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

welcome to the collapse
Clusterfuck Nation
Peak Oil

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   tenant acquisition from quarantine
Saturday, March 28 2020
It was a rainy Saturday in coronavirus quarantine, and though Gretchen and I are social-distancing on the increasingly-remote chance that she was infected by that incident on Sunday, we sat together at either end of our couch for Saturday morning coffee (as usual). Gretchen had transcribed today's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle to a large piece of paper, and she wrote down words as we found them in the seven provided letters. A "panagram" uses all seven letters provided, and I was the one who found it: cottonmouth. Generally, though, Gretchen is much better at word puzzles than I am, finding the words at a rate that puts mine to shame. I'm tend to be slow and deliberative with games like this, lingering for too long on doomed possibilities.
Gretchen then launched into a project of organizing our household seed library, which was full of many old seed packets containing seeds of dubious viability. Since a number of seeds can be planted at this time of year, I went out the garden and planted a row of sunflowers along its northmost edge. I then planted a row of peas about six inches to the south. A light drizzle had begun by the time I'd finished.
At some point Gretchen got a message from a tenant of our Wall Street rental house that the tenants intended to move out at the end of April, meaning we'd have to somehow replace them during a particularly difficult economic period. But Gretchen never procrastinates, and she immediately listed the place as available on all the places she knows to do that. I also upped the rent on the webpage I'd made about the property. Because Gretchen is more in quarantine than I am, it was decided that, if necessary, I would show the place to prospective tenants tomorrow. We would have to act fast in order for any potential tenants to be able to give their landlords sufficient notice to move into the house on May first. Otherwise we'd be looking at a period of time during which the house would be tenant-free (something Gretchen has been able to ensure never happens).
I had my doubts that there would be much demand by anyone to move into a rental unit (even one as nice as the Wall Street house) in the midst of a pandemic. But I was wrong. Gretchen was quickly deluged by inquiries, at least three by people making more than $200,000 per year. At some point a woman said she was willing to take it sight-unseen based only on our photographs. That seemed to solve all our problems with trying to show it while being quarantined. So Gretchen (and I) accepted the offer, though Gretchen managed to raise the price $50 per month at the last minute (for a total increase of $100 per month from the previous tenant). Even so, the new tenant admitted that when she saw the price she'd thought there was a misprint. Evidently Kingston rental real estate is that hot. And there really aren't many (if any) units as nice as the Wall Street house available.
At some point I went out with my camera in hopes of taking pictures of birds. Eventually I took a grainy photo of a red-bellied woodpecker and then visited my stone wall and nearby cliffs, where I saw evidence of a burrow into a void behind a massive block of rock that had apparently been pushed somewhat from its initial position by a passing glacier.
For the second week in a row, date night consisted of Gretchen and me heating up frozen dinners. Mine was a dish of vegan ravioli, and Gretchen had a vegan mac & cheese. We watched a Jeopardy! followed by two Shark Tanks.

Today's woodpecker.

The wall as it looked today from the north (with some moss in the foreground). Click to enlarge.

A cliff above the Chamomile a couple hundred feet north of the wall, seen from the south. Click to enlarge.

A closer-in view of the small "cave." Click to enlarge.

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