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:
   pizza party with Hurley fries
Wednesday, February 6 2013
The laboratory heating zone is one of the most important in the house, partly because it one of the few that actually gets any use (the other important zone heats household water, and Gretchen is always cranking up the upstairs bedroom zone, though it's much less important). Of late, though, I've had trouble with the valve controlling that zone. A week or so ago, I replaced the valve's actuator motor, and at first this seemed to fix my problems. But today I noticed that the zone valve was failing to turn on the circulator pump, meaning that it wasn't opening all the way. Further investigation revealed that the valve mechanism itself was sticky and difficult to move and that the actuator motor probably hadn't been at fault. This seemed like very bad news. How was I going to replace the valve mechanism without cutting the valve body out of the the plumbing and replacing it? Fortunately, though, I did some web research and quickly discovered that malfunctioning Honeywell valves never need to be cut out of the plumbing. The valve mechanism lives on a separate plate that bolts onto the valve body. To replace the mechanism, I would have to drain the hydronic fluid to a level below the valve body (sort of a pain), but I wouldn't have to do any cutting or soldering. The old valve body could be cleaned out and reused with a fresh new mechanism. And I was able to find three mechanisms for sale on Ebay for $50, which seemed like a pretty good deal.

For some reason the Bachelor was airing two episodes this week. As you know, I'd watched the first of these yesterday. And today, Nancy sent an email to me and Sarah the Vegan suggesting that we come to her house tonight to watch the second episode (which had aired last night). Sarah quickly agreed to pick up a vegan pizza from Catskill Mountain Pizza, and I decided to get an order of fries from the Hurley Mountain Inn.
When I set off for this date, Gretchen suggested that I not order the fries by phone, that I just go to Hurley Mountain Inn and request them, that they would be fresher that way. I ended up waiting around for something like ten minutes, so next time I am definitely ordering by phone and picking them up after the three minutes it takes me to drive there.
While the fries were piping hot, the pizza was already room temperature. Since Sarah hadn't seen the Monday night episode, Nancy showed her the highlights using the DVR's various features. Ray and Nancy only recenly got their cable turned back on after a multi-month hiatus. Now that Ray has wriggled out from beneath that DUI charge, they're probably feeling like they can afford such luxuries again. (Though Nancy told us that only last night Ray got pulled over again on his drive home from work, the cop using the excuse that he'd driven into the white ("fog") line on the side of the road. Upon learning that Ray was coming home from the Red Onion, he also wanted to do a field sobriety test, but Ray really hadn't been drinking. All of this suggests that, at least in the present police climate, working at a restaurant is a suboptimal employment choice.)
As for Tuesday night's episode, its highlight came after the girls were made to do a "polar bear" dip in a frigid Canadian lake. Tierra, this episodes' bitchy drama queen, proceeded to feign hypothermia in hopes of getting more attention and sympathy from the bachelor. The ploy worked, though it seems she might be wearing that act thin. At the end of the show, she was awarded the final rose, which is always a bachelor's way of saying, "watch out, you're next in the reject wagon if you keep doing what you're doing."
Ray came back from the Red Onion before our little party broke up, and though the pizza wasn't any warmer, it wasn't any colder either. As for the fries, they were now at a temperature where they were best shared with the dogs.

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