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:
   hypertext stupor
Monday, August 3 2009
We'd had a huge (foot diameter) globular yellow jacket nest under the south deck, which wouldn't have been a big deal had its flight path not passed within six feet of the steps down to the Stick Trail. Yellow Jackets cannot be tolerated in this form, so I'd had to spray the nest twice with HotShot, a spray that can reach a nest from 20 feet away. I did this on several consecutive nights and now the nest seems completely dead. The dogs had been reluctant to use these steps for the past few weeks, but yesterday afternoon (when the rain stopped and I finally got around to giving them their morning walk) they didn't seem to have any reservations.

As always for damp summer conditions, there is a good concentration of black-speckled orange efts in the forest these days. I encounter one every fifty feet or so in the trail, and I because they're so colorful I can always avoid stepping on them. Since Eleanor usually follows close behind me, I sometimes stop right behind an eft and encourage Eleanor to continue around me so she won't step on it (she doesn't care one way or the other about the life of an eft). But because Eleanor has a very fixed idea of her role in the "wolf pack," it's hard for her to take the cue to continue on when I stop. Unless there is something very exciting to investigate, she wants to stay close behind me, perhaps to keep me from being attacked from behind. By contrast, Sally always wants to be at the head of the pack, a leading edge that, like Eleanor, isn't concerned by the prospect of stepping on an eft.
The efts actually vary a bit in color. Most are bright orange, though occasionally I'll see one that is pastel orange. And other times I'll see efts that are somewhat brownish.

Gretchen returned from Maryland well after dark, her car loaded down with the results of several grocery shopping sprees at the sorts of stores we don't have in the Hudson Valley, particularly Trader Joe's. Her shopping had concentrated on non-perishables like nuts and freezable carbohydrates. There is now so much bread stacked in the back of the freezer that it must be increasing the functional R-value of its back wall.

This evening I found myself spending hours in Wikipedia lulling myself into a hypertext stupor. I'd started out researching slug slime (an impossible-to-clean-off material I keep encountering in the rainy conditions of this particular summer), but then this led into an exploration of the bizarre anatomy of gastropods (snails and slugs). I'd had no idea that their bodies are twisted into a U-shape, with their anus emptying out just behind their heads. This led in turn to research about the origins of molluscs and other invertebrates (particularly arthropods and their head problem), and then a deep wade into speculation about why the Cambrian explosion took place when it did, and what Pre-Cambrian fossils are known to scientists.

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