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:
   steampunk scissors
Saturday, August 1 2009
I was looking forward to a whole day spent by myself, having me time, responsible only to the homunculus at the wheel in my head, when suddenly Ray, Nancy, Linda, Adam, Suzy, and Libby (the first four being human, the last two being canine) arrived in two different vehicles. Their week at the cabin in Saugerties was up, and I didn't know it at the time, but they would spend the whole day with me. Nancy asked if it was okay to leave the dogs with me while they went bike riding on the rail trail, and I said sure. In the end, though, only the ladies went bike riding. Adam was experiencing stomachs complaints and convalesced on a couch while Ray napped down in one of the guest rooms. I hadn't really planned on playing host today, but when you have people in your house and your wife is gone, it's hard to sneak off to your man cave to do the things you might have preferred doing with the prospect of a Saturday all to yourself.
At some point I began puttering around in the garage. A took a pair of large stainless steel bolt-eyes (the kind used as tie-downs or in combination with hooks) and welded them to the blades of a cheap pair of scissors whose handles had broken off (I'd been foolish attempting to cut something like sheet aluminum). This was the first time I'd ever attempted to weld stainless steel, and I did it the same way I weld mild steel, using the same sticks on the same stick welder. If anything, it actually seemed to weld more easily than regular steel. I had complications, but they were mostly due to the tiny exposed location I had to work with on the scissor blades. I had to be careful with excessive heat near the site of the weld, since the scissor's fulcrum was a bushing made of plastic that could not be removed. Somehow I pulled off the weld without melting the plastic, and though the welds were less precise than I would have preferred, I ended up with a very nice pair of scissors that felt comfortable in the hand and had an appealing steampunk appearance:

Eventually the ladies returned and then everyone just sort of hung out. I kept expecting them all to pack up and go so I could, I don't know, get my drink on and watch teevee. But they're a slow moving bunch, without a decisive person in the group. If they're comfortable, inertia kicks in and you can use them as planters.
After he woke up, Ray went out on the east deck and shaved his head with my clippers. While there, he realized it was a lot more pleasant since we'd moved the picnic table there from the mosquitoey south deck. Ray had also found a tinny little radio I'd bought at a yardsale and had tuned it to my household radio station (playing the sound coming from Woodchuck, my laboratory computer).
Eventually Ray was joined by the others. By this point I was hungry, but when you're hungry and you have guests, you can't just make yourself a sandwich. No, feeding yourself becomes a production. So I made a huge frying pan of beans, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms and set it out on the picnic table with a bag of Goya yellow corn chips, calling it "kitchen sink salsa." Everyone partook, some with unexpected enthusiasm. At this point someone started drinking a beer, and soon everyone but Adam had bottles in their hands.
By around 6pm I had the house to myself and could finally go about getting my drink on and doing the other things one does when one has to answer to nobody.

A picture of Julius (aka "Stripey") I took the other day. Behind him is the laboratory deck.

Clutter under my "north deck." This is here to remind myself how messy I can be.

Marie (aka "the Baby") in a nest of wires behind the box containing Woodchuck, my main computer. Woodchuck does not contain any media drives, so I use an external DVD burner with it. I removed all media drives some years ago when I thought I'd be moving Woodchuck out onto a shelf in the shop (just through that wall).

Laboratory clutter these days. On the ottoman is Eleanor and the Baby. Sally is further back. The dogs prefer to hang out with me in the laboratory when Gretchen isn't around, though when she is around they tend to spread out.

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