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:
   my own web clipboard
Saturday, January 7 2023
Gretchen and I got up late and did the usual Saturday morning routine in the living room. But that was cut short by Gretchen having to go meet Falafel Cathy in Rhinebeck (she'd be bringing me home a falafel in a pita). While Gretchen was off doing that, I made a firewood-gathering foray into the forest. My initial plan was to go to where I'd recently bucked up large pieces of dry sugar maple way down the slope. But the I saw Crazy Dave and his crazy dogs down that way. Both of us try to avoid encountering people in the forest (not that it happens very often), so I suddenly changed my plans and opted to gather some very marginal looking pieces I'd bucked up years ago on the steep slop just west of the Stick Trail several hundred feet south of the Chamomile. These pieces had been in contact with the ground for a long time and were semi-rotten on the outside and probably contained more moisture than I wanted to have to carry, but it was the best thing I could do to salvage the foray. While I was doing this, Crazy Dave and his crazy dogs were approaching, apparently wanting to walk down the Stick Trail instead of the Gullies Trail he usually walks on. The dogs saw me first and started barking. And then Crazy Dave saw me. Knowing he doesn't like to interact, I pretty much ignored him, since he was never closer than a couple hundred feet away and I was wearing headphones. At that point he decided to change his trajectory, and he went down to the Gullies trail. I can't help but imagine that he's excited to find the path connecting this part of the forest to his hovel is once more clear and easy to walk.
Some time later in the afternoon, after Crazy Dave had had time to walk the trail and return, I walked down to the place I'd originally planned to go and retrieved a single piece of sugar maple. I should mention that all of this wood proved better than expected. Once split, the interior of all these pieces, even the ones I'd assumed were riddled with fungus, were fairly dry. They only needed to be finished off a little on the stove top. I've had problems in the past with putting wood up there when the fire is running hot, which can then make the wood I'm trying to dry start smouldering, sometimes developing live coals. That's a serious danger, so these days I always babysit wood I place on the stove top, and nothing bad came of the drying I was doing today.

A common need I have is to move small amounts of text-based data between my various computing devices (which includes a smartphone, several desktop computers, a virtual Amazon Workspace computer, and numerous laptops running four different operating systems). Back when my employers used Slack as the office messaging system, this need was satisfied by simply sending messages to myself. The downside with depending on Slack, though, is that it's a big Electron-based application that doesn't work well on all devices. Also, posts made using it can be read by administrators (especially if they commandeer my account, which has happened). In recent years, though, my employer switched from Slack to Microsoft Teams, which initially didn't provide a way to self-message. Later, though, this functionality was added, but it comes with its own problems. Teams is somehow even more bloated than Slack and runs on even fewer devices (don't even try running it on a Chromebook with 2 GB of RAM). So I've mostly been self-messaging a different way. You cannot self-message in Facebook, but there's no restriction about sending messages from one of my Facebook accounts to another. By doing this, I was able to self-message fairly well, though there were problems. Facebook itself (either on the web or as an app) is huge and doesn't run well on all operating systems. Furthermore, it has built-in nannyware designed to prevent the exchange of certain kinds of information that I like to send to myself (either the locations of pirated media or, more often, porn). Having to put spaces in the middle of URLs so as to avoid triggering the nannyware is a nuisance, and complicates the task of later making use of those URLs. Clearly, I needed a better solution. So today I made my own, entirely from scratch.
The application I built uses PHP and MySQL to save timestamped clips into a database. In case others want to use this system, I also added a primitive login system and store a user_id with every clip. This system is not unlike a messageboard (an example of which I first built 23 years ago), though it's considerably simpler. I could've used an existing online clip-transferring site, but clips in those systems are not private, don't last, and nothing about how the systems work can be changed. With my new clip system, though, I have complete control and can keep adding features as my need for them arises. As always for such projects, I've put the whole thing on GitHub.

The indoor woodpile situation at some point today. Note all the wood drying on the stove top and the pile along the west wall (we're looking from the east). Click to enlarge.

Another angle of the same scene. Click to enlarge.

Meanwhile, this was how the dogs were looking on the couch. Click to enlarge.

The dining room table, looking southeastward. The tomato plant in the corner is the one that had been growing on the upstairs deck at the cabin this summer. It's surviving, though parts of it have died back. The telescope is the National Geographic branded reflecting telescope I bought the other day at the Tibetan Center thrift store. Click to enlarge.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next