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:
   unexciting 1950s-style vegan meal
Saturday, October 29 2022

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

We had a nice relaxing Saturday morning in the cabin with a nice fire in the stove, various hot drinks (I drank a french press of coffee, my normal morning beverage at the cabin, while Gretchen had tea) and this day's arrangement of the New York Times Spelling Bee in black Sharpie on a square piece of cardboard. Food-wise, I mostly just ate sourdough toast with vegan butter. Gretchen was sure the sourdough I'd bought at the Price Chopper was inauthentic, just regular white bread with some added lactic acid. But when I read the ingredients and these didn't include yeast, damn, that meant it was real sourdough.
At some point I resumed shoveling out the trench in back of the cabin, switching back to oldies played on WFNY, which is a different kind of nostalgia from the classic Guided by Voices I'd been listening to over the past several days. While I was digging into the last chunk of deep soil near the foundation footing where the north wall meets the east side of the Bilco door steps, Gretchen appeared from around the east side of the cabin and then stood there with mouth agape, beholding the huge piles I had moved through human power alone. I should mention that she was now on her second day of severe laryngitis stemming from the long-duration could she's had she hasn't been talking except at a whisper, so standing with her mouth hanging open was the only way she could convey an over-the-top reaction (which is what she does for things that might lead me to utter a monotone "oh wow").
Eventually Gretchen headed down to the lake to spend several hours reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest on the dock. The weather was sunny and reasonably warm, so the dock was a good place to enjoy it. Meanwhile, using a variety of shovels (including a small square-ended ash scoop normally used with the woodstove) I managed to shovel out the last of the dirt east of the Bilco doors. I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to get out of the ditch without immediately knocking dirt into it, but then I realized I could just scootch past the pieces of styrofoam further east, where the ditch gets shallower, and get out down there. I then installed styrofoam sheets all the way to the Bilco doors, using little pieces to fill in the final narrow strip.
By this point I was feeling oddly dysphoric, as if I had a mild hangover. This also manifested as a discomfort in my guts that I'd first noticed during the night. It must not've been a hangover, though, because drinking a beer didn't immediately cure the problem. I wondered if maybe I've been drinking too much kratom tea of late and was developing a dependence on it. Kratom often gives me a low-level euphoria, and I know from experience than any kind of euphoria is simply borrowed from some other nearby part of my life, a part that is then characterized by dysphoria. In case my kratom euphoria was the problem, I decided not to drink any at all today.
The beer I mentioned drinking was a Burly Beard oat stout I carried with me down to the lake and cracked open on the dock while sitting with Gretchen. There wasn't really anything for me to do down there but just bask in the sun (which, being to the south of where it had been during the summer, was now missing beyond the shade of nearby evergreens and actually able to shine down on the dock later into the afternoon). For Gretchen, the only fly in the ointment at the dock today was that Joel and family were up this weekend and they were playing what sounded to her like loud, schlocky "mobster music."

This evening Gretchen made a weirdly conventional 1950s-style "steak & potatoes" type meal involving slabs of marinated tofu (that would be the steak part) and chunks of potatoes and cauliflower roasted in the oven. It wasn't too interesting, but neither were the meals that white men came home to at the end of their long workdays spent smoking cigarettes, drinking whiskey, and banging secretaries back in 1955. Afterward Gretchen apologized for how lame the meal had been.
I went off to bed early, hoping to awaken without any dysphoria.

Gretchen reading on the dock today. Click to enlarge.

Down at the lake today, looking towards the east from the dock. Click to enlarge.

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