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
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fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   one cheap Chinese stereo for another
Wednesday, March 20 2019
It being a Wednesday, I took Ramona to work and drove the Subaru, the first time it had been driven since last Wednesday. I quickly noticed that the car's stereo (one of those super cheap Chinese MP3 players that is mostly an empty metal box) was not working. It was never particularly reliable under the best of circumstances, sometimes quitting mid-MP3 and starting some other song, so I thought some combination of button pushes might revive it. But nothing worked, not even inserting a tiny screwdriver into the reset hole. It must've died, perhaps in some way that had drained the Subaru's battery. That would solve that mystery.
Driving a car with no audio entertainment is something I don't do often (and hadn't done since first driving home this particular Subaru, which came without an audio system). The experience is an unpleasant combination of lonely and dull, so I sang to myself, mostly 80s earworms which occupy grey matter like benign tumors. In the backseat, I could see that my singing perplexed Ramona.

My end of-the-workday firewood salvage came from the largish skeletonized oak I'd recently cut down from a state of being hung up. I used my saw but didn't end up using my backpack. I carried home four pieces: two long thin branches from the crown, and a couple big fat pieces from the trunk. All of this must've come to at least 150 pounds. I cut much of this into smaller pieces on the way back to the woodshed. Most of this (along with some small white ash I hadn't processed in months) went into the third tranche, which is now nearly refilled.

My next chore was to make it so there is a working stereo in the Subaru. I opened up the dashboard (which just pops off; if there are supposed to be screws holding it, I've never seen them). The existing Chinese-made stereo was cheap and dilapidated, with a missing front panel and a knob that tends to fall off after less than three years of use. Fortunately, I had another, similar (but visibly different) MP3-playing car stereo ready to swap in, and it accepted the exact same connector. It soon became clear why I hadn't used it; it was a little too wide for the Subaru's own plastic moulding that is supposed to snap over it. At this point I totally didn't give a fuck about keeping anything about the Subaru in original factory condition, so I busted out the Dremel and cut away at the panel moulding until the rectangular hole inside it was wide enough to install the stereo. This process was messy and resulted in a ragged hole and lots of swarf, but when I installed the stereo in the hole, its face plate was wide enough to conceal the butchery I'd made of the moulding. The new stereo seemed to work better than the old one had, actually remembering radio station settings through power cycles. The audio was also of a somewhat better quality.
Interestingly, once I had the old dead stereo out of the Subaru and taken it apart, I couldn't see anything wrong with the electronics. So, in attempt to learn more, I attached it to 12 volts. At that point, well, it began working just fine! Maybe it has a cold solder joint or a loose connection that had been acting up particularly badly.

This evening I went to check in on my number one Facebook troll, Suzy Fauber. I haven't used her full name here, because I have readers who like to harass me by doing things like contacting my employers (when known) or reporting (in the troll world it's often jokingly referred to as "repurting") me to authorities. Well, when I went to check in on Suzy, I found that her account had been disabled. And by disabled, this was not the reversible kind where I had to note that indeed the image I'd posted had violated community guidelines. No, it was gone. All I was offered was a button to click on to download "her" profile. Suzy Fauber was dead, and there was nothing I could do about it. Facebook is, on some level. a dictatorship, so decisions like this cannot be appealed. I'd seen things posted by Facebook claiming that they are cracking down on and deleting profiles for trolls, but Suzy had somehow survived more than six years with what is pretty clearly a troll profile. The sad thing is that with Suzy gone, I also lose my single largest megaphone. Suzy had over 2.1 thousand friends, and it was common for her to get a couple dozen likes for the crazy things she posted, which were always in ALL CAPS and full of misspellings.

now for some Suzy Fauber memes and pictures...

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