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:
   cloud of fur
Wednesday, February 1 2006
I spent most of the stringing Ethernet through a veterinary clinic in Woodstock. At one point I had all the drawers out so I could run the cable through the back of the cabinet. Evidently all the good drugs are kept somewhere else.
The work went late and began to threaten a dinner date Gretchen and I had been invited to, also in Woodstock. But I couldn't get Gretchen on the phone so I had to drive home and hope I'd either get home before she left or meet her on the way. Luckily I came upon her on Dug Hill Road. I left my car at the entrance to the West Hurley park and we carpooled from there.

This evening, after that dinner date, we experimented with letting "Sylvester" or "Leo" or "Buster" (or whatever the new foster cat is named) into the upstairs bedroom from the adjacent bathroom where we'd been letting him get acclimated. I also took him into the laboratory to hang out with me while I was in there. I made the mistake, though, of returning him to the bathroom while our plump black cat Sylvia was in there investigating the unusual new cat smells. There was a momentary pause as Buster looked at Sylvia with what looked like casual interest. Then, without warning, he leapt on her and she appeared to explode in a cloud of loose fur. The fight, such as it was, lasted only a second or so, but its brutality and completely unwarranted nature immediately changed the complexion of my relationship with this new cat. Was he a psychopath? Slyvia, by the way, appeared shaken but completely fine after this incident.

now for some fun hydronic pictures

The heat exchanger where it attaches to the pipe that used to go over the ceiling from the boiler directly to the basement slab. Now I cut it off with that blue-handled ball valve, grab it in that near-horizontal pipe, send it through the heat exchanger primary (where it emerges from that diagonal pipe to go down to the boiler again), indirectly heating water in the secondary which goes upward to the slab in that pipe in the top right corner.

The other end of the heat exchanger, with the new expansion tank and pressure release valve. You can also see the top left corner of the circuit breaker box and the top of the solar sufficiency controller in this photo.

The new pressurized antifreeze supply. At the bottom is the unpressurized antifreeze reservoir with the drillpump used to pressurize it. In the middle is the hydronic expansion tank that I use as a pressure tank. On top are the pressure relief valve, gauge, check valve, and taps for that attachment of hoses. The small plywood board serves as a step allowing me to get up to the large shelf (unseen to the right) which lies beneath my solar plumbing. That black boxy thing is a pressure-activated switch normally used in well pump applications. The blue box on the right side of the photo is its analog in our well pump system.

A close look at the pressurized antifreeze supply.

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