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:
   dinner party in Omicron times
Thursday, January 27 2022
Powerful's gout was so bad yesterday that he never made it up the stairs, and I'd started wondering (somewhat) if he was still alive. It turned out that he was, and by this morning he was in such pain that Gretchen drove him to the emergency room, where he was eventually given injections of steroids and lidocaine directly into his joints.

Today in the remote workplace, I made some progress understanding how Azure DevOps pipelines work. It turns out there's an easy way for them to communicate through firewalls and VPNs, which easily solved one of the biggest headaches that I was anticipating. I still don't really get how the pipeline communicates where it is putting files on the destination server, but if I keep researching this stuff (and can pry myself away from all the police and courtroom footage related to the Chandler Halderson case), I'll be able to accomplish something for my new colleagues. (For those who don't know, Chandler Halderson was a lie-living slacker in Wisconsin who murdered his parents once his lie started to be exposed, similar to the Jennifer Pan story.)
I'd happened to see a headline on a website and so knew that in the episode of Jeopardy! we started watching at about 5:30pm, Amy Schneider would be losing. It was sad to see her streak end, but Gretchen was heartened that the person who defeated her was a super queenie guy with crazy glasses who had to clutch his chest when he learned he'd won against Jeopardy!'s biggest queen ever. As Gretchen put it, "Jeopardy! is super gay right now!" And she likes it that way.

This evening Powerful was feeling okay enough to stagger to the Chevy Bolt to ride with me, Gretchen, and the dogs down to Ray and Nancy's house in Old Hurley. (There's still no backseat in that car, so Gretchen and the dogs had to lie in the dog bed that is back there.) This was a belated celebration of Gretchen's 51st birthday, which had to be postponed after Ray and Nancy were exposed to a child with coronavirus two weekends ago (which they thankfully did not get). Tonight's dinner party was fairly large for Omicron times, with Ray, Nancy, their friend Amy, Sarah the Vegan, Kate, and all three of us. This might've been a bit of a risk, but two of those people (Kate and Sarah) were unlikely to be infected, as they'd just recovered from Omicron earlier in January. Amy had made some sort of cocktail featuring gin, sugar, and muddled citrus rinds with prosecco, and that was what all of us (except Ray, who doesn't seem to be drinking these days) drank. Ray was in the kitchen cooking two big entrees: a pot of some sort of spicy curry containing potatoes, cauliflower, and peanuts, and an Asian noodle dish saturated with way too much basil. After we'd had all that, Sarah brought out a lemon & olive oil cake she'd baked garnished with fruit and six lit candles for Gretchen to blow out. On top of all that, Gretchen had brought a collection of fancy vegan croissants that had arrived today via FedEx.
Later we repaired to the living room, where the discussion was mostly about growing old and dying. Most of us now have geriatric parents with dementia, paranoia, and other unpleasant traits, and some of them are being kept alive by medicine when, as Gretchen makes clear as often as possible, they should be allowed to die (or even helped along). Talking about such things seems to be a common thing among people our age. I told the assembled that twenty years ago my own mother said she didn't want to end up in a nursing home or have a lingering demented existence, but now that's exactly what she's doing. "It's like a frog in a frying pan," I said, reaching for a well-understood cliché. "It's frog in a boiling water," Gretchen corrected, and then we spent an unnecessarily long time discussing that particular simile. But it's all a waste of time; decrepitude is coming for all of us, and talking about it doesn't really help, particularly when it pushes aside more fruitful conversations. Eventually the topic of discussion changed, and Gretchen opened her various presents. These included a small painting of a light brown pit bull Kate had bought on Etsy, a tiny overpriced saucer decorated with black flower petals, and perhaps other things. Meanwhile, Neville was aggressively snuggling with Kate, making her delight with his every purr and snort.

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