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:
   13-5 project
Friday, August 29 2008
I've gotten to the point of my greenhouse foundation project where the hole is basically deep enough and I can turn my attention to its finishing details. For a foundation hole, finishing details are the trenches where the footings sit. Since my hole isn't large enough to accommodate the drainage pipe that will run on the outside of the foundation, I also have to undercut the banks all the way around at the bottom so a four inch pipe won't protrude out into the hole itself. Eventually I'll also have to dig a deep (and hopefully narrow) trench to carry away any water that the drainage pipes collect.
Because of lack of room, undercutting the corners of a hole is nearly impossible with a swinging tool like a mattock, so I brought down the iron post-hole digging rod, which has seen a lot of use around the house over the years. I also moved to a different method of soil removal, scooping it up in a coffee can, dumping it into a five gallon bucket, and eventually hauling out the bucket to be dumped. The snow shovel technique had worked best for bulk removal of soil, particularly when the hole was shallower. But now it's too much trouble to carry a heavily-laden snowshovel out of a hole to dump it, particularly given the relatively small amount of soil it can carry in one trip.

When I got back to my computer at noon after a round of digging, I learned McCain had picked one Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate. I'd never heard of her, but from the immediate, long-winded, and unnecessarily partisan attacks I read on, I wondered if she might be a real threat to the Obama campaign. Only gradually did I come to realize that Palin had essentially experienced a meteoric rise from high school politics to national politics through a series of unlikely events in a sequence of very small ponds (the largest being Alaska) and was something of a head-scratching Harriet Miers type, but with better junk in the trunk (if you can overlook the ravages of five pregnancies and a reflexive love of the act of drilling). Perhaps the game was changed by her appointment, but it's hard not to have faith that when all is said and done, the change will have been that American numbskulls finally realized McCain regards the presidency as some sort of existential joke, not that this realization would include the word "existential."

This evening I realized that I could measure the backbreakingness of a project in a very quantitative way: simply counting the number of blisters and calluses on my hand. Today I counted thirteen on my right hand and five on my left. That makes this a 13-5 project. Unfortunately, I didn't measure this quantity on other projects, so I have nothing to compare it to. And because different people work using different equipment and levels of protection, I can't compare the calluses I get to the numbers that others do. But it's a useful measure for me as I work on my various projects.

The greenhouse site as it looked originally on August 7th.

Eleven days later on August 18th.

How it looked today.

Looking westward along the hole's northern edge, where I've undercut the edge for drainage tile.

West edge of the hole, partially undercut. The house rises up behind it.

Looking down into the hole at some of my tools, including a snow shovel, and iron posthole drilling bar, and my set of wooden steps.

This is about as caveman as I have ever looked, and there's even a cave! This was taken just moments before I clubbed the creationist Sarah Palin on the head, dragged her in, and took Darwinian advantage of her belief that foetuses never be aborted, not even if fathered by rapists. I want whatever that fish is for the back of my hatchback, perhaps...

Okay, that might well be the most tasteless sequence of data I've ever put on the web, though that would take some doing.

Obligatory YouTube clip.

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