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

welcome to the collapse
Clusterfuck Nation
Peak Oil

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   used to be very simple
Monday, February 17 2020
I've got several tasks I want to do with about equal fervor (or lack thereof), and so, like a dog starving to death after being presented with three bowls full of delicious food, I have been avoiding all three. One of these tasks is to begin rebuilding Tableform (my universal database interaction tool) with an AJAX-heavy vanilla Javascript frontend, knowing from the start how I want it to be and building it accordingly (instead of it being the nested turducken of hacks that it presently is). Another task is to actually build the hatches for the holes in the basement hallway ceiling, which I've found too much of a bore to make much progress on. (For the past couple weeks there has been a plastic sheet and tools on the kitchen table related to this task, and it's a miracle Gretchen hasn't complained.) The third task is to build out that weather station now that I have all the necessary supplies.
But even that failed to draw me in, and it was late in the day before I started tinkering with an Arduino Mini, just trying to flash a "Blink" sketch on it. The Arduino Mini is the most basic Arduino of all; it's basically a raw Atmega328 on a tiny circuit board with a timing crystal and a reset switch. To get a sketch onto it, you need to supply your own TTL serial interface, and I never know which is the Tx wire and which is the Rx. Complicating matters, my particular Arduino Mini was an 8 MHz version, not the more typical 16 MHz version. Once I got that setting right, flashing was fairly easy (though it does require pushing that reset button at the right moment). Like the web, the Arduino ecosystem used to be very simple with a gentle learning curve. But, also like the web, over the years it's become incredibly complicated, with a proliferation of boards, libraries, and interfacing options. I feel lucky to have become interested in both when it was possible to hold nearly all of the essential information about them inside my head.
Typically when I am procrastinating the doing of something, some other task is the beneficiary. Today, the main beneficiary was firewood gathering, which was also facilitated by the weather (it was sunny and temperatures were in the forties). I made a good salvage of skeletonized oak from west of the Farm Road and then made a couple mini-forays a short distance down the Stick Trail to retrieve single large pieces (first a soggy piece of semi-rotten oak and then a nice piece of white ash). All this wood managed to nearly max-out the living room's firewood stack.

As I often do, I drank kratom tea all day long, and for a time it gave me a high similar to the kind one gets from opiates. At some point, though, I cracked open a beer, and, unexpectedly ruined the whole experience, making me feel dysphoric and perhaps a little bit ill. Fortunately, a bath restored my set-point level of contentment.
For dinner I had leftover Chinese food from Super Bowl Cuisine, somewhat augmented by broccoli and tofu that Gretchen had just made. This combination was so delicious (particularly with habañero sauce) that it made me want to go back to Super Bowl Cuisine some time soon.

The state of the indoor firewood pile this afternoon. Note the strata of white ash running from the upper-center downward and leftward.

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