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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").



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Friday, April 19 2013
The first thing I did when I got up this morning was check the news. Sure enough, the shooting last night at MIT had involved the Boston Marathon bombers, one of whom had been killed in a firefight. The other was still on the loose and now the greater Boston metropolitan area was "sheltering in place." Our friend Dina, who lives in Cambridge and works as a freelance journalist, wrote about it for Haaretz in Isræl. By now there were names associated with the suspects. It turned out they were ethnic Chechens and Muslims. Let the stupidity begin!
I had to go out in public today, so it seemed prudent to bathe (for the first time in a week). I didn't want to use my usual basement bathtub, since it has become Joseph's for the next few weeks, so I used the jacuzzi bathtub in the upstairs master bedroom. I ususually only use that tub for showering, since it's a little too close to the teevee and other noisy activity for a relaxing bath. For example, today as I tried to bathe, Gretchen was watching breaking news about the situation in Boston. (She almost never watches the news, and never live, but the situation today was unusual.) Also, I like to climb in the tub when it is empty and fill it around me, and for some reason the upstairs shower heads tended to drip even when the water was just going to the faucet. I found that dripping very annoying. Today, though, happily, that dripping never happened.
One of my web clients occasionally has me come over to his house to help him with his network equipment, and today I'd been scheduled for such an appointment. I listened on the way over to the latest developments from Boston, though there didn't seem to be much new information and so the radio hosts were filling the abundants swaths of time with highly repetitive content. But still I listened; I didn't want to miss breaking news.
After a fairly smooth session in Tivoli dealing with somewhat unfamiliar equipment (such as the Apple Time Capsule — I asked my client if Time Machine could go into the future), I returned homeward, stopping at Adams to get Red Rose tea and look for catfood. But they don't sell pet supplies (or, for that matter, alcohol) at Adams, so I continued on to the Barnyard on Route 28. Gretchen had left an envelope containing a copy of her book Kind in the car and she wanted me to mail it to New Zealand, and so I stopped at the Hurley Post Office to do that. Unfortunately, though, I got there while they were trying to take a woman's passport photo, and they seemed about as incompetent at it as the CVS employees had been when I'd needed my passport photo. They were using a polaroid-style camera the size of box of Kleenex, and the pictures kept coming out too overexposed (which they kept calling "underexposed"). Meanwhile I was having to fill out a whole complicated customs declaration (though, since the book was less than 16 ounces, I shouldn't have had to). Adding to the oddness of the situation, the woman who works there (and who knows Gretchen) kept calling me "Eric," something I didn't bother to correct.
On the way up Dug Hill Road, I stopped again at the place with the bucked locust pieces and loaded as many as I could into the car.

This evening Gretchen wanted me to go with her to Café Mezzaluna, a sort of coffee shop just west of Saugerties on Route 212 to attend a reading by Alison, the wife of Dayl, the guy who just published her book Kind. I didn't really want to go, but sometimes you just have tag along with your wife when she wants you to. The parking lot at Café Mezzaluna was full, though there weren't all that many in attendance tonight. It was a decidedly grey-haired crowd, and as old as Gretchen and I are getting to be, we were the youngest people there. I hadn't drunk any alcohol since April 7th, but it seemed unlikely I was going to make it through this this thing without some chemical assistance, particularly once I learned that there was going to be some open mike poetry. The beer selection at Café Mezzaluna is not great, so I settled on the Anchor Porter, which isn't really my style of beer. I ended up drinking two of them. Food wise, I had a fairly good veggie burger and Gretchen and I shared a bowl of rather good chili. I wouldn't call Café Mezzaluna gourmet, and the vegetarian options aren't numerous, but it's possible to cobble together a vegan meal. As for the poetry, well, some of it was good, but I can't say I was in the mood for the sheer quantity of it, particularly given that the host presented two segments of his own poetry bracketing the whole thing.

On the way homeward, we stopped at the Red Onion, where Ray was working as bartender. We both ordered drinks (Jack on the rocks for me, something Gretchen didn't end up liking for her). Our neighbor Georges (who owns the farm at the end of the farm road) was there with his youngish new wife, and we talked briefly about solar technology. He had photovoltaic panels installed atop the "pool house" he'd had built next to his new pool, though I suggested he get some hydronic panels and locate them below the pool so they can operate via thermosiphoning.
On the way home, we learned that the second Boston Marathon bomber had been captured after being found hiding in a boat parked in someone's back yard. The whole thing had played out like an advanced game of Grand Theft Auto, complete with a period during which no civilian cars were visible on the streets.
I used the excuse of having already fallen off the wagon to continue drinking once I got home, eventually surpassing the normal level of drunkenness I attain when I drink alone. But at least I was able to find my way successfully to bed.


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