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:
   impulse romanesco
Thursday, February 29 2024

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York, USA

While Fern had been housesitting, I'd had the oil-fired boiler on to make the house effortless to heat and there wouldn't be any question about whether or not there was hot water. This morning Gretchen turned off the boiler and I went into the basement to position the switches so we could go back to summer mode, which means using the solar hydronic system mostly to heat household water. But when I looked at my Arduino-based controller, all it was doing was flashing the green light, meaning it had crashed in some sort of unrecoverable way. Rebooting it did no good. I could tell the slave Atmega328 was still working, since it controls the whole user interface, and that part was working. I figured that the master Atmega328 must have somehow corrupted its program and either needed to be reflashed or replaced. I decided to do the latter, since that would likely minimize the chance of this problem happening again soon. But that introduced other issues, such as my need to burn an Arduino bootloader onto raw Atmega328. The last time I did that was something like ten years ago, using a custom bootloader and the command tool AVRDude. The Arduino IDE has a built-in bootloader burner that (I think) burns a version with the special things I need. But getting that to work would require some tools. I have a bunch of these tools, but I don't remember how hook them up or even, in some cases, what kind they are. I eventually managed to get the ribbon cable connecting the burning tool with Arduino oriented in the correct direction, at which point I immediately color-coded this arrangement so I could easily do it next time. Then research suggested that the burning tool was a USBTinyISP, which I then wrote on the burner in Sharpie so I'd know this immediately next time I needed to use it. At that point, the only piece missing was a driver, which (of course) my computer wouldn't have given that it is less than four years old. Once I had the bootloader written, I reflashed the master software and then installed it down in the boiler room. It was now working flawlessly.

While walking the dogs this morning, she realized she wasn't feeling well. She was suffering from body aches, so perhaps she'd picked up something on the plane. She'd looked at the menu for the Garden Café in Woodstock and saw that their soup was red bean (our favorite) and they had rarely-offered mushroom taco (which I love). Gretchen hinted that maybe I could go pick us up dinner there, and I agreed. It might seem strange that I would settle for American tacos after just getting back from the taco capital of the world, but that's how good those mushroom tacos are (and how mediocre our food experience in Mexico City had been).
On the drive to Woodstock, I saw that the Ashokan Reservoir was all thawed open again and the wind had filled its surface with choppy waves. Since the reservoir hadn't quite frozen yet back on the seventh of this month, that means it had only been frozen for about three weeks this year. That is a much shorter time spent frozen than usual.
While in Woodstock, I also stopped at Sunflower to buy soy and oat milk, a cabbage, and a romanesco (that weird green cauliflower-like plant with the trippy fractal spirals; I'd never eaten it before).

The Ashokan Reservoir this evening after sunser on the drive back from Woodstock. Note that the surface is now ice-free. Click to enlarge.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next