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:
   color scare
Sunday, October 12 2014
We had our weekly coffee ritual this morning early before Gretchen went to work. It was cold enough in the living room fro me to stoke up a nice fire, something that would be a draw for cats and dogs well into the afternoon. Somehow I'd managed to get some paint from the Wall Street house on my trousers yesterday, and when Gretchen saw it this morning, she became concerned because it looked lighter than the paint she'd thought she'd ordered. Of course, she'd ordered it from a small square on a tab of white card stock, and my pants were medium-brown in color, so it was possible that the context made the paint on my pants lighter than it had looked in the sample. It was also possible that the paint on my pants was primer, which was not especially well-matched to the color of the final coat. In any case, Gretchen called Eric and asked him to email her a picture of the house with some of the final paint on it so she could determine if it was correct. But, while modern smartphones are great at lots of things, they're not necessarily perfectly color-calibrated.
Later in the afternoon, Gretchen emailed me to say she'd seen a photo emailed by Eric and that she was now worried the color was wrong. I hadn't been planning to go out to the house today, but now she wanted to meet me there after her shift ended at the bookstore in Woodstock. It would be after 6:00pm by then, and daylight would be fading. But that was the only time she had available.
So after debugging and fixing a vexing problem with the Lightroom webapp (newly-created users weren't being assigned the session ID necessary to tie Lightroom to a web browser window), I loaded up the dogs and drove out to the Wall Street House. It was in various stages of being painted, and, as an encouraging sign from the neighborhood, the nearest neighbor had talked with Eric and said she liked the new grey-blue color. The old color, a faded white, had caused a lot of troublesome glare in her small house immediately to the south.
I'd shown up about two hours before Gretchen would be arriving, so I busied myself by making a new hatch door for the attic. The old one closed by simply resting over the hole from above, though the new one would be hinged to the bottom and eventually have a latch. To stiffen the quarter inch of plywood, I built a framework of light one by three lumber. Once I had it installed, it was tight on one corner, meaning I would have to do some sanding. But by then, Gretchen had arrived. We looked at the house and decided the top coat color would be perfectly acceptable.

From the house, Gretchen and I drove over to Ray and Nancy's house in Old Hurley to attend a small dinner party. In addition to us would be Nancy's sister Linda, Linda's husband Adam, their 2.5 year old son Jonah, Sarah the Vegan, Eric (our painter, though he showed up late), and, for a time, that guy Rich who works as a potter in Woodstock. While Rich has grown fat, Adam, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, has gotten skinny. Due all the people and such, I initially left the dogs in the car, though over the course of the evening I let in Eleanor and then Ramona (who ended up being fairly well-behaved; when she roughoused with Jack the Dog, it was as if they were trying to do it quietly). Ray had made another of his oddball Asian fusion dishes, in this case two curries served with rice. My favorite of these was the one with chick peas and purple cauliflower in a peanut sauce. As for beverages, I'd bought a forty of a malt liquor with the delightfully ironic name of "Country Club." Unsurprisingly, it wasn't very good. ( rates it as "awful."). As always at dinner parties at Ray & Nancy's, the evening was a non-stop series of setups and punchlines in a relaxed, uninhibited atmosphere. Conversation ranged from the Ebola outbreak ( headlines were screaming about a second case in Texas this morning) and the surprisingly rapid ongoing collapse of homophobic marriage laws to Adam & Linda's new place in Studio City. (It's a million-dollar house and includes a pool.) Also, there's good news from Ray's brother Kim. He'd been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and given just months to live, but after multiple rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, he's been declared cancer-free. "Maybe there really is a God," I said. That was a setup for a conversation about how blindered and narcissistic one has to be to interpret one's own personal survival as evidence of God when all around you is disease, death, and senseless violence. While I'm on the subject of God, I should mention that Linda & Nancy's mother recently asked Linda if her young son Jonah would be learning about "Jesus, Jehovah, or Santa Claus" in the upcoming Christmas season. She hadn't raised Linda & Nancy in an especially religious environment, but memes have a way of influencing their host if only just to propagate a little further.

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