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:
   sounds promising a warmer future
Tuesday, November 8 2022
At noon today I went down the Stick Trail to the tree I'd cut down and processed yesterday. Since it was all cut up already, I didn't have to bring a saw, and not carrying that beast made everything much more pleasant. I'm not sure how much wood I carried back, since I immediately split it and put it in the woodshed, but it was probably more than what exhausted me carrying home yesterday, though this time I was fine afterwards. I then made myself a burrito using week-old chili, fairly old guacamole, and a huge whole wheat tortilla I got out of the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, the residents of our Wall Street house were complaining that their boiler had stopped working, which I considered serious enough to address before my workday had ended. So after our weekly "group QA" (which seems to be as much a social thing as a quality assurance thing), I loaded the dogs in the Forester and drove into Uptown Kingston, stopping on the way at the Hurley Town Hall to vote in the mid-term election. At the Wall Street house, the tenant who works from home (I think she does some sort of software development) let me in, and I went to the basement to check out the situation. There was oil in the fuel tank, so that wasn't the problem. I pushed the red reset button on the boiler controller, and I heard a humming sound as something tried to happen. But it didn't fire up. The high-voltage coil wasn't the problem; it was producing a nice hot cloud of plasma, but no motor was turning to blow air or pump oil. Then I noticed that the blower motor itself had a separate red reset button. I pressed that and the pressed the other reset button, and the boiler roared to life. That was easy, maybe a little too easy. While the boiler made all the right sounds promising a warmer future, I went and got the tenant and showed her how to do what I'd just done just in case it happened again. "But if it keeps happening, it might need a new blower," I said.
While I was out driving around, I thought I'd visit the Home Depot to get some supplies for a plan I have that would allow me to leave the hinged section of dock in the lake up in the Adirondacks. That hinged section weighs somewhere around 200 pounds but only has a floater on one end, meaning it would be difficult to detach it and float it to shore for storage away from the ice. My original plan was to drop the floater-free end onto an innertube and then float it to shore. But that was seeming problematic, particularly if something went wrong and the innertube slipped out. With all the heavy hardware built into that section of dock, the floater-free end might dip deep into the water, making the whole thing impossible to float anywhere. My new plan was to leave the hinged section in place by jacking the floating end up high enough above the surface of the lake so that the floater would remain completely out of the water for the entire winter. To do this, I'd need a pole that was strong enough to support the dock's weight (along with the weight of any snow accumulation) and long enough to reach up from the lake bottom (which is six or seven feet below the surface at the end of the hinged section) and tower several feet over the the top of the deck. I'd also need some chains to reach down from the top of that pole to the deck to hold it up, along with a few bits of hardware to make connections. Initially the plan was to get two long pieces of 1.5 inch pipe and connect them together with a coupling. But Home Depot didn't have any long 1.5 inch pieces. So I opted for a fat ten foot pipe that was two inches in diameter. It was heavy, but not too heavy. To that, I would be adding a reducing fitting and then whatever 1.5 inch pipe I already have at the cabin (I think I have a four foot piece up there), which would give me a tall enough pipe. I'd have to put something on the bottom to spread out the load; I have no idea how thick the muck is down there. At the top, I'd install a flange and hang the support chains down from that, using the flange screw holes as attachment points. To do the actual jacking, I already have a hand-powered "come along" capable of lifting 500 pounds as much as five feet. It's a device I may also use for dragging the big floating section of dock (which measures ten feet by twelve ten) ashore. The only fly in this ointment was that there were hardly any employees in Home Depot (thanks, quiet quitters!), so I ended up cutting the chain myself, and when I got to the cashier, I'd photographed the incorrect bar code.
Back at the house, Gretchen (who had been out when I'd left) told me that Neville was supposed to get a blood draw today, but I'd had him with me.

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