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:
   write about this stuff engagingly
Tuesday, March 13 2007
Gretchen's insecurity about me maybe getting sick while she's still sick roiled a bit beneath the surface today, as my coughing grew more frequent and consequential. She also didn't think I was asking enough about what I should do to help her, but that was one of those negative feedback loop things, caused by me thinking she was angry at me (and unnecessarily so; I really couldn't keep from coughing).
It was a beautiful sunny day, the first suitable one yet for maybe fixing the solar panel system up on the roof, still languishing in an unusuable state since the harsh winds of late January. Part of the necessary repairs involved replacing the hardware at the ends of some of the hoses. For the new hosing installed this summer, I'd used an inferior kind of hardware sold at Lowes that clamps over the end of the hose in two clamshells secured by a screw. This connection can, with difficulty, be made to be leak-free, but the threads of the resulting connector do not grip whatever it's screwed onto tightly enough and, eventually the damn thing works it's way loose. The better kind of connector is sold in a different part of the store, over in the brass fittings section, but it must be secured on the end of the hose with a wormgear hoseclamp. I wanted to replace all my clamshell hose connectors with hoseclamp-secured hose connectors, and for one connector (one that sits atop a low "hill" in the system) I wanted to have a way to bleed out air and add hydronic fluid. So I built something from various odds and ends. I've grown rather skilled at making novel leak-free units from mismatched and ill-fitting pieces. Sometimes I ream out a hole to make it bigger, but today my problem was that I had to fill a narrow gap. The solution was to take some stranded copper wire and stuff it into the void and then flow solder into it. I've noticed, by the way, that tiny strands of copper wire quickly melt into little glowing balls when isolated by themselves in the gale of a MAPP gas flame. I suppose it would be possible to flow molten copper into sufficiently-small joints using just MAPP gas, though I don't know what the proper flux would be.

At some point I took a bath and the noticed, bit by bit, that I was running out of energy. I went to bed early, reading Scott Rosenberg's Dreaming In Code, which, even for a big nerd like me, is not the most readable book in the world. The subject of the book is actually the development of a content management system similar to the stuff I've been working on lately, but even so, it's impossible to write about this stuff engagingly.

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