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:
   ballsy wren
Sunday, May 5 2019
The house wrens are back, nesting for another year in the open end of the exhaust pipe from the upstairs bathroom, which is just under the west end of the east-west roof ridge, ten feet or so directly above the top of the front door. When the bathroom windows are open (such as when I was using the heat gun on the vertical ABS ventilation pipe), the tiny birds like to perch on the top edges of those windows and sing their complicated songs at the improbably-loud volume wrens can achieve. Wrens aren't just loud, they're also bold, and I saw wrens out there singing even when I was running loud equipment in the bathroom, less than ten feet away. Today, I saw a wren flitting around in the dining room, having flown in through the open front door. The bird had a large insect in its beak, which it refused to let go of even as it found its exit blocked in all directions by panes of glass. Any other bird would've abandoned that insect the moment he or she realized he or she was trapped, but wrens evidently don't freak out so easily. I opened the door to the east deck and the wren flew out, the insect still in its beak.

I spent the early afternoon finishing the installation of the medicine cabinet. Today's work was much more straightforward than, say, using a heat gun in the hopes of reducing the dimensions of a plastic pipe while somehow keeping it water-tight. Using conventional carpentry, I lined the edges of the new rectangular void in the wall with dimensional lumber. I also put a layer of wood glue over the exposed edges of the drywall to mitigate against its propensity to crumble. Since the back of this particular wall actually opened into an unused space where two intersecting roofs came together, it seemed prudent to seal that part away. Otherwise warm, moist air from the bathroom could find its way into that unheated space in the winter and cause the sorts of trouble that water likes to cause. So I covered the back of the inter-joist void with plastic and then sprayed a thick layer of spray foam over that. The cabinet looked very nice once installed. I'm not going to say it was worth all the work that went into it, but, as I told Gretchen later, I enjoy finding solutions to problems of arbitrary complexity. And I'd never heard of anyone using a heat gun to give themselves additional space around a pipe. I should mention that I probably would've had to use this technique even if I'd gone with the original plan of using an eccentric reducer to neck the pipe down to a smaller size in the back of the inter-stud void. Even that pipe would've intruded too much into the space needed by the cabinet.
This afternoon as I tinkered with the MaxMatrix character editor, I felt a sudden overwhelming desire to sleep. So I climbed into bed and slept for about an hour. I was still there when Gretchen and Neville got back from their shift at the Golden Notebook. She eventually made us an unexpected dinner of noodle bake after I'd bemoaned the fact that the noodle bakes she'd made last week had all gone to events where I wasn't in attendance.
After doing the first laundry in two weeks and bathing for the first time since Tuesday, I returned to the MaxMatrix project. In less than an hour, I managed to build four important character-manipulation tools (complete with user interfaces): rotate clockwise (that one was mostly built, but I generalized the functionality to all forms of rotation in 90 degree increments), rotate counter-clockwise, flip horizontal (that was a little tricky) and flip vertical (that was easy).

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