Chicken of the Woods fajitas
Tuesday, July 28 2015
location: southeast shore, Twenty Ninth Pond, remote Minerva Township, Essex County, New York
In the morning, Gretchen walks the dogs down the driveway that leads to Route 28 A. The drive had seemed long and treacherous in slow-moving Subaru, but on feet it only takes ten minutes. The driveway crosses a ridge somewhere near its midpoint, and from there it's possible to get a cellphone signal. It's also possible if one heads up through the woods to a ridgetop to the west of the house, though there are no clearly defined trails to follow and the biting flies are vicious. In hopes of finding a more pleasant place for us to check email, I conducted a cellphone signal strength survey of Twenty Ninth Pond in a kayak. In a 3G/4G world, I don't know exactly what "1X" service is, but I managed to get two bars of it in the northwest lobe of the heart-shaped pond. Unfortunately, though, this was not sufficient for me to connect to my mail server. While I was out on the pond, I found a third (and apparently long-derilict) beaver lodge on its northeast shore.
Later I went on that walk Gretchen has been taking up through the woods to the east. What happens on that walk is that somewhere on the ridge up there (not more than a five minute walk away) 4G suddenly kicks in, and the flood of queued information can flow in. I checked to see if any of my clients were sending hair-on-fire emails the way they usually do when I'm on vacation. But there were no such messages; mostly all I had was updates from Facebook, mostly telling me about the active social world of my troll Suzy. All those emails normally get filtered to trash, but I can't figure out how to make that happen on the POP3 client I'd installed on Gretchen's phone. Maybe there's a way to turn off that shit in Facebook, but I've never seen it in the settings.
In Arduino stuff today, I implemented most of a multi-character command interpreter in the barometric windvane. This interpreter was modeled on a similar command interpreter I gradually developed for the solar sufficiency controller that automates the behavior of the hydronic solar collection system back at the house in Hurley. The interpreter I built today was designed to be less idiosyncratic and more consistent. It features a tight language in which every command phrase starts with a verb followed by an object noun, then possibly an adjective, followed occasionally by an adverb. Each of these "words" in always a single character, though sometimes they are uppercase or numeric. Here are some example command phrases:
pbar - print barometers all (and keep doing it): prints current reading from all six barometers in a line and then prints another until another command is issued.
pt3 - print third temperature probe data and stop
sss - set system space: sets the character to be inserted between data during a reading.
rs - reset slave: reset ATTiny85 AmbientWeather data collection slave.
Eventually these commands will be issued by a client device via a serial line so that data from the barometric windvane can be collected, stored, and displayed (in some cases graphically).
As I worked, I ran into a difficulty with barometric windvane that prevented it from doing anything with its I2C until I'd flashed it with an unrelated Arduino sketch and then flashed it again with the windvane sketch. That was strange.
Meanwhile Gretchen spent most of the day down on the dock, occasionally taking breaks from her reading to go swimming. I had barely been in the water at all, choosing to enjoy the pond entirely by kayak and canoe. But today I thought I'd try to swim out to a swimming platform 50 or so feet out into the water. I can't swim well enough to do so directly, so I put on a life vest and put a swimming noodle under my armpits and started kicking my way out into the water. But, as Gretchen soon pointed out, I wasn't making any progress at all. I needed to use my arms. But the noodle made that impossible and now it felt like the life vest was about to slip up over my head and leave me with insufficient buoyancy. I started to panic, so Gretchen jumped in and helped me back to the dock. It turns out that Twenty Ninth Pond gets deep very quickly from the shoreline along most of its perimeter.
At some point I took a recreational dose of pseudoephedrine, though it didn't much or any of the positive effects I normally expect from it. Normally it suppresses my appetite and makes me want to crank away at something I might otherwise find tedious or boring, but today I eventually gave up on whatever feelings it was giving me and made myself a couple Chicken of the Woods fajitas for late-afternoon lupper (remember, I'd collected those some days ago along the Farm Road back in Hurley). They were delicious, though it was a large volume of food for my stomach and I felt a little uncomfortable after eating them. There's also something about Chicken of the Woods (and I'm not sure what it is) but at some point when you're eating a lot of it you realize it's not much more than a kind of shelf fungus, and an often fairly-woody one at that, and then your stomach turns just a bit.
At some point today I kayaked out to the north end of the pond and landed at an obvious human-made trail (43.833040N, 74.012049W). As with other remote lakes on public land in the Adirondacks, there is an old beat-up canoe beached there that is available for use by the hiking public. A short ways into the forest, the trail bumps into a well-developed snow mobile trail running from Route 28N all the way to the significantly-larger Stony Pond to the east. I didn't stay on land too long, as the deer flies were horrible.
Gretchen made perogies from Whole Foods for dinner, though she didn't expect me to be eating much after this afternoon's fajita blowout. Oddly, though, it wasn't long afterwards that I had the appetite to eat a couple of those perogies. I have a feeling that there isn't actually much to Chicken of the Woods, and in the stomach it breaks down mostly into fiber and water.
Me kayaking near the dock today. (Click to enlarge.)
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