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

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Like my brownhouse:
   physics of that connection
Saturday, March 10 2007
While we were watching Clockwise last night, we found ourselves laughing so much that we'd launch into coughing fits. This was more true for Gretchen than it was for me, and by this morning we knew why. She had the flu, complete with body aches, fever, and a cough so serious it would make her vomit. But because the God who created the Universe is a benevolent one (Darfur and churches imploded by tornados not withstanding), there is an over-the-counter medication called Tussin DM. As I've been explaining for more than eleven years now, it's the "DM" that matters far more than the "Tussin."
Despite her condition, Gretchen rallied enough to meet friends in the greater Woodstock area for lunch, tea, and whatnot. Meanwhile I took the dogs on their morning walk in the forest, something I have done very infrequently for the past couple months. Temperatures were in the forties, far warmer than they've been for many weeks. There was, however, still plenty of snow on the ground. Much of it was as hard as glass and treacherously slippery. In places where I could crack through, it wasn't bad, but on some hillsides it was like a tilted skating rink. For some reason I decided to take the so-called "Mountain Goat Path," a narrow path along a steep escarpment leading down into a sheltered valley divided between private land and state-owned Forest Preserve land. The only creatures using this path had been deer (there are no actual mountain goats in this area!), but deer hoof prints are narrow and don't carve out much of a path for someone wearing snow boots. Still, somehow I managed to get to the bottom of the valley and begin my climb up the other side. But, because it sloped at a different angle with respect to the sun, the snow here was of a different quality from that just experienced on the Mountain Goat Path. It was much harder and denser. At some point in my climb I extended a foot onto the sloping surface, applied my weight, and immediately and dramatically slipped. As I fell I reached out with my left hand to catch a hemlock tree, but the physics of that connection didn't work in my favor. I found myself lying on my back on that concrete snow in agony, my thumb having been sprained in an instant. At soon as I recovered from the immediate trauma, I turned around and went home.
Despite applications of cold snow to the base of my thumb, that part of my hand began to swell. A half hour later I was still in such pain that I had to take an OTC painkiller. I also wrapped my hand with an ace bandage I found in the first aid kit that had come with our Prius (the one thing we kept when we sold that car).
Despite the reality of not having a working opposable thumb on my left hand, I discovered that I wasn't especially handicapped. For many tasks it's possible to simulate the grasping capabilities of a finger and a thumb using two non-opposing fingers. This evening I was able, for example, to do most of the work on another copper-pipe lamp I'm building.
I should point out that this wasn;t the first time I sprained this particular thumb. The last time this happened it took over a year to completely recover.

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