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:
   pissed-off mother deer
Thursday, May 16 2024
At around noon, Neville seemed to want to go on a walk again. So we went far west of the farm road, to the area in the scrubby forest punctuated by occasional large bluestone boulders, some as tall as six feet. Eventually Neville and I found our way back east to familiar trails and then began making our way back home. Then, somewhere out in front of us, I heard Charlotte barking. She sounded a little crazier than usual (I'm starting to get a sense of the meaning of her barks), so I began hurrying towards the sound. It was a cloudy day with occasional spitting rain, so there was a good chance she'd found another porcupine (her first of the Catskills!). But when I got to where Charlotte had been barking, there was nothing obvious and Charlotte herself had quit barking and vanished. It was then that a female deer came trotting towards us in the way that suggested she had a fawn nearby. Usually deer flee at the site of a human, but she could clearly see both me and Neville and kept approaching as if more angry than afraid. Neville sees deer all the time and usually doesn't even attempt to chase them, but when the doe got to within about 20 feet, he apparently thought he had a chance. The deer ran away a few paces and Neville immediately gave up the pursuit. But then the deer resumed her stalking, even charging at Neville a second time (which played out like the first charge had). By now it was pretty clear that Charlotte's barking had been in response to this unusually-behaved deer. My theory was that the deer had charged at Charlotte and she, being the kind of dog she is, was terrified and ran all the way home. When I found Charlotte back at the house, this was evidence in support of my theory. Charlotte being such a 'fraidy cat means she's unlikely to tangle with bears (which all of our other dogs have seemed compelled to do).

At various times today, I continued my work debugging and adding features to my remote control system. When I found myself unable to manually turn off a circuit that automation logic had turned on, I did some intensive debugging and discovered that the problem was a syntax error in the processed conditions string. This was causing the PHP eval() to fail, and with it the rest of the code that needed to run. PHP's eval() is a kludgy bit of functionality, as PHP makes it difficult to programmatically determine if a string variable contains syntactically-correct PHP code. With the help of ChatGPT, though, I was eventually able to write a function to pass syntactic judgment and gracefully handle such conditions. Soon thereafter, I located the source of the syntax issues, a problem that had presumably been causing issues since Monday. It turned out that the regular expression I was using to parse out the XML-like tokens was parsing some of my conditions wrong. The problem was that my conditions tend to use lots of greater than and less than symbols to perform mathematical comparisons. But I'm also using those very same symbols to bracket my tokens. So in some cases, the parsing would mistake a comparison bracket for an indication of the beginning or end of a token. The solution for this was to make sure that in order for a less-than symbol to be considered part of a token, it must immediately be followed by a letter, something that always happens in my tokens but never happens with a less than symbol is being used to make a comparison.

At around 3:00pm, our friend Fern came over to socialize (we ate gourmet vegan cheeses Gretchen had bought at Essex Market, crackers, and pastries Fern had brought) and also to have me look at an issue with her pickup truck. That truck has a bed cap with a hatch door that looks like it should lock. But the little fingers that are supposed to catch on the side of the cap when the latch handles are twisted aren't long enough, so she has never been able to lock the back of her truck. She thought this would be problematic when she moves all her shit to Brooklyn at the end of her lease in Kingston. We went out and looked at the mechanism, and I decided it wouldn't be hard to fix. All I'd need to do would be to weld a bar onto the fingers to extend them by about an inch. Initially I thought I'd be doing it in a few days, but when Fern went back in the house, I quickly cut the necessary bits of bar metal and then welded them onto each finger (which, thankfully, I could detach and bring to the garage). So when Fern drove off, she was driving a fully-lockable vehicle (identifiable with is unusual "SUBJECTIFY" bumper sticker).

Gretchen came home this evening after a pilates class in Red Hook and a visit to some other place that sells seedlings. This evening I'd finally gotten around to sprouting the seeds that will produce this year's cannabis crop, but the seedlings Gretchen got today were mostly edible plants. The sun had set as well finished prepping the last two raised beds and planted our plants.

Gretchen and I watched the fourth episode of Baby Reindeer, and it was something of a masterpiece. It spend most of its time giving us some backstory on events we've already seen, deepening our understanding of some things that had been mysteries. It was raw and real and presented with exceptional nuance.

Charlotte on the walk today. Click to enlarge.

The kinds of ferns that don't drive pickup trucks with a "SUBJECTIFY" sticker on the back. Click to enlarge.

A red eft early in the dog walk today. We hadn't even gotten to the Farm Road yet. Click to enlarge.

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