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:
   Trump sticker on a Prius
Saturday, May 4 2019
Gretchen spent the whole day over in Pine Hill (that's in the Catskills) with Alana, Chrissy, and a number of other women she didn't know to do the Alana's bachelorette party. I don't actually know many women who have had bachelorette parties, but from later reports there was a certain self-awareness and even irony to the celebration. Also, there was reportedly no appearance of a man in a policeman's uniform dancing to "It's Raining Men, Hallelujah, It's Raining Men."
It was a cloudy morning and the vegetation was wet from yet another overnight rain, so I took the dogs on a magical walk through the forest, taking the Chamomile Headwaters trail to the Stick Trail and then home. At the place where the Stick Trail comes closest to the Gullies Trail (and there's a short steep trail connecting them), I saw a tiny wrenlike bird flit from the ground onto a low branch in a hemlock, where it perched and patiently watched me while I snapped pictures. I knew it was a thrush of some sort, perhaps a hermit thrush. According to the images of hermit thrushes I later found online, that was indeed what it was. Despite all the recent rains, I noticed that the Chamomile and other temporary brooks were not running particularly vigorously. I suspect a good fraction of recent rains is being actively sucked out of the soil by vegetation unfurling their leaves for the season.

I spent essentially all of the useful hours of the day working continuing work on the medicine cabinet installation project in the upstairs bathroom. I still had an annoying quarter inch of pipe diameter to crush away over several inches (particularly at the top) and I also had to cut out more of the wall to make a rectangular hole sufficiently large for the cabinet. The weather was warm enough for me to have the windows open, but even so the fumes from the melting ABS plastic were hard to take, forcing me to take breaks now and then over a period of several hours, I managed to get the pipe nearly to the dimensions it needed to be. The cabinet fell on one of the two by six studs in the wall, necessitating the removal of a three by twenty three inch slice. While doing that, I soon realized that none of my blades were sharp enough for the task. So I loaded up the dogs and drove the Herzog's. By then it was only a little after 5:00pm on a Saturday, but for some reason they were already closed. Home Depot was my fall-back hardware store, and on the drive over there I passed a festive (and colorful) outdoor Cinco De Mayo celebration happening at Casa Villa.
[REDACTED] As always, I let the dogs run around in Home Depot parking lot. They both soon found things to eat. Neville found the remains of some fast food that someone had wrapped in paper and thrown into the bushes on one of the vegetated islands in the parking lot. And then Ramona found a disgusting chunk of floppy animal hide that smelled like rotten garbage (not rotten flesh). She carried it with her into the backseat of the car, though mercifully she ate the whole thing before the light changed at the intersection of Boices Lane and 9W. While waiting for that light, I saw something I'd never seen before: a Toyota Prius with a Trump sticker. I don't think it was ironic either, because there were at least two other stickers, one reading "Don't Tread On Me" (I think that's a slogan used these days mostly by people who don't want black people benefitting from their tax dollars) and another supporting the Second Amendment (every lunatic's favorite constitutional right).
I'd been driving around mostly with the windows down, particularly when I was driving fairly slowly (that is, not on US 209). Neville the Dog seemed to enjoy leaning out the window the dogs do. I was a little worried at times he might fall out. And eventually he did. I'd just come out of the tight curve at the bottom of Dug Hill Road where it curves around that ancient stone house and Neville just fell out of the window. I immediately stopped and grabbed him. He was walking around just fine, though later I found a few little injuries he'd probably sustained. I'd been going slowly (no more than 20 miles per hour) but asphalt is an abrasive material.
By about 9:00pm, I'd finally opened up enough room in the bathroom wall for the new medicine cabinet (the outside of which I'd also had to shave in its top center to accomodate parts of the vent pipe that couldn't be further reduced. I didn't, however, immediately install the cabinet. This was because I'd had to patch more tears in the vent pipe, and I wanted to be sure it didn't leak before sealing up the wall.

The hermit thrush I encountered today near 41.926272N, 74.103170W

The ventillation pipe in the intra-stud void where the medicine cabinet will go, shortly after I'd made it thin enough. It might be ugly, but it carries air down into the plumbing system and doesn't leak rain water. The white at the top of the pipe was acrylic paint I used to show where on the back of the cabinet it was still intruding too much. Those wires (attached to the rafters of an adjoining roof) helped secure the pipe tightly to the back of the void.

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