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:
   completely self-maintaining
Monday, December 7 2009
The event Gretchen had gone to yesterday in Brooklyn had included a contest in several food categories. A year ago, she'd won first prize in the dessert category, and she'd hoped to clinch a second win this year with an elaborate cake that would be easier to show than describe:

Sadly, though, Gretchen came in second place. The winner had been a "cheese" cake that (I'm assuming) looked like a bar of soap. Obviously there had been some unseen politics behind the scenes. Part of my problem with the vegan scene is the superficial quasi-celebrities and semi-famous bloggers it attracts, and these folks can engineer a Twitter-Facebook backstab as effectively as any 6th Grader.

Today was cold and sunless, which is a particularly miserable combination when the day is already as short as it is at this time of year. While Gretchen was off in Willow with the Subaru, I drove the Honda Civic to the Uptown Plaza in an effort to figure out why it was making the loud noises that had troubled Gretchen on her drive down to Brooklyn. While in Uptown, I bought a pair of plastic ramps at the Autozone, delighted that the pair cost less than $40.
Back at the house, I used worm-gear pipe clamps to add a pair of metal closet rods to my firewood cart to make it into more of an ox cart. I wanted to tip the cart back to where its 200 pounds of wood rested on the wheels and I could pull it as if I were an ox working between two draft shafts. The closet rods were a little weak for the job and later when I went to use them, I could feel them bending to something close to their folding point, but in the end they greatly improved my ability to bring home a load of wood. You can see the silvery-white steel rods added to the cart in this picture:

By this evening I concluded that the latest boiler fix had been the one that worked. I'd tried replacing the nozzle and the filter, but only by replacing the oil primary had I made the boiler completely self-maintaining once more.

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