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:
   large rocks and arbitrary grades
Thursday, November 7 2013
Rain started falling at some point in the night as a small pocket of unseasonably warm air was displaced by something colder. I was concerned for a brief period that enough rain might fall and the water table would rise high enough to inundate the greenhouse "basement" (which is what I should call everything beneath the level of the deck that forms that eastern half of the greenhouse first floor). The concrete I'd used to fix in place the girder supporting the western edge of the deck was only about 12 hours old, and I didn't know if it was ready yet to be submerged in water (which would happen if the water rose high enough to be drained by the gravity-propelled drainage system). [Apparently this is not a problem, so long as the concrete is solid enough to avoid being eroded.]
I finally managed to break off a moderate (30 pound) piece from that solid unbreakable "elephant ear" of bluestone that had been too big to lift out of the excavation. Once it was lightened by that amount, I could just barely lift it, though lifting it prove unnecessary in the method I used to extract it from the hole. I managed to tip it end-over-end onto a step in the bedrock and then over to a two-step wooden step structure that I'd made five years ago to help me get into and out of the original greenhouse excavation. From there I could tip it up to the deck over the east half of the floor and then out the door (I'd remembered to protect it first with a disposable sheet of OSB). It turns out that it is possible to move incredibly heavy rocks up and down grades of nearly any steepness so long as they can be tipped end over end. And I can do that with rocks weighing hundreds of pounds. The only caveat is that it is important to always make sure that a heavy rock falling off an improvised structure cannot possibly land on any part of your anatomy. Even relatively small rocks will permanently destroy soft biological material after falling a foot or so. (Once back when I was a student in Oberlin, I had my sneakered foot in the way as a sewer lid cover —that's about 100 pounds— fell over from vertical onto it, and it hurt so much that I was sure that one or more of my toes had been severed. I was lucky and only suffered the temporary loss of one toenail.)

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