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:
   east wall shit hatch
Saturday, October 17 2009
The skies were the color of Wilma's fur, and temperatures failed to rise out of the 40s, and yet Wilma herself, normally an indoor cat, demanded to go out on the east deck to sleep in one of the picnic chairs, as she had done nearly every day since early summer. She's a creature of habit working hard at becoming the decreasing-temperature counterpart to the urban legend about frogs who will remain in a pot full of water as it is slowly raised to a boil.

Meanwhile Gretchen was off at the farm sanctuary in Willow preparing vegan meatballs all day for tomorrow's big "Thanksliving" schnelebration.
For my part, I was solving the problem of the brownhouse's basment's east side, which had remained open thusfar. I would need to devise some sort of hatched door allowing me the ability to move empty trashcans in and trashcans full of shit out. So I built a wall, narrowing the entance from the north. Then I added a treated two-by-four to create a straight and definite bottom for the skids holding the trashcan to come out on. When I was done fleshing out all these elements of the basement east wall, I was left with a void for a shit hatch roughly the shape of a mirror-image upside-down Utah (thanks be to Moroni). I took measurements and cut this shape from a piece of two inch styrofoam and then sandwiched that between similarly-shaped pieces of thin plywood to make a durable door with an R-value of about ten. This and the styrofoam-covered walls of the brownhouse basement will hopefully provide a passively-solar-heated space suitable for the decomposition of human excrement right through the winter. For this purpose, the basement's only major imperfection was its floor, which was just the uninsulated surface of the ground. Hoping to isolate this a bit from the ground outside the brownhouse, I buried a skirt of styrofoam popcorn (who doesn't have a bunch of that on hand?) just outside the basement wall on the south and east side. I'll treat the north and west walls similarly when I get around to them. I'll actually be building up the ground several inches on those sides and have lots of opportunities for trans-basement insulation.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next