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:
Tuesday, September 29 1998
Kim and I both had job interviews at around noon up in the northern part of the county. Kim's interview was first, in Encinitas on the coast. So while she was meeting with her prospective employer, I was trying to find my way inland to Rancho Bernardo. I started out well enough; the winding two lane roads were generally going in the right directions, gradually and unpredictably changing Spanish names in the manner indicated by the map (which I stopped several times to check). But then somehow I got lost. The sun swung around behind me to the wrong place and just stayed there. By the time I'd made it to the freeway, it was I-5, not I-15 as hoped. I was so depressingly off target that decided to go the rest of the way by the far more predictable freeway system. A drive that should have taken 20 minutes took a whole hour.
Rancho Bernardo is up in the region where scrubby brown mountains are covered with huge white boulders. But in the valleys, it's nothing but dreary low-slung mirrored modern office buildings and five-lane highways. I somehow became completely lost in trying to find my interview, fruitlessly searching for a street address on the wrong side of the highway. The appointed hour had come and was receding; I was already late. I felt like a John Cleesian fool as I ran across the highway and climbed though a hedgerow (dressed in my ridiculously spiffy interview uniform, naturally). But as always happens in these situations, my interviewer was even later than I was.
He me had big plans of making his product, a contact management "software solution," as ubiquitous as America Online. He was prepared to give away a million copies if it allowed him to spread the word. His goal, he said, was to make a zillion bucks and then move to the beach. My role in his vision would be to answer the phone and do technical support, as well as completely redo the web page and documentation. He wanted facts and figures, charts and graphs of everything the web site and I ever did. When all was said and done, the job didn't hold much interest for me: a long commute to and from a hell of numerical accountability to a boss with grandiose visions. At least he didn't have halitosis.
I found my way back to Encinitas mostly by two lane roads. There's some beautiful semi-arid terrain in this part of America. It was odd for me to be in the country in California, driving on small winding roads past farms and barren hilly patches of something that might have been wilderness.
I waited for Kim at the appointed coffee shop in Leucadia (the next town north of Encinitas) and when she didn't immediately materialize, I feared that maybe her interview had been with one of those notorious serial killers that California seems to breed a'plenty. I ordered a sandwich and a cup of ice coffee and, as I devoured my food in my usual gluttonous manner, I made the best of the authority vibes my interview uniform was projecting into the laid-back coastal Californian scenery.
Eventually Kim appeared; she'd gone to a nearby bodywork place on a whim and ended up taking a two hour one-on-one yoga class under the instruction of some chick with a far more extravagant arm tattoo than her own. Kim said that her job interview had been a bust. The guy was a travel writer who had advertised for a "personal assistant." But when he'd described the duties to Kim, he'd actually used the term "housewife." His interview process was evidently some sort of glorious sexually-charged game; he had three dozen prospects lined up and they were all coming to his home on their own time. If he'd taken out a personal ad, you see, the response would have been orders of magnitude less (if anything at all).
On the drive home, we marveled at the scenery and I snapped a few pictures. Del Mar was the most dramatic bit of seacoast I've yet seen, where hills of orange rock were sliced like loaves of bread by the mighty Pacific.

Left: No parking along the beach just south of Encinitas. Right: Palm trees and dwellings in this Encinitas beach scene.

Where the hills meet the Pacific near Del Mar.

A typically Disneylandesque Mormon temple north of La Jolla.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next