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:
   above all, don't run your bulldozer into trees you want to keep
Tuesday, May 20 2003
I don't always know that what I'm doing is art until well after it is already underway. A previously-mentioned example of this is the floor of my laboratory. For the past two days I've been obsessively working on the trail leading through the woods to the feeble (but picturesque) Chamomile River (pronounced "Che-MOH-mee-lay"). Most of this work has involved finding dead sticks to lay on either side of the path so as to give it better visual definition. I had no idea why this was so important to me, but after a certain point I came to like the way it looked. It was, I dare say, an unexpected form of art, with the landscape and dead sticks serving as my media.
I also installed a set of native-stone steps leading down from the yard into the woods. These steps weren't as essential as the ones leading around the south end of the house from the front yard to the back yard, but they nonetheless helped visually with the forest approach to house (and they continued the stone path that had begun with the other set of steps).
When landscaping, my approach is to always have as little environmental impact as possible while creating forms that look as if they've been there for hundreds of years. When collecting rocks, for example, I usually abandon those that prove to be part of an ant colony or a salamander's home. This is in stark contrast, say, to the way the house's overall landscape was initially created. Nearly all the trees in the yard were cut down, huge amounts of fill dirt were dumped (creating an extremely unnatural-looking series of landforms), and many of the trees that were left on the site exhibit grave bulldozer injuries and will probably have to be cut down at some point.
My desire to balance functional with natural and chaos with order has its origins back in the 1980s and 1990s, when I fussed over the landscape around the Temple of Laepohm, a deliberately ruined-looking animal cemetery in the woods. But this is the first time I've had the opportunity to apply my landscaping ideas around an actual residence.

In other news, Gretchen set off today for a town two hours away in western Massachusetts, where she'd be comforting the family of one of her close friends while this friend's father battles with a deadly infection.
I had an idea of perhaps going somewhere in my truck, but it continues to be plagued by chronic battery trouble. A full battery charge has a tendency to leak away over the course of a day or two, though the measured drain on the battery (when the truck is off) is only 150 milliamps. I tried recharging the battery using a computer power supply, but it somehow proved incapable of stuffing in enough electrons to start the truck. I was, however, able to obtain enough juice to roll up the electric-powered windows before the rains came.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next