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:
   burrows 2.5 inches in diameter
Tuesday, August 29 2023
I was a little surprised today when the woman I've been in contact with at the company that interviewed me yesterday got back to me and said that I'd advanced to the next round of interview. I'd had the impression that that interview hadn't gone great. But maybe, bad as I am at answering technical questions, I'm better than whomever else they've interviewed. I took this as another great score in the mentally-gamified chore of job application. Surely if I can make it to round two, even if it ends there, somebody is going to want to hire me.
That success made the rest of the day go much better. Early this afternoon, I drove out to the Brewster Street rental to investigate a mystery critter apparently living in the basement. I could only get to within a block of the house, though, as all the adjoining streets were closed to deal with some sort of pipe-based municipal emergency. Levan Street had a several-foot-deep trench dug down middle of it and there was evidence of a trench on the southernmost block of Brewster Street as well. Some guy driving a backhoe saw me carrying a trailcam up Brewster Street and, as I fumbled with my keys to get in the front door of the rental, he asked if I was trying to get a photo of a deer. "No, there's some varmint living in the basement of this house," I said, adding that I was the landlord. He asked what the varmint might be, and, only knowing what the possiblities could be in such a densely-populated area, said that it was probably a raccoon. Some weeks earlier, the tenants had complained about a skunk living under one of the porches, but evidently some advice we'd found online (putting used cat litter in the area frequented by the skunk) was enough to cause him or her to move out.
Down in the basement, I set up the trailcam to take pictures of anything coming or going through a rectangular hole connecting the back area of the house to the main part of the basement, since that seemed to be the only place a critter could enter the house. But then I found the place that the tenants had obviously noticed and then reported to Gretchen. It was a pair of holes through the concrete surface of the floor (it hardly constitutes a "slab," as it is broken in many places and chunks of it have gone missing) and a several quarts of orange subsoil had been removed from the hole and strewn on the floor nearby. This soil is very clean and devoid of fecal matter, though it does contain some bits of concrete. The holes themselves were only two and half inches wide, suggesting something like a chipmunk or, perhaps, a rat. It's possible these tunnels connect directly to the outside, in which case I can just seal them up with stone and perhaps some concrete without concerns of trapping anyone inside. But I will want to see if there are any chipmunks coming and going on the trailcam first.
Back home, I spoiled myself with yet another bath, which (due to fairly hot weather) I didn't run particularly hot. (The hydronic solar system seems to be working nicely after last week's repairs.)
After my bath, I asked ChatGPT to translate the backend PHP code for my web-based clipboard into object-oriented Node.JS code written in Typescript. I figured if I got that working, I could put it on GitHub as evidence of my Node.JS prowess. Unfortunately, though, the code threw all manner of errors when I tried to run it or transcompile it, and further questions asked to the extremely-patient generative AI failed to help me fix it.

The critter holes in the basement of the Brewster Street rental. Click to enlarge.

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