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:
Saturday, July 20 2019

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York, United States of America

Though we'd be beginning our Baltic Sea vacation today, I didn't really get around to packing until this morning. I always travel light, and this trip I would be traveling especially so. I would be carrying one laptop, various USB-type power supplies, USB cables, my CoolPix ultrazoom camera, various drugs (some of dubious legality), three teeshirts, a pair of swim shorts, a pair of non-swim shorts, a pair of long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of sweat pants, and a small number of magazines (the New Yorker, Make, and, accidentally, Jewish Currents). Gretchen would be packing even lighter, though she still insists on reading actual books.
At 10:30am, our housesitters arrived. I'd been in drinking coffee and so was in a better mood to deal with their sort of energy. When Stephanie asked about the speakerbot out on the edge of the parking area, I gave a full demonstration of what it can do, and the housesitters were more delighted by it than anyone else had been so far. Still, we would've rather waited around in the Newark airport than being in their energy vortex, so Gretchen and I began our travel a little earlier than we had originally planned to. I drove us all the way to Passaic, New Jersey, where Gretchen had found us La Taquiza Loca, a taco restaurant featuring a whole vegan menu. The place was so authentic that when we walked in, we were greeted in Spanish even though we were clearly gringos. It turned out the vegan menu even featured the names of meat dishes that had been somehow veganized. There was also a unique combination of mushrooms and bamboo shoots called tingas. That, and the huaraches (a thick handmade taco) suggested to us that this food was from some particular (and unfamiliar) region of Mexico. The food was as good as it was unusual, and even the jamaica juice was an unexpected delight (it wasn't as sweet as it looked like it was going to be). Initially, we were the only customers there, but then some workers came in to pick up lunch. And then a family came in and sat down. Everyone there but us were Hispanic.
Gretchen was trying out a new parking company near the Newark Airport, and it turned out to be the best one so far. Dropping off the car took less than a minute, and then we were in a shuttle bound for Terminal B, where we were also trying out a new airline, something called Eurowings. They're a severe discount carrier, so Gretchen had gotten us a modest set of upgrades: more legroom, television screens, and a vegan meal during the flight. Amazingly, it took less than ten minutes to get through security (which is nothing in an airport like Newark).
Somewhere in the Newark airport, we came upon a kiosk labeled "America!," which specialized in right-wing kitsch such as a teeshirt featuring a depiction of a shirtless (and totally-ripped) Donald Trump with various Trumpian tattoos, including a brick wall across the six-pack of his abdomen. The kiosk also sold Trump 2020 schwag and material celebrating the New York City police department There might've also been some dusty old 9Eleven crap. I could see the market for such products being a combination of pro-Trump tourists from America's flyover counties and those (particularly foreigners) buying it ironically.

America! kiosk in the Newark airport.

Detail of America! kiosk.

The extra legroom was something of an embarrassment of riches on our flight to Duesseldorf. We had more legroom than one typically gets on an Amtrak train, and it was just the two of us between the aisle and the window in a plane that was only about half full. We both watched the Rebel Wilson movie Isn't It Romantic?, a parody of romantic comedies, and even sync'd up our respective teevees so we were watching the same part of the movie at the same time. Later I mixed some booze into my orange juice and swallowed an ambien, leaving only about two hours of the seven hour flight after I woke up somewhere over southwestern England.

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