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").

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October 2015


decay & ruin
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Like my brownhouse:
   the importance of B-12
Thursday, October 8 2015
Once again at the north end of the Gullies Trail, today I attempted to cut down a gorgeous small-to-medium-sized skeltonized oak, but of course it ended up hung up in another tree and I couldn't safely cut it down, so I had to leave it hanging, hoping future winds do the work for me. Only a dozen or so feet its south was an American Chestnut of equal size that had died sometime in the past five years from Chestnut Blight. For American Chestnuts in a post-blight world, that counts as success; it had probably managed to produce a few chestnuts. I'll have to cut it down so I have an example of real chestnut wood to compare to unknown trunks fallen in the forest. American Chestnut was once the most common species in these forests, and since its near-extinction, Chestnut Oak has largely taken its place. Something similar is happening with White Ash, now only several years into its demise at the "hands" of the Ash Borer. Since ash prefers moist locations, its replacement will probably be more maples, Basswood, Beech, and Tuliptree. For those interested, today's firewood harvest came to 111.65 pounds.

I spent much of the afternoon working to make it so that Lightroom plugin I've been working on for the past two years can operate on a single computer detached from the internet. Most of my problems with pulling this off were from a single unnecessary incompatibility between recent versions of PHP and the one I'd been using when I wrote Tableform (which serves as both a data visualization system and a primitive framework). For some reason, it is now no longer possible to pass in variables to a function by reference (or is it? the page about this at is unclear).
The plugin does a lot of things, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in a Lightroom plugin. One of the things it does is communicate with an FTP server to put thumbnails of images in a Lightroom catalog on the server. I had to emulate this function in my standalone version, which treated my main Windows computer as a Windows server. The problem was that I've never really had much luck getting FTP working on a Windows server, where the permissions model seems a lot messier and less straightforward than it is on a Unix machine. Fortunately, all of this was solved by using the FileZilla FTP server, where all the permissions are set and maintained in a single GUI. I've been using the FileZilla FTP client for many years now, and, while there are things I hate about it (why must a pane be devoted to a local directory tree?), it does what I need it to. And it seems the server does the same, though with less objectionable use of my screen real estate.

This evening Gretchen and I met up with Falafel Cathy and her husband at La Florentina for our usual meal of soup, salad, and sformato (aka "purple pie"). The big realization of this meal was that vitamin B-12 really is important for brain function. Both Gretchen and I used to have "senior moments" on a regular basis, but tonight while discussing this matter with Cathy, we realized we haven't really had any since we started taking B-12 (via B multivitamins) and omega-3 supplements, two nutrients that are difficult to obtain in a vegan diet.

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