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:
   Neville brings home a black box
Wednesday, January 10 2024
This morning for the first time ever, Gretchen took both dogs to the bookstore with her to work a full shift. I thought that a little bold given Charlotte's energy and experience, so I told her to call me should a problem occur.
Back on the split installation project, I drilled a sloping hole through the wall from the first floor office into the garage behind the place where the west end of the indoor unit will mount on the wall. This hole was entirely to carry away condensate, as the route for the refrigerant pipes (which is how condensate hoses are normally routed) couldn't be used due to its uphill slope. Once I had that in place, I bent the refrigerant hoses out from the back of the indoor unit and placed it on top of a tall piece of furniture that I'd scootched in front of the mounting plate (which secures the indoor unit to the wall). The indoor unit isn't particularly heavy, but it's unwieldy, and furniture I'd used to temporarily hold it near where it needed to go made it impossible for me to get into a place where I could just lift it up and place it on the bracket. But I couldn't do that yet anyway; I first had to thread the refrigerant pipes upward through the wall into the laboratory and the condensate hose through the other wall. Once I had them most of the way, I could gradually raise the indoor unit up higher by putting wooden blocks (the same four by fours I've used as makeshift car ramps or temporary supports when jacking up the roof of the greenhouse) in between the unit and the furniture. When it was nearly in the correct place, I used brute force to lift the whole thing up and inch or two and hook it on the bracket. Just like that, I had it installed! I'd thought with my bad shoulder I'd at least need Gretchen's help, but that hadn't been the case.
After that, I worked on clearing the path along the bottom of the south wall of the laboratory where the refrigerant pipes will run. This involved unscrewing a small shelf beneath the steps up to the teevee room and cutting a hole through a vertical support. I also had a fair amount of crap to get out of the way, such as a rolling tray full of wall warts.

When Gretchen returned from the bookstore, she said that having both dogs there had gone well, though there was one flaw that threatened the whole idea of having them there. The problem was that Charlotte could somehow see or hear out to the street, and when another dog would walk past on the sidewalk, she'd push the bookstore's front door open (unlike most front doors, it opens outwards) and go out to meet the dog. And Neville would go out too, taking advantage of the now-open door. Nothing bad would happen, but there was still a danger that Charlotte might encounter a dog who wasn't good with other dogs. Maybe she can be trained not to open that door; I've found that for some misbehaviors, I've only had to tell her once to not do them and she's completely stopped.
After watching the somewhat-formulaic penultimate episode of the fifth season of Fargo, I resumed working on the split installation project. I'd decided to route the refrigerant pipes through the laundry room and then out of an exterior wall to the external unit just north of the east deck (near where the external unit for the split to Powerful's room is). So I bored through the wall from the laboratory into the laundry room. I pulled all the wires through first before attempting to get the insulated refrigerant pipes through (with those, I was working "middle-out," starting in the laundry room and pulling pipes up into the laboratory; I'll be pulling the other end of those pipes out of the laundry room from the outside of the house). Some of the insulation on the refrigerant pipes tore while I was doing this, so I will be repairing that with spray foam.

Later this evening, Gretchen reported that Neville had dragged a large piece of black plastic through the pet door and was now guarding it in the living room. My first thought was that she'd found a poison-baited rat trap, and sure enough that's what it was. Initially we freaked out that maybe Neville had been exposed to rat poison, and Gretchen even called the animal poison control hotline (where it would've been $82 to get any information, enough of a barrier for her to hang up). By then I'd inspected the device and could see that there was no way for Neville to get to the bait (which was secured inside on a metal post around a corner) without chewing through the tough HDPE housing, which he hadn't done. So we decided to keep an eye on Neville and only worry about him if he seemed to be getting sick. Fortunately, he seemed normal for the rest of the evening.

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