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:
   first thunderstorm of the year
Saturday, March 19 2022
We had our cabin version of our usual Saturday-morning ritual this morning, drinking our respective forms of coffee and playing the New York Times Spelling Bee in our cozy great room in front of a fire in the woodstove. It was still unseasonably warm outside, so we hadn't much missed the heat I'd been unable to get going again. Indeed, it was so cold in the basement that it made sense to throw open the Bilco doors in hopes some outdoor air might get in down there, though that cold air was dense in comparison to the warmer outdoor air and acted like a pool of water unable to drain.
When Ramona went out to poop this morning, she found a nice place in relatively clean snow to do it. Then she turned around, and after sniffing her turds awhile, she started picking things out of them to eat. Before long, she'd eaten all her poop. It was a disgusting thing to behold, but dogs are gonna dog, and however disgusting that was, it was actually less gross than watching her eat cat shit. We just had to remember not to kiss Ramona on the lips for the rest of the day, or perhaps (given that this is probably something she now does regularly) for the the rest of her life.
Gretchen was comfy and relaxed on the couch snuggling with Neville, but it was a beautiful day, at least by the standards of this time of year in the Adirondacks, so I eventually convinced her we should go on a walk. The dogs have been terrible about walking with Gretchen both in Hurley and at the cabin, but I figured that if both of us went, they might be inclined to come along. So off we went, out to Woodworth Lake Road and then down the hill to the lake, which was shrouded in such a dense fog that it was hard to make out what we were looking at. It was as if we were at the edge of the visible universe. We continued our walk most of the way to Joel's cabin and then Gretchen directed us up a side road leading away from the lake. It was very rough and at times quite steep. No wheeled vehicle could drive on it in the winter, though perhaps snow mobiles had been up that way. Despite the ruggedness of the walk, Ramona kept up with us. As for Neville, we hadn't seen him since leaving our driveway and we assumed he'd doubled back and would be waiting for us on the front stoop.
But as we approached a cluster of classic Adirondack-style lean-tos, evidently an important "semi-rugged" camping option for the Boy Scouts who had once trooped around Woodworth Lake, Neville suddenly appeared. We noted that all the lean-tos were labeled with Indian and quasi-Indian sounding names, and we also noticed a large pile of firewood in the central "courtyard" that the lean-tos surrounded. Most impressive of all was a common bathroom building off to the side. It was well-built and looked considerably newer than the lean-tos, as if it had been built (or re-built) only ten years ago. It was supplied by a tangle of hoses running above-ground, clearly intended to be used only in warm weather. Gretchen is pretty sure this cluster of lean-tos is on Pyotr's parcel. Having such built-out accommodations is a likely reason he's yet to build himself an actual cabin.
By that point we were fairly close again to Woodworth Lake Road, as the path Gretchen had led me on was horse-shoe shaped. We walked briefly to the boat house, the only building one can see on the Woodworth Lake shoreline. The floating docks had all been dragged ashore, and we could leapfrog between the segments while looking out "across" the fog-shrouded lake, watching the nearby treeline fade into nothingness in both directions.
Back at the cabin, I feared the predicted rains might start at any time, so I did all the work of removing the ten glass panels from the Forester's roof rack, carrying them all inside, and then storing them mostly against the west wall in the basement. We have so many of them that I've been thinking of other potential uses for them, such as a small greenhouse directly below the cabin's south-facing windows. With a little excavation, one could make a sunny little hangout room in there, perhaps even with basement access (though cutting that hole through the foundation wall won't be fun).
I'd already decided not to undertake any major projects this weekend, given the marginal nature of our utilities. We had running water and electricity, but a lack of hot water was going to make cleaning up from any tiling job unpleasant. We didn't actually have to run the generator for electricity most of the day due to the solar panels on the roof, which collected 150 watts even when it was overcast. But they didn't collect much more than that, even when the sun broke through, suggesting that there was some serious problem with our whole setup. I don't have much confidence that the chuckleheaded solar installers have the skills to fix it, but it's their problem because they're supposed to have set up a system that fucking works.
Other issues of cabin complexity and unreliability manifested this evening when suddenly the internet stopped working. It turned out that the 12 volt battery that keeps it running no matter what the household electrical situation is had run out of power. And why might that have been? The outlets in the cabin's loft area were all dead because the stupid "arc-fault protection" system on the circuit breaker had somehow triggered. What a fucking joke! The internet needs to run reliably, and it's hooked up to a chicken little of a circuit breaker. (And that's not the only problem with internet reliability; the stupid Moxee cellular hotspot sometimes just stops working and cannot recover on its own. I've been looking into a way to attach an Arduino or ESP32 to it to reset it automatically every so often or whenever it detects a lack of an internet connection. Such watchdog technology should be built-in.)
This evening Gretchen made a pan of "glurp" consisting of odds and ends from our refrigerator in Hurley: cauliflower, black beans, chick peas, and onions. There's also a lot of food that has spoiled in our cabin refrigerator, but one thing that doesn't seem to have is a wheel of Miyoko's cheese spread. We tried it tonight and it tasted a little different but still good, and it didn't look bad. So Gretchen made the glurp a little cheesy as well, serving it with disks of polenta. As anticipated, nothing bad happened to us from eating that suspect "cheese."
Late this afternoon I'd taken a fairly brief nap in the upstairs bedroom, which seemed extra snuggly once a heavy rain began pelting the west windows. Then later, before bed, I drank several cocktails of gin & juice while farting around on my laptop on the orange couch. The first thunderstorm of the year was approaching from the west, creating entertaining flashes of lightning and glorious bowling-alleyesque reports of thunder.

Adirondack-style lean-tos on what we think is Pyotr's parcel at the former Boy Scout camp at Woodworth Lake. Note Neville and Ramona. Click to enlarge.

The old Woodworth Lake boathouse today on the edge of Woodworth Lake, shrouded mysteriously in fog.

It was like being at the edge of the known universe. Click to enlarge.

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