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:
   survive in a world without a functioning economy
Monday, October 6 2008
Since it's much cheaper there, I bought six eighty pound bags of concrete mix and two eighty pound bags of mortar mix at Home Depot today, and I hauled it home in the Honda Civic hatchback, with its many known suspension issues. I drove gingerly, but even so it made all sorts of frightening suspension-related noises every time I hit even the smallest bump. Some of those noises sounded like a heavy iron wheel suddenly sent spinning on a rusty bearing, and others were metallic clanks and unpleasant squeaks. Still, I made it home in one piece. As I was unloading the concrete, I noticed that the suspension stayed deeply compressed until I removed the second-to-the-last eighty pound bag. In other words, 640 pounds of payload in the back hadn't been compressing the suspension any more than 160 pounds had been. I suspect that's a bad thing.
This afternoon I began work pouring the east foundation footing of the greenhouse. Maintaining the same footing height here as I had in the northwest corner seemed increasing absurd, given all the concrete and stone that was required. It seemed that for the next phase of the footing pour I'd have to step down eight inches and allow for another (lower) row of concrete blocks.
As I worked on the greenhouse, a structure that might help Gretchen and me survive in a world without a functioning economy, I was listening to the latest This American Life podcast, the one where the recent collapse of the commercial paper market is explained in terms nearly anyone can understand. Up until I heard this broadcast, I've been struck by the reticence of anyone in the media (Paul Krugman included) to actually explain what the hell is going on. In a time of crisis, such explanation really should be a job for the President of the United States, perhaps reading a well-crafted speech by a Pulitzer-Prize-winning speechwriter. But no, as for so many things, we're left to depend on donation-supported Chicago Public Radio. For Bush, it's just another disaster to add to his tally, along with 9Eleven, the Iraq War, acquiescence to torture, denial of global warming, the failed response to Hurricane Katrina, and hundreds of smaller items.

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