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:
   halo forging
Monday, November 23 2009
I decided that the most probable route for noxious fecal gasses to rise from the basement to the cabin was via the tiny air gaps around the lower sink, which sits in a rectangular hole connecting the two spaces. So today I cut a length of vinyl hose and attached it to can of spray foam and used the hose to direct foam into tiny gaps that would have otherwise been unreachable. (I'd used a similar technique to seal air leaks around the woodstove' chimney where it penetrates the house's roof.)

The other day our friend Deborah (who is part of the partnership behind KMOCA, a Kingston art gallery), asked me to submit something for an upcoming show called "100 Halos." So I'd eventually decided to make a lamp whose shade was made from a circular piece of Cor-Ten steel cut in a spiral. Today I cut that circle and then marked the spiral (using a pen attached to a string that gradually wrapped around a pole at the circle's center). This wasn't easy; I broke three or four jigsaw blades and my hands were shaken so violently at times that they began to itch. But eventually I had my spiral, which I then depressed into a three-dimensional parabola. I fixed it in this shape permanently by welding it to a strip of Cor-Ten I'd bent into a two-dimensional parabola. But after the welding was done, the thing was hideous. The welds were huge and ugly, and my cuts had been jagged in places. It would take far too much work to turn this thing into a work of art (though it still looked kind of good).
So I decided to make a swing lamp instead, modled on the two I'd already built as reading lamps in our bedroom. The one I built ended up having a longer arm and a bigger support base (the part attached to the wall). I made the support base sixteen inches wide, long enough to span between a normal house's studs. I also made it so it took smaller candelabra bulbs (these have tiny bases), and I didn't have any equipment for switching it on and off, so I just left that part out (at least for now). Since the lamp had to suggest a halo somehow, I installed a shiny aluminum platter from a defunct hard drive directly behind the bulb socket, sealing it in place behind a large copper fitting attached with epoxy (though the rest of it was soldered).
As I worked, I watched (on my computer) the 2009 movie Grey Gardens, a dramatization of what happens when rich people gradually lose their sanity and source of income. It's not a great movie, and the accent affected by Drew Barrymore should be studied by students of theatre interested in how not to speak with accent other than your own, but the underlying pathos of the movie was familiar and moving. It's about how things fall apart across the span of decades, whether those things are buildings or minds caught in the vise of various forces.

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