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:
   ideal cable container
Wednesday, May 9 2007
Today was almost hot, with temperatures rising into the 80s. Pleasantly, though, at some point this afternoon I noted that temperatures inside the laboratory were actually cooler than those outside, and this was despite the fact that I had a computer and three monitors running and no air conditioning.

The guy who we had do our upstairs drywalling over four years ago is named Darren. We'd found him through the realtor who sold us our house. He lived down in the Rondout back then, but about three years ago he moved to Orlando, Florida, and I hadn't seen him since. Today he showed up randomly in the driveway in a huge white whale of a car, the kind one normally only sees being driven by wealthy octogenarians. He'd lost my phone number and been experiencing computer trouble, so he just dropped in. It was good to see him. My relationship with him is similar to the one I had with Josh Furr back in Staunton Virginia. Darren is very much a product of a humble, non-intellectual culture, and yet he is curious about the world and open-minded in a way that puts some of my intellectual acquaintances to shame. This afternoon he ended up staying for a good two hours. I showed him my solar hot water system and then we hung out on the south deck drinking coffee. He told me about being a union carpenter at Disney World, and how they're so stuck in the 1950s that they don't allow contractors with long hair to work there. Darren visited Jamaica at some point and even had dreadlocks for awhile, but he's since shorn them off and they now live in a box, awaiting reattachment (since they have neither nerves nor blood vessels, such things are possible).
The most interesting things Darren told me related to the politics and progress of Kingston, the matrix in which he's spent most of his life. He talked about the corruption and failed infrastructure that allows sewer gas to continue ruining the atmosphere of an upscale steak house speculatively built at the north end of the Rondout, not far from Darren's house. It's raised his property values, but it might just fail as an ongoing concern because nobody wants to smell anærobically-decomposing human excrement when they duck out to smoke a cigarette.

This evening Gretchen planned to have dinner at the Garden Café with Kirsty, one of the photogenic vegan Buddhists of Woodstock. Coincidentally, I had a meeting scheduled for the Woodstock area at the same time, so we carpooled. I dropped Gretchen off at the intersection of 375 and 212, and she walked from there. She was wearing a miniskirt and managed to elicit a catcall along the way, which, at 36, delighted her.
Meanwhile I'd brought the dogs with me and they got to play with a new friend, a young border collie named Max who resides within an invisible fence. When Sally and Eleanor grew weary of his antics they simply walked through the invisible containment forcefield, whereupon he started barking hysterically, either from sudden loneliness or as an expression of wonder at their ability to transcend the barrier.
Later I joined Gretchen and friends at the Garden Café, where I devoured a black bean burger. Gretchen loves that place but I always leave feeling slightly unsatisfied, both by the company and by the food.

Later tonight, while continuing my laboratory reorganization jihad, I stumbled upon an amazing new container for mid-sized items and cables. For some reason I've been saving the one-gallon plastic bottles that hydronic antifreeze is sold in, and tonight I cut the top off of one, cleaned it out, and stuffed some cables in it. It turned out to be the perfect size and shape for segregating cables, better even than an empty one-gallon paint bucket. Paint buckets are cylindrical in shape, whereas the antifreeze bottles have a more-or-less rectangular cross section, and I found that it is possible to put more cable into the latter shape than the former. Also, since there is no slight narrowing at the mouth, it's very easy to grab a cable out of a modified antifreeze container. I have a feeling I'll be using a lot of these.

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