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:
   rice vinegar but no tahini
Friday, June 17 2022

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

I was having trouble today starting on a large project that involved adding logging to a 1700 line stored procedure (that's a Microsoft SQL thing). The workplace was unusually quiet today, with Joe the lead developer having been stricken with covid and my boss, the CTO, taking off early all this week to go play golf. So at 3:30pm I packed up the Chevy Bolt, loaded up the dogs, and drove up to the cabin just north of the southernmost edge of the Adirondacks. On the way, I stopped at the Home Depot in Amsterdam mostly to buy concrete, but I also bought a nine-foot-long piece of trim, which forced me to drive the rest of the way with one of the windows down (I'd cut that ten foot piece of galvanized pipe in two so as not to have to drive with a window down on the Thruway. I also stopped at Hannaford to get beer and some things Gretchen had asked for. While they did have rice vinegar, they didn't seem to have tahini. Given Amsterdam's demographics, I am not surprised.
When I got to the cabin, I found Gretchen had made a sort of African stew featuring fava beans. It was unseasonably cold, but we ate out on the deck. I was hungry and the stew as delicious, so I gobbled it down at the usual rapid rate. Over the past week of solitude, Gretchen had spent a lot of time cleaning up the cabin, but she'd also done a few projects that reflected talents and interests I'd never seen her manifest. She'd mixed acrylic paints into custom colors and painted a large bird house she'd bought at that recent estate sale, and it looked great.
It was already past 7:00pm and there wouldn't be too much daylight left. So I drove down to the public dock to stage supplies to be picked up by canoe. One of the damn sacks of concrete ripped open on a piece of blustone, dumping its contents into the back of the Bolt, something so frustrating that I reacted in a rage when Neville came out barking at me, forgetting (as he often does) who I am. I yelled "NOOOOO!" and he immediately shut up and went back inside.
In addition to the concrete and various hardware (including two more dock support brackets), I transported three ten foot two by sixes to the lake. I then returned to the cabin, walked down through the darkening woods to the lake, paddled to the public dock, retrieved the supplies, and then tried to make the most of some concrete mix that had gotten wet by mixing up a small batch and using it to fill the support pipes at the end of the dock. One of these pipes was already full to the top of gravel, so all I could to was pick out the top pieces and then cap it with about four inches of concrete. I figure that putting concrete in the pillars will make them less likely to deform under stress; it's well known that a combination of steel and concrete has excellent compression and tension characteristics. As I worked, I saw a couple people drive down to the public dock and then sit at the waters edge as the light faded from the sky. There were also a few beavers swimming around (at least before it got too dark. One of these was about the size of a woodchuck (that is, smaller than Madyson) and kept slapping the water with his or her tail. And the other was tiny, maybe the size of a squirrel. I don't know how big beavers start out being, but I figured that one was less than a year old.
I walked back up to the cabin in the twilight, which lasts a good long time near the summer solstice.

A fungus that resembles chicken of the woods growing on the tree dock tree, which is a dead sugar maple that fell into Woodworth Lake. This is evidently not chicken of the woods because it is slimy and does not smell very good. Also, chicken of the woods usually grows on living trees related to oaks. Click to enlarge.

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