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:
   Stonehengian signal
Wednesday, May 23 2012
While Gretchen was out shopping and walking the dogs this morning, I used the weed whacker to mow the grass for the second time this year. It went much faster than the first mowing had, conclusively demonstrating that it takes longer to weed whack tall grass than it does to weed whack the short stuff, even if both require the same amount of basic truncation.
Down at the greenhouse today, I began the process of making the new walls and posts plumb and square. The process of jacking up the roof had made initial plumbness impossible for the north wall, which I'd had to lean noticeably southward to get it to fall underneath the northern roof girder (the beam upon which the rafters sit); that girder had pivoted too far south during the jacking of the north side. Not knowing how much force was acting upon the north wall, I decided to take extra precautions before pushing the east end of it back northward to plumb. I attached a cable going southward to keep it from rocking too far north, and I attached a angled two by four to keep it from rocking too far south. Using a turnbuckle, I gradually eased the cable loser, inserting blocks of wood behind the angled two by four as I did so. Though the roof pushing down on this system weighs about 1000 pounds, it soon became clear that the forces pent up in the non-plumbness of the walls were small, not more than ten pounds in any direction. While the angled two by four had been helpful, the cable was completely unnecessary. So I didn't bother with it when correcting the plumbness of the north wall's west end. When I was done with these getting the north wall into position, I attached diagonal two by fours to support it from the south and removed the black iron pipes, which had been in place for only about 30 hours.

This afternoon Paul (the guy with the church in the Rondout) came over so that we could give him a tour of our nearby quarry. As you may recall, Paul is looking to build a large Greek-letter pi out of stone in the back of his church to send a Stonehengian signal that it stands for a number of things beyond traditional Christianity. Before we went off to look for bluestone, though, I gave Paul and Gretchen a tour of the new space opened up by all the recent roof jacking. Though this new space is only six by fourteen feet with a low ceiling on one side, it feels like it has real potential. Part of this comes from how high up it is and its pleasant view of the pine-covered septic mound; it feels like being in a tree house.
As always, Paul had driven here in his massive pickup truck, and today we finally got his story about the company logo on its side: "One Brother Cement." Paul explained that back when he used to park his vehicles on the street in New York City, he had a real problem with crack whores breaking into his vehicles to use them as temporary residences. So he came up with a company name that would strike the fear of God even into the sort of people who have nothing to lose and don't give a fuck: "One Brother Cement." Everyone in the City knows that the mob controls the cement industry, though if "cement" doesn't work as a rattlesnake rattle, there's that sly reference to the pizza industry. Paul says he hasn't had any trouble with people breaking into his truck since getting the logo stenciled on.
Paul drove us up Dug Hill Road to the quarry and I rode in the back bed redneck-style with the three dogs. We never see anyone at the quarry, but today we could hear someone ripping around back there on a four wheeler. It was a youngish woman with a toe-headed baby on her lap pursued by two dogs. One of these dogs, a sort of all-white German Shepherd, was extremely protective of the baby, something Ramona was not picking up on, so the woman thought it best to leave, retreating back to Reichel Road. The vicious dog went with her, though the other dog, an older, rotund mutt, decided to hang out with us for the rest of our time in the quarry. We found a number of beautiful thick chunks of bluestone, some as long as sixteen feet. These might work for Paul's purposes, but we're not really sure who owns the quarry, and (unlike some people) he's not the sort of guy who would just start loading up what he wanted without first getting permission.

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