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:
   what makes for qualitative music theory
Tuesday, December 24 1996 Stefan, my muslim coworker, replaced me at 7am since he owed me some hours. I motored directly back to Staunton, my childhood home, for a sort of Christmas rendezvous with the family (or as Leslie Montalto, my old girlfriend, would have said, the "fam-a-lie").

Once home, I drank some booze and went directly to bed. I'd slept very little in twenty hours.

During the nap I had some sort of dream about improving my present relationship with Jessika. It was a happy dream, the sort you wake up from in disappointment. I hate dreams like that. They always haunt me, sometimes for years after the basis for them has disintegrated. I still occasionally have dreams like that about Gretchen Pr!mack, who I haven't had a conversation with since 1989.

Josh Furr, my favourite redneck rock and roll dilitant, called and wanted me to come over to play some music. It seemed as though there was no alternative to my saying yes. Besides, I sort of wanted to go. I enjoy playing music, and like it even better when my music is appreciated. One thing Josh can be counted on to do is appreciate my music. There once was a time when he tried to give me technical tips on guitar playing. But that was a long time ago. He now apparently views my failings and lack of orthodoxy as integral to my unique style. Sometimes he even says, without a hint of overstatement, that we're his favourite band.

So at his place we watched a videotape of Pantera from their Cowboys from Hell phase, when the lead singer still had a mohawk. I could see in this videotape strong traces of their glam-metal pedigree, and it didn't leave me impressed. I think the Pantera that I like so much is their latest album, Great Southern Trendkill. They are one of those few bands (like Slayer) that actually improves with each album.

We smoked harsh seedy marijuana and drank Milwauki's Best ("The Beast"). The marijuana was strong is a purely physical way; I started trembling violently. Briefly, too, it crossed my mind that I was being shitty to Jessika.

My playing and singing were both good tonight, at least by my standards. For the first time I felt my hands knowing where to go on the guitar when an emotional shift would come to my spontaneous lyrics. But I also found myself getting into dreadful melodic ruts of the most inferiour Dead Milkmen variety. To break out of these I would find myself growling in a death-metal way. But there must be a better solution.

Interestingly, upon hearing the tapes of tonight's performance, I found that progressions that had seemed endless when I was performing them were in fact very brief, and that my playing had been a long series of short musical ideas stacked one on top of the other, usually with a transition formed by an error in my playing that I would incorporate as the basis for the next section.

Josh's girlfriend, a very tolerant and nice (but hideously ugly) young woman kept calling him to maybe get together tonight for some Christmas Eve romance (by the way, I should let you in on a secret; I have never been anywhere near a girl on any Christmas Eve). But Josh was much happier playing music with me than he was with the prospect of a night with his girlfriend. So he adopted a peculiar loud alien voice when communicating with her over the phone. Then he would scream some nonsense and fall into a normal speaking voice, accusing her of conspiring with her brother to in some way "get" Josh. If I really understood Josh's paranoia, I'd be able to explain better. But I just felt sorry for her. She would try to end the call on a good note and he would prevent that from happening, so she'd call back right away and the abuse would continue. It was so degrading that I just started laughing. It was sick on my part to find this affair in any way humourous, but I had no choice to keep from going insane myself.

After we were done playing, we heard repeated knocking on the door. Josh was simply going to ignore it. But then he became paranoid that maybe it was his girlfriend Mary and that she'd be in a rage and start damaging our vehicles. So we went out to investigate; he felt much safer going with me watching his back. He first armed himself with a baseball bat and some pepper spray in case somone was layin' for him in whatever shadow lies unexposed by his glaring $30/month redneck light.

A car was going down the driveway, but upon seeing us, its driver hopped out. It was some redneck girl from Josh's redneck world. In her twangy voice she called out to ask if Josh could go some man's bail, maybe her husband's, maybe her lover's, maybe her brother's. Whoever he was, he was in jail this Christmas Eve for uttering bad checks, that most common and traceable of redneck white collar crimes. What a terrible thing, to spend Christmas Eve in jail. Josh claimed he wasn't kin to ________ and thus he had no intention of "going his bail." He then asked who all was in the car with the girl, and she said simply that it was her two daughters. But Josh was skeptical. All he could think of was big burly rednecks with high powered rifles tired of waiting for Santa and his pussy-assed reindeer.

Soon after this little affair, I headed back home and went to bed early.

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