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:
   Chronogram party
Friday, November 14 2008
Today I installed six eight by eight inch glass blocks in the top center of the west wall, completing the installation of the last of the masonry units that the building will contain. From now on, all further units on the building will be carpentry. But it would be premature to claim that I was done with masonry, since I still have things left to do with the existing masonry. For example, after I was done installing the glass blocks, I filled all the remaining empty cores in the concrete blocks with cobblestones. And attaching the carpentry to the masonry will involve connective tissue comprised of steel anchor bolts, concrete, and mortar. My hands haven't seen the last of punishing alkali environments.

This evening Gretchen and I went to a big party at a space adjacent to the offices of the Chronogram, a magazine based in Uptown Kingston. Gretchen had contributed poetry to a literary supplement and had been invited to read at tonight's party.
It was a stylish, photogenic crowd that turned out tonight. Finger food was provided and drinks cost $4 each (although readers got two drinks gratis). Everybody who was anybody in the local writers' scene was there, including (in some cases) the women for whom they had left their wives.
It turned out that there were only four readers tonight, and two of them were Pulitzer Prize winners. One of them was Gretchen, of course, and she read mostly material I had never heard before, including a poem about the bittersweet blahs of post-honeymoon marriage and another about a gay man whose decapitated corpse was found in a burning pickup truck not long ago in Kingston. I won't bore you with the details of what followed: a tiresome woman reading well beyond her time limit from a pointless rambling story set in Sicily, or the two guys who got up and gave a series of geeky performances based on first Shakespeare and then hip hop.
Gretchen and I ended up going to that Uptown Japanese place with our friends Tara and Brian. It turns out that the "Japanese" running that place are actually Chinese. For the past six months or so, Tara and Brian have been building an off-grid house at the base of the northern Shawangunks. Now it's nearing completion. Next week they'll be installing the photovoltaic panels that will give them their off-grid electricity. It was good to be able to talk passive solar buildings and greenhouses with someone who actually knows the theory underlying such things. Brian, in addition to being a non-paranoid survivalist, is also a self-identified farmer. Indeed, "Farmer" happens to be his last name.

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