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:
   hotel McMurdo
Friday, February 6 2015

location: Room 113, Clarion Hotel, Batavia, Genesee County, New York

This morning Gretchen drove off to Attica through what looked like a blizzard. Attica is 20 minutes south of Batavia in good weather, though Gretchen gave herself a bit more time. Meanwhile, I stayed back in the hotel, using my Compaq 2510p laptop the way I always do when traveling. I also brewed myself a couple small pots of the coffee Clarion had provided for our room. Periodically I'd take the dogs out, but the weather was so terrible out there that it was hard to get them to do the things that one needs a dog to do. We'd emerge from the hotel's glass doors at entrance B like climate scientists from the airlock at McMurdo station. The wind through my jacket would immediately chill my core as the blowing snow exerted a paralyzing effect on my face. The temperature was something like nine degrees, but the wind was fast and relentless and it carried a fair amount of snow. Little if any was falling fresh from the clouds; it was mostly old snowflakes that been blasted free of their arms, legs, and tentacles. If the dogs had any business they were willing to do, they'd try to conclude it as rapidly as possible and then they'd run back and cower near the hotel's doors. On a couple occasions, though, I forced them to follow me around the end of the building and across a parking lot over near a massive Target (part of an adjacent shopping mall). I got Ramona to poop over there, and of course instead of bagging it and carrying it with me, I kicked some snow over it. By the time it next sees daylight in May, it won't be recognizable.
Gretchen had arranged for us to be able to stay in our room until 1:00pm, and she returned from Attica with about 15 minutes to spare. While she checked us out, I took our dogs for one final romp in the ongoing blizzard.
On the drive back east towards Syracuse, Gretchen said she'd coincidentally been visiting with her prisoner friend Josh on the day his parents were also there to visit him. They were cheerful corn-fed midwesterners, and perhaps their presence limited her ability to ask good questions, but she'll be able to meet Josh again once he transfers to another prison in a few weeks' time. The one standout chunk of delicious poetic source material she managed to glean during the meeting was the fact that prisoners in the Attica welding shop end up making a lot of furniture to be used in the new "Freedom Tower" in Manhattan, an irony Gretchen had to point out for Josh and his parents to notice.
In Syracuse, we returned again to Strong Hearts Café, and this time we both got the reuben. It was delicious, though it seemed to have been built around Tofurkey instead of the usual tempeh. I also got a portobello salad, and as I ate my reuben, I picked avocado and mushroom chunks off the salad and added them to the part of the sandwich was next about to bite off and eat. The soup today was a sweet potatoe curry, something I would never order, though I tried a little and it was actually much better than expected.
The drive east from Syracuse to Albany is a long one, though of course we had podcasts to make it as interesting as possible. East of Utica, I noticed for the first time that the Mohawk River cuts rather dramatically through a series of low, sharp ridges.
Gretchen hadn't said anything about stopping at Trader Joe's in Albany, so I thought we'd just be going straight home. I certainly didn't want to bring it up in case it had completely escaped her mind. But then she remembered, and so of course it made sense to go. We ended up spending somewhat more than $400 for two shopping carts' worth of stuff, the bulk (if not the expense) of it in the form of organic breakfast cereal. We only had a few of our own bags in the car for some reason, but we managed to minimize the number of new bags we needed by not bother to bag much of the boxes of cereal, instead stacking them up "like cordwood" in the back of the Prius.
Surprisingly, the cats didn't seem all that happy with our return even though I gave them the wetfood they'd missed out on this morning. I also stoked up a good fire in the woodstove, though Sylvia was content to keep sleeping on the large piece of bluestone at the bottom of the teevee room bookshelf. That rock gets heated as a side effect of the upstairs bedroom's hydronic zone being heated, something that doesn't happen much when we're around and I've got a fire in the woodstove.

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