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:
   becoming an extension of my body
Monday, March 21 2022
It wasn't super warm today but it was sunny and warm enough for Gretchen too eventually drag a chaise lounge out into the sunny part of the driveway and read her book out there while the dogs (and occasional cats) basked nearby. This was the first time she'd done that this year, though the dogs have been taking advantage of these conditions for days.
Meanwhile, I was working surprisingly hard to the remote workplace. I finally fixed the last broken piece in my AppStream login system (the logout from single-sign-on, that is SSO). But even before that, my boss the CTO could demonstrate the system to the people he reports to, and it was a great success. I'd been a little miffed at the CTO for having Dr. Dan communicate to me late on Friday that he needed the login stuff working in time for a 10:00am demonstration on Monday. But it turned out it only needed about 20 minutes of work, if that, and I'd achieved that after getting back from the Adirondacks yesterday.
Of course, the CTO is the kind of guy for whom nothing is ever really done, so after showing the login system at the meeting, he came back to me with some feedback he'd gotten. What if there were lots of tenants in the login list for a given user? Could I implement some sort of pagination system or perhaps a search box? This was a substantial increase in scope, but I said sure. Part of the reason I was feeling so agreeable was that I've started to feel like VisualStudio is a tool I'm mastering, as if it's becoming an extension of my body. And I wanted to explore how easy it was to implement a Javascript-driven AJAX UI over top of the klunky old backend-only Razor templates I was using (it's a technology not all that different from the Classic ASP that was my first solid experience with web development back in 1998).
(My positive views of VisualStudio are fairly new; a month or so ago I still found it overly complicated and disruptively over-helpful. Even now I still wish it wouldn't try to immediately close brackets and HTML tags.)
I spent most of the rest of the day trying to get my semi-multi-instance Taxinator working in a new virtual server that was supposedly super powerful. But over RemoteDesktop, the lagginess of its responses to clicks and mouse operations was making me miserable. I eventually got the Taxinator installed. But debugging the finer points of multi-instancity will not be fun.

A solid indication that I'm becoming effective in this new job role came while I was in the bathtub this evening. I found myself thinking through some matters of implementation in my AppStream login system. Up until today, I had been focused on getting it to work, not on making it secure or pretty, but now I was mentally going through my memory of the code I'd written and finding new things to do. Of utmost importance, I decided, was to replace the cookies I'd used to preserve state in one place with a proper session, though this would require me to actually learn how to create a Session in AspNet (the framework within .NET core that the code is written in).
Meanwhile, Gretchen, who hasn't been feeling well, had made added toppings to some frozen pizzas and baked them in the oven. It made for fairly good dinner, though Powerful is in a bad phase of his heart transplant recovery and just picked at his.
After dinner, I quickly learned about AspNet sessions and implemented them in my login system. I then added a route to my login controller that returns JSON and used that to feed data to a live search that I built. To get that working required almost no new knowledge; the only thing I hadn't done that I had to look up to learn how to do was dumping JSON directly from a AspNet controller endpoint. I was working in vanilla Javascript, and I also had to remind myself how to do an AJAX call in that (for that, I consulted the code of the Disturbatron).
I should note that this work was extending well after the workday, suggesting I might have arranged for myself a poor work-life balance. But the fact of the matter is that I work surprisingly little during my actual workdays, and I definitely owe my employer such effort whenever I can make myself do it. But the great thing about the work I did today was that I actually wanted to do it, and if that's a horse wandering through the field of my life, I should definitely ride it. Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

While watching Jeopardy! with me this evening, Gretchen was feeling sickly, with body aches and general lethargy. Fearing that she'd been infected with the coronavirus, she took one of the many rapid tests we have on hand. The results were negative, but if she doesn't have covid, it's hard to imagine what she actually does have. She thinks that if she got sick anywhere, it was during last week's visit to The City. She'd been hanging out a lot with her now-sort-of-famous writer friend David. They'd a lot of time maskless in a whiskey bar and in a vegan Italian restaurant. And of Gretchen had also been on an Adirondack Trailways bus both coming and going. She'd worn a mask on that, but four hours in a confined space with randos is definitely a risk factor.

Earlier today just after the end of the workday, I'd walked up the Farm Road and back. As I'd passed the swamps just east of the road, I'd heard what sounded like hundreds of honking Canada geese flying overhead. But no, these were frogs making mating calls in the swamp's various ponds, some of which still contained floating chunks of ice. Normally spring peepers are the first amphibians to announce themselves in the spring, but these sounded bigger.

Tonight after climbing into bed, my mind settled back to thoughts of the cabin's boiler system. Working with it this weekend, something that had struck me as odd was that after fixing all the hydronic leaks, when I went to pressurize the system there was still a very slow leak coming out of one of the potable water taps of the heat exchanger that heats the cabin's water. I'd thought maybe some valve was a little leaky somewhere in there and that it was no big deal, since the tap that was leaking is normally plumbed into a pipe. But tonight what was probably happening, and which my subconscious may have been trying to suppress, was that a leak had developed inside the heat exchanger that was now allowing hydronic water to mix with potable water. The whole point of a heat exchanger is to keep the domain being heated isolated from the domain supplying the heat. But what had probably happened was that ice had expanded in the potable water part of the heat exchanger and managed to crack one of its walls. It wasn't a spectacular leak, but it was a leak nevertheless. That heat exchanger looks like it also needs to be replaced, and my fear was that it would be impossible to track down, very expensive, or some combination of both. Perhaps, though, we can limp along with the damaged heat exchanger for a time. Since we're not using antifreeze (yet) in our cabin hydronic system, it really should matter if the systems can leak into each other. The major problem I anticipate is the household system managing to eventually raise the pressure in the hydronic system from the 15 psi it should be to the normal household water pressure of 40 psi. [Later I would do some web research and learn that the damaged heat exchanger only costs $70 to replace, which is much cheaper than I'd feared.]

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