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:
   accursed but streetlegal
Wednesday, July 23 2008
After weeks and weeks of delays, finally in today's mail came a replacement for a null-and-void transfer-of-title form from one of the many former owners of the recently-purchased Honda Civic hatchback. We'd had to resort to calling this former owner every day and promising to pay $115 to his accountant (something that, of course, will require much reminding in the other direction).
When Gretchen got back from wherever she'd been this afternoon, I immediately drove to the Kingston DMV to register the car. As always, though, there was something still wrong with the paperwork. A new issue had appeared, one resulting from all the delays this process has taken. Now the temporary insurance card I was holding was invalid. Gretchen had renewed the temporary insurance, but the new card wasn't in my ream of paperwork (comprised mostly of a chain of New Jersey transfer-of-title forms). The woman at the DMV counter suggested I have my insurance provider fax an updated insurance card directly to the DMV. Luckily, I'd brought Gretchen's cellphone (I stopped carrying a cellphone of my own several years ago because I'd been using it so infrequently). After I placed the call, the waiting began. I had no idea where the fax was going to appear in the Ulster County Office Building, but I'd been told that when it arrived it would be dispatched to the DMV's front desk.
Thinking that this time the process would go smoothly, I'd brought the dogs, but now they had to wait for me as I waited for the fax. This waiting wouldn't have been bad in normal weather; at least it was cloudy and I hadn't had to search for shade. But then an unexpected cloudburst happened and I found myself tucking all that paperwork under my shirt and running to the car (it was only a block away) to roll up the windows. Then the cloudburst ended and it started getting muggy and hot (if not sunny), so I had to run out again to roll down the windows. Then another cloudburst happened. There were several ridiculous cycles of this before the fax finally arrived, only a minute or two after I'd seriously contemplated abandoning this project for the day.
That hatchback must really be accursed; after the woman had carefully entered all the data into her computer, she knocked over a handheld digital scanner and it fell on the keyboard, erasing everything. She had to do it all over again from scratch. But in the end, I had the paperwork and the car was at last street legal. Now all I have to do is figure out why its brakes have almost completely stopped working (though there are no puddles of brake fluid under the car).

This evening I began work restoring the lowest of the four panels on the southmost garage door, the one most damaged by a decade and a half without gutters. Tonight's work mostly involved prep work similar to the sort done by a sous chef in a kitchen. I ripped and cut a plank for the lower structural member and then made two 54 by 20.5 inch plywood panels to span the panel's length. I've never had an accurate technology for cutting plywood sheets; my method has always been to just tear through them with a power handsaw. But no matter how straight I try to be, the cut always ends up looking like a drunkard's trajectory when I sight down it. S

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