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:
   a calculator for everything
Saturday, February 27 2021

location: room 7, Washington Park Inn, Albany, New York

This morning I changed channels and watched some videos on the Vevo country music video channel. As with the pop videos, these had been strongly affected by the global pandemic, though it was amazing how non-diverse the artists were. For something like an hour, the only videos being played featured male artists. Given the genre, nearly all of these were white. But there was one not-entirely-white artist named Kane Brown (he had a black father he didn't learn about until he was seven or eight).
Later I went down a channel to Vevo's hip hop music video channel, and the very first video we saw was by an openly lesbian rapper, which blew Gretchen's mind. And made her feel bad about how little she knows about hip hop (or, for that matter, pop). After that, we switched between the three music video channels, lingering for things we liked (on the pop channel, we'd already seen most of the videos in circulation) or skipping past things we didn't.
Gretchen's brunch plans were to pick up food from a place called Café Madison further out on Madison Avenue. I ordered the faux chicken pattie sandwich with fries and Gretchen went with some sort of vegan "scramble," the less said the better. We were still watching music videos as we ate these things in our room. I liked my food, but Gretchen was disappointed by her scramble.

This afternoon we drove out to the house-equipping superstore Ruby & Quiri in Johnstown, over a half hour to the west, first on I-90, and then on a series of a smaller roads (since there are no direct routes between places in this part of New York). Ruby & Quiri was deceptively small on the outside, and once inside, one kept thinking one was in a room of mirrors, given all the walls with what appareared to be windows on them. But no, those were cutouts allowing views into adjacent rooms. Gretchen had arranged to meet with a woman who would help us through all the shopping we would be doing, and we soon met her two dogs, one of whom was an overweight rescue pit bull named Thor, who was allowed the run of the place. I became really sleepy after helping Gretchen pick out five-inch hickory flooring and a couch, so I found a comfortable chair and read about various unsuccessful attempts to hack the BoogieBoard on my phone.
Later, after Gretchen and Thor's mother had selected a bunch of things, I was aked to try out various mattresses, and my favorite turned out to be 3 on a scale of 1 (hardest) to 10 (softest).
On the way back to Albany, we stopped at Pine Street Antique Gallery, a big rambling antique store to see if maybe they had any furniture that would be good for our Adirondack cabin. We found some benches for a trolley car that could have the seats flipped to make them face one way or the other depending on the trolley's direction and some elaborate storage containers. There were plenty of other things that may or may not be useful, so we walked around just getting a sense of the place. The owner wasn't wearing his mask, so Gretchen walked backwards when he started talking to her, though she felt better when he said he'd just been tested (still not a good excuse!). Gretchen obviously wanted to buy something while we were there, so we ended up blowing $140 on a pane of glass with leaded frames holding an array of 27 hand-blown circles of green glass.

On our way back to Albany, Gretchen phoned in a lupper order to Van's, the Vietnamese place she likes there. I got a noodle dish with mushrooms and two amazingly meat-like entities from the tofu and seitan universe. We ate these back in the room while continuing our obsessive watching of music videos.
At some point we wanted to calculate how much extra skin a five-foot-five woman would have if she went from 500 to 200 pounds, and it turned out there's a calculator for that. Well, not for that specific question, but for the surface area of a human given gender, height, and weight. The answer for the surplus of skin was a remarkable 18 square feet!
I took a shower and then had a fairly deep nap while Gretchen read from a book she'd forgotten to bring on our trip and had to buy from Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

This evening, Gretchen and I went down to the inn's common dining room, which hasn't been getting much use during the pandemic, to play Bananagrams. Gretchen ended up defeating me for all three of the games we were playing. This was partly a function, I think, of my unwillingness to destroy existing word structures. Creative destruction is very important in that game.

In Pine Street Antiques without our masks.

In Pine Street Antiques with our masks.

Antique cheap wines at Pine Street Antiques.

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