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:
   plausible happy ending
Wednesday, August 12 2015
The dog walk this morning took me through the grounds of the old go-cart track and then on a well-worn Mountain Bike path that I rarely use (and only knew about in parts) along the top of the bluff just west of the Farm Road. It took me to the tree I'd felled yesterday, and I cut and assembled another load of its wood, which came to 113 pounds. 17 of those pounds was a piece I carried in my arms along with my battery-powered chainsaw.
My splitting maul is a model with a fibreglass handle that I bought at one of the big box stores. I get a lot of use out of it and I am more skilled with it than anyone I know. In recent weeks, though, the head of the maul has worked its way loose from the handle. Yesterday, the head flew off the handle, becoming a projectile that could kill anything smaller than a horse. I put the head back on, split some more, but then it would violently pop off again. Obviously I couldn't keep using it this way, since every time the head came off there was a roughly 2% chance that I would have to make an emergency visit to the hospital or the veterinarian. So today, I took the maul apart and glurped 5 minute epoxy into the hole in the head where the handle entered. I also drilled a horizontal hole through the end of the handle, pushed it into the head, and worked a nail into it sideways. Then I glurped epoxy in from the top. I don't know if this will be enough of a repair to handle the powerful forces that the maul experiences, but it will probably work for a time.
At some point this afternoon, I heard a high pitched shrieking from somewhere in the house. It sounded birdlike, but it was not a normal bird sound. I went downstairs to find Celeste the Cat (aka "the Baby") and Ramona the Dog tormenting a baby squirrel one of them had brought in. It was maybe 5 inches long and its eyes weren't even open. Aside from a little blood at the tip of its nose, it didn't appear to be injured, and neither Celeste nor Ramona seemed to have a plan for what to do with it. I scooped the poor thing up and dropped it into the hollow hemlock near the woodshed that has house squirrel nests in the past. I don't know if it had come from there, but since there was no evidence its parents were dead, I figured I'd give them an opportunity to take it from there. It shrieked a few times as I walked away, but then I never heard from it again. It had been a little cool to the touch, so perhaps it had some medical issue and all I'd done was give it a chance to die in peace. When dealing with crises in nature demanding my intercession, I've learned to be comfortable with the idea of a plausible happy ending, one that probably didn't end up happening but which could have.
This afternoon, after successfully knocking off a fairly complicated web development task in less than an hour, I started drinking kratom tea. The jury was still out on whether or not kratom is a drug I find recreational. Initially, I rather liked the narcotic buzz it gave me, though it was just a bit speedier than I would have preferred. I sought to temper it with alcohol, which worked nicely for a time, but gradually I started feeling conventionally sick, that is, nauseated. This eventually forced me away from my computer. I found that by lying on the couch in front of the teevee, the nausea abated and I could actually enjoy the effects of the kratom.
I ended up watching a lot of season two of Rectify. Due to a combination of intoxication and a crappy Kodi file browser (which has no rhyme or reason to how it sorts file directories), yesterday I'd made the mistake of watching a couple episodes out-of-order. So I had to re-watch some episodes in fast-forward, stopping occasionally for interesting scenes. Most sophisticated television dramas these days tend to be non-linear anyway, so it was a perfectly acceptable way to take in the show. (Rectify itself is told in an uncommonly linear manner, though there are plenty of obvious flashbacks, all of which I find tiresome.)

After some tinkering this evening, I managed to write a function for the Arduino that takes the fat-free binary-encoded weather data stored on the micro SD card and dumps it in human-readable form (complete with human-readable datetimes) out the serial cable. The next step is to use the data from the micro SD to plot traces of the data on the Digole LCD, much as I'd done while in the Adirondacks with data stored in the Mega 2560's limited memory. That data had lacked timestamps and vanished (to Christian data heaven) every time the Arduino was rebooted. This SD data, by contrast, is an ever-growing permanent record that can theoretically be paged through and viewed at different scales (all of which will require some user interface design on my part).

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