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:
   leaks of blood and water
Friday, May 28 2010
Our old washing machine had been working poorly, and because it is older and inefficient, Gretchen decided to buy a replacement. While I was watching an episode of World's Toughest Fixes with Ray, I got a phone call for the Sears delivery guys telling me they were on their way out to make the delivery. I'd been led to believe that it was my job to remove the old washing machine, so Ray and I wrestled it out into the driveway using the red cart that I used back in January to haul out the old woodstove (the washing machine was much lighter, of course).
The Sears guys were supposed to be picking up the old machine as part of what they did, and at first I didn't want to complicate my life by salvaging anything from it. But then, as I was looking at it in the driveway, I realized I could extract its huge 11 ampere electric motor with the removal of a few screws. So I got out my ratchet wrenches and set to work. The motor came loose easily, but getting it out past the support struts and other things made the extraction more difficult than expected. In the process, I sliced open my right pinkie finger just beyond the first finger joint out from my hand. I began bleeding profusely. So I staunced the bleeding as much as I could and then sealed the wound with SuperGlue. I'd used SuperGlue on Eleanor that time she was attacked by a Labradoodle, but I'd never used it on human flesh before. It succesfully closed the wound and nearly stopped the bleeding, getting things under control enough for me to apply a BandAidTM (or its generic equivalent).
The delivery guys were chatty and heavily tattooed. It took then about ten minutes to do the install. Most of that time was spent writing up something to their bosses explaining why couldn't run a complete test; a leak had developed in the shut-off valve the machine attaches to on the wall. Evidently the valve had corroded from years of no exercise and gasket oxidation, and simply turning it off had instigated a slow, unstoppable drip-drip-drip.
The new washing machine is an LG WM2010C. It's front-loading, which means that its front door is locked automatically when it contains water (otherwise there would be a flooding risk). It also has a super spindown cycle to better pre-dry clothes in preparation for drying. This eliminates water that would otherwise have to be evaporated away (at a cost of considerable electricity). The LG WM2010C is much higher tech than the old Montogomery Ward washing machine it replaces, which was controlled by rotary switches, relays, stepper motors, and other 19th Century technology. The new washing machine contains actual electronics in the form of an embedded controller, LED read-outs, and a speaker that plays melodies in a major key. Its user interface is comprised of a set of buttons and a knob that simulates a rotary switch electronically.

I spent much of the day writing a day viewer for a scheduling system I've been building since December. Back then I'd started the system with a conventional calendar display, but had then been told to implement a weekly-ledger-style display. Both of those had been AJAXy, with all the rendering of display elements happening on the front end in Javascript. The daily display constituted a major new feature, and (for a number of reasons, including time constraints), I was forced to code it as a conventional webpage, created entirely in PHP on the backend. It turned out that I could reuse algorithms and even code snippets from the ledger-style weekly calendar's Javascript code, although occasionally I'd find myself scratching my head from the unpredictable effects of accidentally leaving in Javascript-style string concatenation ("+") instead of the kind used by PHP (".").

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