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:
   the only use for an old Pentium 4 desktop
Sunday, February 13 2022
The coffee yesterday was kind of bad (Gretchen's decaf was too weak, and mine had been made with beans that had spent a year and a half in the Red Hook office and then another months in a kitchen cabinet). So we had coffee again this morning with our collaborative New York Times Spelling Bee in front of the fire, and we had better experiences. Later I drove over to the Red Hook office to see what was left after most of the staff went berserk splitting up most of its contents and then turning in their keys. My colleague Jason had told me one of those assholes had actually taken a monitor from my desk, even though it's still my desk and will remain so until April. I found that this was true, but there were still plenty of monitors, desks, and office chairs. Gretchen has an interest in perhaps getting one of two of those chairs, and that definitely still seems doable. One of things I grabbed today was an old Dell desktop tower containing a Pentium 4 motherboard. All I wanted it for was its case; one of my computers is in a case that has no lid. If I end up doing anything at all with anything else, it will be to strip electrolytic capacitors from the motherboard and aluminum platters and rare earth magnets from its 80 gigabyte hard drive. There was also some useful hardware like plumbing flanges and right-angle brackets, as well as some obscure electronics such as a business card scanner.
While I was out, I was in the Red Hook Hannaford, Lowes, and Home Depot (mostly to redeem old bottles and cans and get some more 3/4 inch PEX crimping rings. Most people were still wearing their masks, though there were a smattering of people who weren't. One mask-eschewing couple with a pudgy-face little daughter looked like they might be in the cryptocurrency/libertarian demoographic. I wondered how it felt to be among the only 5% not wearing masks. I imagined they must've felt resentful and belligerant to be surrounded by so many "sheep." That pretty much describes libertarians, though usually they can get by in their selfish little bubbles, unnoticed and "unmasked" as it were. New York recently ended the state-wide mask mandate, so technically nobody needed to be wearing a mask. But the virus affects behavior even in the absence of rules, and there's still plenty of mask-wearing inertia.

This evening as I gutted that old Pentium 4 tower and moved a newer (though still eight-year-old) Core-i7-based motherboard into it, I listened to an interesting YouTube video. In it, the host interviews a guy who claims that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and cryptocurrencies, while invented to remove government from control of currencies, act to further enhance the wealth of the already-wealthy and early adopters and behave much like multi-level marketing companies and pyramid schemes, since early entrants are the ones who end up with all the money.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next