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
Biosphere II
dead malls
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welcome to the collapse
Clusterfuck Nation
Peak Oil

got that wrong

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Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
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people I know
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(nobody does!)

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.
This evening I did some experiments involving other keypads attached to my homemade clock. I've been unsatisfied with the salvaged keypad I had been using, since it uses seven wires for only seven switches spread out across a fairly large area. Seven wires should be able to allow for a 12 switch keypad (the product of the two largest addends of the number of wires in question). I'd recently taken delivery of a small 12 switch keypad I'd bought on eBay. It had come some obscure piece of equipment, with buttons having labels such as "VIDEO MOD %,"VIDEO LVL," and "AUDIO SWITCH." At the top of the keypad there was a little red-tinted window designed to go over some sort of illuminated display. The keypad worked well, but I didn't want to waste space with that useless red-tinted window. So I thought I could get away with trimming it off. That turned out to be a mistake; when I did that, a column of keys stopped working, and when I delaminated the piece I'd cut off, I discovered it had a trace routed through it. What kind of idiot would engineer that? So then I tried to trim off the column of non-functioning keys to go to a nine-key keypad, but after I did that only one or two buttons still worked. I ended up throwing the useless dismembered piece of junk away.

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