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:
   partially turned into a pumpkin
Friday, March 24 2023
It was unusually quiet in the remote workplace today, and I didn't do much of anything in it until early this afternoon. Bright and early, I'd taken that recreational 150 mg dose of pseudoephedrine I'd wanted to take earlier in the week, and by noon I was wanting to temper its effects with alcohol. So I painted a not-great praying mantis on an old AAA card. I'd initially had it in my head that I would paint an illustration for that "the Roboto Uprising Is Inevitable Now" document I'd put on Medium the other day, as the illustration I'd used (generated, ironically enough, by an artificial intelligence named DAL-E) wasn't completely satisfying. (Initially the illustration had the fedora-wearing human smiling, something that was easy enough to change in Adobe Photoshop.) But then the idea of painting a mantis popped into my head (who can explain such things?) and I decided to do that instead.
In the late afternoon, at around 4:30pm, Gretchen returned from either physical therapy or a social call and at that point I went out mostly just to get out of the house and do something by myself. I took the dogs, and drove straight to the Tibetan Center thrift store, where I bought some sort of elastic tube contraption that appears to be designed to allow three people (I'm picturing drunken members of a college fraternity) to shoot large arrows. The tube has handles on either end, much like the three-person slingshot some of my friends and I played with back in college, though it doesn't have a projectile pocket. From there, I drove out to the Hurley Ridge Hannaford to buy a few provisions such as a 12 pack of beer (they didn't have any Belgian ales, so I stuck with what works: Hazy Little Thing), antacids, a bottle of Cholula hot sauce, and a bag of chips flavored with MSG (something that I decided I'm a huge fan of while in Costa Rica). I couldn't find any of that last one, unfortunately, though I'd been able to buy such corn chips from that very store in the past.

Back home on Hurley Mountain (as opposed to Hurley Ridge), it was time for Gretchen and me to go to a double dinner date with Cathy and Roy, the falafel people, at La Florentina. On the drive over there, Gretchen told me what she'd learned today at physical therapy. It seems she has a herniated disc (she used the term "slipped disc") between the fourth and fifth cervical vertebræ (though she only mentioned C4). Eventually it will heal itself, though she's been told she needs physical therapy sessions twice a week and there are exercises she can do on her own in the meantime.

The last meal Gretchen and I had at La Florentina had been a little disappointing, which left us feeling concerned about the fact that it had recently changed ownership. But today the food had somehow been made great again. Cathy and I ordered exactly the same thing as we did (the key dish being the red cabbage sformato with tahini sauce, which we call "purple pie"), though Roy ordered a glass of white wine while I had the house merlot (which is pretty much the perfect red wine). Among the topics discussed included the solar panels on a brand new house that Cathy and Roy recently had constructed. It's not off-grid, so it needs no battery. But at peak output, it produces 17 kilowatts, which is about four times what our cabin's solar array can crank out. The panels won't be visible from the street, since house's roof is quite flat. This suggests they'll be covered with snow and useless for much of the winter. Central Hudson doesn't pay people with solar panels for the electricity they put back on the grid, though they do give them a credit to use against times (such as at night or in the winter) when they do need to draw electricity from the grid.
We also talked for a surprisingly long time about the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. I forget what Cathy was, though I remember Roy saying he is an INTP, which I test as when I fail to test as an ENTP (despite my generally-reclusive nature, where the test thinks I fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum is somewhere near the middle). My feeling about such tests (and I said this tonight at dinner) is that they aren't that much more useful than astrology, but such tests (as well as astrology, for that matter) do provide a starting place for a discussion of personality.

After dinner, Gretchen and I drove to Adams Fairacre Farms to get a few things Gretchen needed for a lunch meal she'd be preparing tomorrow to be attended by our recent housesitter Fern and her mother. Unfortunately, the store closes at 8:00pm, and it was about 7:45 when we arrived. By then the store had partially turned into a pumpkin; employees had already wheeled away the fresh loose mushrooms to the back of the store for the night, forcing Gretchen to buy packaged mushrooms. Fortunately the fresh broccoli was still out.

Today's mantis painting. It's on an old membership card for the American Automobile Association (AAA).

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