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:
   light enough for me to get it there
Tuesday, March 7 2006
Gretchen and I will be off in Guatemala soon so, since I was in Bearsville again today on business, I thought I'd do our housesitters a favor and get one last load of scrounged Bearsville firewood before we leave. The firewood comes from a pile that had been abandoned in the snow behind the Bear's dumpsters. I'd thought I was the only one who knew this supply of free firewood existed, but last Wednesday I saw a minivan backed up to the pile with several folks (in the distance they looked Hispanic, though they might have been Thai for all I know) loading sticks of wood into their vehicle. Someday soon we'll all be living like this, but for now it's mostly just our downtrodden immigrants who live so resourcefully. So today I was wondering if there would be any firewood left or if perhaps those more deserving had taken it all. It turned out there was still plenty, though most of the remaining sticks were frozen to the ground or very large, neither of which were problems for me. A good smack with another piece of wood was always enough to break the stuck pieces free. And since I have a set of wedges back at home, I'm confident that I can break down even the largest chunk of tree, just so long as I can somehow lift it into my car. I'm stronger than all the veal-like vegans I know, so usually if a piece of wood will fit in my car, it is light enough for me to get it there.

I've been working again on the system that pumps antifreeze into the household hydronics. The pump I'd been using had a bad motor, so I attempted to swap in a replacement. But it turns out that successfully matching motors to mechanisms is one of the most difficult challenges I routinely encounter. Invariably there's a problem with orientation that causes the motor to either seize up and refuse to turn or else to break free from what it is supposed to turn and break into rapid, futile revolution. I'm rapidly developing the opinion that when it comes to motorized equipment, it's always best (and cheapest) to buy it as a unit than to try to assemble it from pieces.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next