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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").



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   fire pit and debate
Thursday, October 22 2020
It was warm, humid day, suprisingly so for this late in October. The kids down across the ravine below us apparently had a new drone, as we could hear it buzzing around. At one point it flew north up Dug Hill Road beyond our house, a tiny object hundreds of feet above the trees sounding like a swarm of angry bees. But I didn't hear it much after that. It probably exhausted its batteries and crashed into a tree, which is the fate of most drones I suspect. Nearly five years ago when I was into drones, I eventually gave up on flying them around the house, given all the trees there. It was much better to fly them down in the cornfields of the Esopus Valley.

At the end of my workday, which was unusually full of meetings, I grabbed the biggest of my battery-powered chainsaws and went a short distance west of the Farm Road to cut down another dead white pine. I then bucked it into pieces and loaded it (with a variety of smaller, drier pieces and sticks) onto my wood-hauling backpack and brought it home. I then split the bigger pieces with a splitting maul so we'd have wood for the fire pit tonight. Friends would be coming over for some of that socially-distanced firepit action.
I changed into shorts and flip flops and then drove to the Uptown Hannaford area both to get things from Herzogs (acetone, high-quality duct tape, a hose cutter, and a strap wrench) and from Hannaford (beer, kombucha, diphenhydramine, bloody mary mix, and SmartBacon). I let the dogs out briefly, and Neville immediately found a chicken bone. He was so absorbed by that that he completely missed a big fat pit bull looking at him in a passing pickup truck.
Back at the house, Powerful had done more course-related cooking, but tonight it was amazingly bad. He'd made a pasta & vegetable dish that contained olives but no actual, well, sauce. He'd made that without a recipe, so there was no one to blame but him. And his marinaded tofu was too salty, since the marinade had been little more than just soy sauce (though that was what the recipe had called for). It was so warm that we actually were able to eat this miserable dinner out on the east deck. By then it was already dark, but there were lights we could turn on.
Jeff and Alana arrived at around 7:30pm, so I quickly built up an all-pine firepit fire (starting the flame in a pile of pine needles). Sarah the Vegan arrived shortly thereafter. By then Gretchen was serving hot chocolate, though of course I was drinking a beer instead. Getting that was the main reason I'd driven into town.
Jeff and Alana told us about how their two cats (a mother and son) had suddenly started fighting one day, and, since the fighting has continued, they've had to keep the cats separated (they are indoor cats). Alana mentioned that the cats' names are Didi and Gogo, and that those were the nicknames of characters in Waiting for Godot. I of course, then, had to say, "Waiting for Godot is my favorite play!" This was something Gretchen had to immediately brand as sarcasm lest Jeff and Alana think me serious. I agreed that it was, and explained, not entirely in jest, that watching a local production of Waiting for Godot had been the worst occasion of my life. I then went into all the details, including the slow chewing of unpopped popcorn kernels. This led ultimately into a number of stories from Alana about her life in theatre, starting on a kids' show in Chicago and then into some mostly-unpaid acting in New York City.

At around 9:30pm, we went inside and watched the last presidential debate of 2020, already in progress. Powerful didn't join us, and Jeff joined us only watched it for a few minutes, but the rest of us sat somewhat socially-distanced in the teevee room, with Sarah and Alana mostly wearing masks (except when they sipped their beverage, which had changed from hot chocolate to wine to port). In this debate, Trump was decidedly more restrained, partly because his mic was automatically muted during certain phases of when Biden was talking. He also seemed less crazed, but that might've been a result of that constraint. As for Biden, he's always a bit sloppy with how he talks, but he landed some good rhetorical blows and made effective use of eye-contact and empathy. For his part, Donald Trump never seemed the least bit empathetic or aware of which camera was carrying his image. Still, the fact that Trump didn't seem completely nuts put me on edge. Could this be the meagre performance that some Republicans would grasp on to to decide that they would vote for him after all?


For linking purposes this article's URL is:
http://asecular.com/blog.php?201022

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