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

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(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   again to the bluestone mines
Wednesday, July 30 2008
Recently I'd been to a number of my usual bluestone sources trying to find a flat piece of rock of suitable dimensions for laminating the front of the second drawer of my woodstove pedestal. It seems the bluestone behind one of the baseball diamonds at the West Hurley Park is pretty well tapped out, at least until someone removes the undesirable pieces on top of the rubble, and I know the bluestone mine nearest the Stick Trail doesn't have any suitable pieces. Today I decided to go to that other bluestone mine, the inaccessible one further to the south best reached from the farm road. To help nail down the mines' co-ordinates, I brought along my GPS gizmo and the digital camera that I've been trying to get sand out of since the Greyfox Blue Grass Festival. (The camera is mostly working again, although sometimes the lens sticks in some position and requires non-electromechanical assistance.) As I've mentioned in the past, the GPS's point-of-interest logging is unreliable, and I find it best to just take a photograph of its screen when I need to remember a set of coordinates. It's ridiculous, but it works, and it actually logs more information than the GPS normally stores for a coordinate.

The two bluestone mines. The northern one is near the Stick Trail (the red line). The house icon is the approximate location of our house on this map. The "farm road" is in black.

There is still a lot of good stuff at the southern bluestone mine, particularly if one is willing to poke around. I managed to find a sheet of stone perfect for my needs, though I did have to split it from a neighboring sheet using a primitive stone wedge and a stone hammer. I strapped it to the frame of a small external-frame backpack I'd brought and easily carried it home via the Stick Trail. Back at the house I cut it up using my wet saw and "the Fucked Saw," and as always when using that combination of tools, I soon found myself spattered with ground up stone and interrogating the diamond blade in frustration whenever it sizzled and seized. Since hitchhiking in Scotland a year ago, I've had a habit of rhetorically asking "really?" whenever something or somebody frustrates me. I will ask this of diamond saw blades, of slow-booting computers, and of elderly drivers and soccer moms who insist on coming to a complete stop before making a right turn.

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