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:
   transporting large amounts of rock in a canoe
Saturday, June 11 2022

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

This morning I did most of the rest of the wiring of the second, lower-current car-charging circuit, installing a little outlet box with a NEMO 6-20 outlet in a clear plastic box, through which it looked like a small winking owl. Later this evening I would turn off the household power for about ten minutes while installing a new circuit breaker for it. Unfortunately, though, the charger I'd got on eBay would prove defective, and, though it showed all the right lights, the Bolt acted as though nothing was connected to it at all.

Over at his parcel near the intersection of our driveway and Woodworth Lake Road, Ibrahim's house construction has made signficant progress. There are now four poured concrete foundation walls of full basement depth ready to be built on top of. Gretchen had reached out to others in our homeowners' association to see if anyone up this weekend wanted to help us move our huge massive grey loaner couch (given to us by Ruby & Queri after they failed to reclaim it) upstairs to the huge bedroom up there, and only Ibrahim said he could. He came over at 11:00am, just as I successfully fished the romex into the new outdoor outlet box. He hadn't been in our cabin since late summer or early fall, long before it became the very liveable space it is now. So before we attempted to move the couch, we gave him a brief tour, including of the basement. As for the couch, it proved unexpectedly light, and I had no difficulty lifting one end all by myself. It was big and unwieldy, though, especially on the strairs, where it had to be carried above the railing. And to get it into the bedroom, we first had to remove its four stubby legs. But then, just like that, it was out of the way, and Gretchen could realize the uncluttered one-couch great room of her dreams.
For some reason Ibrahim was very interested in us trying out his ATV on our own, and insisted on leaving us the key and trusting that we wouldn't immediately roll it over or get it helplessly stuck. I was dubious about attempting to drive it at all, especially considering neither of us had any experience with such vehicles. But for some reason Gretchen was excited about it, promised we'd give it a try, and thanked him profusely. Not that Ibrahim wasn't worthy of profuse praise, but for me it was all about his having helped us move the couch. Because happy wife equals happy life.

This afternoon Gretchen walked down to the lake to hang out and possibly swim. Meanwhile, I drove with the dogs down to the public dock to drop off the lumber and some dock hardware to be picked up by canoe. A four-wheel ATV was in front of me and apparently heading where I was heading, because I followed it down to the public dock. It was being ridden by two teenagers who apparently thought they'd be alone at the dock, but there I was, a dirty old man showing up just when they were getting ready to make out, smoke weed, snap selfies, or whatever it is teenagers want to do with one another these days. Neville isn't used to seeing others at the public dock, so he started barking at them while I pretended they weren't there and started carrying my freight to the beach. The teenagers left after being there only a couple minutes. Meanwhile, Ramona found her way down to the water and went for a wade, which made me glad, as I'd wondered if she was going to take advantage of the lake experience at all this weekend.
After returning to the cabin, I walked the 800 foot trail down to the lake (this time the dogs decided not to come). As I approached, I could hear occasional shots and giggling coming from across the lake, indicating Joel had some people over and that they were making use of his little-used gun range. I found Gretchen on one of her new chaise lounges on the dock reading a book. She seemed to finally be having the lake experience she'd been hoping for back when we bought this property nearly two years ago. She did, however, report that the water was too cold for swimming.
After paddling over to the public dock and gathering my freight, I began building another section of dock. This section would be eight feet long and three feet wide and would be a hinged section connecting the fixed dock (already built) and the floating dock (which is only framed out). As with the fixed section, I wanted there to be at least once cross member along its length, and the only way to include a solid one was to make a halved joint. I'd had two such joints on the stationary section of the dock, but for this shorter section, I thought a single one was sufficient. Fortunately I had all the tools I needed (and didn't have to make due with chainsaw, as I had when framing the stationary section). For all its faults and inaccuracies, a chainsaw will make a square cut of arbitrary depth in material, which is essential when making a halved joint. With using a hand-powered circle saw, though, the cuts must be finished by some other saw. Fortunately, I keep a hacksaw as part of the dockside toolkit. The resulting halved cut was one of the most accurate I'd ever made. I had to bang it together with a sledge hammer, which ensured a tight fit.


Gretchen soon headed back to the cabin, as the cool evening air and her wet clothes were making her uncomfortable. Eventually Joel and his partiers quit shooting and could be seen sitting on chairs relaxing over at his dock. They were still giggling and talking loudly, suggesting they were all probably pretty well lubricated from whatever they were drinking. By this point I'd used up all the hardware of certain kinds that I needed, so I took the canoe for a paddle just beyond the islands at the entrance to the outflow bay and collected some more granite stones for the dock's stone abutment. While in the area, I briefly made landfall on one of the stony islands, where I found some sort of shrubby tree growing. [Google Images thought it was a Japanese persimmon; perhaps it was a native persimmon, though that doesn't range into the Adirondacks.] Its flowers were attracting two different species of large hornet (including belligerent white-faced hornets).
As I paddled back to the dock with a fair number of large rocks, I was impressed to discover that hauling such a load in a canoe is much easier than doing it with any other human-powered form of transportation. If anything, the canoe seemed easier to row when it is heavily-loaded than it had been empty. It didn't require as much course correction when paddled on one particular side.

This evening back at the cabin, Gretchen made some rice noodle and added other things, including leftover stir fry from the other night. It was great, and all the work I'd done today had made me ravenously hungry.
Gretchen went to bed fairly early, but I stayed up on the now only couch in the great room reading reading horror stories about for-profit colleges on my work-issued laptop. This was another situation where I was marveling at the differences between myself and the average human: both how shamelessly exploitative humans can get (for-profit colleges that spend more on marketing than instruction) and how ineffectively people research big life decisions (all you have to know is that for-profit colleges somehow coexist with Google and other search engines that make it extremely easy to find out what a bad choice attending one is).

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