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:
   cabbage patch planted
Friday, April 17 2015
At 11am, I had an appointment with my dentist in West Hurley regarding the molar nearest my top right wisdom tooth. That tooth had had a large filling installed in it back in 2000, but the tooth had gone on to develop a fracture that had, but the summer of 2014, made it impossible for me to painlessly chew food using the right side of my mouth. The problem finally resolved itself this past September, when the outer chunk of the tooth delaminated from the filling, leaving a substantial void and making it so I could once more chew food without consciously thinking about what teeth I was using. My dentist worked fast, immediately injecting a local anæsthetic into the root of the molar. In about five minutes, it was completely numb, and he attacked it with various Dremel-like grinding tools, filing away the filling and rounding the top of tooth into a regular stump onto which he could fit a porcelain crown. Since the tooth is still very much alive, I was concerned perhaps he hadn't given it quite enough time to go unconscious, but I'm pleased to report that the grinding was painless, though it was a little unnerving to spit so many tiny shards of tooth and filling from my mouth afterwards.
What followed was a three dimensional scan of the stump the dentist had created, the teeth on either side of it, and the teeth on my lower jaw opposing it. This was done both with my mouth open and closed. Next, the dentist had me turn around and watch him while he did a little work with Photoshop-like drawing tools (mostly to define the gumline and orient the various 3D maps with respect to each other). After only a couple minutes of interactive graphical work on the computer, he'd created a computer model that he could then send to a milling machine in the back to create me a brand new crown right there. Ideally, he could have had my crown ready then and there, but the milling machine was grinding out someone else's crown at the time, so he fitted me with a blocky temporary crown to last me until Tuesday, when I'd get the porcelain one installed. Despite the labor-saving technology, my crown is still going to cost me $1000. Listen to me, youth of today: Brush those teeth, and quit eating those sweets!
I took advantage of my being out and about in a car to make a big loop with the Subaru south to Old Hurley, where I extracted five more buckets of topsoil from my Esopus-levee dirt mine (which is looking more and more like a scaled-down open-pit copper mine in a country with the sort of environmental regulations that today's Republican party could support).
Back at the house, I used the additional soil to complete the cabbage patch (at least for now). It ended up having the shape of a curved trapezoid, with a long dimension of 12 feet and widths ranging from nine feet at the east end to four feet at the west end. Though it's no more than 75 square feet in size, it contains 7 months' worth of my humanure output, a whole winters' worth of dog shit collected from the yard, a season's worth of wood ashes, 135 gallons of Esopus Valley topsoil, two wheelbarrows' worth of unimpressive "sandy loam" soil, a years' worth of kitchen compost, at least two buckets' worth of semi-composted tea and tea bags from the laboratory, two five-gallon buckets's worth of a mix of pine needles and human urine, and large amounts of cat litter. And yet it just looks like normal tilled topsoil, ready for planting.
And so I did plant it. The plan was for it to be the new home for our Brassicas, though I only had two kinds of Brassicas on hand that I wanted to plant: Purple Peacock Broccoli and Ragged Jack Kale. I broadcast seeds of the former in the west half and seeds of the latter in the east half, and then sprinkled a thin layer of organic-matter-rich "organic topsoil" ontop of it all. So, yes, even though it's called "the cabbage patch," it doesn't yet have any actual cabbages growing in it.

Throughout the day, I kept running my tongue over my cuspless temporary crown. The fine roughness of its surface patina made it feel more like bubble gum stuck on a tooth than an actual tooth. But at least I could use it to chew without pain or difficulty.
Later, though, I develop a dull aching and feeling of pressure in my cranium above the crown. It seems the filing alway of some of the old tooth had irritated the nerves in its still-living pulp. At first this wasn't so bad, but eventually it sapped my ability to do much of anything. So I went down to the greenhouse and took a long nap. Meanwhile Gretchen and her teenage poetic protégé were having one of their one-on-one poetic sessions out on the east deck to take advantage of the glorious weather.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next