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:
   actually missing a Sbarro
Sunday, October 31 2010

location: near Sligo Creek Park, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland

We'd be driving back to Hurley (New York) today, and so while Gretchen packed our few belongings [REDACTED] I did my best to make some repairs to her father's aging Sony desktop. Part of the problem was overprotectionitis, that is, too many high-demand security applications running at once, leaving little leftover computational power for the computer to do anything else. But it also seemed to crash occasionally, suggesting there was no longer sufficient air flow through its CPU heatsink. So I vacuumed it out and hoped for the best. It's amazing how poorly computers can run before people, even people who should know better, think there's a problem.
Before we'd driven down to Maryland, Gretchen had been concerned that there wouldn't be "enough meals" for us to eat at all the restaurants she wanted to. So she'd arranged for one final lunch before we hit the road, this time at Mandalay in Silver Spring, our favorite Burmese restaurant (actually, we don't know of any other Burmese restaurants, but this one is excellent). When we walked in, there was a dancing robotic skeleton to greet us. For some reason his dancing was accompanied by a sample of the classic rock hit "Born to be Wild." As always, the food was delicious, though it turns out that one cannot order a cup of coffee there for some reason.
We were joined at some point by Kelly, one of Gretchen's childhood friends who had also been at the rally. Of late Kelly has been down on her luck, having to be the primary care giver for her mother, who has the Alzheimer's and cannot be left unattended. She is also unemployed and without a significant other (and claims to be too frightened of HIV to pursue the latter). On top of all that, she lives in a poorly-built condominium and cannot sleep because of the noises coming through the walls from her college-age neighbors (some fraction of which is "booty call" noise).
After going to an Ethiopian market to buy some injera and a large metal platter suitable for serving it in the Ethiopian manner, we drove out to a local Trader Joe's. We do not have a Trader Joe's in our area and like to stock up whenever we find ourselves near one. Today we managed to spend nearly $400 on two shopping carts' worth of stuff, most of it carbohydrates (bread, cereal, and crackers).
We started our drive homeward from Trader Joe's at about 4:30pm, running into some very bad congestion just west of Delaware on I-95. From there, though, it was clear sailing down the New Jersey Turnpike. Gretchen was hoping to see a Sbarro at one of the rest stops so she could get some spaghetti, but we stopped one rest stop too soon (at the Woodrow Wilson) and had to settle on french fries and whatever could be pilfered from the Roy Rogers salad bar. It turns out that the Sbarro is at the third rest stop northward (the Joyce Kilmer). I'd always been under the impression that Sbarros were ubquitous and always in your fucking way when you were in search of other things. But as with all things, they tend to disappear when you are actually looking for one.

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