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:
   the limits of two-color LEDs
Thursday, June 11 2015
Yesterday while looking for Eleanor, I heard a solitary Periodical Cicada in the forest. Today there was one in the trees near the woodshed. You can hear their calls really clearly when it's just one: "PHAROOOOOOOAH! PHAROOOOOOOAH!" Clearly these (and the one I saw and the one I heard the other day at the Rail Trail Café) were all cicadas that hadn't counted two of their winters and spent 19 years underground, only to emerge into a world infested with caterpillars, not cicadas. Bad arithmetic can lead to loneliness.

While up on the ladder applying a little more caulk to the side of the newly-installed mirror outside the greenhouse's catbox, I decided to remove the abandoned nest containing at least one baby hatchling. I found it actually contained two. It was a sad thing to see, but I thought it would make for a poignant photographed. I captured it with my light-field camera, which allowed me to select an arbitary range of focus.

The abandoned bird nest from above the cat box of the greenhouse. I cannot identify the species of the mummified hatchlings. (Click to enlarge.)

For the time being, I've had to give up on my idea of making a two-color-LED-based barometric temperature alert. With some testing, I've determined that none of my two-color LEDs produce the correct two colors. One of their colors is always a light green, which is okay, but the other color is an orangish yellow, which isn't red enough for my vision. So I've ordered some tri-color LEDs (which can produce any color of the rainbow) for use in projects like this in the future. Tri-colors didn't exist when I was first starting out in electronics, as the blue LED wasn't invented until 1994. But I remember thinking dual-color LEDs were full of potential as indicators, since even those can produce about half the rainbow.
I still was in need of a gift, so today I built a little jig allowing me to cut bottles using a diamond saw attached to a Dremel. The Dremel was bolted down to the jig in one place and then I could just side a bottle down into it. Unfortunately, though, it was difficult to control the descent of the bottle into the blade, and unless one was careful, the blade would overheat the glass and cracks would form. I wasted several bottles (and mildly lacerated my hands) perfecting my technique until I eventually cut the top off a hot sauce bottle. The result was tainted by a small crack along the top edge, but with a little work I think I could build a nice bottle cutting system. Still, I'd yet to produce a gift suitable for my needs.

This evening Gretchen and I watched a download of Horrible Bosses 2. It's very funny, especially the dense layers of jokes embedded in the rapid-fire dialog, and there are lots of homages to comic film history (especially the Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin), though I found the wanton stupidity of the three protagonists a bit over-the-top.

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