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:
   Don sleeps without heat
Wednesday, December 28 2022
At noon today I went down the Stick Trail with my backpack and salvaged some wood from where I'd left it near the stone wall.
Later I heard the loud commotion of children (likely those of our downhill neighbors) coming from that area, and when I looked from the vicinity of our wood shed, I could see their bright colored jackets through the trees. They were on the Stick Trail close to where it crosses the Chamomile. It's rare to see human beings in the forest other than Gretchen, me, or Crazy Dave. But those kids are pretty free-range by the standards of 2022, and I'm surprised they don't spend more of their time running around in the forest.

My brother Don called this afternoon to express more concern about the mental decline of our mother Hoagie. Apparently she'd been in the trailer (the only building she spends time in these days) asking Don to get her a cab to take her "home," and when he'd try to tell her that she already was home, she'd get annoyed and repeat her demands. I asked if she'd been eating regularly and Don insisted she had, saying that he had just "fed" her. I asked what the food was and he listed a couple things, one of which was a hot pocket. So I suggested Don offer to walk her over to the other house, which is probably what she pictures when she thinks of "home." But when he offered to do this, she said she didn't want to go. Out of curiosity (and since Don never bothers to fill me in on such things), I asked him where Hoagie and he sleep these days. He said Hoagie now sleeps entirely in the trailer, but that he still sleeps in our old childhood home, in the bedroom he's been sleeping in nearly every night since the Spring of 1976. "Do you have heat over there?" I asked. "No," Don replied, "but when I get under the blankets it's fine." He then told me that a plastic bottle of water had frozen in his bedroom, which was no surprise at all. Since that house still has electricity, Don could theoretically use a space heater. But that's not something that would ever occur to him.

It warmed up noticeably this afternoon, and just before the end of my workday, I went across the Farm Road to gather a few pieces of wood. I actually assembled a full backpack load, but my straps were screwed up and the load collapsed after about 60 feet or so of walking and I had to gather up the fallen pieces in my arms in several trips. When I was done, it was after 5:00pm and not completely dark outside. I'd been thinking 5:00pm looks like 2:00am at this time of year at this latitude, but that impression was formed from the inside of a illuminated house.

After rains on Christmas Eve, a precipitous drop in temperatures froze the surface of the Chamomile. Click to enlarge.

Detail of Chamomile ice as seen from the Stick Trail. Click to enlarge.

Ice on a shale outcrop on the side of the Chamomile gorge northeast of where the Stick Trail crosses the Chamomile. Click to enlarge.

A cave-like void in the shale cliff surrounded with ice. Click to enlarge.

Ice-covered moss. Click to enlarge.

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