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:
   Passover veggie burger
Wednesday, March 27 2013

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

This morning it was just Gretchen, me, and her parents in the house (the others having had to go back to Pittsburgh), and Gretchen prepared a brunch centered around vegan matzah brei, which is always a treat. After that, I took the dogs for a walk in Sligo Creek Park. I tend to be more of a nervous Nelly than Gretchen, but I worry less about the dogs' interactions with random humans than she does. For example, when Ramona and Eleanor ran among a family in the play area, I saw that they were behaving themselves and didn't feel the need to say or do anything until the mother produced a plastic container that attracted Ramona's interest. On the way back out of the park, a guy sitting on the picnic table decided to give the dogs the rest of his lunch, which was a nice gesture.
Back at the house, Gretchen and I prepared for today's drive back north. I somehow managed to fit a painting of a very fat woman vertically in the trunk, supported in the back by Gretchen's suitcase (though I had to break down the frame into four pieces). This would make it possible for us to stuff the rest of the trunk with goodies from Trader Joe's.
We ended up buying $380 worth of stuff at the Trader Joe's, and (as always) our two carts' worth of stuff seemed to make things exciting for the employees. When we went to pay, though, our credit card was declined, as were our other credit card and even our credit union debit card. This didn't used to happen when we shopped at the Silver Spring Trader Joe's, so evidently our card providers have all recently updated to a new anti-fraud algorithm, one that doesn't take into account our past behavior. Fortunately, all Gretchen had to do was make a phone call to an automated service and our credit cards started working again.
We had yet another really easy drive on our route back home, encountering no congestion anywhere, not even near New York City (which we passed on the Garden State Parkway during rush hour). In an improvement over the drive down to Silver Spring, I experienced no noticeable heart palpitations on the drive back.
Gretchen wasn't really very hungry when we stopped to piss and walk the dogs about midway on our drive at the Joyce Kilmer Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike. But we smelled the french fries and our wills were weak, so we ended up having a lunch of veggie burgers and fries at the Burger King. It was a real mistake, leaving us feeling vaguely unhealthy the rest of the drive. Gretchen's not much of a Jew these days, and she'd completely forgotten about Passover until after she'd eaten here crappy sandwich swaddled in its cheap white flour bun.
At some point in the ride (while we were still in Maryland), we heard a review of the new Tegan & Sara album on Fresh Air. From the sound of it, the ladies have given up on indie rock and now aspire to be Katy Perry. This new album is overprocessed and overproduced and has none of the odd harmonies or punkish guitar of the Tegan & Sara. It was disappointing mostly because I'd somehow thought they were cooler chicks than that. I understand selling out, but there has to be a better way than that. (Supposedly Liz Phair did the same thing, though I haven't heard her pop dreck; Gretchen tells me it is terrible.) By the way, Ken Tucker's reviews are not to be trusted; he seemed to think this new album is a good development for T&S.
Back at our house in Hurley, everything seemed to be as we'd left it, though for some reason Nigel (our most neurotic cat) was under the bed in the basement master bedroom. Of late his habitat had mostly been in the upstairs teevee room, so this constituted a dramatic change. I suspect that Julius (aka "Stripey"), who is Nigel's chief nemesis, had used Ramona's absence to rage about the house like an unchecked tyrant, forcing Nigel to find a different place to be. It's not that Ramona terrorizes Stripey when she is around, but he's such a 'fraidy cat that it's hard for him to be much of a tyrant when she is in the house. Mind you, Nigel is no fan of Ramona and hisses at her many times each day when she tries to engage him, but I think his ability to occupy the places in the house he most prefers depend on the fact that he is less scared of Ramona than Stripey is.

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