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:
   shitty job stories
Friday, December 19 2014
In the middle of the east side of the laboratory, pushed against the sloping ceiling/wall, is an old wooden table that used to be Ray and Nancy's kitchen table at their old apartment in Brooklyn. Like most available surfaces in the laboratory, that table tends to be the place where random things gradually accumulate. For years, for example, that table has been home to a never-completed but often-revisited project wherein I hoped to make some sort of media player stereo component from an old 600 MHz laptop. It's also the place where I put my most often-used brass fittings (the kind for joining together hoses, either male-to-male or female-to-female). But times have changed and I realize now that I'm never going to use that old laptop as a media player (though I might use a Raspberry Pi). And it makes more sense to put all those fittings in a container that can be dumped out on the floor on the few occasions when I need a fitting. The same applies to my various plumbing tools. I am going to be setting myself up a temporary stop-action studio, and that is going to require some space, so today I removed all the crap from the parts of that table with substantial headroom, either putting it in deep storage or in large containers (the kind in which 64 ounces of SunFresh Del Monte peeled grapefruits — $9 — are sold are perfect). On the opened-up desk space, I placed the new Hackintosh, a keyboard, a mouse, and a single monitor (for my uses, I'll only need one, but for an upcoming use I will need two).

My new Hackintosh setup. Click to enlarge.

For dinner, Gretchen and I drove south down US 209 and then over to Michæl & Carrie's place down at the seed library compound. Only Carrie was there when we arrived, and she was in the process of putting together what would be an exceptional Mexican meal. For starters, of course, it was all about the cheese and vegan crackers. Eventually Deborah showed up, followed by Susan & David and then Michæl, returning from another long day working on sets in Newburgh. David had bought the beers, including a four pack of the Stone Ruination Imperial IPA (it's good, but it's a bit unsubtle for my tastes). A single bottle of that was to be my entire alcohol consumption for the evening.
Dinner conversation took an interesting turn when several "shitty jobs of my youth" stories were told. David had one about the time he worked in a Mexican restaurant and got yelled at by the owner after being caught sampling the icecream used to make "fried icecream." And Michæl had a great story about responding to an ad promising as much as $500/day working in a "rock 'n' roll" workplace. It turned out to be a job selling motivational posters door-to-door in industrial parks in the greater San Francisco area. Though most businesses quickly demanded that Michæl and his colleague immediate vacate the premises, on rare occasions there were sales. Michæl's boss remained chipper in the face of even the most humiliating evictions, classing them with absurd ratings of "three out of five" and, back at the office, enthusiastically ringing a bell at the achievement of various milestones (that might have been the rock 'n' roll part). Michæl had a surprisingly long story to tell considering that he only worked there for one day.
Other conversational topics included the usual scatological subjects, particularly dingleberries. Michæl had a different word for them, "bo daggitt," which might actually be a Mormonism; Michæl grew up in Idaho and he says the term can also be heard in the movie Napoleon Dynamite.
Other things of note: Michæl & Carrie's woodstove had an immaculate glass window, and I wondered if they knew something I didn't know about operating their stove. "No, we just clean it every day," Carrie said. That sounded neurotic to me, but now Gretchen wanted to get whatever product they use so we could clean ours (something I will almost never be doing, if ever). Less crazy was the indoor wood rack Michæl had made from pieces of black iron pipe and various fittings (including four union fittings necessary to fit the two halves together). These were the sorts of things I payed special attention to near the end of the dinner party tonight as Gretchen and Carrie went through an agonizingly-slow goodbye.
I should mention that tonight Ramona was exceptionally poorly behaved. She bit (not viciously, but still painfully) both Michæl and David when she greeted them, she kept harassing Penny the dog, and at one point she chased Clippy the cat. It was enough of a bad performance for Gretchen to say something about how we need to be better at setting boundaries with her so she doesn't walk all over us.

Back at the house, we finally had the manpower to give Celeste the kitten a flea bath, which we did with warm water in the upstairs sink. She didn't like it much, but she handled it better than just about any cat would. Afterwards, Gretchen kept her bundled in a towel to help her dry off, but eventually she broke free. But out in the open in our house, she was soon shivering from the misery of her wet fur, and Gretchen bundled her up and took her to bed.
Meanwhile, I was finding new strange behaviors from my Hackintosh. It got stuck booting at some point down deep in the BIOS, something I had to reset the CMOS memory to fix. And other times it would proceed extremely slowly through the process of booting Yosemite (it would show a progress bar beneath the Apple logo, but it would increment only a pixel's worth every five minutes). For some reason that could easily be fixed by just rebooting; evidently on some rare occasions it does something that causes it to stick. In the ultimate application of this particular Hackintosh, I'm going to need it to either be more reliable or easy to fix, so now it's looking like it might be a good idea to install a way to reset the CMOS memory without having to take the case apart.

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