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:
   using greenhouse water
Tuesday, May 5 2015
One or more of our cats has resumed the unholy practice of urinating on the large dog bed given to us by Susan the Memoirist, a former friend who now resides somewhere in Maine. Back before he vanished, Nigel the Cat was the culprit whenever the crime of inappropriate urination was committed. But the misdirected urination has continued essentially unchanged in his absence. We could hypothesize that Oscar resumed where Nigel left off, but my suspicion is that Julius (aka Stripey) has been secretly offending all along. In any case, today I finally got around to doing something about that dog bed. As I washed its outer cover, I exhausted the last of the water in the rain barrel at the northwest corner of the house. This forced me to seek another source of water, one that, unlike the rain barrel that collects from the woodshed, can deliver large amounts of water rapidly. I briefly considered using the kiddie pool (which I recently cleaned out and refilled with fresh water, committing a mosquito larva holocaust in the process), but the dogs like to drink out of it and when they do so they're not expecting dilute cat urine. So I took the three pillows from inside the dog bed down to the greenhouse and threw them into the sub-basement. Despite unusually dry conditions, that basement had more than three feet of standing water in it. The two smaller pillows were easy to lift back out of the well, but the big one had taken on too much water and now weighed over a hundred pounds. It was a good thing I'd constructed a block-and-tackle-based lift, allowing me to haul it out using only 25 pounds of force.
At some point when I was walking back to the house, I heard the sci-fi sound of two hummingbirds chasing each other past my head. There's a Disneyesque glee to that sound, coupled with a pronounced doppler shift. This was the first I'd had any evidence of hummingbirds this season.
I spent most of the day waging a top-to-bottom cleaning jihad against the accumulated forces of entropy in the house. Gretchen and I would be heading to Asheville, North Carolina tomorrow, and we needed the house to by tidy for our house sitters by noon tomorrow. Given the massive scale of the job (our house is basically an under-occupied McMansion, much of whose space is used principally by spiders), I spent the 20% of time necessary to do about 80% of the job. I didn't much fret about, say, the accumulated grime on the white walls of the dining room, but where that grime was terrible, I cleaned it up. I also bleached away any obvious spots of black mold in the basement, since that always freaks people out in gross disproportion to how "dangerous" it is. This was the first time in many months that I'd needed to clean the basement. A party of three would be coming on Friday, and they would need one of those bedrooms. I felt bad about all the thin-legged spiders I vaccuumed up, but people are understandably skeeved out when they see arthropods having inch-and-a-half-legs in every corner of a ceiling.

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