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:
   unfunny comedy
Wednesday, November 18 2009

Though the brownhouse walls weren't yet complete, today I installed the hinged upper sink and in so doing came face-to-face with another problem. (My organic method of design is all about walking to what is visible on the horizon and then looking to see where I can walk next.) The new problem concerned evaporation from the lower sink. If the upper sink doesn't cover it tightly (and it doesn't), then it might introduce too much humidity to the brownhouse interior. Since the lower sink is simple a ten gallon LDPE container for which I also got a lid, I thought perhaps I could make it so the upper sink had that lid attached to its bottom (along with the holes needed to allow water to drain from the upper sink to the lower sink). So I cut that lid so it could be set down at angle (the way the upper sink hinges down), but its bulk seemed to get in the way. I think I'll end up attatching bits of sheet metal to the upper sink's bottom to partially-seal the lower sink from the cabin. I also have a plan to install glass into a part of the upper sink to allow light through, just in case I want to grow oxygen-producing plants in the lower sink to make it into a self-regulating ecosystem (or at least to be able to make such a claim, given the use to which I will be putting it).

This evening Gretchen and I watched the Seth Rogen vehicle Observe and Report. For Gretchen and me, Seth Rogen has become what Jack Black is for perhaps a larger share of the population, a loveable dufus who stars in reliably good movies. Unfortunately, Observe and Report was not a good movie. I'm not saying this because it was presented as a comedy but turned out to not be particularly funny. Perhaps it was actually a serious movie, an exploration of one guy's insecurities and mental problems. But a comedic framework provded unequal to the task of such an exploration, and so we ended up being treated to overlong scenes of monotonous violence and improbable slapstick plot twists. For some reason, though, I watched the whole thing.
For the past few weeks, I've also been catching up on some classic and recent movies that I've never seen or seen and liked and that Gretchen would be unlikely to put in her Netflix queue. These include Fight Club, Control, and Gone With the Wind (the latter of which was just for a few scenes to see how regional accents were presented). I get all these movies through BitTorrent and watch them on my computer.

For the past few weeks I've been working on a startup-type web project (in other words, I'm not getting paid) involving interfacing Asterisk (a computer-based private branch exchange telephone system) to a web server, allowing a web server to place automated calls. In order to get all this working, I've been experimenting with an SPA2102 box, which allows conventional phones to be attached to an IP network. Unfortunately, my particular SPA2102 has been very problematic, and though I've experimented with it and Asterisk (actually, a pre-built Linux solution called TrixBox) for hours, I've yet to get any sort of communication between the two. Phone technology is baroque and the learning curve is proving steep.

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