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:
   concrete block and a hammer drill
Friday, October 3 2014
I'd left the dogs home yesterday, but today when I went to the house on Wall Street, I brought them. That might have been a bad idea, because for much of the day they seemed extremely bored, like they would have liked to have a job. There was also the risk of them stepping on a strip of carpeting tacks. Most of the work I did was down in the basement. Using a hammer drill that can serve as a small jackhammer, I drilled some pilot holes through the concrete block wall all the way to the outside in an inital probing of where in the wall I could put an exhaust vent. I only managed to get one hole to go all the way through, but the location seemed acceptable, so I switched the hammer drill to jackahammer mode and proceeded to blast away. I'd initially bought the hammer drill for use in the greenhouse excavation, but it was obviously underpowered for the kind of rock removal I had in mind. But it's great for tasks like drilling a rough four inch hole through a concrete block. Unfortunately, the trigger switch for my hammer drill is in the process of failing, so the drill sometimes wouldn't run when I wanted it to and other times I'd have to unplug it to turn it off.
Gretchen arrived soon after I'd completed the vent hole and she'd brought romex clamps, the things I still needed to build out the 220 volt circuit needed by the dryer (somehow I'd successfully managed to describe a romex clamp over the telephone). The only difficulty with doing that part of the job was drilling the holes through the joists overhead for the 10 gauge romex. I didn't have chuck key, so the chuck kept slipping on the spade bit as it turned. As for working inside a live circuit breaker box, I am not as nervous about it as I used to be. You just have to know where not to put your fingers.
Meanwhile Gretchen had a random conversation with one of the neighbors, an opthamologist who has an office on the corner. He was a bit of a nosy neighbor who didn't seem to like the idea that we had bought the house in order to rent it. He also didn't much like our dogs, particularly after learning that they are Pit Bulls. But when Gretchen wished him a good fast (tonight being the beginning of Yom Kippur) he reacted well to her being Jewish.
After I had the new 220 volt circuit installed, I turned on the circuit breaker and Gretchen powered up the $50 dryer. It smelled kind of funny in there, but it seemed to work okay.
Soon thereafter, Gretchen hid the dogs in one of our cars and an inspector from our homeowners insurance came over to have a look around. By then, I'd cleaned up all the electrician detritus and nobody could tell that a new 220 volt circuit had been added to the circuit breaker box by someone lacking a proper license. She took some pictures of the boiler and the circuit breaker box, took notes about the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms, measured the outside of the house, and then left. Both Gretchen and I were delighted that we could now finally go home. On the way, I stopped at Beer Universe and bought a tallboy can of Dale's Pale Ale (the most appealing-looking canned beer) for the drive home and a big bottle of Sierra Nevada Harvest Single Hop IPA (which I'd never had) for later.
Despite it being Yom Kippur, Gretchen made us a delicious meal based on tomatoes and gnocchi. I ended up watching a shit ton of teevee and drinking a bit too much IPA.

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