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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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   fridge failure during a long voice message
Tuesday, June 25 2013
I was at the newly-tidied woodshed partly just to admire how tidy it was when a beautiful speckled grey beetle with large faux eye spots landed on me. I've seen this species (Alaus oculatus) before, and even photographed it, but it was so spectacular that I had to take another picture. The beetle was on my shorts and I didn't want to scare him away, so I actually took off my pants and ran back to the house naked to get my camera.

At some point this afternoon I went to the refrigerator to make a sandwich. There weren't any vegan cold cuts left, so I had to bust into a package of faux beef strips. The package, though, was oddly warm to the touch, so I took a look at the thermometer that has been hanging in the refrigerator since the last time it failed. Sure enough, it was showing a temperature of 70 degrees. The damn refrigerator had failed again.
The last time this had happened, I ended up taking the panel off the back of the freezer (it's on the bottom) where the main cooling coils live. There's a fan to take some of this cool air up to the refrigerator compartment above, but under some circumstances, too much ice builds up on the coil to provide the correct amount of air flow (or something; the nature of the problem is not too obvious). The little fan that is supposed to do the blowing seemed to be working, but it just didn't seem to be grabbing the cold air that it needed. So again I removed that panel and then I used hot water to thaw the ice off the coils. The refrigerator is supposed to defrost itself, but perhaps it had been overwhelmed by the recent waves of heat and humidity, perhaps aggravated by the failure of the freezer door to close (something I caught a couple weeks ago).
As I worked, I was listening to my usual podcasts, but at some point Gilly from Portland called and left one of her endless rambling messages on the machine. I was in no mood to have her prattling over my podcast, but there was no easy way to silence her either (there are numerous handsets throughout the house, and all of them broadcast the sound of any person leaving a message). So I turned up my headphones and muttered to myself.
About 20 minutes later, I could still hear a female voice going on and on about nothing in particular, and by this point I'd had it, so I said something like, "For the love of God, shut the fuck up!" But then I saw Gretchen walking in the door with a horrified look on her face. The voice I'd just heard was hers as she'd greeted the dogs. I felt terrible, but it was an easy mistake to explain.
Taking advantage of some of the freezer items strewn across the kitchen island, Gretchen whipped together an impressive pizza using a pre-made crust, mushrooms, and some sort of faux meat that seemed almost like the sloppy joes they used to serve at Riverheads Elementary School.


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