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:
   sex versus education
Wednesday, January 14 1998

erry Springer featured a 700 pound man and his 400 pound wife on today's show. The 700 pound man couldn't even get out of bed; his enormous belly kept him immobilized on his side watching television. In his patheric state, he depended on his wife. She fetched him bedpans to poo and pee in and endless greasy fried chicken to eat. The image of him eating a piece of fried chicken haunted both Deya and me all day.

While I toiled away doing my usual desk-based, computer-based thing, Angela cleaned the downstairs completely. To my mind, this made up for all the crap and and aggravation that Shira the Dog has sent my way.


fter dark, when my expired inspection sticker was no longer visible, I headed back to my parents' place in Staunton to attend to some emergencies and other things. My mother, Hoagie, was experiencing more computer problems and I also had to return her video camera. Unbeknownst to her, you see, I'd been borrowing the camera for the past two years. A few weeks ago she needed the camera, and upon opening up the camera's case, found it had vanished. The way things normally work in my family, I actually assumed the "extended loan" could go on indefinitely. But of course once Hoagie knew I had taken the camera, she flew into a rage, accusing me of being little more than a common criminal, and demanding the camera's immediate return. She's very particular about her things. I am too. But you know, most of the images on my web pages came to you via that camera. It looks like I'll need another one.

My mother's computer had the same corrupted boot drive problem it had last time she had problems, but fortunately my idea of partitioning the hard drive had preserved most of the data; only the System Folder was lost. The partition containing the System Folder (named "Space") needed to be reformatted, but this was not an easy thing to pull off. When a volume cannot be mounted by the Finder, it cannot be formatted either, and there is no software that I know of that can format an unmounted partition. The solution was to run Macintosh Programmer's Workshop (I have an old pirated copy) and to run Norton Utilities just long enough to have the partition "try" to mount. Just as the Finder began complaining that such a mount is impossible, I typed "erase Space" in MPW. That did the trick. Then I restored as much System Folder as I had time for. Despite the relatively serious nature of this particular crash, the computer had remained fully operational, though my mother's email collection was entirely lost.

Since I've been so tied up in my own projects, my Dad has been doing a little of his own typing lately. He says he can type a few pages of manuscript per day using his rudimentary hunt and peck typing method. That might sound slow to you, but I'm impressed. My Dad is such a technophobe, I have difficulty imagining him being able to launch a word processor, format text, and save to a consistent location, but apparently he's mastered all that stuff. And the more he types, the more his typing will improve. I know; I used to type extremely slowly. My (now admittedly advanced) hunt and peck typing proceeds at a fairly brisk rate. I use four or five fingers: my left, middle and ring fingers, my right forefinger, ring finger and thumb. I have to peek now and then, but that's no big deal when I'm composing directly out of my mind. And typing this way seems to avert things like carpal tunnel syndrome.


  had an interesting discussion with my Dad about scientific and creative drive. He told me that he'd heard somewhere that the more educated a person is, the less sex he/she has (this appears to be the case in my household, where I have the least sex, Deya the second least, and Matthew Hart and Angela - high school dropouts both - fuck like bunnies). I mentioned that I'd heard that Niels Bohr had spent his honeymoon dictating his theory of electron shells to his newlywed wife, oblivious to the sexual expectations of the moment. I said that I could relate to that sort of focus, but I rarely see it in anyone else. Responded my father, "To do science, to do it well, you have to have that sort of focus."

Then the weird part of the conversation happened; I was actually discussing "relationships" with my father. I said I have a great deal of difficulty maintaining relationships because of my intense need to be alone, undistracted. I said that I hate having to go through the motions of satisfying my obligations to be "with" someone. My Dad said that his relationship with Hoagie was facilitated significantly by the fact that they are both independent, have separate interests, and could find times and places to be away from each other to pursue their own interests without distracting one another. It seems to work for them; they know when to leave each other alone, although my Dad's recent uptick in computer use is causing him to interfere a bit excessively in my mother's life. Perhaps I need to get him his own machine.

While I was dicking with my mother's Mac, I had her playing games on my new laptop. That kept her out of my hair. Perhaps I should give my Dad a laptop; he seemed sort of intrigued with its small size and obvious power.

My redneck friend Josh Furr dropped off a bunch of old cellular phone equipment for me to play with. Among the things is a working lead-acid battery that I can perhaps modify to power a laptop.

Today was my mother's 61st birthday, but of course she had to remind me.


  drove back to Charlottesville before midnight. An ice storm was on the way, and I didn't want to get stranded by weather on the wrong side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I don't know what the problem with my Dart is, but it seems to be shaking and rattling a lot more these days. On the drive home I kept being paranoid it was about to suddenly go CRUNCH, leaving me stranded. Perhaps it needs a wheel alignment. That's just one more thing I have to do. Cars are a lot more bother than they are a blessing.

one year ago

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