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:
   ugly architectural gash
Monday, January 18 2016
Late this morning, I brought home three large pieces from high on the trunk of the recent windfall and found that the load weighed 145.41 pounds, which is up there with some of my heaviest loads. Despite continued muscle pain in my legs, bringing such a heavy load home wasn't appreciably harder than it otherwise would have been.
This afternoon, I gave Gretchen her weekly alone time, driving into town and spending a couple hours dicking around on my laptop at Outdated. Normally I'd have the vegan tempeh reuben, but I wanted something a little less caloric, so I ordered the staff bowl (a rice & bean thing with avocado, jalapeños, and sauces). It was surprisingly spicy, but kind of dull. Maybe it just needed everything to have been deep fried.
As the hour approached 4:00pm (when Outdated closes), I waded back out into the bitter cold, got in my car (the Prius) and drove out to 9W to get a little lumber and metal brackets to help me quickly make a structure to better support the new kitchen sink, which was only being supported at its north and south edges (the left and right when facing the sink, which is to the east of the person using it). I don't normally buy dimensional lumber (two by X boards) that are any narrower than two by fours, but this time not having to rip boards was a labor-savings I was willing to pay for. So I bought a couple two by threes (which measure 1.5 by 2.5 inches in cross section).
Unfortunately, on my visit to ShopRite, I didn't find everything I was looking for. The highest priority was Red Rose tea, but I also was looking for unsweetened soy milk that hadn't been flavored with vanilla. It seems there are dozens of varieties of Silk-brand soy milk these days, most of them catering to people who want everything they eat to taste like candy. There were chocolate soy milks and even one called "very vanilla," but it looked like ShopRite doesn't even stock the only kind we can drink. I ended up buying almond milk instead (which Gretchen later said was unsuitable for her needs; she'd been hoping to make vegan yogurt).
I left the commercial garishness of 9W via Boices Lane, which took me, as it always does, just south of the sprawling industrial park where IBM once designed and manufactured Cold-War-era computer equipment. IBM abandoned that industrial park in 1994 (soon after the end of the Cold War), and it's been sitting mostly unused since then. Local boosters renamed the office park "Tech City" in hopes of riding one of the several national tech bubbles, but no permanent clients have been successfully recruited. The best Tech City has been able to achieve in a few temporary offices set up by H&R Block and Bank of America in one or two of the buildings, but the rest of the complex has received so little maintenance that roofs have failed. Indeed, the rot spread to Kingston itself, which has only shown signs of revitalizing in the last several years. Today, though, as I passed Tech City, I saw that the back of one of the buildings had been roughly torn away, leaving an ugly architectural gash resembling the reactor building at Chernobyl. Nearby, I could see a pile of I-beams, evidently reclaimed to be recycled. This must be the first stage of a redevelopment effort that might finally put Tech City to use. Gretchen had heard that the people responsible for the Diamond Mill Tavern are part of a horse-fancying organization popular among wealthy East Coast elites (think Ann Romney) and they have decided to expand southward into Kingston. And where better for them to expand to than Tech City, with all its infrastructure ready to go? This, Gretchen says, accounts for all the anomalous hotel building in among the chain stores along 9W. (Oddly, though, I can find nothing about this via Google searches, suggesting either Gretchen is wrong or she was privy to some down-low insider information.)
As I always do, I drove home via an out-of-the-way visit to the Tibetan thrift store in hopes of finding interesting odd gadgets. They had an Etch-a-Sketch Animator, which is computerized toy from 1986 that allows Etch-a-Sketch-style drawing on a chunky LCD screen, with the difference being that drawings can be saved to memory. I hadn't known such a thing was ever made. Also, the $3 scientific calculator with hyper-trigonometric functions was still there. Though there had actually been some product turnover since I'd been here on Wednesday, there was nothing worth buying.

This evening, Gretchen and I went with the dogs down to Ray & Nancy's house in Old Hurley, where we joined Ray, Nancy, and Sarah the Vegan. Ray had made a sort of Indian meal based on chick peas, basmati rice, and cauliflower. Oddly, he'd put little cubes of sweet potatoes (one of my least-favorite tubers) in the chick peas. It wasn't his best work, but it was pretty good.
Nancy had been thinking that in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day we should watch the Strangers With Candy episode about racism, but all we did was sit around and talk, occasionally consulting Ray's new laptop (a massive Lenovo device that was nevertheless very thin). I also drank a couple glasses of bourbon on the rocks.

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