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:
   evidently not zero
Wednesday, June 30 2021
After work today, I drove to Uptown to get a few groceries for the dinner I'd be making tonight, and then I went to the Advance Auto Parts to get a birthday present for Powerful. The surfaces of at least some of the brakes on the Prius we'd just sold him need to be replaced, so I bought four rotors and eight pads, and somehow it all came to just over $300.
Back at the house I made spaghetti cooked with broccoli and fried up a pan of tempeh with mushrooms and red onions. While I was doing this, the power went out, probably the consequence of all the wind and rain we'd had at various times today. The problem with this was that Gretchen would have to be doing a big important reading tonight at 7:00pm, which was less than an hour away. When Gretchen returned from her bookstore shift and I told her the power situation, she freaked out and then began calling people. I knew that Ray and Nancy weren't home; I'd just Ray at the Stewarts as they were headed to Maryland. So then Gretchen called Sarah the Vegan, who now lives on this side of Kingston (off Lucas Avenue, I think), but she didn't pick up. Then I happened to remember that Kacey, the woman who lives across the street at That 80s House, has a generator. But she wasn't picking up either. Gretchen climbed into the Bolt, I handed her a laptop (which she was about to forget), and drove off somewhere. I thought maybe she was driving back to the bookstore in Woodstock, which probably still had power and internet. Gretchen normally likes power outage because of the cozy routines it forces upon us. But not this evening.
Meanwhile, I had relaxing evening to myself. At first I noodled around on my phone, but then I put that down and picked up a book, one Gretchen had just read entitled Gut by Giulia Enders, an informally-breezy non-fiction book about the gastrointestinal tract I'd been reading whenever going numero dos in the upstairs bathroom (something I've been doing more lately so as to take advantage of the bidet hose). Gut is full of interesting facts I hadn't known, including the fact that our rectums contain two different sphincters, only one of which we can consciously control. It also had at least one factual mistake that somehow eluded the editor: that DNA is made up amino acids.
I'd been asleep for awhile when Gretchen got home, and she wanted to tell me things. It turned out that she'd gotten a text from Kacey, and when she'd driven off, all she'd done was drive across the street. The reading hadn't gone perfectly either; Kacey's WiFi had been lost with her power, and Gretchen had been forced to do her reading connected to sort of cell-network-connected WiFi device that would occasionally cut out as she was trying to read a poem. More interesting than all of that, though, was that Gretchen had done some prying and found out more about Kacey and Konco's reluctance to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Astoundingly, it turns out that Kacey has swallowed a fair amount of right wing propaganda about the pandemic. She insists, for example, that hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that Donald Trump ignorantly touted (does he tout any other way?), is effective against covid. She also thinks for some reason that Anthony Fauci should be jailed, though her reasons are vague and are mostly about things he said back early in the pandemic when nobody knew exactly how to avoid the disease. Some of Kacey's feelings about hydroxychloroquine apparently come from Konco, who insists that it is effectively suppressing covid in sub-Saharan Africa. We'd known about Kacey's unexpected loyalty to the police (she flies a "thin blue line" American flag), but that could be explained by the fact that her father is a retired cop (much the way that some of Gretchen's old illiberal views about Isræl could be explained by her Jewish upbringing). But the Fauci hatred and the conspiracy-theory-adjacent faith in hydroxychloroquine doesn't make sense at all, particularly given her demographic: she's a vegan for animal-rights reasons, is a white woman with an African boyfriend, she doesn't seem to appreciate firearms, and is a white-collar urban professional from New York City. The number of such people who have faith in hydroxychloroquine while thinking Fauci should be jailed must be vanishingly small. But it's evidently not zero.
The power came back on a little before 11:00pm, though I just rolled over and fell asleep.

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