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:
   complete-enough work of art
Monday, November 16 2015
This morning, Gretchen and I had our weekly coffee, and as I watched the sun glinting through the windows I'd cleaned yesterday, I saw numerous little smudges in need of attention. I did a little more cleaning, but happily I soon moved on to other things (instead of remaining obsessed with something so ultimately pointless).

This afternoon I drove to Uptown and parked at the top of the Hannaford parking lot so as to avoid having to drive around looking for parking. As it happens, this was completely unnecessary; spaces were available everywhere, suggesting that parking in Uptown Kingston at around 2:00pm on a Monday afternoon is usually easy. I walked to Outdated and immediately ordered a vegan tempeh reuben and then did some light web development and web surfing as I passed the time before a meeting I'd arranged. The meeting was with the woman who runs the gifted & talented program for a local school system. She was interested in recruiting me to serve as a mentor for an impressionable high school student interested in learning about software development. Last year, Gretchen had served as a mentor for a poetry student and it had gone well, so I'd expressed interest in possibly also being a mentor. As it happens, there aren't a lot of possible software development mentors in our area, so my availability for the one student interested in the field seemed like a stroke of good luck for the program. Mind you, being a mentor is essentially a volunteer job, as the stipend is only $250 for at least 25 hours of direct mentoring. But in addition to being good for the community, such mentoring will also be good for me, both as a learning experience (I expect to have to learn things too), and as an incentive to tidy up my laboratory. The student in question doesn't have much experience with writing software, and, like many teenagers, is mostly interested in game design. I've never had much interest in creating computer games, but if that is what inspires the student, I'm sure I can help him create a simple game as the "project" to be delivered at the end of the mentorship. I would probably try to steer the student into using a non-proprietary platform that I know (that is, something like Javascript on a Chrome browser and not Objective C on iOS), but I'd be up for learning something completely different if it has applications in my line of work. I filled out some documents, promised not to transport the student in my car or drink alcohol or smoke pot in front of him, and that was that. Now it's up to the student to reach out to me, as that's part of the character-building that is supposed to happen.

Back at the house, I did yet more work on my Ahmed Mohamed clock. I slightly modified the shape of a little female-micro-to-male-mini USB adapter and then jammed it into the hole that I'd drilled for the USB cable supplying data and power to the clock's Arduino Nano. This allowed me to expose a USB port on the surface of the clock, eliminating the semi-permanent USB cable that used to dangle from that hole. This worked better than expected, and to secure the adapter in place, all I had to do was add a little SuperGlue. Once that was done, I used acrylic paint to repaint all but one of the buttons on the 16-key keypad to reflect their actual uses. I also painted a few buttons for uses that I anticipate, including a mode button ("M"), a clear button (Φ), and a start/stop button ("!"), all of which turned out better than expected. (I'd been dreading painting the keypad, sure that I would totally fuck it up.) Later, I added just enough code to the clock to allow a user to alter the begin state of the countdown timer using the keypad. This new functionality took advantage of the newly-painted mode and the start/stop button, as well as existing up/down and left/right buttons.
I now considered my clock a complete-enough work of art to award myself a night of alcohol consumption. The first unit of that alcohol was a Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' that I drank while watching the second episode of Season 2 of Fargo.

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