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:
   hot burrito at Alebrijes
Wednesday, September 23 2015
This morning after a night of drying on top of the tea pot, I wanted to see if there was any life left in the SanDisk Clip Zip MP3 player Gretchen had accidentally drowned in coffee yesterday. I hooked it up to a USB cable and plugged in a headphone. There was no sound whatsoever initially, but after randomly hitting buttons for awhile, I suddenly heard a constant white noise roar, sounding rather like a waterfall. Clicking the up buttons, I was able to gradually tune in an FM station that was playing Christian music designed to resemble mid-90s rock (currently the state of the art when it comes to Christian pop music). I could control the frequency and the volume of FM stations, but I could see nothing on the MP3 player's display, and its flash storage was not appearing as a volume on the computer to which it was attached via a USB cable. Evidently the display and the storage capability had been destroyed by flooding, but the FM radio functionality (as well as enough of the core computational ability to control it) had all survived. Perhaps this was all the result of an intervention by the Lord so that I would be able to hear His message delivered via an anachronistic faux pop song. Good try, God, but fail.
I took a recreational dose of pseudoephedrine in the early afternoon and, not long after, went down the Stick Trail a short distance on a firewood gather foray. As I've been doing on all the forays in this area, I soon turned east and walked out along the terrace towards the escarpment, where I found wood that's hard to spot from the Stick Trail. Today I collected some very dry oak (or perhaps American Chestnut) from the remains of a large tree fall that happened many many years ago. The load came to an impressive 136 pounds.
I've also been bringing home longer (unbucked) pieces of oak from the staging area west of the Farm Road, though I will not weigh them until I cut them into woodstove-sized pieces. While over in the staging area, it's been tempting to use sticks to line the sides of the existing mountain bike trails established by our neighbor Tommy (a process I refer to as "articulation"). Today I continued this articulation northwestward (in the direction of Tommy's house), reaching a fork in the trail that I proceeded to fully articulate. As great as a trail looks with sticks lining either side, it looks even better at a fork. There's something about the vague (but unmistakable) artificiality of those lines of parallel sticks that resonates with at least one of my æsthetic set points. That same æsthetic is what makes Andy Goldsworthy's creations a success.

This evening, Gretchen and I drove to Uptown Kingston to meet up with Carrie & Michæl and the two seed library guys (all of whom live together at a compound west of Accord). The occasion was to officially celebrate Carrie's return from her multi-month nanny gig in Los Angeles. We'd be eating at Alebrijes, the newish Mexican restaurant. But since they lack a liquor license, we brought the beer. We started with the random beers in the refrigerator and added a couple more from Beer Universe, including a large bottle of a Double IPA called Island Reserve. Unfortunately, it had a cloyingly sweet quality that was more off-putting for Michæl than it had been for me. It's doubtful I'll ever be getting that one again. As for food, I ordered a vegetable burrito with the instructions that it be made extra spicy, and the result was a very spicy but perfectly edible. And, in case I needed it to be even hotter, Alfredo (the hipster-glasses-wearing teenage waiter) gave me a little hand grenade of additional habañero sauce.
Dinner conversation concerned two main topics: ideas, mostly name ideas, for a nascent television show that Carrie and her sister (who works for Shonda Rimes) will be writing. The less set about that the better. The other topic was an award that the seed library boys want to be able to bestow on plant varieties being developed by small farmers and gardeners around the United States. Again, mostly what was needed from us was a name for the award. We brainstormed for a long time, even looking at labeled diagrams of flower parts for ideas. Gretchen thought "the Radicle Award" was perfect.
Later, after all of that had been discussed to death, one of the seed library guys related something odd that a pregnant friend of his had said. "I have a penis now," she declared, having learned that her fœtus is male. This led me to jokingly impersonate her for a moment to decree "I need to go masturbate now" as I pantomimed the masturbation of a tiny penis located near the center of my belly. Carrie found that so funny that she almost choked. But that wasn't even the grossest humor of the evening; earlier Carrie had related the time that a seed library visitor with what these days are called "special needs" had come into her & Michæl's house in urgent need of a bathroom. Their house isn't part of the seed library's public space, but he'd been desperate, so they'd acquiesced. After a half hour or so, the special needs person emerged, having left the bathroom a brown-spattered hellscape. His mother tried to clean up after him, but she'd only been able to reach so high.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next