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:
   cold weather carpentry
Thursday, November 20 2008
With Gretchen gone, it was my job to walk the dogs this morning. It was bitter cold outside, so I put Eleanor in her purple people eater jacket. As I headed out, I took the firewood cart to the Red Oak I'd cut up the other day and hauled a cartload (two or three hundred pounds of wood) home. I managed to carry all that wood up the steps to the woodshed and then split most of it. The splitting was the easiest part; nothing splits more easily than green Red Oak. You just tap a chunk with the maul and it falls into two pieces.
The only downside of green Red Oak is that it smells suspiciously like dog shit. I carried some pieces into the house and piled them around the woodstove to dry while I burned other wood and soon the entire house was suggesting that I check the sole of my shoe. I should mention that I did all of this work before making myself my morning freedom press of coffee.
It was about as cold but it wasn't as windy as yesterday, and I found I was able to get a fair amount of carpentry done on my greenhouse project. I chiseled out a long slot in the four by four upright at the north side of where the door will be and inserted two things into it. The first of these was a fourteen foot two by ten running east and west that will ultimately support one side of a narrow second floor (which I won't actually be adding until spring; at that time I'll be jacking up the roof and adding walls). The other was a short four by six running north and south that will serve as a header for the door. I also installed a four by four cedar post on the south side of the door.
Gretchen returned this afternoon. She was feeling kind of blah because she'd only gotten $12.50 for selling four of her chapbooks after telling the audience that they were available at "recession pricing" (less than their $12 cover price). Later, though, she corresponded with some of the people who had bought copies and the amount they told her they'd spent was far in excess of the $12.50 that had been given to her by the person staffing the sales table. This suggested that the staffer had pocketed most of the money. But why would someone commit a crime so easy to expose?

The greenhouse today, viewed from the south.

The south wall of the greenhouse, viewed from inside (just north of it). You can tell I didn't worry much about the appearance of the mortar, which will ultimately be covered with some other material. The dark spots are where I patched weak-looking mortar joints using fiberglass mesh and Portland cement (a time-tested fix I used on bad spots in the basement wall starting in 2004). Also note the drainage pipe to catch water pooling inside the building.

The greenhouse, viewed from its south east.

The southeast corner of the greenhouse, viewed from inside. Note the rough holes for a set of windows and a door.

The east-west beam that will ultimately hold up a second floor (where the composting toilet will go). Note the glass blocks in the center top of the west wall. There will be another horizontal beam to catch the load of the west end of the east-west beam on top of that wall, since glass blocks are not suitable for bearing loads.

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