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:
   vegan finger food party
Saturday, March 14 2015
It was Pi Day, and an auspiciously more-accurate one at that, though the things Gretchen slaved away on all yesterday and this morning were not pies. She made five or six different elegant finger foods for a vegan "party" she was supposed to throw as the grand finale for the "plant-based certification" she was earning from the online Rouxbe Cooking School. While she worked in the kitchen, I went around with the broom, vaccuum cleaner, and various wet rags, making the house presentable. Occasionally, though, I'd provide technical help, such as when I went upstairs to get four inch-to-half-inch copper fittings to be used as legs holding up a wire mesh supporting an array of stuffed strawberries. I also helped with lighting when Gretchen photographed her various dishes, which is the basis for how her work is graded by Rouxbe.
Susan showed up early to further help with the preparations. By the time the people had all arrived, our party had about ten people present (including us). Nobody brought their dogs, so the cats (especially Sylvia but not Oscar or Julius — aka "Stripey") felt comfortable coming and going or lounging in front of the stove.
In addition to serving as Gretchen's final Rouxbe lab, today's party was intended to welcome Eva & Sandor to the area. As of some days ago, they'd moved permanently out of the the greater New York City area and, along with their four cats, taken up permanent residence in their quirky handmade house along Maverick Road in West Hurley. But of course Eva always runs late, so she and Sandor were the last to arrive at the party.
At some point me and one of the pot-smoking guests in attendance slipped off to the laboratory to have a marijuana break. After that, I was perhaps a bit less articulate but I still held my own in a number of arguments. Gretchen and I proceeded to have a good-natured debate on the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms. She was against it, of course, though my contention was that it was neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Most of her problems with turned out to be about issues other than actually about modifying organism genomes. Her beef was mostly with the intellectual property bullying of farmers by unsympathetic megacorporations such as Monsanto. My contention was that genetic modification of organisms is not a danger, since it happens all the time in nature and if anything terrible could happen, it probably already has happened. Furthermore, I said that it's possible for someone to produce genetically-modified organisms and release them into the public domain for the benefit of all. At that point, it's just programming using the ones and zeros (or, more accurately, the guanines, adenines, thymines, and cytosines) of biological code, and not really different from what I do professionally right now (though better, since little of my code ends up in the public domain).
Another interesting conversation concerned Kingston's claim to the water of Cooper Lake and the possible plan it has to sell its surplus to a water bottling company. Kingston, it should be noted, was once a much larger city with much more industry, so it has access to a lot more water than it presently needs. Most of our friends have a knee-jerk negative reaction to the plan. But Gretchen takes a more nuanced view, seeing as how bottling that water would hardly impact Cooper Lake at all. Besides, as long as there is a demand for bottled water (which is, admittedly, an ecological travesty), it has to come from somewhere. So it might as well come from a rust belt city in the Northeast with a critical need for infrastructure improvements. The alternative of shipping it from Europe or, god forbid, the South Pacific, is orders of magnitude worse.
The party, which had begun at 2:00, wound down by 7:00pm. After that, Gretchen holed up in front of the teevee to unwind, something she'd been wanting to do since noon. Eventually we watched a Shark Tank together and she was dismayed to see me continuing to drink. But I was only just beginning; I would also be smoking pot and trying not to embarrass myself too badly on Facebook. It was the first time I'd allowed myself to go crazy since Sunday.

Today's spread of vegan party food prepared by Gretchen.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next