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:
   satisfying bite complexity
Thursday, January 6 2022
With tax importation season over and with my boss Alex in the process of retiring, I definitely feel a bit between things in the remote workplace. The day before yesterday and yesterday I wrote emails to two of my possible direct reports, but they were slow in getting back to me, and I don't know if it makes sense to work on anything right now. It's good days for playing the New York Times Spelling Bee (or perhaps Wordle, which Gretchen played for the first time today after several friends recommended it; she solved it in three lines). One of the things I did today was cut my hair for the first time since April. It had been hanging a couple inches below my ears and Gretchen had been hoping I would cut it. It was too cold outside to do what I usually do: strip naked and cut my hair in a place where I can leave it for the birds to use as nesting material. So I stripped naked and did it near the north end of my laboratory, swept up the hair, and put it on top of a bluestone barbecue grill we never use for whatever creature wants it.
Meanwhile Gretchen had taken our Subaru Forester to the dealer we'd bought it from to get the hatch struts (one of which failed while parked at the Watergate) replaced. While in the area, Gretchen had lunch at the Rosendale Café, a place we no longer visit very often. She brought me home a couple seitan tacos, which were pretty good even if they contained a bit too much cumin. Each had been made with both a soft wheat tortilla and a hard corn torilla, which made for satisfying bite complexity. Gretchen says the Rosendale Café has undergone a transformation since she was last there and is no longer the somewhat-run-down hippie hangout it used to be. She didn't give me the details, but she probably means that it has become more bougie for all the wealthy people moving into the Hudson Valley after being driven from New York City by the coronavirus and the ability to work remotely.

Another way I've been taking advantage of the calm in the remote workplace is by fixing problems I've been living with, such as the issues with my bittorrent server earlier in the week. Another issue has been then the degradation of my network of Raspberry-Pi-based cameras and temperature sensors. At first I suspected that, after months of not paying attention, all their SD cards had worn out and that was why they'd all become unreachable. But then it became clear that the problem was that they were either unable to connect to Cricket (the WiFi hotspot located above the roof of the greenhouse) or they were connecting to it, but Cricket couldn't connect to the household network via the buried ethernet cable running from the greenhouse up to the laboratory. I zeroed in on that last possibility today and eventually discovered that the ethernet port that connects to the greenhouse ethernet cable had died on the switch, a fate that had befallen a previous that eventually died completely. Evidently there's something about that buried ethernet cable that is murder on whatever it connects to in the laboratory while not affecting what it connects to at the greenhouse. The problem is probably transients caused by lightning, though why is it only affecting the uphill end of the cable? In any case, it's clear now that I have to provide some sort of surge protection if I don't want to blow through gigabit switches every couple of years.

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