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:
   roof ridge Sylvia
Thursday, September 21 2006
Today was the first day of collecting heat with the new collector online, preheating water that was headed for the original homebrew 60 square foot panel. The heat coming out of that second panel was nearly 200 degrees when I first went to check it, but that was partly due to the slow speed of the water circulation, which was still impeded by air pockets in the additional plumbing. Once that had been corrected, though, temperatures were still much higher than they'd been in the past. It will take a few sunlit days before I have a good sense of how well the new collector is performing.
My main task today was getting the "bottom manifold" attached to the collector. This manifold does nothing for the performance of the collector; it merely provides physical support for the bottom ends of the tubes. Prior to its installation, the bottom of the tubes were all being held by zip ties. Installing this bottom manifold was perhaps the most difficult operation in the entire project, because there was no easy way to get beneath it, particularly in one corner where the next surface down was the shingles of the roof, seven feet below. I had to work from beside the collector, reaching around the tubes awkwardly to install and tighten bolts. As I worked, Sylvia the cat was with me, terrifying me with her cavalier affection. She'd stand on the roof ridge, grab a shingle with a paw, and then flip over and roll around on her back! Other times I'd be awkwardly braced in some uncomfortable position and she'd use me as a brace while wandering out onto the roof, purring and kneading the whole time. I kept fearing she'd slip and go bouncing down the roof.

This evening Gretchen and I went to community kitchen benefit at the Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale. We dined first at the Alamo, where they were having a two-for-the-price-of-one margarita special, and since Gretchen can't drink tequila I had to drink them both. The benefit was built mostly around the comedy of Susan Norfleet, and (in keeping with a heavily gay theme) was called "Gay 101." It was funny, at least by the standards of Upstate New York. Later an all-lesbian mid-tempo acoustic rock band called the Wifeys took the stage. They were interesting mainly because of the range of beauty (or lack thereof) manifesting across its members. Gretchen and I agreed that the drummer was far and away the hottest of them all.

PVC covers the insulated hoses connecting the new collector in serial with the old. The red Honda Civic in the background is up on blocks while I replace its rotten exhaust system.

The vacuum tubes of the new Solmaxx collector.

Seen with the trunks of White Pines in the background to the east.

The new collector viewed from the laboratory deck, from the north and below.

Looking downward toward the east.

Looking down towards the east deck from above the solar deck.

The east deck, me, and the southern part of the house.

The solar deck viewed from the east deck. The new collector is lower and in front. It doesn't block the sunlight for the old panel behind and above it.

That reads "Peak Oil Solar" in fake Greek on the back of my original homemade solar panel.

Pea plants on the east deck. There have been no peas whatsoever.

Gretchen in the teevee room. Nice copper swing lamp, huh?

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