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:
   sea day in the Baltic Sea
Wednesday, July 31 2019

location: Room 5115, cruise ship Vasco da Gama off the southwest coast of Sweden

Stockholm was our last destination on this cruise, and since embarking from there last night, our ship had been making its way back towards Kiel, Germany. But Kiel is a long way away, so a so-called "sea day" had been put in the schedule for today, meaning there would be no ports of call. Don't tell Gretchen, but I dislike being a tourist so much that I'd be happiest if every day were a sea day.
To take the best advantage of the day, I got up very early and went to Club Bistro for an Indian breakfast of dosas, sambar, and hashbrowns. Later, after Gretchen woke up, I got a second such breakfast.
I spent much of the middle of the day drinking kratom tea, occasionally alternating it with coffee. Not that I was getting much work done, but when the internet stopped working I found myself jumping through all the usual cargo-cultesque tricks in an effort to get it back. With an internal network and internet connection as flaky as the one on the Vasco da Gama, the complexity of the clusterfuck is enough to keep someone changing whatever variables can be changed while fruitlessly retrying. Eventually, though, it was clear that the internet connection just wasn't working. Interestingly, though, I noticed that even without an internet connection, the on-ship login system that keeps account of how much internet is being used (so as to know how quickly to drain your pre-purchased allotment of megabytes) continues to drain your account at a rate that probably adds up to 100 megabytes per day. This accounted for why Gretchen and I had each lost 100 of our purchased megabytes on the very first day of the cruise before we learned to log out of our accounts after each session. I'd bought 1000 megabytes, so that was just a mild ding for me, but for Gretchen that was half her 200 megabytes. The boat's account-draining algorithm had effectively robbed her of $15 worth of internet. Such behavior on the part of TransOcean is clearly fraudulent, but cruise ship companies are careful to site their headquarters in kleptocracies and other countries without consumer or worker protections.
For dinner, Gretchen and I met up with Kelly and Brian in the Middle Eastern restaurant for a slightly-fancier "final dinner" of the cruise. Because we were with Kelly and Brian it meant that, yet again, I'd be drinking red wine for free. Our conversations with Kelly and Brian frequently circle back to the differences between American and British English. Topics we covered tonight included whether or not to pluralize the brand "Lego" (Americans do, but Brits most assuredly do not). We also discussed some linguistic matters where we could all agree, such as how unpleasant it is to come across writing containing unnecessary apostrophes. I told Kelly about the time I photoshopped a picture of a mug that someone gave Gretchen reading "I am silently correcting your grammar." In my version, the mug read, "I am silently correcting you're grammar." Kelly nearly busted her gut from laughing about that. Speaking of busting a gut, Kelly told us about meeting with an on-ship doctor today to discuss her problem with acid reflux. The doctor's prescription was, she said, life changing: no more sugar, very little bread, no caffeine, and she must lose weight. Apparently acid reflux (at least of the sort she has) is aggravated by belly mass. Kelly describes her acid reflux as a kind of clenching, something I have also had several times in the past. But I haven't had that form of acid reflux in years. These days it manifests mostly as a bright burning feeling at the bottom of my esophagus and is often triggered by overeating. The symptoms usually go away if I take an antacid or a shit.

The Lido Deck.

Our cabin, 5115, on the 5th Deck of the Vasco da Gama

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