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:
   wellhead sawbuck
Wednesday, December 16 2009
Back in the early autumn when I was spending all my time working on the brownhouse and failing to earn any income for the household budget, I found myself an easy mark for a would-be entrepreneur with whom I'd worked "for equity" once before on a failed plan. He'd developed another plan and I'd said yes. This time it was smaller in scope and better-targeted to a market for which he has expertise, so again I'd said yes. Besides, what else was I doing with my time? Spackling the interior of an outdoor crapatorium? Really?
Now it's not just me working for free, it's also a team of guys in India working for peanuts. The guy who'd suckered me into this whole thing had arranged for the Indian guys to call me at 8am this morning, which I'd agreed to. What I hadn't agreed to was them calling me at 7am this morning, which is what they actually did. I was still in bed and very much asleep at the time. But eventually I got up and found my way into a conference call. I should mention, by the way, that every time I hear an Indian name or accent it makes me hungry. That's how much I like Indian food.
The cold weather has changed my obsessive compulsions from a focus on matters brownhouse to a focus on matters firewood. With my Stihl sitting on the bench waiting for needle bearings, any firewood I collected had to be either already cut up, or small enough to be cut into pieces with a bow saw. I'm good with a bow saw (as evidenced by the miracles I achieved when clearing the stick trail system), but it's hard work and proceeds slowly. When I use a bow saw, I don't want to cut wood into small pieces, preferring leaving it in long sticks that I can cut up back at the woodshed with an electric chain saw (using the household wellhead as a convenient steel sawbuck). Since such sticks cannot be carried with any sort of wheeled vehicle, I don't go far in search of them. Usually they're best obtained from the forest just west of the Farm Road, where there have historically been a large number of small-to-medium-sized dead trees still standing (and that have become tinder-dry through the years). Unfortunately, I've taken all the easy trees and have found myself having to search farther and farther afield. I might eventually have to build myself a device to help with dragging long heavy sections of trunk easily through the forest.

This evening I drove into town to take care of some business, the most urgent being a search for circlips (also called "Jesus clips" and E-clips). It turns out that you can buy these clips in Home Depot, but given what they are and how easily they're manufactured, they're amazingly expensive. When was the last time you spent seventy cents on a tenth of a gram of steel?
I was also in search of generic orange hunters caps that perhaps I could get for a discount (since deer rifle season is now over). In the end, the best place to buy such hats turned out to be Gander Mountain, a store decorated with hunter trophies. (Dollar stores occasionally have baseball caps, but I could find none in the correct color.)
At some point while I was out, I realized I was sneezing a lot and had developed a runny nose, which seemed to be consistent with the mouth sores reported yesterday as evidence that I was coming down with some sort of illness.

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