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:
   geriatric furniture along the Esopus
Tuesday, November 18 2008
After all the mortar had set, I'd determined that the prefab carpentry assembly I'd installed atop the east wall of the greenhouse was annoyingly off-level due to the fact that the masonry below it was annoyingly off-level. That wall must have been one of the few things whose overall level I'd failed to check. Not to worry, though, I could just unbolt the carpentry unit from its anchors, pry up one end until it was level, and inject wet mortar into the gap. Unfortunately, though, two days ago I'd used the last of my mortar and concrete, thinking I'd finally had those days behind me. This was how I found myself driving out to Herzog's this morning to get a little forty pound bag of mortar.
While I was out, I gave the dogs an unexpected treat: a walk along the Esopus across Wynkoop from the Hurley Mountain Inn. I noted that there was still some geriatric furniture in the weeds along the riverbank. These include a small cantilevered dining table designed so someone can eat in bed and a toiletless toilet seat held up to sitting level by a caster-equipped aluminum framework. These things have been strewn downriver from a medical supply retailer ever since the massive flood of 2005. Now the medical supply place has been replaced in its basement abode by Wildlife Encounters Taxidermy. I can't wait until the massive flood of 2009 strews warthog heads and menacing grizzlies throughout the cornfields of the Esopus. There's a Pulitzer Prize waiting somewhere in the future for the person who takes that picture.
The weather today was cold and wintery, only a few degrees above freezing. So when I mixed the small amount of mortar for today's project, I used warm tap water (the first water not collected from the roof that I've used on the greenhouse project). After I was done stuffing the mortar into all the places I wanted it to be, I wrapped the wall with a blanket. As the day grew steadily colder, I eventually decided to make the mortar more comfortable by heating up a rock on the woodstove and putting it under the blanket. By this evening temperatures had fallen into the 20s and it was clear that concrete and mortar season had conclusively ended.
I wasted most of the afternoon over at our friend Andrea's house trying to get to the bottom of a strange computer problem. Her computer was running extremely slowly, particularly when it was running a program called Adobe Bridge. But the really peculiar thing about this was that the slowness was not reflected in the Task Manager. The computer would be crawling along, but I'd go to look at the tasks and see they were all using a trivial amount of CPU. Even the performance graph showed minimal CPU usage. Perhaps there's a new virus out there that somehow cloaks its activities in a way that makes it utterly transparent to Task Manager. I've seen some cunning, nefarious stuff, but nothing like this.

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