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:
   draincock on a shit barrel
Monday, August 23 2010
It's coming up on six months since I last emptied the 35 gallon trash can that collects human feces in my brownhouse. I've been using that bad boy several times each day for all of that time (with the exception of the two vacations I've taken). Gretchen has also used it a few times, and even my friend Mark went in there to drop a deuce back in April. So, as you might imagine, it's getting full, but it's still far from uncomfortably full. Unlike in the winter, no shit pyramid has formed. In the warm conditions of summer, human feces act like a highly-viscous fluid, gradually flowing into the lowlands and never threatening to rise up to the level of the toilet seat (at least in the six month time frame). For this reason, I'm gradually becoming concerned about the mass of the collected feces. Six months is a long time, and there are probably at least 20 gallons of crap down there. Assuming that material has the same specific gravity as water, that's 160 pounds (or my weight when I haven't been chained to a computer for eight months working on dubious web development projects). While it's possible that a lot of the original mass has been lost due to evaporation and the offgassing of carbon dioxide (among other things), there has nevertheless been a gradual accumulation. I'm also aware that decomposing feces tend to release a dark brown fluid similar to coffee that, were it not to escape, would drown the lower strata of feces in the container and keep them from decomposing ærobically. The problem with my trashcan collection system is that there is nowhere for this fluid to go, and so it accumulates.
So for the replacement trashcan that will soon be going into the brownhouse, I've decided to add a means of draining this fluid. The solution is plastic draincock that I can attach to a hose or keep closed. I'd bought the draincock (along with a plastic fitting to provide strain relief) at a hardware store in Staunton. All I had to do today to install it was to drill a hole, tap the hole with half inch NPT threads, cover the draincock threads with teflon tape, and then screw it into the hole. I expected there to be leaks, but when I filled the trashcan with water there were none. This just might work. I should probably add similar draincocks to my rain barrels so I can stop relying on siphoning, which is awkward at best.
I was alone tonight, so I took advantage of Gretchen's absence by watching stuff entirely of my choosing on the television. On Gretchen's recommendation, I watched Grosse Pointe Blank, which I'd never seen. It should have resonated with me just because its main plot device is a ten year reunion at our hero's high school. The movie came out in 1997, at about the same time as my tenth high school reunion (which I didn't attend). But by the high standards of modern comedy, Grosse Pointe Blank just didn't seem all that funny, and it didn't really work as a drama either. It had some good moments (as when the Axl Rose cover of "Live and Let Die" switched to a Muzac cover of the same song the moment our hero entered the convenience store that had taken the place of his childhood home), but to me it was a mostly-tiresome chickflick.

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