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:
   trench for air and electricity
Thursday, November 5 2009
Today I focused on two brownhouse needs: a supply of air of moderate temperature, and a supply of 120 volt electricity. Initially I'd thought I could get by without electricity, but it appears I'm going to need a fan to make the shit stack ventillate comfortably. I always end up bringing the grid to my out buildings, it seems.
As for the air supply, my plan was to drain air from behind the stone retaining wall that heads west from the greenhouse's southwest corner. This wall consists of many large stones and considerably quantities of clean gravel. It seemed that if I could draw air from there, it wouldn't reflect the wild temperature swings of purely atmospheric air. So I continued work on a trench I'd already started leading from the brownhouse's north wall to the outdoor electrical boxes near the greenhouse's northwest corner (about 25 feet away). To complete the trench, I had to disassemble a segment of that stone retaining wall behind which I hoped to find my temperate air. And I also had to root out a number of large rocks I found in the virgin soil (unlike the greenhouse site, much of the trench passed through terrain that had never been substantially reshaped by man). As always, I tried to avoid severing large roots. In projects like this, it's acceptably-easy to thread pipes and wires under roots.
By the end of the day, my fingernails were a torn-up mess from all the digging and grubbing. It would be easy to suggest that I simply wear gloves when doing such work, but I find the numbness and awkwardness that gloves bring to my fingers a serious handicap. I've adopted latex gloves fairly recently for use in chemically-hostile environments, but in environments that are merely abrasive and brutal, I find it best to work bare handed. I just have to let my hands take a vacation afterwards.
By the end of the day, I had a working duplex outlet in the basement of the brownhouse. I also had a working air supply to the PVC array in the shit collection bucket. Over near the greenhouse, in a trench excavated through the fill placed against its west wall, I'd buried electrical cable and a piece of four inch HDPE pipe into which I'd run the end of the 1.25 inch air supply pipe to the brownhouse. I'd then perforated the HDPE pipe multiple times along its top and buried it in rock. The plan is to continue adding loose rock to the area west of the greenhouse, which will theoretically help further moderate the air supply to the brownhouse.

Looking northeastward towards to the greenhouse down the trench.

The trench approaching the greenhouse.

Looking southwestward towards the brownhouse down the trench.

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