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").


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Like my brownhouse:
   rewatched in the future
Friday, October 16 2015
Late this morning, Gretchen set off for Albany, where she would be catching a flight to Raleigh, North Carolina. Something called Triangle Vegfest was flying her down so she could read some of her evangelistic animal rights poetry.
When I set out to salvage wood, I didn't feel like carrying a backbreaking load, so today's burden only came to 91.5 pounds of very dry Chestnut Oak. I'm still getting wood from that medium-sized fallen tree about eighty feet east of the north end of the Gullies Trail.
Throughout the day, I took time now and then to watch Back to the Future (the first one), a movie I had not seen since catching a matinee of it at the Staunton Mall back in 19851 (when I was 17). There's been a lot of nostalgia about that movie lately, perhaps because we are now as far into the future as that movie had transported us into the past. Back to the Future is a sweet but very-1980s kind of movie (1950s nostalgia being very 1980s). Still, I remember walking out of that theatre back in 1985 and thinking my whole outlook on life had changed. That doesn't happen very often, so it must have been a good movie despite the Huey Lewis & the News soundtrack (which I hated back then as much as I do now) and the tiresome mad scientist/nerd/cool-kid tropes (which were already tiresome in 1985). I think the thing that struck me in 1985 and that made the movie seem transcendent was how Marty McFly's interventions in lives of his young parents (spoiler alert!) improved the present he would be returning to. Like most things from the 1980s, Back to the Future seems badly dated now, even in terms of the style of comedic acting. I also kept being distracted by the bad makeup in the scenes set in 1985 to make young actors look older. To add wrinkles, they apparently applied a thin layer of adhesive on their skin that would cause it to bunch up as it dried. But they did this in swaths here and there (on the neck and around the eyes), and it just made the actors look like they had patches of glue on their skin. This was particularly true on the high school principal and "Doc" Brown.

Though I more-or-less just hate-watch it at this point, I was excited tonight to see the big two-hour first episode of this season's Gold Rush, the "reality show" featuring the antics of gold miners (some of them deeply unskilled) in the Klondike. I was smoking pot, so perhaps I was more receptive to the show than I normally would have been, but it seemed today's show was a lot better than it had been in the past. The characters seemed more fleshed-out and human. I'd really grown to hate Parker, the young mine boss who got his start working for his 90-something grandpa (who is still alive). But in this episode, he seemed more mature and humble, and I loved that moment when he admitted to still being in love with some girl from eighth grade. There must be some new people working on the script (and surely there is on), and it promises to be a better, if not more real, show. That said, I found the complex dance between Parker, Tony Beets, and Gene Cheeseman completely preposterous. When Cheeseman refuses to return for another season to work for Parker and instead is hired by Tony Beets, it seemed just a little too convenient that there was a non-compete clause in his contract that gave Parker leverage over Beets when Parker needed land to mine.

1My hand-written diary #7 includes this brief review on July 21, 1985: "Hoagie drove me to the Plaza theatre to see Back to the Future. It was an excellent picture about a kid who rides a friend's time machine back to 1955 from 1985, fixes his Mom up with his Dad, and manages to return to the modified 1985. Probably the best film I ever saw." Later in the entry, there is this interesting tidbit, "I plan to do the goats [that meant feed the goats] as payment for Hoagie taking me to the theatre." My mother wouldn't do anything for me without my having to pay a price.

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