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:
   maybe kratom isn't for me
Wednesday, August 5 2015
At around noon, Gretchen boiled up a bunch of Whole Foods vegan pierogies for both of us. She had hers with cream cheese and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut sounded good, but I replaced the cream cheese with Belizian habañero sauce, and that proved to be a delicious combination. I could eat that every meal of every day despite its dubious fusion of cuisines.
Throughout the day I had the task of shepparding another release of code for that Los Angeles site I work for, the one where I always serve as the guy who pulls the switches that make scary things happen. Today's release went fairly smoothly as these things go, though it nevertheless required my attention for much of the day. And there were a couple little problems along the way that required my attention.
Our guy Andy from Carpet One totally stood us up this morning, so this afternoon Gretchen gave him a call. He came out, made the measurements, and was so alarmed by the size of the space that he took the numbers back with him to massage.
With things going fairly well with the web code release, I decided to take a recreational dose of kratom, which I made this time in a small 12 oz. french press I'd bought specifically for this purpose. This time the tea didn't seem to have much of an effect on me other than to slightly upset my stomach, somewhat increase my desire to socialize, and make me feel mildly frazzled and vaguely uncomfortable. I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps kratom isn't the right drug for my biochemistry.
While experiencing the peak of the kratom dose, our visiting veterinarian arrived. Gretchen had arranged an appointment to ensure Oscar had been vaccinated for rabies and to complete a distemper program for Celeste (aka "the Baby"). The vet is a batty old woman plagued with procedural rigidity, poor people skills, and an inability to say anything with any brevity. Still, she's good with animals and has been very helpful (particularly when we needed an emergency antibiotic dose for Ramona several months ago). I helped with holding Oscar while she gave him an examination and two shot. He squirmed, bucked, and clawed, but between the three of us we managed to get 'er done. At the end of the examination, the vet weighed him and he came in at 13 pounds. Celeste, whose shots and examination went much smoother, weighed in at nine pounds.

This evening our friend Anna and her wife Emily (whom we know from Brooklyn and via Oberlin connections) came over for dinner. They'd rented a house upstate to attend a wedding in Kerhonkson. As always, we had drinks, vegan cheese, and crackers out on the east deck, though (because Anna is in AA), the drinks were all non-alcoholic except for that one IPA I started with. Gretchen had made radiatori pasta with pesto sauce and a small vegan quiche. Normally I find Gretchen's quiches too egglike for me to completely enjoy, but this one was nice and dry and the tofu inside it was identifiable as such.
Anna and Emily have been enjoying the near Catskills so much that they seemed to be entertaining ideas of one day moving up here, though of course that's never easy when one has New York City jobs. Currently Emily is working on a PhD in linguistics. She'd like to remain in academia, but linguistics department jobs come up very infrequently even when one looks at the nation as a whole. Short of that, the only job application of her degree that excites her is in ESL education, which was what led her into linguistics to begin with. I asked what language groups interest her the most, and she said Slavic and Germanic, though she has a particular fondness for the Balkans, a melting pot of dissimilar languages which nevertheless exchange vocabulary and even linguistic patterns.
Later we all took a walk up the Farm Road, though suddenly I realized I hadn't checked in with my guys in Los Angeles in hours. One never knows on a code launch day what sort of bodies are buried in the code. But as it happened, all was well.

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