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:
   vaping at the lake
Saturday, August 1 2015

location: southeast shore, Twenty Ninth Pond, remote Minerva Township, Essex County, New York

This morning after coffee and her walk up and down the driveway with Gretchen, I took Ramona in the canoe to the Cape of Dud Boat and we explored it together, though we found nothing to add to the discoveries I'd made yesterday.

Back at my computer, I found a Google Chrome window had launched during the night. The addressbar read to, which suggested I had been infected by malware with the job of delivering web popups, even here in the wilderness of the north woods. Lacking any way to Google "qalert" to see what might be causing it to appear unbidden on a machine whose only job is to serve my bidding, I used regedit to search the registry. After finding nothing, I investigated all running processes in the task manager without a human-readable description. This was how I found a file named csag.exe, which the Windows 7 task manager, in a huge improvement over the Windows XP one, allows you to "Open the File Location" of. When I opened csag.exe in a text editor and searched for "," there it was. I'd managed to find malware without using any special tools or guidance from the web. Now I could destroy it and never again get a qalert offer (though, who knows, they might be awesome).
Tonight would be our last night at the cabin, and, as is customary, we intended to have a bonfire tonight. Yesterday I'd begun gathering kindling from the nearby forest. This had mostly taken the form of the dead dry lower branches of evergreens, though there were also a few small skeletonized pines, spruces, and perhaps firs. Ideally I'd have some hardwoods too, but there just aren't many good hardwoods in this part of the world. Sugar Maple and Red Maple (and perhaps American Beech, which I've never used as firewood) are probably the best, but there was none near the cabin, at least not in any form that could be burned tonight.
This afternoon, more as a lark than anything else, I paddled the kayak across the lake to the western side and attempted to gather firewood there. There were some nice skeletonized pieces of wood on the water's edge; I just had to cut it up. But it turned out that the cabin's bow saw was almost unusable. Its teeth needed to be sharpened and set, and without that, the blade soon became bound in any non-trivial cut it made. Still, I managed to gather three or four pieces in one trip and a few more in another (the kayak didn't have a great payload capacity, and I was trying to avoid putting it on the floor by my feet, where there was a quarter inch of water).
I had the rest of my kratom tea today. There wasn't all that much left, and it was fairly dilute, so its effects were mellow-to-placebic. Later I made myself a strong drink containing orange juice and vodka and went out for a paddle in the kayak with the copy of Nuts & Volts I've been thumbing through on this vacation. Judging from its layout and articles, Nuts & Volts is electronics for people with no sense beauty or æsthetics, though it introduces me to new products and ideas. The air was still fairly cool, something that became obvious whenever a cloud blocked the sun, but otherwise it was great to just sit on the lake in kayak and let the wind blow me gradually southward. With a few manual course corrections, I eventually ended up against the big log jam at the southern outflow of the pond.
Several weeks ago, I'd bought a used Vapir NO2 vaporizer on eBay in hopes it would improve my pot-smoking experiences. It stands to reason that if the marijuana isn't heated to burning, less of its good stuff is destroyed and less useless or harmful material ends up inhaled. I'd tried using it once, but that was before I watched Youtube video of someone who actually knows how to use one. Truth be known, I haven't been impressed with vaporizers except very high-end ones such as the Volcano (I've used two different ones). But today I decided to try my Vapir NO2 in ernest. I started with the herb that happened to be in the chamber from my last unsuccessful use of it. This was decidedly schwaggy material to begin with, so my hopes weren't high. As expected, I didn't get much of a hit from it, though at least I saw visible vapors in my exhalations, which indicated that my device was working. Also, the vaporizer's batteries seemed to be holding a charge, which initially hadn't seemed to be the case. (I've had both good and bad luck when it comes to batteries in used electronics bought on eBay.)
Later I put a little chunk of fresh new marijuana bud in the combustion chamber (without first grinding it up, which I later learned you are supposed to do) and tried again. Initially I couldn't tell I was actually inhaling anything at all when I inhaled, so I took a few too many hits. By the time I was aware I was getting something from it, I'd smoked a bit too much. Finally, I had a vaporizer that could get me stoned! I was in this too-stoned state as I went about the business of building a bonfire in the fire pit. One of my tasks was to McGyver together a grill surface that wasn't the meat-saturated steel mesh provided. Gretchen had found a smaller barbecue unit in the basement, so I'd taken the grill out of that and put it into the pond to soak for a few hours. Once abraded with a granite pebble, I had the wires of its grid surface down to bare steel. I propped it up on the existing wire mesh using four granite pebbles as spacers, a trick that seemed ingenious to my Vapir-addled mind. By this point I had a raging fire; nothing burns quite like the small dead branches of a conifer.
When you're camping, you have to make do with what you have, and this was why Gretchen had marinaded the portobello mushroom caps in salad dressing. We also had some Sweet Earth veggie burgers, which are sort of the Volcano vaporizers of fake meat. It didn't take long for any of this to grill, though my brain was having trouble accurately measuring the passage of time. We made tall fancy sandwiches and ate them by the fire while drinking cheap beer (also a custom of our final night at an Adirondack cabin).
After dinner, we did one final counter-clockwise canoe paddle around the pond with Ramona, scaring up the Blue Heron as he or she tried to hunt frogs in the swampy fringe of the pond's swampy lobe. The bird soared down to the south end of the pond, which was where we were headed. This time, though, we cut our paddle short before getting too close.

In the living room, we watched the final two episodes of season three of Orange is the New Black. I took another couple puffs from the Vapir NO2 early in the final 130 minute episode, and it got me so stoned that I needed to drink the last beer in the house, which was a Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin.' (That apostrophe looks wrong after the period, but I think that is how it is supposed to be done.)

Our cabin viewed from near the lake.

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