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:
   brownhouse photos at the kiosk
Sunday, October 28 2012
This morning it was obvious that Ramona was once again favoring her recently-repaired leg, and so of course Gretchen was not happy with me for having convinced her that Ramona was all better and should be given her freedom. Perhaps all of that two thousand plus dollars worth of surgery had all been undone by my folly, but, according to Gretchen, if it would teach me that perhaps I should defer to the wisdom of experts (in this case, the veterinarian who had prescribed two full weeks of gradual muscle building instead of the one I'd advocated), then maybe it wasn't all for naught. Suffice it to say, Ramona once again found herself back in her corral. It being a coffee morning, we joined her there (I skimmed an issue of Make and Gretchen solved a crossword puzzle).

A late-season hurricane ("Sandy") was headed in our direction and was expected to interact with a cold front to produce a "Frankenstorm" of epic proportions. So I spent some time today getting things in order should there be torrential rains and high winds. A high priority was to reseal the intake of the brownhouse cistern, which has developed a slow leak. I ripped out all the old silicone caulk and replaced it with a product whose properties reminded me of pine sap. It seemed like such a perfect sealant that I used some of it to seal various potential leaks in the exterior wall of the greenhouse upstairs. When rain is flying horizontal to the ground, it finds all sorts of interesting ways to get inside.

This afternoon I drove into town and went to the new Uptown CVS to print out some photographs of the brownhouse. I needed these to use in one of my art pieces to be displayed at KMOCA. The idea was to make a faux science fair project of shitting in an outhouse for the past three years, and I wanted to make a display similar to the ones I used to make for actual science fair projects. This would require all sorts of materials I haven't needed in over twenty years: construction paper (hard to find in a CVS but it's there), foam board (though in the past I would have used cardboard), and tangible photographs. I don't know about you, but since about 2004, the flow of tangible photographs into my life has pretty much dried up. Since then, all photography has been digital, and those photos have only been viewable on screens. One can buy photo printers or attempt to print the digital files on conventional color printers, but in practice there just never seems to be a need to do this. If we want others to see our photos, we email them as attachments or post them on Facebook (or other websites such as this one). They never have to exist in the real world. But CVS has a place where you can sit down at a keyboardless kiosk computer, plug in your thumb drive or camera card, and wade through a series of menus until the photos are printed out. (The kiosk is produced by Kodak, a company whose products and services I have not used since taking pictures on a disposable camera at a wedding in 2005.) The kiosk and the marketing attached to it all revolve around the idea of printing out photographs of pre-pubescent children, as though there would be little reason to have a photograph of anything else. Indeed, when you click the final button to process the photos you've selected, you're greeted by the following upsale: the kiosk claims it is "making something special," and then it proceeds to show a computer-generated collage of all the photos you've selected, with an offer to print it out for an additional price. For most people, of course, the collage would be of adorable smiling babies with chocolate cake smeared all over their faces. For me, though, it was of the brownhouse and its various details. I doubt anyone has ever used a Kodak kiosk to print a collage of outhouse photos, and if so, that remains true to this day.
I drove out to the Home Depot to look once again at the various flooring options. Using the calculator app on Gretchen's Droid, I calculated how much unfinished White Oak flooring I would need for the greenhouse upstairs, and when it came to only $200 worth (the same price as the same square footage of fancy linoleum at Carpet One), I decided to go for it. One thing that had been holding me back from getting tongue and groove flooring was that it always came pre-finished, and I don't really like the super-glossy look of a finished floor. But this stuff I was buying was unfinished, and I'll probably leave it that way (or finish it very lightly, without sanding). For some reason I'd brought the Honda Civic Hybrid instead of the Subaru, and to load the flooring into the car I had to slide it in through the front passenger window diagonally to the backseat behind the driver, leaving a nervous Eleanor in the backseat behind the front passenger seat. Because of the car's cabin size, about 12 inches of the planks had to stick out beyond the car through the open passenger-side window. In the old Honda Civic, one could fold the backseats forward and thus expand the size of the trunk, but this doesn't appear to be possible on the Hybrid Civic.

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