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:
   bad case of shit-breath
Wednesday, November 4 2015
Today was sunny and warm enough to again throw open all the doors. We often have decaf on Wednesday mornings, and this morning we could actually have it out on the east deck (joined by Ramona the Dog and Celeste the Cat). Of course, it being that time of year, others took advantage of the nice weather to use loud fossil-fuel-powered fans to blow leaves out of their yard.
I took advantage of the weather to finally move the contents of the summer's shit bucket into the drum composter near the brownhouse. It seems I'd packed too many pine needles into it because as I forked it into the composter, I found that it was about 60% pine needles and about 40% feces mixed with toilet paper. I apparently didn't think too much when setting aside the stout "shit stick" I'd used to poke the needles down into the shit, because later when Ramona joined Gretchen in the greenhouse upstairs, she had a bad case of shit-breath. I soon found that the shit stick had fallen out of the tree I'd placed it in and been licked completely clean. The smell of months-old semi-anærobically-decayed human feces clings to everything it touches, and many hours later Ramona went to bed with that noxious fragrance on her breath. These are the things one has to keep in mind when one composts one's own feces and lives with free-range dogs.
This afternoon I went on a modest firewood salvaging foray into the forest just south of where the Stick Trail crosses the Chamomile. I climbed the steep slope to the west and felled a long-dead mid-sized Chestnut Oak that wasn't completely skeletonized. Its sapwood had rotted into a soft punky material that surrounded the heartwood like a beer koozie. Some of it was moist from recent rains, but not so bad that it couldn't be dried out in a few hours near the woodstove. I brought home 81 pounds of wood, and all of it came immediately inside, bypassing the woodshed. I haven't yet had to bring any wood from the woodshed into the house, and if this warm weather continues, it will be weeks before I will need to start.

I made some good progress on my caller ID device today, adding a relay (a Hamlin HE3621A0500 salvaged from an old 2400 baud modem) across the tip and ring wires, allowing the device to answer and hang up phone calls. The relay uses so little coil current that I could attach it directly to an Arduino data pin, the only additional circuitry being a flyback diode (also salvaged from that modem). This all worked well, and I even added an LED so I could visually tell whether the device was on-hook or off. But I was having reliability issues with the device when it came to its primary job of performing caller ID. Often it worked flawlessly, but sometimes it would enter a state where all it would produce during incoming calls was ASCII noise (which reflects actual noise). I couldn't figure out what was going on; it was like voodoo. One of many things I like about digital electronics is that usually they either work reliably or they don't work at all. But this was reminding me of the trouble I had with the damn WTV020SD in my Ahmed Mohamed clock.

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