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:
   sunning in the driveway
Monday, March 9 2015
The thaw continued nicely today, with temperatures again rising into the upper 40s lots of dripping from the roof. There are now patches of bare shingles, not just along the roof ridges but also down near the eaves above the garage and in large swaths on the east-sloping side (which also points slightly southward toward the sun). I've been hoping the ice in the water barrel at the northwest corner of the house would thaw away enough to allow me to remove it from its toward, but its thermal mass is enormous and will take many days (even at this temperature and even with a constant shower of roof meltwater) to melt to a small enough size to lift.
The weather was so warm and sunny that I didn't have to make a fire in the woodstove until about 5:00pm. In most winters, I get days heating days like this one starting in February, but this year I've only had one or two.
The cats Clarence and Celeste go outside pretty much every day no matter how terrible the weather is. But Oscar requires somewhat more pleasant conditions. He was out briefly today but then came back in on his own. As for Sylvia and Julius (aka "Stripey"), they generally don't go out until most of the snow is gone. Sylvia's first outdoor forrays in the Spring always take her to the driveway, where she delights in rolling around in the dust (Gretchen says that she has an alter-ego named "Dusty McGeigh"). Clarence likes to do that too, but only recently have there been any patches of asphalt with dust dry enough to roll in. Today I lay down with him on one such a patch and absorbed the sun on my face. It might sound like a trivial (and perhaps even Third World) perk to be able to sun one's self in the driveway, but the first occasion when I can do it is always something of a milestone.
With the warmer temperatures, the snow was flecked with tiny black insects that seemed to hop about like fleas. I've seen them before, but never this close to our house (usually I see them a mile and quarter down the Stick Trail, where the landscape tilts southward, warming the ground with sunlight even on bleak wintery days). I did a Google search for "snow fleas" and evidently that is what they are called (technically they are not insects; they belong to the slightly-larger subgroup of Arthropoda called Hexapoda). It seems they have natural antifreeze in their blood to get them going on cold mornings. By the end of the day, many millions of them appeared to have died, and their corpses formed a scum on the surfaces of meltwater puddles.

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