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

welcome to the collapse
Clusterfuck Nation
Peak Oil

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   I'll remember that it's possible
Monday, January 8 2007
Yesterday I'd obtained a replacement oxygen sensor (an $80 part) for the red Honda Civic and this morning, after the rain stopped, I installed it. It took about five minutes and, aside from a hose that was in my way, wasn't any more difficult than changing out a spark plug. When I started up the car, I was able to cancel the computer's oxygen sensor error. The check engine light winked out and stayed dark. Mission Actually Accomplished. A mechanic in Kingston had estimated a cost of $400 for this repair, but he'd evidently thought he could get away with that figure because he'd given it to Gretchen.

I spent a good part of the day on my web-based MySQL front admin tool, now about a year in development. I implemented a system for automatically updating dropdowns in a main editor when an item in that dropdown is edited in a sub-tool. This automatic updating applies across any foreign key relationship between tables. It's one of those small details that gives a nice sense of completeness and orthogonality to the tool. As always though, the moment I'd implemented this improvement I imagined a refinement. Instead of rebuilding the entire drop-down menu, why not just add or edit the single item being added or changed?

I'm not much of a weapon freak, but I have a fondness for knives. These days I have a particular interest in a kind that is rarely seen: knives that can be completely concealed in a single hand. I like short, sharp blades attached to solid, ergonomic handles. This evening I was out in the shop part of the garage working on making such a knife from scratch. I made a thumb-joint-sized handle out of a plug of locally-grown Slippery Elm (which I've learned is very difficult to split). Into this I cut a lengthwise slit, and then set a utility knife blade into the resulting cleavage. Originally I'd planned to make it so the blade could be replaced, but the cleavage was proving too wide to clamp shut with a single screw, so I epoxied the blade in place. In our wasteful society it's common to throw out dull utility knife blades, but the fact of the matter is that they can be resharpened endlessly just like a kitchen knife. When the blade eventually gets dull, I won't be able to replace it. But sharpening it will be easy because I'll remember that it's possible.

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