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

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Like my brownhouse:
   motion detected computer display activation
Friday, May 15 2009

At the greenhouse I finally finished shoveling the last of the dirt from the pile just north of the construction site. Most of that soil ended up against the north wall, although some also was used to create a bit of an earthen ramp up to just beneath the windows on the east wall. To accommodate higher finish grade levels on the east side, I've had to build the stone wall of the door well more than a foot higher. With the exception of the door well, the existing grade around the greenhouse will be raised on all sides, ranging from a few inches on the south side to about four feet on the north side.

One of the things I have a need for every year is buckets of Esopus floodplain sand. I needed some to set door well flagstones and to make incremental improvements in the topography of the front yard vegetable garden. So today I took five buckets (five gallons each) with me on a catfood-buying errand to Accord (which is kind of far, but the catfood there is cheap, or it would have been had Accord Feeds and Needs had the cheap kind in stock, which it didn't). On the way back home, I stopped at Davenport's to construct a lunch of sesame noodles and some sort of seafood soup. Then I stopped at Fording place, which I accessed from the eastern US-209 side (as opposed to the western Hurley Mountain Road side). In the past, the sand has been better and easier to get to on the east bank of the Esopus (that was the side where I got most of the sand for setting my stone walkway back in 2005), though I rarely have occasion to drive on US-209 between Stone Ridge and Hurley. Oddly, though, there wasn't much good sand at Fording place today, though I was able to gather five buckets of it. The reason I found so much sand back in 2005 must have been the unprecedented flooding that had occurred a month and a half before.
While there wasn't much sand at Fording Place, there was plenty of trash left by the sort of people who would rather drive their bagged garbage to a site in the woods than take it to their local landfill. (Perhaps I would have seen more of this back in 2005 were it not for the floods that had recently washed the place clean.) I saw four or five bags a couple dozen feet from the road, some of them torn open by coyotes and other canids (including, today, Sally the dog). Strangely, there was also a lot of old metal-jacketed flexible electrical cable.

Today I came up with a solution to the ATI-Rage-128-driven monitor that refuses to power down when my main computer, Woodchuck, goes into monitor-off mode. I happened to have a pair of Sensor Plug motion-detecting electrical outlets, so I set one up with a view of the chair in front of my computer and plugged a powerstrip into its motion-controlled outlet. Into this strip, I plugged in all four of my monitors as well as the power brick that supplies juice to my computer's sound system. Setting the motion detector's time limit to the smallest possible time gave me the functional equivalent to the computer's automatic monitor power-down feature, though with two advantages: when they're shut off, the monitors are all completely turned off and aren't leaching the power necessary to know when to power back up. And now my music is also being turned off automatically (along with its always-warm power brick). Gretchen will never have to venture into the laboratory to turn off my music again. The only downside is that now the cats can easily turn on the music in my laboratory just by going to the window sill for a drink (I keep a container of water there for them).

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