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:
   addressing living room stench
Tuesday, May 28 2024

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

It was a gloriously sunny day and a little cooler than it had been, so Gretchen spent a fair amount of it down in her screened-in porch that I built her back in 2018 (the second of three retreats I've built completely or had a hand in building for her, starting with the greenhouse upstairs in 2012 and ending with the Adirondack cabin in 2022). This afternoon I drove out to Home Depot mostly to get a frost-free outdoor faucet from Home Depot, though I also stopped at the nearby Hannaford to get three 100-count boxes of the store-brand black tea and then at the Tibetan Center thrift store, where I found an old 49-key MIDI keyboard, an Acorn Masterkey 49. After looking it up with my phone and seeing it had velocity-sensitive keys, I decided I had to have it, which, at $8, was a good deal. Back at the house, I found the keyboard didn't work, but when I opened it up, I quickly found that a trace on a printed circuit board carrying five volts from the USB connector had broken, and all I had to do was solder a tiny bodge across the fault to get it working. I tried it out on (which I learned about on Reddit) and it worked great. So I'm thinking it will become part of the furniture in the cabin basement when I clean it up and turn it into the ultimate cabin-fever hangout zone.
I wanted to install the frost-free faucet, but when I looked at it carefully I saw that it was a returned item that someone had used a pipe wrench on, denting a part of the pipe. It's probably fine, but if I'm going through the trouble of installing a new faucet, I don't want to wonder what some Chuck-in-a-Truck did to it. So I'll be going out to Home Depot and getting another.

After Gretchen drove off to her prison poetry class, I took the dogs for a walk up the Farm Road. But I didn't get very far before Charlotte excitedly started running up an escarpment just west of the road, with Neville running just behind her (the two dogs move at very different speeds, though Neville can be surprisingly fast when motivated). I then saw them coming down the escarpment some distance to the south, crossing the Farm Road, and dashing down the Chamomile ravine. I walked over to the edge and saw Neville charging up the other side of the Chamomile at a speed that had me concerned about the capacity of his heart. They were probably chasing a coyote or a fox, since deer quickly outpace even the fastest dogs and everything else can climb trees. With them now firmly on their own adventure, I walked back home and put all nine of my cannabis seeds that had recently turned into seedlings into their own respective pots. I also fixed the pet door, which periodically needs to be glued back together (it's about twenty years old). With all that out of the way, I took a much needed bath.

Meanwhile, Gretchen had started a laundry, partly to process all the items sullied in our charity hotel operation. When I did an additional load of laundry, I decided to wash the beige-colored blanket on the living room couch, as it was smelling kind of gamey. But the whole fucking living room now stinks of dog piss, and it's because of some spot on the big (ten by six and a half feet) area rug where Charlotte has been pissing. In aggravation, I removed all the furniture from that rug, rolled it up, and took it outside, probably the first time it had been removed in twenty years. It was raining at the time, but I didn't care. I could see the piss stains on the bottom, so I hosed those down with water collected from the roof and then used shampoo to further attack the problem. I then wrestled the beast up onto the Subaru, where hopefully it would eventually bake in the sun.

Later this evening, I made some security improvements to remote-control system, which has a number of completely generic places where a tablename, column, and value(s) are sent to the backend for deletes and updates. Obviously, such techniques open up opportunities for hackers, particularly if this system came to be used by untrusted people (that is, anyone but me). My solution to this problem was to also make and send a salted hash of the concatenated entities being sent to the backend and then comparing that to a fresh hash of those values calculated on the backend. Any manipulation of values should cause that comparison to fail.

When Gretchen returned from her poetry class, she said that she'd been pulled over by a cop either coming or going. She explained that the cop came charging after her after she passed him and began his schpiel with something about how "in all fifty states" there is a rule about changing lanes to avoid being in one adjacent to a pulled-over cop car. Gretchen apologetically replied that in all her forty years of driving, she'd never heard of such a rule. Gretchen is great at defusing such situations, and soon the cop, who had seen her driver's license, was telling her about all the guns he buys from the arms dealer who lives at the bottom of Dug Hill Road. Gretchen, of course, remained in character and acted like that was awesome, a sentiment that was belied by her various bumperstickers.

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