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:
   cliffs near the cabin
Sunday, September 19 2021

location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY

Again I woke up kind of late, and again my first mission was some basic surveillance and brush clearing on the Lake Edward Trail, though I still haven't found where the trail continues west from the swampy bottom of the hill our cabin sits near the top of. I thought I'd found one of Gretchen's flags, but it turned out to be a survey marker, perhaps for the surveyed boundary of one of the Woodworth Lake properties west of our parcel.
After feeding the dogs, I told them to follow me as I walked down to the lake. (Ramona seemed disappointed that we weren't going for a car ride; she stopped for a moment by the car and looked at me with disappointment as I headed down the muddy back "yard" into the forest.)
At the nascent dock, systematically installed the remaining ten-foot two by sixes while Throckmorton the Loon swam back and forth in what looked like the middle of the lake. There wasn't much for the dogs to do, so they slept on the merkin-like patch of grass just up the bank from the dock. Eventually Ramona moved over to a soft patch of moss under the blueberry bushes that rather resembled a dog bed.
When the structure of the dock was complete, I installed four joist hangers (all they'd had at the Albany Home Depot) on two of the joists. Other things I'll have to do next time I'm at the cabin include installing three more washers (I'd had 25 but had needed 28). Towards the end of my time at the dock, I saw row boat with two people in it head from Pyotr's dock over to bay outlet bay at the north end of the lake. I didn't feel like talking to anyone on the chance that they came by, so that was one of my incentives for leaving the dock area (in addition to having completed all the work that I could complete).
On the walk back to the cabin, I took a detour on the trail to the north end of the lake. But instead of going down there (that's where Pyotr and his rowboat were after all), I left the trail and went into the forest to see if I could find the line of cliffs I knew lay somewhere between the lake and our cabin, a line that our trail to the lake bypasses. We'd encountered these cliffs on our first visit to this parcel over a year ago, and I wanted a better look at them. Before long, there they were. They weren't as dramatic as the cliffs Gretchen and I had found while coming back from Lake Edward Labor Day weekend. But there are at least two lines of them with a terrace in between, and I didn't even look at the lower line today. The cliffs of the upper line have as much as 20 feet of relief and there are some impressive cracks in them into which creatures (though probably not bears) could make effective use of. Interestingly, there is also a marked trail going up through the cliffs, presumably connecting the lake to our cabin area.
After we'd followed the line of cliffs to where they seemed to peter out on their north end, we climbed the hill a little further and found we weren't far from the cabin, whose clearing we entered from the northwest.
At the cabin, I did some cleaning up, measured some scrap larch planks to see how many I'd need for dock decking, and then did some light chainsawing to clear a number of logs lying across the Lake Edward Trail near the cabin.
Then it was time to go. Again, I forewent GPS navigation to see if I could find my way out to the Thruway from memory. I was confident I'd succeeded at this when I was headed southeastward on Stoner Road, so I opened up the Electrify America app on my phone and had it tell me how to get to the Albany Walmart. (On the way up, I'd gotten confused somehow and ended up driving all the way around the Crossgates Mall on surface streets, getting stuck at some incredibly long red lights. I wanted to avoid all that.)
The Bolt could've probably made it all the way home on the charge I'd gotten on the drive up to the cabin, but it's not a good idea to risk running out of juice with an electric car, since there's no carrying a gallon of anything from a gas station to get it going again. So there I was charging it yet again at the Albany Electrify America "station." I didn't need much electricity, so I ducked into the Walmart to buy two things: a USB C charging cable (I thought I'd left the car's cable at the cabin) and some road beer. The beer options in a ghetto Walmart are never good, but I found one that seemed intriguing: Fear.Movie.Lions double hazy IPA. Not only was this a strong beer (8% alcohol) but the cans seemed to be sixteen ouncers.
Somewhere on the drive down, I became aware of a tussock caterpillar (it was covered with greenish-white hair and had several long tufts of black and white hair on its head and tail) crawling around the car. It was going back and forth on the dashboard and around the edge of the windshield. I'd seen such a caterpillar in the Adirondacks, so I knew it was a stow-away and the further I drove southward, the more relatively tropical the environment was becoming, perhaps incompatibly so. I pulled into the "texting stop" near Saugerties and carried the little guy to a row of bushes on the edge of the stop's mowed grass and let it climb onto the first greenery it had seen in a couple hours.
Back at home, I unloaded the car and then sat for time out on the east deck with Gretchen talking about the cabin and the dock. When I explained my new plan of perhaps propping up the dock on stacks of rocks at the lake's edge, she didn't seem happy. She much preferred my original vision of a floating dock with a narrow bridge connecting it to land, though I somehow thought her ideas about the dock had changed along with mine. I'd certainly hinted at the plan of fixing the dock to the lake bottom in the past even I hadn't ever announced a change in my dock-building plans. But from this conversation tonight, it was clear that her vision for a floating dock was still her dream, and that the extent to which I wanted to change it reflected, yet again, me going off on my own to do something she'd never agreed to. I was demoralizing to realize that my gradually revised vision, that of a quick and simple dock, was not going to be good enough. But I immediately reconciled myself to this new reality and researched dock floaters while in the bathtub soaking away my cabin grime (which wasn't too bad this time, given all the hours I'd spent walking back and forth in a lake).

Neville being sleepy near the dock. Click to enlarge.

Neville with the new dock in the background. Click to enlarge.

The new dock, as seen from the lake's west shore. Note the galvanized steel pipe near the dock's northeast corner.

Click to enlarge. Neville and Ramona relaxing on the "merkin" patch of grass near our dock.

The fallen tree dock, with its surfaced roughed-up to make it so it can never be slippery.

The dock I'm building, as photographed from the "found" fallen-tree dock. Click to enlarge.

The marked trail up through the cliffs near our cabin. Note the red marker. Click to enlarge.

A view from atop a cliff. Click to enlarge.

Cracks in a cliff with dogs.

How our cabin is looking these days. taken from the east end of the south (front) yard.

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