open her Macintosh, and (using some kind of AT&T cellular dongle) connected to the internet, where she checked her mail. I looked over her shoulder and saw she'd had some emails from "Joe Biden" and "Barack Obama," so I guessed she was one of those politically-energized young voters I keep hearing about. Not wanting to disturb her, I continued holding my piss even though there was a bathroom at the back of the bus. But then someone else went into that bathroom and a huge repulsive wave of stank (a combination of stale urine and cheap chemically disinfectant) swept the bus. I didn't want to be the one to inflict the next such wave on the other passengers, so I continued my urination abstinence.
The young woman to my right got off at the New Paltz park & ride, as did a large number of others, and by the time we'd left New Paltz, the bus was nearly empty. But by now I was confident I could hold out until Kingston.
The first thing I did in Kingston was march up to the bus station's men's room. But wouldn't you know, that bathroom was closed for "cleaning" too! I couldn't wait any longer. Out in the parking lot, I stood next to my car and pissed and pissed until my bladder was nearly empty. It was such a glorious experience that I didn't even care when I accidentally hosed down the side of my car.

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