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:
   still can't find the perfect podcatcher
Tuesday, December 2 2014
I woke up late and soon did the things anticipated in yesterday's entry. I found some sand in a bucket of "soil" I'd gathered this summer, set a quart or so of it on the woodstove to dry out, picked out any roots and sticks, and, after most of the moisture and boiled away, I planted the copper structure I'd made yesterday into it and took it outside to solder. Once I'd completed the soldering of one side, I waited until it cooled, flipped it over, and soldered it from the other side. I saw one of the "arm fittings" move slightly as I heated it, but the sand it was sitting in kept it from moving far. Sand, I had confirmed, was a great surface for placing objects before forcing them to stick together, though it probably wouldn't work for welding, where the process of starting an arc involves enough physical trauma to dislodge components from anything less than the tightest grip.

My copper barometric anemometer hub just before soldering, planted in Esopus Creek sand.

After soldering, from the top (on the granite countertop in the kitchen).

After soldering, from the bottom.

The movie I watched today was Barfly, another of Matthew H's favorites from back when he wanted to be a drunk. I never found it compelling enough to watch to completion, and even today the experience of sitting through it felt kind of empty. There's even a Hindu cyclicality to the events (I wouldn't say there is much of a plot trajectory or character growth) that makes it seem even emptier than the events themselves make one feel. It's also clearly the outgrowth of a frustrated writer's (Charles Bukowski's) sexual fantasies, which, despite the lack of overt cinematic depiction, feel like something of an overshare.

As Gretchen was preparing some podcasts this evening for a drive to the City tomorrow, I realized how piss-poor Miro has been working as a podcast downloader. Not only was it simply failing to download a bunch of podcasts (with no indication when, if ever, they might arrive), it was also failing to set the files' date modified metadata, which made it impossible for either me or my scripts to find the latest files. I could compensate for that second problem by having my script set the modified dates, but the first problem was proving untenable. I need podcatching software for precisely one job: to automatically download podcasts from a list I follow. If my podcatcher can't do that reliably, I need to replace it with one that can. So then I downloaded and installed something called gPodder, which seemed promising at first, but then it turned out that there was no support for changing the download directory once it had been set in the initialization wizard (and threads on this subject seemed to highlight an arrogant smugness on the part of the developers that didn't make me want to run their software). After much research, I eventually discovered that this location was stored in the registry (my least favorite place for the storage of information, since it tends to get lost during data migrations to new installations), but it proved impossible to tell gPodder to not store everything in a subdirectory called Downloads. (I even tried adding the vaguely-documented registry value "GPODDER_DOWNLOAD_DIR," but it did no good.) Furthermore, it was also failing to set date modified on downloaded podcasts. So I abandoned gPodder and tried installing a proprietary program called Newz Crawler. But all Newz Crawler seemed capable of doing was scanning and presenting the content from podcasts XML feeds; as far as I could tell, actual downloading was an entirely manual process. That wasn't going to work. But I left it running tonight to see if perhaps it would download something eventually.

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