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
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Like my brownhouse:
   box wine television
Monday, January 10 2011
I decided to go into Kingston today and attempt to work from a coffee shop so as to give Gretchen some alone time (as opposed to pantomiming "Honey, I'm still home!" every half hour or so). I went to Hudson Valley Coffee Roasters (a few doors from the Indian place in Uptown). It's a bit hipper and less grandmotherly than Dreamweavers, that other place I've occasionally gone. I'd left the dogs at home, but I still hadn't made conditions ideal for myself so I could work. I have difficulty getting shit done unless I have a good chunk of time to work without having to worry about other things. But I'd parked on the street and hadn't had enough change to feed the meter for any more than 50 minutes of time. And I'd also told Gretchen I'd be going over to Ray and Nancy's place for dinner, so that meant that at some point I'd have to break for dinner. Still, I got a few things done on my netbook before looking up to see Eric, Ray and Nancy's semi-permanent houseguest, across the room. There's nothing quite like running into someone you know to interrupt the flow of getting shit done. He came over and we chatted briefly. This was the first time either of us had been in Hudson Valley Coffee Roasters and we were both there for pretty much the same reason: to give our housemates some alone time. I told him I'd be coming over for dinner later. Soon after that, I decided to give up on the coffee shop and go shopping instead.
I went to Hannaford for groceries and then out to Home Depot to get inch-thick styrofoam for the greenhouse window lid project (a project allowing me to close an insulated lid over the massive south-facing window at night). With that foam, I also got six piece of twelve foot one by four lumber with which to build the framework for this lid. I imagine at some point I'll have to get some sort of waterproof sheathing for the top part of the lid, since it will behave like roofing most of the time. I intend to cover the bottom surface of the foam with aluminum foil, which will work both to limit infrared radiation through the lid when it is down and reflect glancing sunlight into the greenhouse when it is up.
Out in front of the Home Depot, it took me about twenty minutes to secure the wood and foam to the Subaru roof rack. First I had to remove the snow that was still up there. (I had some assistance on this from a drunkenly friendly passer-by equipped with a broom.) The key to transporting large sheets of styrofoam is to support it from above and below. This is why one always buys wood when buying large pieces of styrofoam (unless you happen to have a large covered truck).
Over at Ray and Nancy's place, Eric was making a beanless chili containing cubes of tofu. It ended up containing a lot of habañero peppers but (because of Ray's new heart-healthy diet) not much salt. [REDACTED]
Recently Eric has turned the Ray and Nancy household onto box wine (although actually Ray drinks very little of any sort of alcoholic beverage these days). There is a perfect shelf for a box of box wine on the side of the cabinets as one enters through the back door. I had several glasses of it myself and it proved to be a perfect beverage to drink while watching an episode of the Bachelor.
Yes, you got that right. Nancy likes to watch the Bachelor, and it seemed like a fun thing to do, if only to make fun of it. The premise is that a room full of overly-made-up women compete for a hunky single bachelor. The women look like the kind you see getting trashed at a upscale douchebag brewpub (think Gordon Biersch), and, as Ray pointed out, everyone communicates exclusively in clichés. Unlike in, say, the similar Joe Millionaire, in this season the hunky bachelor in the Bachelor actually is a millionaire, although everyone seemed so desperate, sad, and (above all) tasteless, that I found myself feeling that thing one wants to feel when watching reality television: "I'm so glad I'm not them!"
Which brings us to the next show we watched: Hoarders, which is one of my favorites. Hoarders had actually been getting stale and predictable a few weeks ago, but last week the show became revolting better televison when it delved into the life of a very unsympathetic and physically hideous animal hoarder. Tonight's show was the season finalé and their aim was to kick things up a notch by showing us a house full of 2000 rats (all the descendants of 3 rats that had escaped into the wall). The house had long ago been rendered uninhabitable, so not only was it unusually empty of furnishings and clutter (unless you count the rat shit), but the lowest eight inches of drywall had been chewed off the bottom of all the walls. Somehow, though, that story ended up mostly happily, with most of the rats being adopted out and only a few gravely injured ones requiring euthanasia. At some point I drew a comparison between the owner of the house (who claimed to be deeply attached to all of his 2000 rats) and the bachelor on the Bachelor. When you have so many charges vying for your attention, it's hard to give any individual the attention he or she requires.

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