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:
   crazy clock
Sunday, February 8 2009
Late this morning Susan the German translator drove up from the City en route to dropping off a vehicle in Woodstock. She stopped at our place to entrust me with an electronic gadget to fix. It was a large "analog" clock with a face made of several patterns of LEDs driven by primitive (1970s-era) digital CMOS electronics. The electronics consisted of various counters which drove patterns in the LEDs as they registered the various minutes, seconds, and hours on a simulated "analog" face. The clock had experienced several big moves since Susan bought it in Germany, and now it had started to fall apart and malfunction. The LEDs in the array were connected to the digital "brain" via a bird's nest of wires (all of them segments of thin, enamel-covered electrical armature wire), some of which had broken loose. Susan had taken it to an electronics repair shop in the City, but they'd refused to attempt a fix. So I'd said I'd have a try, if only to exercise the discrete digital electronics skills I'd mastered back in the 1980s. While Susan was visiting, David (of Penny and David) arrived to give us a few things he and Penny had found while cleaning their house (whose most recent crisis had been a frozen septic pipe). These included a clutch of animal-stain-removing products and an ASUS A730W, a 2004-era personal digital assistant (residual schwag from when Penny worked for Forbes). The A730W immediately resonated with my gadget bone what with its tiny 640 by 480 pixel screen and WiFi, but then I quickly ran up against the things that would have pissed me off had I spent the $570 it had once cost. It has a lousy two hour battery life that made it essentially problematic as a travel laptop replacement, and its horrible little Microsoft-authored operating system screams out for replacement, though there are no alternative operating systems that enable all its essential features.
Gretchen had made a bunch of cupcakes yesterday for the graduation party and she was still doling them out today, though she had to frost them just-in-time. Susan liked the cupcakes but, after trying some of Gretchen's favorite brand of vegan macaroni and cheese, said only that it was "interesting." She has yet to master the art of the polite lie.

Taking breaks from more cognitive work in the laboratory, I've been removing yet more shale from the greenhouse's bedrock floor, this time from near the base of the western wall. The shale breaks up along many random planes, occasionally revealing edges as sharp as a steak knife. I've been gradually accumulating a series of deep gashes in my fingertips, each of which has bled like an amputation.

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