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:
   the uselessness of portable DVD players
Tuesday, October 25 2022
We had another fabulously warm, rainy day. At noon, I drove out to the Downs Street house to check my plumbing to see if any leaks had developed and to make sure I hadn't left any of the valves stuck in the on position. (I always tend to imagine the worst, mostly to avoid disappointment. But everything seemed to be, as NASA would say, "nominal.") While there, I also installed some fasteners that I hadn't had with me when I'd last been there. There had actually been no spare screws anywhere in the big sprawling basement, and I'd had to borrow one from the low platform that the washing machine sits on, and today I was able to return it (without interest). I left a jar in the basement containing a mix of screws, nails, and cable supports so I'd have them available when doing work there in the future. (It's surprising that I don't have a single drywall screw in the Forrester.)
Then I visited the Uptown Hannaford (aka "Ghettoford") to get groceries, most of them for Gretchen and catering to her ongoing illness. She wanted bananas and rice ramen, though of course I got other things: all kinds of onions (we were out), corn chips (we were out) and a Monster Energy drink (a rare indulgence I don't actually even like all that much). I then drove out to the Tibetan Center thrift store, mostly hoping to find a small square-ended shovel for my cabin styrofoam insulation project, but I found nothing worth giving. I wish there was some use for a portable DVD playing system; thrift stores always have a lot of those on hand.

Only in the past few years have I known the names or seen the pictures of any ancestors preceding my grandparents. I learned these things as a consequence of communicating with various second and third cousins connected to me genetically through 23&Me. In some cases I got information directly from previously-unknown people related to me. But in other cases, I learned things from internet research kicked off by these juicy nuggets of information. For whatever reason, most of my close 23&Me relatives are related to my father, especially his father. I have a few reasonably close 23&Me relatives related to my paternal grandmother as well. But on my mother's side of the family, most of the 23&Me relatives are distant relatives of my maternal grandfather (that is, Clarence DeMar), who apparently descended directly from a founding family of Madeira, Ohio that had moved there from Maryland in the early 1800s. This evening I went down a bit of a rabbit hole tracing specifically Clarence DeMar's ancestors as far back as I could go using (which is operated by the Mormon Church and is used to help Mormons posthumously baptize their ancestors). I was able to trace the paternal DeMar line as far back as James Thomas DeMar, who was born in 1804. To go back further, I had to pursue the Hetzler and Guering lines, which ultimately went back to Bedfordshire, England in the late 1600s. From there, records tended to be better, with records of some lines (particularly those of lords and ladies) reaching back nearly to the Norman Conquest. A couple of these ancestors include someone named Matilda De Bellamy (born in 1183) and someone named Maurice Fletcher (born in 1185). It's possible I can go back even further, but at that point the family tree is a massive maze with many dead-ends. Interestingly, I have yet to find a common ancestor between two branches of my family tree, meaning there is zero evidence of inbreeding in that tree of my family. But my ancestors have tended to stay in one place for generations, especially in and around Beford, England. So it's likely there has been plenty of inbreeding.

Because the temperature was so balmy, I could spend yet another night in the greenhouse. At some point Diane came down to visit me, but she didn't stick around long.

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