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:
   my mother plays a harmonica
Monday, October 3 2022

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

I had a relatively shitty day in the remote workplace, and it had nothing to do with any actual human interaction. The shittyness was all because of difficulties I had figuring out how a web application worked. Nothing seemed to make sense, and I started to question whether it made sense to even be a web developer. This was in addition to a base level of dysphoria and dread I was feeling about some not-as-great-as-they-had-been polls for midterm Democrats and the nuclear saber rattling that is Putin's only effective response to the spanking Russia is getting these days from the Ukrainian military.
The best way I've found to deal with dysphoria is to go for a walk in the forest, and so I did, heading a short way up the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and then cutting through in the usual gulley to the Stick Trail and then back.

It was so cool today that I actually gathered a little just-in-time firewood and made a fire of actual wood in the woodstove. That made the indoor relatively cozy by the time Gretchen came home from work at the bookstore in Woodstock. Today she'd had to deal with an obnoxious customer from New Hampshire who kept patronizingly referring to Gretchen as "honey." Not surprisingly, he canceled his order because he didn't like Gretchen's "tone." Happily for Gretchen, I'd cooked a box of spaghetti and fried up some chonks consisting of tofu, onions, and the kind of mushrooms Gretchen is willing to eat. Today I'd realized that the season of Jeopardy! had already started, so I'd downloaded all the new episodes, and we watched the first of these while eating our spaghetti. Gretchen then watched another while I attempted to take a bath, but the just-in-time electric water heater wasn't working well enough to sufficiently heat the water. So I returned to my computer and forced myself to do a little more workplace work. My brother Don called while I was doing that. He hadn't called in weeks, so I immediately answered, fearing the worst. But he was the same as usual, immediately talking about something he'd learned by watching a movie on his flip phone. The thing he'd learned was that China's economy was about to collapse because it had relied too heavily on a construction boom as a destination for its citizen's investments. Don then quickly switched the subject to a book he'd been trying to get a local bookstore to get for him entitled I Contain Multitudes be Ed Yong. I looked it up on eBay and found a "very good" copy for $10, so I had it shipped to him. While all this was going on, I could hear our mother Hoagie nattering on in the background. I thought maybe she was talking to a friend or over a separate phone line. So I asked Don who she was talking to and he nonchalantly said, "She's hallucinating." So then while Don was off looking for the name of the book that turned out to be I Contain Multitudes, I shouted out to Hoagie (since I was on speakerphone) to ask how she was. She recognized who I was and then said she'd been playing harmonica lately. I assumed this was just another of her dementia hallucinations, so I said, "Great, can you play me some?" She then proceeded to play something on an actual physical harmonica, and it even sounded like she really had been practicing.

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