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:
   acceptable urine repository
Monday, October 30 2023

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

Some weeks ago I mentioned that I'd made some long-procrastinated changes to tagHREFprefixer, a PHP function that runs on the backend of this site to automatically prefix image URLs and anchor HREFs so they behave as desired when the web page is served from the root of the site (instead of in some subdirectory). It turns out that this change had worked for only a subset of URL and HREF styles. Those lacking quotes or quoted in single-quotes were broken by this change. So today I was determined to fix the problem, and I'm a little embarrassed to say that the fix took hours. It was like trying to get a too-large carpet to fit a floor. Once I had a wrinkle flattened in one place, it would pop up in another. Eventually, though, I had all my test cases before me and I could figure out exactly what cases I had to handle in the code, and then all my test cases worked correctly.
Part of the problem with getting anything done that involves mental effort is the continuing distraction of Charlotte, our new dog. This is especially true on such days as Mondays, when Gretchen is away for much of the day and dog duties rest entirely on me. It was a cool rainy day, and this was making the outdoors an unpleasant place to go. Charlotte dealt with the situation by urinating on a dog bed in the living room instead of going out into the yard. In fairness to Charlotte, that dog bed stank of a lot more dog piss than she'd been able to put into it, so perhaps she saw it as an acceptable urine repository. I decided to wash it out as best I could and put it into the dryer. Without it there, Charlotte later pissed on the floor where it had been. In despair, I tried multiple times to get her to go outside to piss. At one point I made such a commotion about doing so that Neville (who hates the rain more than Charlotte) came outside and actually did piss while Charlotte did not, so only he got a reward.
This evening after the dogs had settled into the bed, things seemed relaxed enough for me to take a bath. I hate being in a bathtub if there is a disturbance in the house, and somehow that managed not to happen.
Later I built out a complete user registration system for my cloud-based clipboard system, which is now finally storing encrypted passwords the way web apps are supposed to. All this work was in preparation to fork the project and start work on a cloud-based document scanning system I have decided to build for Alex, my old boss. I'll be doing it on spec, though, meaning I will probably never get any money for it. But it's important to keep my software development skills sharp.
Meanwhile Gretchen had worked a shift at the bookstore and then met up with Jeff and Alana to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch (the movie) in a Saugerties theatre. When she came home, we discussed an interesting thing that has come out of nowhere. The other day a biologist with Gretchen's last name reached out to her saying he was a distant cousin and that his daughter is an AI researcher with an interest in poetry. Gretchen then talked to the daughter, who wondered if Gretchen would be interested in training AIs on the subject of what makes good poetry. Part of what makes this wild is that Gretchen just finished reading Do You Remember Being Born?, a book about a poet who collaborates with an AI to write poetry. In our conversation about it tonight, Gretchen expressed ethical qualms with AIs being used to displace humans in their occupations. But I was pretty sure that poets are among the last "workers" that automation will target, given how little they get monetarily for their efforts. I thought it was more likely that the reason for having poets train AIs is to further improve the artfulness and nuance of AI-generated language, which tends to be stiff and overly businesslike. I said that a job training AIs on the nuances of poetry is a once-in-a-lifetime gig and Gretchen should definitely do it. She seemed to be thinking better of it the more we discussed it. Though she hates the idea of machines replacing humans in places where they have no business, she also likes saying "yes" to things to broaden and color her life experience.

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