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:
   tragedy had already been priced in
Monday, June 24 2019
I'm almost a pure autodidact, having taught myself to read and do all the things that earn me money, as well as how to do things that, for other people, are done by electricians, plumbers, architects, and carpenters. I've only had a few moments in my life where someone taught me something or pointed me in a direction that helped me overcome some blockage in my autodidact path. One of these was in 10th grade, when I took an "electricity and electronics" class and Mr. Oissen taught us the basics of household wiring. There isn't much to know, but just learning that there is consistency to the color conventions dispels much of the mystery that makes electrical work seem dangerous. Another key moment in one person imparting knowledge to me came in 1999 at College Club, when one of the other developers showed me how to open and create tables and stored procedures using Visual InterDev (a glitchy Microsoft tool from the period). There's also the memory of my maternal grandmother teaching me the system for how numbers are named on the front porch of the house in Lanham, Maryland some time in the early 1970s. I remember there being something of a eureka moment when I realized forty followed thirty in a geared-down version of the way four followed three.
Since moving to Hurley, though, it's rare to be in contact with people who know more about a topic of interest than I do. So I'm forced to teach myself using whatever resources are available. Those resources have, of course, gotten much better than they were, say, when I was teaching myself how patch 680x0 code in the early 1990s. (In that case, I had a few debugging tools and knew only that what I wanted to do was possible. I figured out everything else on my own. The key, it turned out, was knowing what to search for in compiled code. Knowing how to replace conditionals with other conditionals or NOPs is a fairly trivial skill.)
Since I'm an entirely self-taught software developer, I have some practices and habits of coding that more deliberately-educated developers tend to avoid. I like large source code files and long functions, and I see little utility in object-oriented design, since in real world software it requires too many work-arounds to implement necessary functionality. I prefer a procedural, imperative style, because both my brain and the computer tend to work that way. At this point, there is no programming project that is too difficult to attack using these methods. I like the large monolithic files and the long functions because it's easier to keep the mechanisms mentally in-frame if they're not fragmented across files and functions. If I need to get from one thing to the next, I can usually get there by simple search, often within the same file. This is not to say I do not look for efficiencies and consolidation. For example, I hate repeating myself, and always look for ways to break common functionality out into generic functions. I used to think there was something wrong with me that I wanted to program this way, since it is not how others do it. But over time I've come to realize it works for me, and isn't difficult for others to understand and maintain.
These are the thoughts in my brain as I find myself becoming more comfortable with C# in a .NET Core context (a difficult environment to even know how to Google information about). Today I was finding more things to like than hate, particularly the ease of mapping routes to controllers (using.Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc). I'm doing my best to conform to the coding standards found in existing code, at least in the Angular frontend. But it's looking like the backend services will be built entirely separately, so I've been building something that stands somewhere between a mock-up and a beta of those services. If things go as they always do, they're probably closer to the latter than the former.

Back at the house, Gretchen was just finishing up with Javier, her weekly Spanish instructor, out on the east deck, and I slipped in unnoticed up to the laboratory.
Later, after Gretchen complained about the new pile of salvaged firewood in the driveway, I processed it enough to relocate it up to the front of the woodshed, where it mostly just needed to be split. As you may recall, the wood is from some mystery legume, perhaps some sort of cultivar acacia. When I went to split it, I found it much more resistant to cleavage than, say, chestnut oak. The evening was hot and humid, and that would have to wait.
Meanwhile, the cats had been lying around conspiratorially in the yard, which is usually an indication of undesired behavior. Initially I didn't see any dead bodies or sad, half-mauled critter cowering in the open. But then, there it was, the crumpled body of a pointlessly-killed wren, discarded like a kleenex. Again, I was so disgusted and disappointed that I chucked it into the woods without looking at it further. So I didn't learn if it was an adult or a baby or even whether it was a house or a carolina wren. But it hardly seemed to matter; the house wrens with the nest in the bathroom ventilation pipe continued on with their life, singing loudly and flitting about, as though this additional tragedy had already been priced in.

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