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:
   first flatness of plateau
Sunday, October 19 2008
I've been taking care of the two cats belonging to our neighbor Andrea, and since part of that job involves letting them in and out of the house, the job is greatly complicated by our dogs. Sally and Eleanor follow me everywhere, but their presence would make it impossible to let the cats out in the morning or round them up at the end of the day. So I have to sneak over to Andrea's house to do cat-related chores. This morning I actually drove there with the dogs in the hatchback, but kept the dogs in the car while I dealt with the cats. It was an out-of-the-way stop on my way to get twelve concrete blocks and an eighty pound sack of mortar.
The weather continues to be sunny and cool, and I'm continuing with my slow, painstaking work on the greenhouse wall. Today I installed seven blocks, mostly in the lowest tier of the north wall. In this section of wall, the top of the prepared footing was so far below where it was supposed to be that I found myself using pieces of flat bluestone and mortar to top the footing in a low stone wall upon which the blocks would ultimately rest. Building a wall with mortared bluestone isn't difficult as long as you have a lot of convenient pieces on hand.
There are, it turns out, relatively few useful pieces of bluestone near the construction site. The local rock is all shale, but broken bits of bluestone (carried by the glaciers from thick bluestone deposits immediately to the north and from a capping deposit that once covered the shale) are everywhere. Unfortunately, they're mostly odd shapes and sizes and there are few convenient sheets of the stuff. The nearest useful bluestone shapes tend to be about 100 feet away, right where the slope changes abruptly from the the steepness of escarpment to the first flatness of plateau.

At some point this afternoon, Gretchen returned from her weekend in the City. She'd brought me back a sandwich that, though egg-free, had the word "scramble" in its name, and I'm so egg-averse that this was all it took for me not to want it.

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