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:
   oak or ivy?
Friday, September 12 2008
I had a web development project where the goal was to spit out complicated Adobe Acrobat files (PDFs), and their complexity was such that I couldn't use standard HTML-to-PDF conversion, so I eventually I had to resort to a PHP library called FPDF that allows you to construct PDF documents piece-by-piece, layer-by-layer, programmatically, in a manner similar to the kind allowed by ActionScript when creating complex Flash animations on the fly. In the process, I found myself thinking (for the first time!) about the algorithmic complexity of layout behaviors that most of us take for granted, particular "centering." To center, you have to calculate the width in pixels of the object you want to place (with text, this depends on the font used and the particular string of characters being displayed, and FPDF mercifully provides a method), then you have to divide that by two and offset from the center by that amount.
It rained for much of the day, and I took the opportunity of ongoing runoff to see if my drainage ditch was actually sloped away from the greenhouse foundation hole. For a good fifteen feet or so, runoff seemed to be sloping nicely, leaving only about 35 feet of ditch (!) for further trenching.
When I'd be out digging in my ditch, I didn't notice it so much, but when I'd be in front of my computer it was hard not to ignore the terrible itching of my testicles. They'd obviously been exposed at some point to urticol, the nasty chemical in Poison Ivy and Poison Oak. But which was it? I'd just been to Poison-Oak-invested regions of California. But I've also been digging in a ditch in a region that contains trace amounts of Poison Ivy. The fact that some of the rash also seemed to be present in the crotches of my fingers suggested to me that it was from ditch digging. I'd probably encountered the roots of Poison Ivy plants while hand-scooping dirt.

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