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:
   scraps of Schluter Ditra
Sunday, December 12 2021

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

The howling winds had dissipated a little by morning, and at some point snow had fallen. It only left about about a half inch of snow and it still would've been possible to get out had we brought the Chevy Bolt. But that would've been an impossible thing to predict.
After playing the New York Times Spelling Bee for the usual amount of time, Gretchen took the dogs for a nice long walk down to the lake via Woodworth Lake Road while I customized a tiny shelf from Urban Outfitters for use as a place to put small items just inside the door. The Urban Outfitters website had fooled Gretchen into buying the shelves for the purpose of holding books, but it would've only worked effectively for books the size of decks of cards. That hadn't been our only recent experience with buying things of the wrong size. The other day I took delivery of a dog door big enough for a jaguar, and Gretchen had been disappointed by how small the Maurice Sendak posters had turned out, even though she'd actually held them in her hands before having them framed. My modification was to turn the hanger hardware upside down and put in a single vertical line so the shelves (which are asymmetrical) could be hung upside down, allowing it to be centered between the door and the window while supported entirely by two screws driven into a single stud, one that is not in the center of the space. The only problem with this customization was that the shelves then tended to rock back and forth when touched, though this was easily solved with a thin wedge of wood glued to the back of the shelves.
By them the sun was streaming in gorgeously and the wind had died down, so I went out and salavaged some wood, mostly from the white ash I'd cut down last weekend. I'd brought my big Kobalt 80 volt saw up to help me with bigger trees, but the one battery I'd brought for it was on the fritz, so I had to fall back to my usual little Ryobi 18 volt saw. Most of the wood I cut up today was from higher on the tree, which was more rotten. But I found some other wood nearby (including some nice dry beech), and after I was all done bringing it back to the house and splitting what could be split, I had enough to fill the indoor wood rack more than half-way.
Meanwhile Gretchen was cooking up a meal of fried mushrooms & onions with perogies.
The sun was getting ready to set when I finally got around to starting the big task I had planned for this weekend, the one I'd procrastinated by both wiring and finishing a basement wall in a single day yesterday. The task was to install underlayment for tile in the upstairs bathroom. Though I'd told Gretchen after tiling the first floor bathroom that I didn't want to have to do any more tiling "until warm weather," the idea of having a second bathroom is just too compelling to let languish until spring. Also, I now had experience with Schluter Ditra (the kind of underlayment I would be installing) and knew how hungry it is for thinset. This would speed up the process of installing it. First I measured and cut a nine foot long piece of Schluter Ditra that would be running in a line from the toilet (against one wall) to the sink (against the another). This would have five holes in it, all of which had to be precisely position to the tubes and pipes could run through them without producing wrinkles in the underlayment. That would be the most difficult piece, and once I was satisfied with that, I could move to the next step. This involved putting on my latex gloves and mixed up an enormous amount of thinset. Then I closed the door to the bathroom, put on some Arch Enemy (quietly, since Gretchen was trying to read down in the great room) and began grooming a nice surface of thinset across the subfloor. Initially the plan was to only install that once piece of Schlater Ditra. But then it turned out I had enough full-size Schlater Ditra for the piece that would connect the section I'd just done to the bathroom door along where the new tub would be. After that, all I had was scraps of Schalter Ditra, but it was enough to put underlayment everywhere it was needed except for the the back part of the closet. That's such a low-traffic area I figured underlayment wouldn't even been necessary there; I could just dump out the rest of the thinset to build up the floor back there, making it so the tile I would eventually lay there would be at the right height.
While I was doing all that, Gretchen was single-handedly cleaning up the cabin, a task we usually both do. But it was something she could do, and I didn't need any help for the underlayment project.
At around 7:00pm we started our drive back to Hurley, though we'd decided to stop at Spicy Mint, our new favorite Indian restaurant, on the way. Thoughts of their delicious food had been haunting us since Friday night, and had to go back.
When we arrived at Spicy Mint, there was only once occupied table in the dining room (it was a young Indian couple). We took our place at the table we'd sat at on Friday, both of us facing the door. (I'd decided to face the door on Friday because an obese man had limited my available personal space if I'd sat across the table from Gretchen. But tonight I just wanted to recreate the magic of that evening.)
We had another great meal. Gretchen ordered another vegan soup, though I stuck with mulligatawny. Gretchen got the chana masala (which proved very spicy) and I got a different mushroom dish, along with an order of roti. Near the end of our meal, we chatted with the waiter, with Gretchen wanting to know how spicy her chana masala was on a scale of one to ten. The waiter thought maybe it would've been a seven, though he also said he didn't actually like spicy food. He also kept trying to recommend meat dishes for us to try even after we told him multiple times that we are vegan. The spiciest of all, he said, was the chicken biryani.

A sign seen on the wall in Spicy Mint. Apparently some people are wasteful when there is a buffet.

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