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:
   shirtless man masala
Sunday, June 14 2015
Down at the greenhouse today, I looked carefully at the caterpillars attacking the trees, and though there is an ongoing epidemic of large brownish-grey inchworms and small green inchworms, the caterpillars most evident on the leaves themselves are the larval stage of Gypsy Moths. The most defoliated trees tend to be oaks and hickories (which is typical of Gypsy Moths), and the worst defoliation (which often leaves nothing but the midribs of leaves) is at the very top of the canopy. There had also been a lot of Gypsy Moths last year, although many of them were affected by a blight that turned their bodies into drooping sacks of foul brown liquid. I also noticed a lot of segments of fresh green pine needles in the forest litter, something I've never seen before. Evidently something is up there trying to eat pine needles as well. I should mention that in addition to the increased bird activity that has come with the caterpillars, I've also seen a great many large black beetles that may Calosoma, a European beetle that thrives on caterpillars.

This evening, I went over to Ray & Nancy's house to watch the final episode of Season Five of Game of Thrones. Jack and Ramona went crazy with deelight, so Nancy and I walked them in the back. Eleanor wandered off several yards (property boundaries, not the measurement) to the north, causing me to have to go looking for her. In doing that, I found a beautiful peach tree in the backyard of Ray & Nancy's new neighbor to the north. If they're anything like most Americans, these people know nothing of trees and have no idea what a peach tree looks like, so I suggested Ray and Nancy do some late-night harvesting when the peaches get ripe.
Ray was in the kitchen, shirtless from the heat as he made dinner. The scar from his open heart surgery is still an angry purpish-pink slash down the center of his chest. Had anyone else come over, Ray said, he would have put on a shirt, but I'm more like family and he doesn't mind being slob around me or letting me see his house in a not-fully-cleaned state. He also jokingly said he'd like to throw a "shirtless man party" to celebrate his 48th birthday, which is happening on July 1st.
When Ray cooks, the food is almost always exceptional, but this time he somehow exceeded his reputation. He made a kind of chana masala with cubes of frozen-and-thawed tofu as a side-protein, and he'd incorporated fresh kale from his garden. Nancy and I couldn't shut up about how delicious it was. There was also a salad based on both raddishes and rash greens, though it was a bit too sharply mustardy for my liking.
At some point we were talking about the Simpsons, and Nancy casually asked, "That's not still on, is it?" I assured her that it was, but for some reason it had left the culture's consciousness [perhaps pushed aside by the ongoing Golden Age of Television]. These days, I offered, it was mostly just being watched by children.
Tonight's episode of Game of Thrones had segments for nearly all the threads. It was a bummer when Jon Snow was stabbed to death, as he'd only recently become an interesting character. I was also disappointed that the sacrifice of Stannis' daughter didn't help Stannis' luck at all, and though I hate the guy, it was pathetic to see how badly outmatched he was in his stupid attempt to take Winterfell. As for Cersei's walk of shame, the worst part about it was that damn bell being rung by the woman shouting "Shame!" So now we have to wait another ten months to see what happens next.

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