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:
   crazy purebred dog lady
Sunday, March 10 2019
There had been a snow storm in the morning, and once again our house was set in a winter wonderland. Fortunately, there wasn't much of an accumulation, and Gretchen could get to work in the Subaru without having to do any shoveling.
I wasn't completely happy with the cleanup I'd done of the tiles salvaged from the old backsplash that I intend using to fill gaps in the tiling on the kitchen floor exposed by the recent renovation. They had too much thinset stuck to their backs, and I was worried it would be impossible to set them in the floor at the level of the existing floor. So today I worked to remove as much of that thinset as I could. That thinset is extremely adhesive, and there's no easy way to just scrape or chisel it off. So the tool I used was a wire cup brush propelled by a Ryobi hammer drill I'd bought recently at Home Depot to replace a Harbor Freight hammer drill that had died the usual premature Harbor Freight death over the summer. The wire brush took only a minute or two to strip away nearly all of the thinset from the back of a six inch by six inch tile. An added benefit of this method was that the spinning brush seemed to have almost no effect on the tile beneath, meaning it is possible using this method to restore a used tile to a nearly factory-fresh condition. The downside is that the wire brush itself is gradually destroyed in the process, and (based on what I was seeing) one would need a new one after cleaning 20 six inch by six inch tiles.

Meanwhile, Gretchen was doing her usual Sunday shift at the bookstore in Woodstock when some woman came in and (probably after meeting Neville) started talking about her four dogs. Gretchen asked if they were rescues, and of course they were all purebreds from a breeder. Indeed, they'd all been named according to their specific breed. Reacting to the look of horror that Gretchen probably couldn't conceal, the woman quickly added that she had tried adopting a dog from a shelter, but it had bit her child. The obvious response to this is that nobody knows for sure how any new dog will act, whether purebred or otherwise, so that really can't be used as an argument for buying dogs from breeders while millions languish in shelters. I wasn't present for this conversation, so I don't know how gently Gretchen made this point, but the result was that the woman got red in the face and stormed out of the store along with her long-suffering husband. Some time later, Gretchen saw that this woman and her husband had both left two-star reviews of the bookstore on Facebook, claiming they'd never been so ill-treated by a store owner before (they apparently thought Gretchen owned the place). In the past, something like this would've just resulted in a shrug. Crazies gonna crazy! But social media give individual crazies a lot more power than they used to have, and now Gretchen's day was completely ruined. Now she was in damage-control mode, asking me and a few of her other friends to leave good reviews on the store's Facebook page. So I rallied my troll army to her defense. However, I felt it important to keep them in-character, and so (for example) I had the one named after my brother talk about how much he liked the bookstore's selections of books about both dinosaurs and dictators (he really does buy books on these topics). Gretchen then pointed out that this wasn't an exercise in creativity and that it would be best if I didn't make my trolls sound so crazy. So I went back and changed my brother's post so that it only touched on his interest in dinosaurs.
Later that day, the actual owner of the bookstore managed to convince the crazy dog lady and her husband to withdraw their bad reviews, so the whole thing ended up being just a temporary disturbance.

Late this afternoon, I made a big pan of Mexican glurp with mushrooms, onions, soy curls, smoked tomatoes, and three different kinds of beans. I also cooked up two cups of unusual "red rice" (I wasn't even sure it was rice) in the InstaPot. This was the first time I'd ever cooked anything so substantial in the renovated kitchen, so it was tricky finding things.
I'd been feeling a little grody in my increasingly-lived-in work clothes, so I did a laundry and took a bath, popping 100 mg of diphenhydramine just before doing the latter. Diphenhydramine is a great sleep aid, but it's essential to take it well before you need to fall asleep, since (for me at least) it takes at least an hour and a half to kick in.

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