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:
   light summer jihad
Saturday, July 25 2015
Tomorrow Gretchen and I would be leaving for another week at a cabin in the Adirondacks, and, due to a recent couple weeks of relative dryness, I was concerned about the garden. I'd just used the last of the water from the rain barrel collecting rain from the small roof of the woodshed, so it seemed prudent to hook up hoses to the household plumbing. This would be the latest into the summer I've ever done that. I don't think mosquitoes have ever been as bad when I've done that job as they were today, though now at least I have a procedure in place for affording myself protection while doing that (and other yard tasks). I've noticed, by the way, that mosquitoes aren't nearly as bad in the forest as they immediately around our house. They're worst of all down near the greenhouse, perhaps due to standing water in unknown containers either there or in the clutter around Crazy Dave's cabin.
When I returned from my firewood gathering chore from the gathering area a third of a mile away on the Gullies Trail, I was amazed to find that the four pieces I carried (just two large and and two medium) weighed 132.8 pounds. This would be the last firewood I would gather in July, though I'd well-exceeded my goal of averaging over 100 pounds for every day of July.
Part of what needed to happen today was a light cleaning jihad to make our house pleasant for our housesitter, a young woman named Aspen whom Gretchen had found via a website that assigns strangers to strange houses. (Gretchen tends to be more trusting about strangers found via the internet than I am, but I'm more trusting than most.) Since our housesitter wouldn't be using the basement, I could focus on the living room and kitchen. Unusually, Gretchen had actually done a fair amount of cleaning before I even started, having cleaned up the microwave and attacked visible scudge around where the cats are fed. Gretchen had also prepared a special guidance document for Aspen, and when I read it, I saw that she was being encouraged to use the woodstove. That meant I had to clean the ashes out of it; I never want guests to confront our woodstove if it is full of ashes. And whenever I clear out ashes, I collect data. Today's haul was 11.9 pounds, which had accrued gradually over 116 mostly warm-weather days. I used it as additional fill for the garden patch between the two tomato patches.

Number of daysAsh
Est. firewood burntEst. firewood/day
Nov 14-Dec 19 20133613.5 lbs0.27 cords29 lbs
Dec 20 2013-Jan 22 20143320.5 lbs0.41 cords48 lbs
Jan 23-Feb 19 20142824 lbs0.48 cords66.23 lbs
Feb 20-Mar 20 20142916 lbs0.32 cords42.63 lbs
Apr 21 2014-Aug 16 201411810.6 lbs0.21 cords6.94 lbs
Aug 17-Dec 12 201411820.8 lbs0.41 cords13.62 lbs
Dec 13-Dec 26 2014145.8 lbs0.116 cords32.02 lbs
Dec 27 2014-Feb 2 201538 (31)13.75 lbs0.275 cords27.96 lbs (34.27 lbs)
Feb 3-Mar 5 20153112.25 lbs0.245 cords (actual firewood burned closer to 0.75 cords)31.12 (inaccurate)
Mar 6-Mar 31 2015268.4 lbs0.168 cords (actual firewood burned closer to 0.25 cords)24.97 (inaccurate)
Apr 1-Jul 25 201511611.8 lbs0.236 cords (much of which was paper ash)7.86
Figures in red limit the calculations to days of actual firewood heating.

This evening, I continued with a task I've been working on for days: loading up my EliteBook 2740p with the software, media, and data necessary for a week spent entirely offline in the Adirondack wilderness. I like the 2740p, but there are annoyances, most of which are related to its half-assed tablet convertibility. I would never use it as a tablet; it is too thick and heavy for the sort of casual data consumption for which one would, say, use an iPad. In particular, I really dislike the tendency the 2740p has of coming out of sleep with its screen reoriented from landscape to portrait mode, a jostle that throws into chaos any windows that happen to be open. I would disable that switch if possible, but evidently such disabling is impossible. This seemed like such a bad problem that it would have been fixed by now, so I went to Intel's website to track down a more recent version of the video driver. But that proved to be a fool's errand.
Intel makes certain things (such as drivers for on-chip video) contingent on something it calls the "generation" of the processor. By generation, they do not mean absolute generation, as in generation since the 4004 of the early 1970s, but relative to the specific model of the processor. In my case, it means generation of the Core i5. My processor is a Core i5 540M, and I wanted the latest video driver. But I couldn't determine which driver to attempt until I knew the generation of my Core i5, information that not even Google could scare up. This information isn't supplied on any of the information pages Intel provides about the 540M. So I was forced to download a driver for each generation on the hope that I could find one that installed. But none could, so I gave up. It looks like that screen orientation issue is something I will have to live with. Maybe that's why EliteBook 2740ps can be had on eBay for $150.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next