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:
Friday, July 17 2015
It was a beautiful morning and the east deck was pleasantly mosquito-free, so we decided to have our Saturday morning coffee this morning instead. Gretchen was very excited by a transcript of a talk given by Tavis Smiley on Dr. Martin Luther King's final year, when, little remembered by history, he was becoming increasingly marginalized and even reviled for his increased attention to the Vietnam War and issues of workers' rights. Gretchen had been feeding me bits of Smiley's talk for days, but today she kept me as a captive audience out there on the deck as she summarized all the transcript's points, partly as an act of cementing them in her brain. I wasn't anywhere near as interested in this material as she was, but the thing about a marriage is that you indulge your spouse when they show this level of excitement. I expect (and sometimes even receive) the same.
Later Gretchen was scratching Eleanor on her rump the way Eleanor loves to be scratched, and in doing this, she detected lots of tiny black flakes. This could mean only one thing: fleas. Nothing else produces waste blood in this form. Sure enough, a flea comb pulled up dozens of the little suckers. Immediately we launched into a flea-combatting jihad (or fleajad), though it wasn't as furious and hysterical as such things have been in the past. Oily flea poison was applied between the shoulder blades of the cats and dogs, and I went around with a noxious bottle of flea spray and hit all the places where the dogs and cats like to lie. They've been avoiding such places of late, sleeping out on the decks or the middle of wooden floors, so perhaps this should have tipped us off. Gretchen also washed all the sheets and blankets on our bed, as well as the always-somewhat-funky teevee room blanket.
Gretchen had a plan of maybe taking the dogs on a hike to a pretty nature place she likes to walk dogs with Carrie-&-Michæl Michæl, and then maybe even making a fire, eating some camfire food, and spending the night in sleeping bags. I would have done that, but then Erica (of Justin & Erica) called from her family compound up near Tannersville to invite us over for quesadillas. She'd been trying to get together with us for days, and this was the last day she and Justin would be at the compound this week, so we decided to go. Unfortunately something traumatic had happened to their dog Liddy, so we had to leave our dogs home. It was just as well, since they were of course infested with fleas.
Before we left for that family compound, I brought two long sticks of wood back from the nearby staging area across the Farm Road. Once bucked into pieces, the sticks yielded 122 pounds of firewood. One of these sticks included a stump, which I'm not including in that weight tally.
About an hour after that, Gretchen and I were at the pool at Erica & Justin's place. Erica's sister Sarah was also there with her family. Recently their little boy Milo was diagnosed with celiac disease, and so now all the bread-related equipment (such as toasters) has to be labeled according to whether or not it is to be used with gluten-containing foods. Gretchen and I like to make fun of gluten haters ("glutards"), but it turns out Milo's ability to absorb nutrients had deteriorated so much that he'd actually stopped growing.
The pool was a little cool, so Justin turned on the heater. He and milo played for awhile, with him throwing Milo through the air or throwing balls to him as he jumped off a diving board. Later, when Justin went off to grill the quesadillas and zucchini, I played a simple game of pool-based catch with Milo, but as I did so, he kept coming up with increasing esoteric rules for the "game" we were playing. He also kept tally of the points being acrued, all of which he would proclaim with the sing-song melody of the famous taunt "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo." His arithemetic skills weren't quite up to the task of successfully incrementing our scores, though, oddly, he did seem to be fully aware of negative numbers.
As for quesadillas, I have to say up front that I find them somwhat underwhelming. When I went off to college, I was exposed to a number of foods for the first time, and they fit into three categories:

Foods I first encountered in college (circa late 1986).

foods that were hyped but I found disappointing foods that were equal to their hype foods that exceeded their reputations

That said, today's quesadillas (which included refried beans as well as some sort of vegan cheese) were really good, particularly once doctored up with kale and a fillet of zucchini.
We only stayed for a couple hours, and nearly all the conversation was among the women who were present.

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