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:
   finished tub filler
Monday, November 16 2020
Strong winds and heavy rains last night led to a power outage in the wee hours of this morning, and when I got up I checked the Central Hudson Storm Center to see when crews were expected to fix our outage (which was affecting 60 customers on Dug Hill Road). The answer was 6:00pm, which meant that if I wanted to do any work, I would have to do it somewhere else. So I fired up the Subaru, jumping it with the Nissan Leaf, as its battery, and the one I keep charged in the garage were both dead. As I was loading my stuff, the dogs got excited and came bounding out of bed, so I thought, what the hell, they could come too.
The office in Red Hook was completely empty, as it usually is these days, and evidently nobody had been there in awhile. The HVAC system was still set to cool, not heat. And the temperature in the office was a brisk 64 degrees. I quicky fixed that, and then got water for tea or coffee from an outdoor tap. The dogs were underfoot the whole time, expecting the usual dog biscuits that I give them there. But I couldn't find any, so I tried giving them Chili-Cheese Fritos. Ramona gobbled those up, but Neville looked at me as if to say, "You've gotta be kidding me." So I gave him granola bars instead. I hadn't had any caffeine since Friday, and my head was throbbing and I felt nasty, like there were huge eye boogers in the corners of my eyes that my hands were too cold to scratch away. I was still in this state as I took the dogs for a walk around the complex. But then I made myself a cup of tea, an Earl Grey with extra bergamot (since I couldn't figure out how to get the coffee machines working again). Soon after firing up my computer, I checked the Central Hudson Storm Center again and saw that the outage back at home had already been fixed, something Gretchen confirmed over a Facebook private message. Wanting to limit my exposure to shared bathrooms in a pandemic, I gathered up my things, rounded up the dogs, set the temperature of the office down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (so the pipes wouldn't freeze), locked both locks on the big steel door, and drove back home.
Since July or August, I've been waiting for the arrival of a second Brasstech faucet for the new tub, which would allow me to finish the tub-filler plumbing. (In the interim, I'd been using a washing machine tap for the hot water.) The company selling me the faucet told me Brasstech was backlogged because of the pandemic, and it wouldn't be shipped until November. So I've been patiently waiting this whole time. Today, though, the faucet finally arrived. I immediately started the process of electroplating it with zinc so it would match the existing Brasstech faucet. That one had originally had a golden brass finish, whereas this one had a silvery chrome finish. A couple electroplating sessions later, the faucet had the greyish antique finish I was going for.
At the end of the day, I turned off the household water supply and installed the new faucet. With that in place, I could then install the plumbing that mixes the hot and cold water together to send it out a single spigot. This required me to do some soldering in the tub to make sure the length of the bridging pipes were precisely correct, and that meant I had to lay down various shields (Durock scraps, wood scraps, and water-soaked rags) to guard the vinyl of the tub against the heat of my MAP-gas torch.
Meanwhile Gretchen had made a dinner of onion soup with gnocchi. After dinner & Jeopardy!, I took a bath, my first use of the new tub-filler. Aggravatingly, from my perspective in the tub, I could see the filler hardware wasn't quite level, which is something I will have to fix given how much I stare at the part of the tub.

The completed tub-filler faucet hardware asd it looked when I finished today.

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