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:
   small baked-good gathering
Friday, December 22 2023
This morning Gretchen drove to Poughkeepsie to pick up a bunch of baked goods from the Little Loaf Bakery (which doesn't yet have a brick-and-mortar storefront). She brought all these things home so we could could host a small social gathering this evening so that our friends could join us to eat these things.
Meanwhile a FedEx guy delivered a big 24,000 BTU heat pump to our house on a pallet for me to install. The plan is to use it to supplement the woodstove in heating the first floor, taking some of the pressure off me to gather and burn so much wood.
But it will be awhile before I have that heatpump working. In the middle of the afternoon, the temperatures outside were in the upper 20s (Fahrenheit), while temperatures in our living room were down somewhere in the 50s. I knew I had to get the temperatures in the living room up to around 70 before this evening's gathering, so I went out with varius saws and cut up some wood I knew would burn hot and fast: a small-diameter standing-dead white pine. Using that wood (as well as some old dry freshly-harvested dogwood), I managed to get a roaring fire going so that temperatures were above 70 by the time our first guests arrived.
Those guests were Chris and Kirsty, our friends from Zena Road. Kirsty is still neurotic about covid and didn't want to be at our gathering while others (besides us) were present, so they opted to come an hour early, at 5:00pm. They brought a bottle of some sort of bubbly white wine. I was in kind of cranky mood initially and was supremely irritated by all the initial banter about how amazing all the baked goods were (they were all spread out on the dining room table). But once I'd had a little red wine, I started feeling better. Things got better when Chris and Kirsty told us all about what they'd learned about Frederick Vanderbilt on a tour of his Hyde Park property (over in Dutchess County; it's now owned by the National Park Service). Evidently he'd been uncommonly generous with his employees, most of whom ended up wealthy after long careers of working for him. Somehow that conversation had been sparked by our champagne glasses (originally given to us by Ray and Nancy), which reminded Kirsty how much her brother (I think) is obsessed with the Gilded Age, and how that obsession led to him taking Chris and Kirsty on a tour of Hyde Park.

Kate, our next guest, arrived while Chris & Kirsty were still present, though overlap was not a long one. Later Jeff and then, much later, his wife Alana arrived. We talked about a lot of things, including a bunch of media recommendations by Jeff. But inevitably the topic came back around artificial intelligence, especially Gretchen's new job teaching an AI to write poetry. She also mentioned how one of her prisoner students handed in a poem that had all the hallmarks of one written by ChatGPT, suggesting he probably had someone with access to the internet have an AI do his homework for him. Gretchen said she didn't accuse him of this but instead said that the poem didn't sound like his voice and reminded her of poetry written by an AI she has been training in one of her other jobs.

Neville and Charlotte snuggling on the living room couch in the heat of all the wood I burned today. Click to enlarge.

Oscar the Cat was unusually social during our gathering this evening. Click to enlarge.

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