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
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Irving housing

got that wrong

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Arduino μcontrollers
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   Silicon Valley vs Happyish
Monday, April 27 2015
This morning I added the five more buckets of soil I'd mined yesterday to the cabbage patch, which now contains 35 buckets of Esopus levee topsoil (among many other things). In terms of buckets of topsoil added to a single contiguous patch here on Hurley Mountain, that has to be some sort of record (although I probably added that much Esopus Creek topsoil to the top of the fill around the greenhouse).

I've been having some weird reliability problems with ATTiny microcontrollers running the AmbientWeather sensor reception code. The controller will work for a time and then mysteriously crap out, never to work again until I disconnect cables and reflash the code back into the controller. It's become a really vexing problem, because the ATTiny doesn't run long enough for me to try necessary variations on the code (such as the part where it will be queried via I2C to extract the gathered probe data). For now all I can do is continue testing it and changing things until (hopefully) I find what is going wrong.

This evening I watched several more episodes of Silicon Valley and enjoyed them more than I had earlier episodes. The 6th one is so chock-full of golden moments, and more than made up for some weaker episodes. It had self-driving car that drove itself (and a single human passenger) right into a shipping container so it could be transported to an artificial island in the pacific. It had a bratty computer-prodigy-for-hire (from the smoking ruin of a collapsed dotcom) who required Adderall to get anything done. And it had a matter-of-fact satanic ritual (attended by some of the protagonists in hopes that it would allow them to sleep with the new girlfriend of their friend).
Later Gretchen and I watched the pilot episode of a new comedy called Happyish, mostly on the strength of its writer (Shalom Auslander) and its Upstate setting. (That would be Woodstock; brief establishing shots were filmed outside the bookstore where Gretchen works, shutting down Woodstock for much of an afternoon.) But it proved almost unwatchable. Most of its "humor" consisted of repetitive obscenities, and none of the characters were the least bit interesting, let alone sympathetic. There was even a gratuitous black friend, played by the guy who played Bubs the junkie police informant in the Wire. Gretchen hated it even more than I did, particularly the sense it seemed to have about itself being edgy (including a scene where our loathsome hero has sex with an animated advertising mascot). She said this reminded her of Girls, but Girls is (in my opinion) easily five times better. The problem was partly a lack of joke density; Auslander needs to hire a team of writers and not depend on himself bringing all the funny. Perhaps Happyish would have been good had it come out in the mid-90s, but at this stage of television's evolution it lacks what it needs to survive. Having just seen episode six of Silicon Valley, it was all too clear that Happyish had no future. Had it been humor-for-the-masses such as Two Broke Girls, maybe it could find a niche and survive. But it was clearly geared to people like Gretchen and me, and people like us have too much better stuff to watch on teevee to spend any time watching this.

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