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busy april weekend


It was my first Whoosier Network meeting in months. The club had given up meeting at that Indianapolis church on Michigan Avenue. I could not stand going there: It was almost invisible in the dark from a street that was mostly potholes. And it seemed that the traditional after-meeting dinner was replaced by orders for pizza that was gone by the time I got there.

The meeting was at a different church that was easier to find. (Yeah, I think I can manage Allisonville Road.) And there was more people there than I can remember when I arrived. There was talk that the club was not gaining more members, but it did not look like that to me. Anyway, after the meeting twenty of us went to Pizzeria Uno. It was good pizza and onion soup, which I had not had in a good long time.


I delayed in going to the Who-Net meeting because I stopped at Fry's first. I wanted to determine if it had available the ARTiGO pico-ITX kit. I was amazed that it did!

On Saturday afternoon, after I returned home from an IPR pledge drive, I assembled the ARTiGO. I found that it was easier to put together than the Serener: partly because it was hard to err when all the components were there before me, partly because I had learned much from the mistakes I made in assembling the Serener.

After the hardware was put together into a shiny black box that can fit inside the bay of a normal computer, I installed Fedora 8 as a Web/Samba server. I still had trouble with X11 because of a lack of drivers for the VIA graphics and my ViewSonic monitor; but at least the configuration loop did not go on forever. After three tries, X11 stopped and reported its trouble. I tried to fix it, but there are settings for VIA graphics or my monitor. In the end, I had to go back to using the command line.


gutter's gone

I said to myself, especially after every heavy rain, that I would do this. I knew it had to be done when I bought the house because I signed off on the house inspector's report. But I finally did it: I took down the back gutter.

The back gutter bows in the middle, right over the back door. When it rains, it floods the door. When it snows, the door freezes shut, forcing me to leave through the front door. After this year's hard winter, I had enough.

This afternoon I took out the ladder, the nail puller, a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. I removed the drainspouts, pulled out the eight nails that held the gutter to the underside of the roof, and removed the gutters. They now lie along the bare ground next to the neighbor's fench.

The gutter is gone. Now I will have to figure out how to replace it. The flashing under the gutter is pretty awful to look at.

I have visited the Web site for the PBS series This Olde House, which shows the use of fascia bracing, where the gutters are carried by large hooks fastened to the flashing and the wood underneath. That way it might be possible to salvage the gutters I just took down.


I have visited my sister Vickie's to look at how she solved the problem of the crawlspace. She had someone pour a concrete retaining wall around a hole one meter square in front of the entrance. Then she dug into the ground two or three meters under the house to access the pipes inside. When she was done she built an insulated covering for the entrance.

That was a few years ago. The covering has rotted to pieces; the insulation is flatten; and the foundation around the entrance is falling in. Not a good thing for Vickie, but it gives me some ideas. If I were to do the same thing, then I will have to ensure that the foundation is reinforced around the entrance, and that the entrance is covered with something more enduring (like a metal or plastic cellar door).

Posted on the Dysmey Blog on 6 April 2008.