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:
   two things in Tivoli
Wednesday, December 10 2014
Normally I wake up whenever my body decides to, but this morning I awoke to an alarm at 8:00am. That's early when you didn't get to sleep until about 1:30am. (The main problem with my new temperance is that it's difficult unwinding at the end of a day. Last night this was compounded by the fact that I was working under a supplemental self-imposed "no drugs except caffeine" rule.) As I remarked to Gretchen at the time, I can understand why Americans go through their lives always throttling an undercurrent of rage. It's not torture, but waking to an alarm most mornings would do that to a person.
The reason I had to wake up so early was that I had to meet my Lightroom/webapp client Alex at his house in Tivoli at 10:00am. But because Gretchen also had to be somewhere early (some sort of grant reception event), I also had to walk the dogs. I made the mistake of wearing Crocs in the forest, and of course the ground was full of puddles from all the recent rain and melted snow, and I drenched my right foot with icy water twice.
Alex has been doing a lot of work of late on his old sagging Victorian house overlooking the Hudson, and when I went to a side door to knock, I found that the door was no longer there. It wasn't just that it had been barricaded; it had been so perfectly replaced with a wall of clapboards that I wondered for a moment if I was at the correct house. The only way in was via the front door. Later, when I needed to use the restroom, I made a beeline for where I knew a bathroom to be, but when I opened the door to what had been a sort of den, I found it had been transformed into a fancy bedroom now occupied by an woman whom I realized must be Alex's mother-in-law, a batty old lady recently extracted from a dilapidated hoarder situation in West Virginia. "Excuse me!" I said. Alex then directed me to the bathroom upstairs.
The meeting I'd come to attend was in the parlor (Victorian houses cannot be said to have "living rooms") and was attended by, in addition to Alex and me, a hip web designer with greying hair named Rob and a young woman hired on to handle marketing (I don't remember her name). As always for these sorts of meetings, I was not adequately briefed on what was to be discussed or who these people were, but I figured it out. The new people seemed competent, though they were a bit too enamored with WordPress as a solution for every challenge presented by the web. It's configurable, tested on every browser, and endlessly maintained, we were told. It all sounded pretty convincing, but I've had too many bad experiences with solutions that claim to be all things to all people to sign on. Still, perhaps if the new version of the website is to be rebuilt from scratch (which is what the millennial marketing chick wants), Rob can do it all himself. He sounded like he could handle the whole thing, which would free me to work on the Lightroom plugin webapp, which is really all I want to be doing anyway.
Once that meeting was done, Alex and I had another meeting in the greater Tivoli area, this time with the folks who host his website from a compound a little to the east of the village across route 9G. I've heard that these web hosts are members of a cult, which reminds me of the Heaven's Gate cult from 1997 (I blaaged about them at the time), the folks who funded their cult by building pages on the primitive World Wide Web. They're also the ones who castrated themselves, wore matching Nike sneakers and sweat pants, and, when they committed mass suicide, thought they were joining up with aliens traveling in the tail of the comet Hale-Bopp. So, today as we walked around the compound east of Tivoli, I was careful to note the clothes being worn by the men (they were all men) and the decorations on the wall. The decor was all pretty generic stuff: framed photos of nothing too remarkable, perhaps a tree in a foggy landscape. We only saw three or four guys while we were there, and two of them appeared to be wearing matching khaki trousers, so it's possible they'd been bought in bulk from Walmart. That's all I got; perhaps they're not a cult at all. Anyway, we had a good meeting with M, the guy I've communicated with in the past. He made me feel better about my Lightroom webapp after he told me that the virtual machine that it now runs in has very weak specifications.

Once I was done with my business in Tivoli, I drove back to the Kingston area and made a number of purchases from Home Depot. The most important of these was an automatic door closer for the front door. Last winter someone neglected to latch it completely it was open all night, costing who knows how much energy. It's also accidentally been left open for brief periods in recent times, and I don't want to have to worry about it any more.

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