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:
   not quite Cinco de Mayo
Sunday, May 4 2014
This morning we could hear a loud recording of bag pipes blaring on Dug Hill Road, and this reminded us that today there was the day of a massive bike race scheduled for our road. We're always a bit nervous about what our dogs will do when they see all the cyclists participating in this annual ritual, but for some reason this morning they were completely blasé about the whole thing. We actually didn't have to worry about them doing anything naughty outside our purview, because Gretchen had latched the pet door overnight. Happily, she completely abandoned all her anti-porcupine precautions by the time we had our Sunday morning coffee (which, for the first time this year, we had on a picnic blanket out in the yard).

Though initially it had seemed like I had a large supply of small-diameter hardwood logs in the nearby forest (a resource suddenly made available by the battery-powered chainsaw and the frame backpack), I've actually cleared the woods of most the salvageable wood within 200 feet of the house. Consequently, I'm having to go further afield in searching for wood, particularly in the region accessible via the Stick Trail (there is still quite a lot of close-by salvageable wood accessible via the Farm Road). So today when I salvaged my daily load, I got it from a relatively-low elevation (41.929262N, 74.105186W) in the forest behind the house. The problem with loads taken from lower elevations is the work involved in walking it uphill. I've already related the vast difference in effort required to backpack along vs. across contours. But I'm ultimately killing two Dick Cheneys with one heart attack: I'm getting exercise and I'm storing up fuel for the winter. A third Dick Cheney would be that I'm clearing the forest of easily-combustible fuels, which will make it less of a threat should there ever be a forest fire (admittedly not much of a threat now, but nobody can say for sure what climate change will bring).
I believe it was yesterday that I saw the first hummingbird of the year. Gretchen is philosophically opposed to feeding wildlife, but traditionally we've made an exception for hummingbirds due to their entertainment value. Still, I would have happily discontinued feeding the little fuckers had one not gone to feeder, take a failed sip, and fly away disappointed. It seemed like false advertising to provide an empty hummingbird feeder, so I mixed up some syrup and began another summer of meddling with nature.

For some reason Gretchen and I mistakenly thought today was Cinco de Mayo, which is the anniversary of the day we got engaged on Venice Beach. We didn't really celebrate in any special way, though Gretchen prepared a Mexican-style meal of corn tortillas, beans, rice cooked in a pressure cooker, and seven spears of asparagus fresh from our asparagus patch.

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