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:
   bartender network
Thursday, January 29 1998

s stupid as the right wing conspiracy seems to be, it looks like, for awhile at least, Clinton is safe from impeachment (and we're safe from religious dunderheads). Seemingly to distract attention from Bill Clinton's troubles, the fools went and bombed an abortion clinic in Birmingham this morning. Regardless what you think of the value of icky little big-eyed embryos glick glick glicking in trash cans, timing is everything when it comes to domestic terrorism.


t was a day of, well, three things.

  • I washed lots of clothes in the sink of the bathroom. My room is a heterogeneous mix of dirty laundry, paperwork and electronic junk in various stages of destruction/construction. Removing the laundry part does much to make my environment more appealing.

  • I filled out forms for things like personal property tax on the Dodge Dart, a state tax refund I never received, and my soon-to-renew driver's license.

  • I wrapped my mind around LINUX in various stages. It's a whole new world to explore, in ways I never could have explored UNIX back in the 80s, when I had no physical access to the machine and no special privileges to make cool things happen. Figuring out how to mount a removable volume was especially satisfying. The odd thing about UNIX/LINUX is that nothing happens unless you explicitly tell the machine how it should happen. It's a big switch from automatic volume mounting and bootable disk making in the worlds of DOS and Macintosh.


atthew Hart and Angela, on what was essentially a whim, headed off to Philadelphia for a one day trip. They asked if I wanted to go, but I have other things I need to do, and the prospect riding in a car with them for all those hours, enduring those fights, enduring their pod-like hard drug personalities, didn't seem like a good way to spend my time (and money).

You see, I'm trying to be frugal. I haven't had a pay check in over a month, and it looks like I'm going to have to raid my usually inviolate bank account to pay rent this month. What I really need, it's obvious, is a job.

What sucks is the fact that, to an extent, I staked my hopes on reliable work coming from the former Comet employees. But the job they found for me was an obscenely grandiose website to be done for an überspeaking wanna-be cyber-tycoon. It's now clear that this guy has no money behind all his big talk of "Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, Fortune 5000, Fortune 10,000, Government Agencies, Schools, Corporate POs and open accounts." I was suspicious ever since I saw the pounds of deconstructed catalogues he wanted me to scan and make into web pages. They were, of course, catalogues for someone else's business. But I did the scanning anyway and made some pages too, grimacing in disgust the whole time. Get this, the guy wanted me to make a page with island pictures and/or fast cars, animated of course, floating down lazily to a body of water with text reading "Do you have the big bucks to live this lifestyle?" Then there'd be a link to the jewelry section. You can brush your teeth now, the puking is over.


n the evening, Jennifer, the wacky Tokyo Rose bartender, came by. She invited Deya to go with her to see the "Hogwaller Ramblers" at the Buddhist Biker Bar, a newish and rather trendy watering hole on the Corner. I needed to get out of the house, so I decided to go along to the Buddhist Biker.

Jennifer was wearing a long black wig, and I joked that she must have been rubbing Rogaine on her head.

"It's working too well," she said, "actually, I had to cut two feet off on the way over here."

This weekend Jennifer was busted in a sting operation to crack down on the selling of alcohol to underage customers. A sort of redneckish boy ("he looked like he came from Harrisonburg") came up to the bar and asked for a beer. She was suspicious (and wondering what a redneck was doing in a alterna/sushi-bar in the first place), so she asked to see his I.D. But she spaced out at that point, failing to register that a birthday in 1979 made him too young. She sold him his beer. Shortly thereafter, agents of the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) bureaucracy escorted her from her domain to let her know she'd been busted. She faces a fine of "no more than 500 dollars." Immediately, of course, she tipped off other bartenders in Charlottesville about the ongoing crackdown (there's a bartender network, it seems). Word filtered back gradually that the sting had hit bars throughout the town.

But the ABC types, they really don't do their homework. They should have found some emoesque alternalad to infiltrate the Tokyo Rose. Had Jennifer been slightly more on the ball, the sight of a redneck at her bar would have set off all kinds of internal alarms: "Bwoop, Bwoop, Bwoop! This guy can't be for real, he's a plant!"

Zachary suddenly showed up, and not knowing what else to do, he decided to join the contingent going to the Buddhist Biker Bar.

Sipping vodkatea on the way over, it felt strange to see the lights of the Corner. It was like seeing an old friend after an extended absence. When was the last time I'd been to the Corner? A month ago maybe? And it's only a mile away.


ow, the Buddhist Biker is even trendier than I thought. All the girls look like models (or music video extras), and all the boys are familiar musicians and trust fund Higher Grounds types. The bartender had a face festooned with metal acne in that oh so late-90s kind of way. Some day he'll look at old pictures of himself and wonder exactly what he was thinking. Is a zit really any more attractive if it's made of silver than if it's made of pus? I wonder if real acne will ever come into fashion? I can see it now, chocolate, nut and pig fat facial masks designed to encourage break outs.

Downstairs, the Hogwaller Ramblers were whooping up an acoustic Blue Grass storm, Jamie Dyer being the apparent front man. The downstairs was so crowded that Jennifer, Deya and I found our way to a table upstairs.

I've been so cut off from the world that I've gradually come to regard myself as sexually irrelevant, at least on some kind of subconscious level. It was gratifying, then, to find myself being scrutinized by the sexiest alternachick in the upstairs room.


hen Zach said he wanted to go, we learned that the drinks we'd been drinking had been free. Jennifer, it seems, is in tight with our bartender. And since it's widely known in Charlottesville bartender circles that Jennifer "took a hit" from the ABC, she can, it seems, expect to drink at certain establishments for free, friends included. What I'd been doing, it seemed, was "surfing the social network."

As I was heading for the door, Jamie Dyer gave me an enthusiastic hello. He asked if I was doing okay in the aftermath of Comet, and I said I guessed so (which is sort of a lie). Interestingly, Jamie says he still has free Internet access through Red Light, even though, unlike me, he's no longer connected with the old Comet staff in any way.

one year ago

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