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:
   a calzone and a tired franchise
Sunday, June 9 2013
This morning while Gretchen was in the woods walking the dogs, I saw Clarence carrying a baby rabbit by the scruff of its neck. It was still alive, so I managed to free it and it ran off. I took Clarence into the house and tried to interest him in one of his other joys in life, wet food, but he'd have none of it. He immediately ran outside and began searching where he'd last seen the bunny, and soon he'd scared it up. Once it was on the run, Clarence had it back in his mouth within a couple seconds. So I freed the baby rabbit a second time and this time when I put Clarence in the house, I latched the pet door so it only operated in a one-way manner, barring access to the outdoors. But it wasn't long before Clarence was back outside. He's been a dolt about the pet door down in the greenhouse, only knowing how to exit through it. But motivated by the promise of a baby bunny in the woods, he did something very clever: he grabbed the bottom of the pet door, pulled it inward, and then escaped through it that way. This time, though, the rabbit had had enough time to find a good hiding spot and all Clarence could do was meow in frustration. The only reason he even kills rabbits is to give them to the dogs (they love to eat rabbit, though he doesn't).
In the course of about ten minutes, I used the new electric mower to mow the part of the yard nearest the house so Gretchen and I would have a nice picnic spot for our weekly coffee drinking ritual. Conditions were perfect for sitting in the grass without much to do. We had a good mix of sun and shade and there weren't even any irritating insects. At some point I went to make sure that whatever Ramona was bothering was not a snake and a red-eyed black-bodied 17 Year Cicada flew by. They've been making noise for over a week, but this was the first one I'd actually seen since 1996.

Clarence in the grass, not holding too much of a grudge for the bunny incident.

Ramona with Gretchen. Click to enlarge.

A hoverfly on Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus) in the garden. Click to enlarge.

Lettuce in the garden. Click to enlarge.

Mustard in the foreground, White Pines in the distance. Click to enlarge.

I went to town mostly to purchase items that would allow me to battery-power a small Arduino-based device. I found 20 millimeter-wide lithium disc batteries at Home Depot and solderable holders for them at the Radio Shack at the Hudson Valley Mall. I noticed for the first time that Radio Shack is now selling a line of Arduino-based kits in retail packaging, and, surprisingly, the prices for some of the items (particularly the ethernet shield) were as low as one can find online. I remember when I was a kid, Radio Shack stocked packages of TTL chips, discrete components, and pretty much everything one needed to build fun little projects. But then it spent decades mostly just selling telephones and metal detectors and I rarely had occasion to go there. But if it's going to sell Arduino equipment, perhaps there will be a bit more "No thanks, I know what I'm look for" in my future.
This evening Gretchen and I went out on a date. First we went to La Florentina, our favorite local Italian restaurant. We mostly just go there for the red-cabbage-and-tahini-filled Sformato Di Sotai calzone, but their bread and salad dressing is also exceptional. My minestrone soup was sort of meh until I ordered a side of bread (which comes as a balloon-shaped mass containing a huge bubble of trapped gas), and then it was awesome.
Next we went to the cineplex at the mall and saw The Hangover Part III, which was billed as the final installment of the (if you will) trilogy. It had some funny moments, but the franchise was feeling a bit stale and unworthy of a movie-scale revisit. It differed significantly from the formula of the other movies in that most of the movie was not an attempt to piece together the scattered evidence left by a crazy night of unremembered excess. Those who were hoping for that will not, however, be completely disappointed. A fairly large theatre had been dedicated to The Hangover Part III, though the only other people in it with us was one other couple.

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