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
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Like my brownhouse:
   Gretchen sees the backwards cliffs at Woodworth Lake
Saturday, October 8 2022

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

I spent much of the day finishing off the stone-walkway part of the lake trail, which begins as a fork off of the front door entrance walkway that goes past the west side of the house. I didn't have quite enough stone to make a completely solid pathway of stone, though the few gaps in the path are small and near the top of the stone staircase leading down from the cabin's raised landscape into the woods. This replaces an earlier makeshift step-stone path put in place last fall so it would be possible to go down to the woods without ending up with muddy boots. That's less of a problem now that weeds have had a season to proliferate on this formerly-muddy soil, but ideally I'd be able to comfortably walk in my socks down to the woods. Beyond that, though, the thousand feet of trail to the dock is far too long to be surfaced in such a painstaking manner.
Another thing I did was to make more progress in burying the 240 volt cable I am running through a patch of woods to the high spot in the driveway near the entrance to our parcel. I continued threading the wire under the larger roots I encountered in my way, though I only buried the cable three or four inches beneath the surface. Even digging down that far was a bit much for the cheap hand-mattock I was using; it kept bending out of shape and needing to be bent back. I also did a bit too much clawing with my bare hands, and just from doing that I tore a cleft into the nail of my left middle finger, and black dirt penetrated to beyond the limits of what could be trimmed away. I know it's common when doing such tasks to wear gloves. But when I'm wearing gloves, I lose a sense of what my fingers are encountering. Not wearing gloves is so natural for me that I often find myself unconsciously removing them should I make the conscious effort to put on gloves prior to beginning some task.
At some point Gretchen and I walked with the dogs down to the lake, though this time we went mostly off-trail so I could show Gretchen the backwards-facing cliffs on our boundary with Shane's parcel. Happily, Gretchen seemed to think that they were every bit as lovely as I'd sold them to be. From there, we continued along the bed of a small temporary brook (which runs in a gulch between two lines of cliffs facing each other) down to near the south end of Shane's lakeshore. Then we walked more or less along the lakeshore to our dock. Shane, who lives in Poughkeepsie, hasn't shown much interest in his parcel since clearing his cabin site; the last time he visitied it was for the yearly homeowners' association meeting on July 4th. So Gretchen has been entertaining the hope of buying it as a buffer. This seems unrealistic to me, but if it ends up happening, it wouldn't be the first time Gretchen's seemingly far-fetched desires ended up being realized.
It was sunny and beautiful today, and we were able to sit on our dock comfortably for awhile despite chilling winds. The lake stretched out before us was stunning, with peak-fall-foliage colors along the shoreline beneath a clear blue sky. I managed to find something to do at the dock while we were there. This involved taking off my shoes and socks, rolling up my trouser legs, and wading into the water (which still had a trace of summer warmth). I then arranged some loose rocks to form an artificial reef atop a natural one to reduce the depth of the lake in a line passing through the legs holding up the east end of the permanent, unfloating part of the dock. I hoped by doing this, a weakness would form in lake ice along this line, which would keep the mass of ice that will form in the center of the lake from doing much damage to the dock supports as it rises and falls with changes in the lake level over the winter. It's impossible to know whether this will work, but in late April I should know if it did. I should mention the lake is now about an inch or two higher than it was at its late-summer minimum. According to USDA, this area is now in drought, which (unlike much of the Northeast) wasn't the case until a week or two ago.
The cold air on my wet legs made me want to go back to the cabin. By then, Gretchen was ready to go too, so we went back along the red-flagged trail leading up through the cliffs above the lake's outflow creek. Once we were atop the cliffs at the cantilevered boulder (which the glaciers left in a precarious location), I showed Gretchen a shortcut through the woods to the main lake path.
This evening Gretchen made an Asian noodle dish featuring bok choy (one of my favorite vegetables) and tofu. Later I ate some diphenhydramine, drank some cheap scotch, and went to bed early. [REDACTED]

Colorful trees near the northwest corner of the cabin's building site.

The cabin with all its peak-autumn colors, beautiful sky and both of our cars (since we traveled to the cabin separately). Seen through the wide-angle lens of my phone. Click to enlarge.

The dock and lake today, seen through the wide-angle lens of my phone. Click to enlarge.

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