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:
   cat fur jihad
Sunday, May 22 2011
During our time in Italy, Sylvia our wallflowery black cat developed a nasty case of old lady hair. Dreadlocks (or something similar) appeared in tufts, particularly on her haunches, but also in places along her back. The other day Gretchen managed comb out some unattached hair using a flea comb, but Sylvia clearly needed a good half hour's worth of attention. I had the feeling that all those dreadlocks weren't just unsightly, but also somewhat uncomfortable. Today I undertook a massive hair combing jihad, removing a huge amount of what appeared to be shedding winter coat. This left Sylvia with a much smoother, younger-looking pelt. Mind you, she wasn't very happy during some phases of the combing, muttering complaints, swearing, and at one point taking a swipe that left a bleeding one and a half inch long gash on the back of my right hand.

The rain was back today, making television seem more attractive. Happily, despite the DVR fiasco of the other day, I'd begun recording a new program: Dual Survival, which places two survival experts in various dangerous wilderness situations and shows you how they find their way out. The main conceit of Dual Survival is that one of the survival experts insists on going everywhere barefoot and doing things in the primitive Earth-centered ways of the ancients (cavemen or Indians, depending on the scenario). The other survival expert is an ex-army sniper with a libertarian redneck streak. One would expect this blue-state/red-state combination to be volatile, especially in today's polarized political climate, but part of what makes the show compelling is that the two actually have chemistry. There's even a trace of sublimated homoerotic tension. Unfortunately, though, the show also has plenty of things that subtract from the viewing experience, mostly in the form of overly-anxious narration (also a problem with Mythbusters). Using tiresome repetition, the narrator is constantly belaboring the lethality of various wild creatures (usually snakes and spiders), playing to the ignorant couch potato audience who would never put a bare foot in a patch of long grass and probably can't distinguish a Blue Jay from a Robin. Shows like this would be a lot more enjoyable if they spent their time talking about the connections possible with nature instead of turning the woods into a bad ghost story, where every shadow hides a boogieman that turns out not to be there.

Sylvia yawning while hanging out in the laboratory. Her teeth are so bad that her tongue often hangs out of her mouth.

Most (but not all) of the hair removed from Sylvia today, with a quarter for scale. There's also some dandruff and pine needles in there. All the recent rain has made algæ grow on the laboratory deck's decking.

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