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:
   the ways of dogs
Tuesday, December 23 1997

atthew Hart, Angela and Shira the dog all spent the night for the first time in a long time. Everything was calm and collected until Angela headed off to work at 2pm. That's when Shira the dog freaked out and started whining and pacing the floor in a way that completely distracted me from anything I might have properly been doing. Well, you can't reason with a dog. You can't tell a dog it's high time they settled down and watched teevee. Shira's pretty smart, so when I'd glare at her or shout for her to shut up, she'd get this extremely guilty look on her face and behave herself for all of 15 seconds. It was maddening. She's a Siberian Husky and is full of energy. So I took her for a walk. I didn't really consider this a burden; of late I've been getting entirely too little exercise, and if the demands of the dog force me to get out and walk around, so much the better. I could easily see this becoming some kind of routine.

I walked Shira up around the football stadium and briefly into the lower woods of O Hill and back, never once relinquishing my grip on the leash. Shira seems to be the kind of dog who would just run away and never return. Sometimes I'd run a little with her so she could pick up the speed she so obviously wanted, but unlike my grandfather, I'm not much of a runner. Running, in my opinion, is an extremely awkward jarring activity, best engaged in only to make important deadlines or to elude cops. Have you ever run on hard asphalt with combat boots and a big black trench coat with pockets full of change? It's ludicrous.

Dogs on walks are in their own little worlds. It's their time and they know it. The human walker's concerns are irrelevant. The world for dogs is a rich library of smells which they explore with scholarly precision. Their thoughts as they do so, what memories are triggered, and what emotions are experienced is probably impossible for any human to comprehend. We reached an understanding: you, Shira, may pause at lamp posts and piles of dung, but for no more than 4 seconds each, and you may not eat any feces, no matter how yummy you think they are.

We'd run across strange humans on the sidewalks, and they'd naturally be cooing and smiling for a dog so beautiful as Shira. And she'd reciprocate, by lunging toward them, full of smiles and tail wagging. That was another understanding we had: she could look, but she could not touch. Imposing human etiquette on a dog is every bit as ludicrous as it sounds, but it is possible to an extent.

At this stage in the day, Shira the dog was reminding me of Jessika the human. There was the interest in all manner of crap no matter how valueless (in Shira's case, of course, I mean "crap" in only the most literal sense of the word). And there was the compulsive desire to befriend new people, oblivious of all other factors, time restraints or commitments. Later in the day, Shira would remind me of Matthew Hart.


ews from Staunton came via an email from a NOW Utilities Tech support guy (of all people) that my mother's computer was inoperable. Evidently the last gasp of life from the Mac was a registration notice from the NOW Utilities toolbox which included an 800 number to call if this was in error. There was a problem alright. I called my Dad and tried to have him get the thing to recognize its IDE boot disk, but none of the disks except the CD rescue volume would mount. It sounds like I need to take another trip to Staunton to save the day. Such crises leave me depressed, but that wasn't the end of my woes.

I found out today that I have an awful lot of work that I need to do with a scanner for a website I've been assigned to do by the new boss (who is the same as the old boss). [REDACTED] Further complicating matters, the plan was to have me go to Redlight (source of my connectivity) and do the scanning there. That didn't sound like my idea of a good time, so I decided to run out and buy my own scanner. I have discretionary money allotted for just such crises.

On the way out the door, Shira was acting like such a nut that I decided to take her for a little walk. But then the collar slipped off over her head and she ran away, across the street and over to Minga's yard. Minga is becoming increasingly crotchety and senile, and when he saw her, he shooed her away. Then, when he saw me, he said he didn't want dogs crapping in his yard. I was very irritated at this point, fed up with my day and my life, and I replied tersely "Yeah, yeah!" The neighbor across the street, observing our altercation whilst splitting wood on his porch, smiled at me warmly.


o I ended up killing my evening in SCSI hell with a new scanner. It refused to work with my existing SCSI card and I was forced to use the included proprietary SCSI card, one so weak and limited it can only access a single device. But I got the scanner working.

Meanwhile, Deya and Shira the dog were hanging out together. The dog would not sit still for a moment. She kept pacing the floor and looking out the window, waiting anxiously for Matthew or Angela to come home. The neurotic click click clicks of her nails on the floor were driving me insane. She was reminding me of Matthew back in the early days of his relationship with Angela, when he would pace the floor and look out the window in a pathetic neediness that had yet to coalesce into true love.

Matthew ordered Chinese food, and I chipped in for some Szechuan Chicken, and ate it all in one sitting.

Peggy, Zach and the Baboose had come over to exchange gifts with Matthew and Angela. Thankfully I don't have that sort of relationship with anyone, but I felt left out all the same.

Have a look at an entry from this day nine years ago (December 23rd, 1988) in my paper journal (written nearly a year later!).

one year ago

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