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:
   pepper on everything
Saturday, October 10 2009 [REDACTED]
While I was out and about today, I bought another 32 gallon trash can as a backup shit receptacle for the outhouse. Under heavy use from two people (and, somewhat surprisingly, Gretchen has said she will occasionally use my outhouse), a 32 gallon can will fill in 100 days, assuming none of the water, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur break down and offgas in that time. I'll always want to have at least two cans on hand, one to be receiving fresh excreta and the other to be composting. In the winter, though, rates will slow, so I might need a third can so I can bring sixty gallons of shit into the warm season.
I also bought a large plastic flower pot, partly as a means of disposing of some human compost I've been generating experimentally (in the absence of an outhouse). I've found my fecal output contains a large amount of water, and after twenty days of composting I can pour several cups of dark brown fluid from the shit bucket. This fluid has a fragrance, but it smells earthy and planty and not all that unpleasant, indicating that most of the decomposition is actually ærobic. This lack of stink might also be another upside of my being something approximating a vegan. I'm a vegan and my shit don't stink, that kind of thing.
A final set of objects I purchased while I was out was a nice glass salt shaker and two different kinds of hot pepper (pepper flakes and powdered chipotle). I want to be able to shake powdered red pepper onto my food the same way folks shake black pepper and salt onto their dreary 1950s casseroles. In the last several months I've found myself wanting to add hot pepper to everything savory I eat. I'm becoming increasingly like my father in this respect; I remember thinking him a little kooky when he used to bring garden-grown hot peppers with him to restaurants to add to his food. In those days I had no particular interest in either peppers or gardening. Now I have a garden and a greenhouse and I'm dumping cayenne pepper on nearly everything I eat.
Back at the greenhouse, I performed some delicious alchemy with semi-composted human excrement and Esopus Valley topsoil, making a brown batter bursting in E. coli if not plant nutrients. Given that I've been shitting into five gallon buckets for the past two months, my composting operation is a bit primitive and a tad incomplete. But all this will soon be rectified by the outhouse.
I should mention, by the way, that though my father was pretty experimental when it came to being a back-to-the-lander, he never imagined doing anything with his feces except mixing them with water and flushing them away, in the process rendering the bathroom a de facto no-go zone for the ensuing half hour. That bathroom of my childhood was such an unpleasant place for attending to bodily functions that I completely stopped using it even while I was living there, choosing to go into the woods with a shovel instead. Clearly, I have a lot of childhood issues I'm still addressing. This is why I live at a place with four bathrooms, two urinals, and a nascent composting crapper.
From now on, by the way, the outhouse will be referred to as "the brownhouse," a perfect color-code contrast with "greenhouse," in keeping with its place in the nutrient cycle.

Tonight when I was rescuing some garden-grown brussel sprouts Gretchen had forgotten from the oven, I made the mistake of setting the hot pyrex tray down on the cool granite countertop (partly because Gretchen often tells guests how this is one of the great things about granite). But the granite was cool and the tray was over 400 degrees. It immediately shattered, scattering extremely sharp shards everywhere. These shards didn't get scattered with much of a vertical component, as all their momentum had come from the sudden cooling of the glass. So Gretchen plucked the sprouts off the cracked surface and prepared to eat them. Moments later up in front of the television, she discovered that they were inedibly burnt and not even Sally the dog would eat more than a few.

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