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:
   another use for a big Yeti mug
Friday, January 7 2022

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

It was such a between-regime day that I did almost nothing in the remote workplace except chat with a colleague (who unexpectedly praised my skillset and assured me I was one of the least likely to be fired) and my boss Alex (who mostly wanted to talk about my cabin, though he also seemed a little disappointed that I wasn't resigning out of solidarity with him. It's unusual and confusing to be on this side of that dynamic.) At 3:00pm I drove to the Adirondacks all by myself. Gretchen had scheduled a nail-clipping appointment for the dogs for later this afternoon and, because Powerful was still in the hospital, she wanted to take advantage of the alone-time afforded by my absence. The only glitch in my plans came as I was about to leave and Joe, the guy who has played the role of tech support in our office, sent me a message on Microsoft Teams asking about the serial number of my work-issued laptop. In the paranoia fog of all that is going on in the transforming workplace, it was easy to see this as possible evidence that the higher-ups are looking to fire me and recoup the capital loaned to me. But it also could've been a simple equipment audit. (It's weird that Joe would be asking such a question three and a third years after handing me this laptop; did he not take note of its serial number then?)
When I started my drive to the cabin, I was drinking kratom tea from a large Yeti travel mug. As usual for such solo drives, north of Catskill I cracked open a road beer. It wasn't long before I had to piss, but I didn't want to pull over to do it. So I pissed into my Yeti mug and, when there were no cars behind me, flung the urine (but not the mug) out the window. Urine doesn't gross me out like it probably does you; I'll wash it out and go back to drinking out of it no problem.
At the rest area in Hannacroix, I stopped for gas and, for the first time in decades, bought the mid-grade 89 octane fuel instead of the cheapest 87 octane stuff. This was to see if this would have a positive impact on the Forester's gas mileage, which has been in the low 20s since buying it. It had been cold when I left Hurley, but now it was brutally cold, and its harshness was made worse by the wind. I already had to piss again and would've done it in the snow behind an outbuilding near the gas pump had another car arrived and began refueling at another pump. So I ended up pissing in my Yeti cup another time. I didn't want to venture into the rest area's bathroom (assuming they were even open; some weeks ago they weren't).
It's nearly impossible to piss into a container while driving without getting a fair amount of piss into your pants. So when I got to the Home Depot in Amsterdam, I had to walk with a cloth grocery bag in from of my crotch to avoid embarrassment. I was there to return some poorly-considered water valves and also to buy better-considered ones. While there, I also got bunjee cords to help tighten up the straps holding lumber to the roof. They'd been flapping around and making noises for most of the drive.
Next I went to the Hannaford nearby to buy frozen vegan pizzas, a four pack of imperial stout, lettuce, mushrooms, and a french bread.
I would've gotten an Impossible Burger at the Burger King, but as I approached the one in Amsterdam, I saw several cars get into the drive-through line, completely filling it out to Route 30. So I kept on driving. A pretty strong snow squall was blowing through at the time and it seemed best to hurry to the cabin before roads (potentially even for a Subaru Forester) became impassable.
Something about the weather and solid muscular assuredness of the Forester (in spite of the weather) had me feeling something I've rarely felt while driving: I felt confident, privileged, and lucky, though also successful in a way that wasn't entirely the result of luck. I felt like my life had turned out well for me. Objectively, of course, it has. I have two different houses that I can live in, and the bathroom count in the smallest one is going to be two. [REDACTED]
At the cabin, I found the generator was running, and it apparently had been running for days. The head of the house-building company had been to the cabin a couple days ago in a fruitless effort to get the smoke alarms to stop beeping and said the generator had been running the whole time he was there. I quickly discovered what the problem was: I'd set the mercury thermostat that provides a backup generator switch-on to a little too high and the heat-providing thermostats a little too low, meaning that the heat provided by the latter couldn't make the house warm enough so that the latter wouldn't switch on. Since the generator costs something like $40/day to operate, this was probably an expensive mistake, though it will only slightly affect how quickly the thousand-gallon propane tank is depleted.
The only chore I did at the cabin this evening was figure out which circuit the 120 volt supply to the smoke detectors are on and then just turn that off. This made all the beeping and chirping they'd been doing come to a sudden end, indicating there is something about the 120 volt power coming from the Sol-Ark inverter that distresses them and makes them behave in a baffling manner that has us rather take the risk of the cabin burning down than have to hear that all day and all night.
I made a fire in the woodstove, baked a frozen pizza (covered with many slices of mushrooms) and ate a large bud of cannabis. This time, I apparently ate enough to get some psychoactve effects, though these were rather mild considering all the pot I'd eaten. It seems I've perfected a way to grow pot that looks and smells great but then, after consuming it, makes you wonder why it has failed to make you high.

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