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:
   perfect steel hoop
Saturday, September 5 2015
This morning during our weekly coffee ritual (enjoyed, as usual, out on the east deck), I figured how I would firm-up the lip of my newly-constructed copper water pitcher. The thickness of the lip needed to be more than doubled. Perhaps it could be folded over a piece of thick copper wire. But copper isn't as springy as I'd want the lip to be. When you bend copper, it likes to stay in whatever the new shape is. So I thought maybe steel would be a better material.
Later this morning, Gretchen went gone off to the opening of the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary at its new home south of High Falls, though I stayed home so as to avoid long lines, crowds, and many awkward hugs. I cut myself a nice piece of thick steel wire from a roll of the stuff, and it didn't take much manipulation to change its curvature to that of my copper pitcher's lip. I decided nothing would make this steel loop stronger than if I welded its ends together to forge a solid hoop. My welding skills are getting better, because making that hoop only took a couple seconds with my wirefeed welder (using the modification I made so that it can also function as a stick welder). The weld was a slight swelling on the wire that I felt no need to file or sand.
I cut a couple dozen 3/8-inch castellation cuts into the lip of the pitcher and then bent each castellation around the hoop. The result was satisfying solid. At this point, my pitcher was easily as robust as any bucket or watering can one can buy in a store.
Down in the basement, I used portland cement to fix a variety of cracks and voids in the recently-exposed wall. The main crack was a vertical one directly in the wall's center running from near the floor all the way to the ceiling. It was less than a sixteenth of an inch wide and there was no displacement of the wall from its vertical plane on either side, so it didn't represent a serious structural problem. (By contrast, the wall to the west, which I exposed and repaired in autumn of 2004, had a big crack with evident wall displacement, all of which I fixed as best I could.)

The water pitcher after I reinforced its lip with a steel hoop.

This afternoon when Gretchen got back from the farm animal sanctuary opening, she brought several sandwiches bought from the Cinnamon Snail food truck, which had been one of the opening's food concessions. I ate one immediately, though it had had enough time to cool and lose a certain detectable fraction of the deliciousness that comes with biting into it minutes after it's been made.
Our friend Robert, Gretchen's former prisoner-student (and the guy who was driving our Subaru when its front end broke while we were vacationing in Asheville), came for a brief visit this afternoon with a friend he was visiting in West Hurley. The friend doesn't live in West Hurley either; he just happened to be staying in someone's house. Like Robert, Robert's friend is a gay gentleman who'd spent many years in prison but now is an academician studying of prisons and prison populations. I found the conversation between them and Gretchen rather dull because it never really strayed outside of their mutual interest in incarceration, but of course it wasn't their job to entertain me.

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