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:
   all thumbs when it comes to recording video
Sunday, June 6 2021
I've been gradually painting the floor that had been beneath the stack of eight car batteries I'd been keeping in deep storage beneath the center of the laboratory's west ceiling-wall. As for the batteries themselves, I've been testing them to see which of them are obviously bad so I can have those recycled. I don't really know how to test a rechargeable battery except to charge it up and see if it holds the rated voltage. So I've been charging them one at a time and then testing the voltage they hold. If it's less than 11 volts, they're clearly broken. So far, though, of the four or five I've tested, only two seem bad, so perhaps I need to tighten my requirements for what constitutes a good car battery.
I also managed to accomplish more of the work I need to get done on my day job. I'd been hoping for a whole year now that something would engage me on this project, and for the first time today I felt the stirrings of something like that. It helps that I'm back to writing software, most of which is in a language I've mastered (in this case SQL). If I ever find myself staying up late working on this stuff, I'll know I've finally gotten to the point I've been wanting to get to on it.
At the end of her workday, Gretchen sent me a message as she was leaving the bookstore asking simply "Sgetties?!" This meant she wanted spaghetti. So I immediately started making it. To speed things up, I used the rest of that vegan crumble I'd used on Thursday to make the pizzas for myself and Powerful. There was even broccoli for me to add to the pasta to be cooked along with it.
After eating our spaghetti in front of the teevee while watching Jeopardy!, I drove the Chevy Bolt out to the Wall Street rental, where one of the tenants (who moved in this April) had reported a problem with the washing machine. It was nearly 7:00pm as I headed out, and it seemed to be a strange time for birds. I kept encountering them standing in the roadway, which is something I've also seen early in the morning when there's very little traffic. But at 7:00pm, there are plenty of cars. The species doing this included grackles, redwing blackbirds, and robbins.
At the Wall Street house, the washing machine's large metal "basket" (the thing that holds the clothes) was failing to turn. I disconnected the hoses and power and managed to lay the machine on its side to look underneath for obvious mechanical issues. But this model didn't use belts; whatever was failing might've been in a metal gearbox. So I tried filling the basket with water and jumping ahead to the part of the cycle where movement is supposed to happen. There was some noise but the basket never moved, not even when I gave it some assistance. So it seemed we'd be needing a new washing machine. The old one had been working nearly seven years, and I'd gotten it used.
On the drive home, I saw off in the distance a couple police cruisers with flashling lights on Hurley Mountain Road, and when I got to the Wynkoop intersection with Hurley Mountain Road, there was a guy standing there with a truck parked in a way to block southbound access to Hurley Mountain Road. He directed me northward, and, without any other available way home, I headed over to Route 28 and up to Zena Road. I stopped at the Zena Road Stewarts to buy some beer (it would be a sixpack of Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale) and on the way in, a guy with a mask recognized me. It was Sandor, who was with another gentleman, an in-law from North Carolina. The in-law asked if the Chevy Bolt was mine, and I said that it was, adding that it's a lot better than the Nissan Leaf I had been driving. I hadn't seen Sandor during the entirety of the pandemic, so probably didn't even know I'd had a Leaf.
Back at the house, Gretchen and I recorded a short video of us singing along to the Beatles' song "Birthday." This had been a special request made to all Dina's close friends from her husband Gilaud. The idea was that he would stitch together a video montage of all the clips and present it to Dina on her 50th birthday, which is coming up soon. Gretchen and I are all thumbs when it comes to recording video. I couldn't figure out how to do with a computer and a webcam, so we did it on Gretchen's phone instead. We'd waited until the very last hours to make our contribution, having dreaded the necessary forced cheerfulness of it all. But in the end it wasn't hard to make, and we felt good for having done it. Because the resulting file was so enormous, we couldn't mail it, so I uploaded it to a directory on, where Gilaud could pick it up with any web browser.

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