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:
   dudebros in my way
Monday, January 28 2019

location: Casa Trogon, Agua Vista Lodging, Montezuma, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Today I started doing remote work for the software firm that employs me. I set up my work laptop (that HP Envy x360) with my AOC travel monitor and one of the two Microsoft mice I'd brought. Somehow I'd accidentally left a bag containing the two earbud headphones at Chris & Steve's place on Lake Arenal, so I couldn't easily listen to music. For whatever reason, the fancy Bang & Olufsen speakers on the HP Envy x360 didn't work. So for a time I set up the Thinkpad T61 I'd brought for Gretchen (its speakers did work). But it was a ponderous arrangement, and only suitable when Gretchen wasn't around. (She spent several hours today down in Montezuma attending the first day of her one-on-one language class with her instructor Andy, who later drove her back up the impossibly-steep hill on the back of his motorcycle.)
Before Gretchen set out (on foot) for class, she fixed herself a sandwich consisted of bread, mayonnaise, vegan pepperjack cheese, and (for want of some sort of vegetable) shredded hearts of palms (which can be had fresh in Costa Rica). That looked good, so I made myself two such sandwiches, though I I added habañero carribean hot sauce to mine.
Back at Lake Arenal, one of the three working micro USB cables had gone bad on me, its connector vanishing into its plastic housing. Today I tried fixing it by pulling the connector out with Gretchen's cuticle nippers (for want of a better tool). When that didn't work, I tried attacking the housing with a knife. Happily, this caused it to split in two, and I could re-seat the connector and then weld the housing back together using a knife blade heated on the gas range. This bush fix proved solid, and we were back to having three working USB cables again. Having that many is important: we are traveling with three Android phones and an Arduino Leonardo, all of which require that sort of cable.
In terms of wildlife, we'd seen a single female Agouti yesterday, and she kept coming through every few hours. [Eventually we would name her "Agnes."] The Agua Vista guy we'd met yesterday had told us about an "albino fruit bat" that liked to hang from the ceiling of our open-air "living room." We hadn't seen him or her (we later named "her" "Wanda") yesterday, though we saw her hanging there today. I'm not sure if she's actually an albino or if she is a species of bat that happens to be white.

After Gretchen came home this evening, I drove the SUV into Montezuma to get some supplies. I needed an extension cord so I could use my computer outside at the picnic table. I also needed a set of earbuds I could use until the ones I'd left at Lake Arenal could be mailed here. In case I wanted to connect a power cord to the light overhead above the picnic table, I also wanted a screw-in socket with outlets on it. I looked all over Montezuma for a shop selling such practical items. But Montezuma is a lot like Woodstock, NY. There are a fair number of restaurants and lots of places to buy beach clothes and hippie jewelry. But the only good place to buy anything useful is the Super Montezuma. They have a hardware aisle and a place up near the front where expensive things like earbuds are displayed behind glass. The earbuds I bought cost 6860 Costa Rican colones (about $11.30). The six meter extension cord and switching outlet socket only cost several dollars each.
On my drive back out of Montezuma, I had to contend with the reality that people (and, to some extent, dogs) just do not get out of your way, and often you find yourself driving behind people at the speed of human walking. The whiter and more American the pedestrian, the less likely they are to get out of your fucking way. So as I drove behind a group of gringo-looking white guys, I found myself singing a little song to myself:

Dudebros in my way
Dudebros in my way
Every fucking day, every fucking day
Dudebros in my way

Back at the casita, my HP Envy x360 had perfectly good audio once I'd plugged in the headphones, proving there is something wrong with its speakers.

A social flycatcher near our casita.

Wanda the "albino fruit bat" hanging from the ceiling of our outdoor "living room."

Agnes the agouti.

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