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:
   tankless hot water heater #3
Tuesday, December 6 2022
There's a lot of buzz lately about ChatGPT, a chatbot with supposedly human-like intelligence. Such chatbots are inevitable; there's really nothing special about human intelligence, constrained as it is by the three pounds of material it consists of and its dodgy mostly low-bandwidth interfaces. At some point globe-spanning networks of nano-scale electronics are going to start kicking its ass. So this morning I tried it out. I asked it write a limerick about my cat Lester. Here was the result:

There once was a cat named Lester
Whose fur was so thick and so dense-er
He'd meow and he'd purr
Whenever he'd stir
And he'd always be found on the fenc-er

It's a limerick, but it's not very good. The rhymes are half-assed at best. I would never consider this an adequate generic limerick about a cat. So then I asked ChatGPT to produce a limerick about my transgender cat Lester who doesn't like to cuddle. Here is what it came up with for that assignment:

There was a transgender cat named Lester
Who didn't like cuddles, not a single one
He'd rather explore his domain
Though he'd never complain
All cuddling, he'd rather be done.

It has the structure of a limerick, but completely drops the ball on the AABBA rhyme scheme. As for that final line, "All cuddling, he'd rather be done" doesn't even make grammatical sense. Humans have a few more years left, it seems.

It was rainy but surprisingly warm day. Because of the rain, I didn't bother going out to salvage any firewood, which might've been bad for the trajectory of my recovery from the cold (now in its tenth day).

For months now we've had a failing just-in-time (that is, tankless) electric hot water heater. I've been able to get it to work by running water through it slowly, but that Gretchen can't control flow rate with our shower controls, so her showers have tended to be cold (unless it's been sunny and the water solar-heated; the boiler has been off). Today I took delivery of a replacement for that heater, a $243 device made by Titan. Titan was the manufacturer of the first tankless hot water heater I installed in 2006, which lasted considerably longer than its replacement (an EcoSmart device I bought at Home Depot in 2019). None of these devices seem to last more than about twelve years, which is kind of a bummer. But at least they're easy to install; swapping in the new one took about about a half hour and I was able to do it before the end of the workday. Then I "tested" it by taking a bath. Ominously, its heating was a little uneven. But then it seemed to work okay.

This evening I downloaded and started watching a trashy NetFlix reality show called Love is Blind wherein photogenic young heterosexuals are segregated by gender and "date" members of the other gender without ever being able to see (and, I imagine, smell, which is more important than the producers considered). They only get to see the person they've been dating after receiving an accepted marriage proposals. (I'd heard about it from Rachel Cruz, Dave Ramsey's Tesla-driving daughter, and thought it sounded interesting.)

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