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:
   another wall to demolish
Tuesday, October 29 2002

setting: rural Hurley, New York

This morning I woke up early and continued with work on the sink. By now I'd figured out how to get the pedestal out from under the sink without unhooking any of the plumbing. With the pedestal there, pretty though it may be, it's nearly impossible to do any plumbing work. In the course of my tinkering, I discovered that most of the leaking had actually been coming from higher up than I'd thought, from the seal between the porcelain and the drain. I also found what turned out to be an unfixable leak around the seal where a lever goes into the throat of the drain allowing the stopper to be moved up and down. To mitigate the effects of all such leaks, both present and future, I caulked a little containment pond inside the base of the pedestal, where any leaking would eventually end up.
Later in the day, after putting up a few light fixtures [REDACTED], I started ripping down one of the walls alongside the stairway to the basement. Gretchen and I had earlier decided to rip this wall down so as to open up the space and keep the stairways from resembling tunnels. More recently Gretchen had lowered the priority of this modification, but I'd raised it again for some reason I've subsequently forgotten. The idea of today's demolition was to discover the structure inside the wall so I could determine where to put the pillars that will need to be installed. Unlike the wall torn down in the basement, this wall alongside the stairway is a load-bearing one and cannot be entirely eliminated.
Later on a couple guys from the carpet installing place came by to rip out all the wall to wall carpet in the basement. When they were done it was a completely different place, full of echoes and menacing strips of carpet tacks. Edna, who had been in her office throughout the carpet removal, emerged soon after the carpet removers departed.
Kristen Ma$$on's boyfriend Mustafa had been to our house all day, mostly to paint trim and go over some places where the paint had been applied too thinly. After he left, we realized he'd been touching up wall paint using trim paint. It was a real disaster, but Gretchen wasn't really concerned until I told her how bad it was going to look in the full light of daytime. These are the sorts of events that cast a cloud over the idea of hiring friends or friends of friends to do essential work. How can you yell at your friend when he completely fucks up your paint job?
As Gretchen and I complete most of the drywall removal from the walls of the stairway, Gretchen suddenly realized that we should paint the opposite (non-demolished_ wall of the stairway before the new carpet went in tomorrow. To do this, we'd have to finish the still-incomplete removal of wallpaper we'd begun seemingly forever ago, back when we were so naive that we actually thought wallpaper was could be peeled away from its substrate. Most of it had been removed by earlier efforts, but there was still a strip remaining from beneath a piece of moulding that had been pried away. This strip of wallpaper particularly especially difficult to remove. We attacked it with both power tools and red wine vinegar, though nothing made much progress against it. We ended up having to sand most of it away, but even then bits of paper still remained, bits we decided just to ignore and paint over.
Once we'd painted the stairway, it soon became obvious that we'd also have to paint part of the basement hallway, since there was no dividing line between these two architectural units. In this way, the paint job's scope kept expanding. Though driven by these unfolding necessities, we joked about them anyway as we stayed up well past our bedtime painting.

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