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:
   Dunning-Kruger screws
Thursday, March 24 2022
Unusually for a Wednesday, I hadn't had a recreational dose of pseudoephedrine yesterday. But the nevertheless I managed to drink enough to cause myself a mid-grade hangover today, manifesting mostly in pains in my lower gut. This didn't keep me from working, and even being pretty effective at what I was doing.
This afternoon I finally got to the bottom of my inability to specify the Node.js port in my Electron app. Stupid me, I was overwriting it with data from a config file. Once that was figured out, I could easily make my app use any ports I wanted to, meaning I could hardcode them in different versions that wouldn't interfere with each other while operating simultaneously. Unfortunately, though, I couldn't configure the number of the backend port in the front-end of the app using the same configuration, since I'd been relying on knowing what that port was as a means of having the backend tell the frontend what the configuration was. There's probably a solution to this problem, but for now I'm just compiling several versions of the Taxinator using different ports.

Just before the end of the workday, my boss, the CTO, called me and was wondering why the AppStream login system I'd built failed to log out the user when the user closed the browser window. So I patiently explained, several times, that this isn't the behavior anyone expects from single-sign-on systems such as the one for Google or the one for Microsoft. Once you log in to Google, you are logged-in throughout the Google universe no matter what you do to the tabs in your browser. I'm beginning to realize my boss might be a bit of a chucklehead, and that he doesn't just sound like one. (To my ear he sounds like a character actor in some gritty movie set in Boston.) He admits that he doesn't really understand web technology, so maybe that's all it is.

After work, I drove out to the Downs Street mansion with four twelve-foot-long two by twos strapped to the roof (they had been two two-by-fours, but I'd ripped them both in half). I then cut them mostly into eight-foot lengths and used them to sister several of the rotten cross-bars supporting the closely-spaced pickets in the back fence. With these installed, I could reclaim several of the metal brackets I'd used to repair failures in the old cross-members.
While there, I had to get some stuff out of the owner mailbox, and I happened to notice a board of the porch's flooring had sproinged up on one end and then someone had tried to repair it. I say "tried" because it had not been a success. Three or four screws had been fired into the end of the plank from the top, but they had been done at an angle where they didn't grab into a joist. They just went into air. I wondered if it really could be the case that someone would go and buy a screw gun and some screws without knowing that simply putting a screw through a board into air achieves nothing. That is, the mere act of installing a screw is not sufficient; it has to go through both the thing needing support and into a support. Dunning-Kruger works both ways; it makes an ignoramus like Donald Trump think he's practically an epidemiologist. But it also makes someone like me, who has worked with wood since before I could read, assume that everyone knows the function of a screw in construction.
While I was out and about, I decided to drive over to the Red Hook office for one last visit before I lose access so that I could pillage more stuff from it. On the way, I stopped at a Citgo at the corner of Albany and Flatbush to fill up the Foresters's tank (gas has fallen to just below $4 a gallon, but it still cost me over $50). While there, I also got two Mtn. Dew energy drinks (they're maybe a little better than Monster) and a bag of peanuts.
At the Red Hook office, I grabbed a couple uninterruptible power supplies, two 1080p monitors, two more wood-framed panels full of panes of glass, and some random computer hardware: a nice ATX power supply, a 128 GB SSD, and a Radeon HD 6870 graphics card (which will be the one I have short of one Sandor gave me).
By the time I got home from all this, it was after dark and Gretchen was wondering what had happened to me. We ate leftover spaghetti and watched Jeopardy! (the Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? contest) and another episode of the Dropout. By the end of that, a xanax I'd taken had kicked in and Elizabeth Holmes had completed her transformation to CEOzilla.

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