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:
   Uptown stories
Thursday, December 15 2011
I have two welders. One is a fancy Italian-made 240 volt wirefed welder that I've found difficult to use. (I find the wire speed difficult to dial-in to match the power, and the end of the wire is difficult to aim.) The other is a cheap, underpowered 120 volt Chinese stick welder. I've found the stick welder to be my preference. I can carry it around and plug it in anywhere, and it mostly just works. The downside is that it can only use small-gauge electrode sticks and generally can't make a reliable weld between two large pieces of steel. So I've had plans to add a stick welder function to my wire welder. With the flip of a switch, I could disable the wirefeed mechanism while enabling the welding voltage, which would now be sent out through a new wire attached to a stick-holding electrode pincher (which I bought two or three years ago in preparation for this project). Today I finally got around to installing the switch and the new wire and stick-holding electrode pincher (cannibalizing a set of jumper cables for the necessary wire, which must be very thick). I had it miswired for my first test, but once I got it working, I could finally weld with the thick stainless steel electrodes I've had gathering dust in the shop for years.

This evening Gretchen and I went to Uptown to attend another TMI story telling event (this time happening at BSP, a place we used to go to in our early years in Hurley). First, though, we went to the Kingston Indian Restaurant for dinner. It's a big place, but there was only one other customer, an older hippie woman eating by herself and making gestures on her iPad with presumably greasy fingertips. But then someone we knew walked in and ordered a table for one, "Oh no, you're not sitting by yourself," Gretchen insisted, and so she sat with us. It was the woman who sometimes acts as a celebrity judge for BRAWL women's arm wrestling events in the character of "Lucretia O.," a Bulgarian princess. Eventually "Lucretia's" friends (whom she hadn't necessarily expected to see) also showed up, and there were five of us crammed around a little table while the other tables remained empty (the woman with her iPad had left). We started out talking about spiciness of food but ended up comparing notes on our respective trips to Italy (all five of us had gone at one time or another). While "Lucretia" ordered something vegan, the two others at our table shared a chicken entree, and it was one of the few times in recent memory we've found ourselves dining with carnivores.

At BSP, the theme for tonight's TMI storytelling was (perhaps as something somewhat seasonal) "Forced Family Fun." Unfortunately, though, the stories were noticeably weaker than they'd been at the other TMI event we'd been to. Tonight they tended to be more self-indulgent and less shockingly edgy (it's called TMI after all). And the story that won (the first ever winning story told by a man) was a rambling tale about paddling a canoe among orcas in the Juan de Fuca Straight; Gretchen and I suspect its secret ingredient was its several unnecessary references to spirituality (both Christian and Hindu), things that only made us hate it more. Also, BSP charges $6 for 60 Minute Dogfish Head IPA, one of the crappiest IPAs there is (though I drank one anyway). Still, there were moments of humor, such as an opening faux-Passover song for which Julie (the multitalented MC) dressed up as an ultra-orthodox Jew. And then there was Jack Stanley, the story teller who never showed up. He ended up being the butt of much disparaging banter between stories.

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