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:
   day with a freedom door
Sunday, April 27 2003
I spent the day running around getting things from hardware stores. The main project for the day was the replacement of a dining room window with a door leading out onto the new catwalk I built for the back deck. The space only allowed for a 28 inch door, but Lowes didn't have any that narrow in stock. So I was forced to drive way out west on Route 28 to the town of Shokan, where I checked out the inventory of a place called The Door Jam. The name was apt; it was a large building jammed to the rafters with doors. I let Sally out of my truck and she immediately vanished into the door-lined catacombs. There was another dog there too, a large German Shepherd with a sudden and completely unrequited fondness for my dog.
The guys at The Door Jam didn't have any pre-hung doors matching my specifications, but they did have a beautiful loose French door (interestingly, they didn't refer to it as a "Freedom door"). It was the best I could do with this short notice, so I took that along with an armload of loose sticks for making the door jam. They had to cut a few things for me, and while they were doing that I munched on a "vegan chocolate bar" I bought from a young man staffing a bake sale out front. A cardboard sign informed me that my food purchase would help fund a battered women's clinic.
Interestingly, The Door Jam doesn't accept credit cards. I had no other way to pay, so they let me take the door on the strength of my promise to mail them a check.
Back home, I launched immediately into the task of sawing away the clapboards on the outside of the house beneath the window. I soon realized, however, that the Dewalt laminate trimmer I'd bought earlier hadn't come with any bits. This sent me back into Kingston, first to Hertzog's Hardware and then to Lowes. I brought the manual with me, but I could find no product at either store that explicitly claimed to be a compatible bit. You're somehow just supposed to know this stuff. The guy at Hertzog's was just as confused as I was, and the one tool expert at Lowes was busy with another customer. My solution was to shoplift a RotoZip blade, which ended up fitting just fine.
Back at the house, Gretchen had just returned from two and half hours in the woods. She'd managed to get lost somewhere beyond "the waterfall" on our uphill neighbor's property. Eventually she found her way to a house where a helpful woman pointed her in the right direction; at the time she was only a ten minute hike from our neighbor's farmhouse.
By dark, I'd managed to remove the old window and rip away the wall beneath it all the way down to the floor. The new door itself, however, was taking up lots more time than I'd expected. It was nothing more than a slab of wood containing insulated glass. It had no holes or cuts for any of the hardware one normally attaches to a door. After I painted it, I began chiseling out little rectangles to mount the hinges in. Meanwhile, the sides of the door jam I'd been given turned out to be an inch too tall and I had to make a bunch of tricky cuts to shorten them while recreating the shapes of their ends.

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