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:
   peak cold thaw
Monday, January 25 2010
The rains intensified last night and by this morning were coming down as a constant deluge. Meanwhile temperatures had been rising and were in the low 50s by the time I got out of bed.
The rain continued for most of the day and temperatures topped out at just about sixty degrees Fahrenheit, which was probably a record. The rain acted to melt the vast majority of the snow, as well as the large ice pond that had formed in the driveway. With all the surface runoff, the clogs in the driveway drainage system melted away.
At some point in the afternoon, the rain came to an end and I put on my galoshes and went into the forest. I waded through the puddles and marveled at the many temporary waterfalls, all flowing with the clearest, most pristine runoff I've ever seen. All the soil was still locked away beneath the flowing water as a concrete comprised of soil cemented by ice.

The Stick Trail, looking south a couple hundred feet north of the Chamomile crossing. Note the puddle nearby.

A temporary stream (even more temporary than the Chamomile) that crosses the Stick Trail a hundred feet north of the Chamomile crossing.

A little dual waterfall in this temporary stream.

Looking southeast across the Chamomile gorge to its south bank, where you can see the sawdust ghost of a downed oak I'd cut up and hauled home three weeks ago.

The swollen Chamomile crossing the Stick Trail. You can see some sawdust from recent woodcutting on the right.

Melt water flowing down the swollen Chamomile, viewed from near where it crosses the Stick Trail. At the end of this clip, you can see a bank of fog over the lower Chamomile, where warm air is being cooled by the proximity of the frigid meltwater.

Gretchen had several errands in town today but eventually came home and surprised me with Indian takeway from our favorite new place in Uptown Kingston, a restaurant that is evidently trying to hedge their bets by referring to themselves as "the Kingston Indian Restaurant and Grill."
Later Gretchen and I watched a movie called Adam, a story about a young man with Asperger's Syndrome trying to cope with his father's death, the loss of his job, and a romance with the young "neurologically typical" woman next door. It was a fun little movie, partly because it didn't resolve things at the end in the usual cliché-ridden Hollywood way. As we watched, Gretchen kept saying that the Asperger's-afflicted protagonist reminded her of me. His behavior seemed a little extreme to me, except for the part where his new neurologically-typical girlfriend dragged him to a party with her friends and he seemed bored and annoyed.

Professionally, today, I found myself dealing with a new virtual hosting server. It was simple Linux account, with PHP and MySQL, nothing fancy. To manage it, I had to work entirely from a text-based console window. The reason I'd had to get this plan was because I needed full text indexing for one of my clients, and Godaddy had told me that their much cheaper "shared hosting" accounts didn't support full text indexes.
After I set it up, I wanted to get this virtual host to support PHP's ODBC library so I could use it to connect to a Microsoft SQL server associated with a cheapo shared Windows web hosting account. Getting that to worked proved far too complicated to pull off. The problem with implemented new functionality on a Linux server is that it's not as simple as just installing a component. Inevitably that component is going to have dependencies (prerequisites) that themselves will turn out to have prerequisites, ad infinitum in a huge tree of knowledge that you have to recreate limb by limb by branch by twig. There might have been a way to automate this process, but that would have involved installing something that itself had dependencies that in turn had dependencies. So I gave up.
But then it turned out that Godaddy had lied when they'd told me that full text indexing isn't supported on any of their shared hosting packages. They were correct in saying that it isn't supported by Microsoft SQL Server on shared hosting, but I actually managed to get full text indexing working on the Linux shared hosting. What I'd previously thought was a failure of that indexing was actually the result of a little-known and not-often-mentioned peculiarity of MySQL full text indexes: they do not return hits on tables that contain fewer than three rows of data! Naturally my test table, being a one-off proof-of-concept table, had only contained one row. So now I can cancel the virtual hosting. But I'm going to wait a couple weeks to be sure, because I'm tired of the hosting plan churn that this complex development job has produced.

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