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:
   earthworms in the bedrock
Tuesday, November 5 2013
I spent the day either thinking about or working on the Lightroom plugin, though I also found time to do some minor tinkering in the greenhouse basement, where I've exposed a large, nearly flat expanse of clay-covered bluestone. The clay seems to have come from the decomposition of a thin layer of shale between the layers of bluestone. I would love to know what sequence of events causes bluestone creation to stop, an inch-thick layer of shale to be laid down, followed by resumed bluestone deposition. Interestingly, I found a number of small (one to two-inch long) earthworms that had been living in that thin layer of clay. They'd survived repeated flooding and very low levels of oxygen, though they appeared to have been killed by the forces necessary to remove the rock above them.

It being election day, Gretchen and I went down to town hall in Old Hurley, where we met up with Nancy (who lives within walking distance but had driven to the Hurley Mountain Inn). It was local (off-year) elections, and, as always, I voted exclusively for the Democrats except in cases where the Democrat was also a member of the Working Families Party, and in such cases I voted for the candidate on that line. Also, in cases where the Democrat was also running as a Republican, I wrote in either Gretchen or Ray. (I wouldn't trust Nancy to be Superintendent of Highways.) There were a number of proposed state constitutional amendments, including one allowing casinos in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo had left a creepy recorded message on our answering machine expressing his support for that amendment, though he'd never used the words "casino" or even the euphemism "gaming." Instead he'd talked about how it would fund the schools and provide tax relief. All three of us voted against it, and we also voted against an amendment allowing for a mine in the Adirondack State Park. We voted against that sucker too. Unfortunately, though, both amendments passed. It seems that amending the New York constitution is too easy.
While waiting for Nancy to finish filling out her ballot (she takes a long time to do things like that), Gretchen and I pored over a big beautiful map of our township in the town hall hallway. I pointed out where we lived and how our various trails run. Their direction on the map seemed to puzzle her.
As we walked away from the accomplishment of our civic duty, our neighbor Tom the Mountain Biking Butcher (who always seems to vote at the same time as us), snidely remarked that we already have a casino right here in Hurley in the form of the Stewarts, what with all the mathematically-challenged who stand in line in front of you ordering their scratch-offs, occasionally proceeding to actually scratch them off right there at the counter.
Nancy wanted to get a beer at the Hurley Mountain Inn, an establishment we would never patronize were it not so conveniently located. But when we walked in we were pleasantly surprised. A recent remodeling and eliminated all the mounted deer heads and some of the kuntry kitchen klutter. Unfortunately, though, the menu was perhaps a bit less vegan-friendly than it had been, with, for example, no listing for spaghetti and red sauce or veggie burgers. But in places like this there are always french fries (which the Hurley Mountain Inn briefly renamed "freedom fries" back in the bad old days of the early 2000s). There was also an actual IPA on tap, though it was Long Hammer, perhaps the worst one commonly available.
The three takeaways from today from all of this are as follows: Stewarts needs to start selling lottery tickets exclusively by vending machine, New York needs to change its laws so that a supermajority is required to amend its constitution. And the staff at the Hurley Mountain Inn need to consult and perhaps the Wikipedia entry for veganism.

I stayed up late working on the plugin, accomplishing a few important breakthroughs in the process. One of these fixed a vexing problem with displaying an array of different-sized thumbnails. Individuals in such an array can push the design around and cause display issues, but I found a method to reliably crop such images within a predictably-sized square.

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