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:
   treed critter in the night
Wednesday, February 15 2023

high up a hill just northwest of the center of Santa Teresa, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

April's dogs started barking in the middle of the night, and it sounded from the frantic nature of those barks like they'd encountered an unusally interesting critter. (Ramona's bark when she's treed a bear has this quality to it.) So at some point I got up and walked over to where the barking was, which was only a dozen or so feet below the farthest of the day beds. There I found the dogs Allia and Dakota barking about something, but my phone's flashlight failed to reveal what it was. At that point I climbed into the day bed closest to the casita and went back to sleep, and I probably slept through more marking.
Eventually, though, the sky began to lighten and I awoke at my usual time, which is a little before sunrise, which at this time of year is a little before 6:00am. I looked around and saw Allia nearby looking serene (as she normally does). Dakota, though, was still worked up about something, so I went over to her (she was still a little below the most distant of the day beds). Initially it was hard to see but then I saw it clearly: a raccoon was treed not very far up into a tree that had been cut off about six feet above the ground and then resprouted. The raccoon was in the little basket formed by the sprouts, safe from the dogs but unable to escape with them there. So I called the dogs away, and they seemed more than happy to leave the raccoon behind, perhaps because they were tired of being worked up about it but (as seems to be the case with dogs) they can't really consciously choose to stop being worked up. So long as I was informed of the situation, they seemed to be telling me, they didn't need to remain at the bottom of the tree where the raccoon was treed. They followed me back into the casita, and I propped the bathroom door shut behind me (it being the only door out to the pool area) so I could go shoo the raccoon away without them standing there. But they'd already gone out another door and come back to join me, and the raccoon had yet to flee. At that point Gretchen was up, so I showed her the raccoon too. We haven't been getting too much wildlife in our eyeball diet, but it was something. I managed to get the dogs away another time, and this gave the raccoon enough time to flee, because when I returned again to look for him or her, he or she was gone. Allia sniffed around the base of the tree and then headed off on a path into the scrubby field nearby in hot pursuit, but the raccoon had had enough time by then to find a much better hiding spot, probably one with better shade.

Meanwhile, that annoying magpie jay with the habit of pecking on the glass at the top of the outdoor kitchen has expanded his hours of pecking. Gretchen has named the specific bird who does this "Milton," and she finds him even more annoying than I do. It's now clear that he'd not pecking because of any characteristic of the light that makes the glass mirrorlike, since today he was actually inside the kitchen at one point pecking on the glass from the inside when it was clearly acting like a window (and any reflection would've been lost in the brilliance of the sunlit ocean). My feeling is that he developed this pecking habit as a ritual that he's come to associate with free food. Today Gretchen decided a possible solution to the annoyance was to pound on the glass from the otherside with a broom handle every time Milton gets going. This seemed to work fairly well; we only had to do it a few times before Milton gave up for the morning, though he did return in the evening and we had to menace him with a broom handle several more times.
Meanwhile in the remote workplace, there were a couple all-hands meetings, one of which was to address the issue of hybrid work, that is working some combination of in the office and at home. As with many companies, mine would like employees to come into the office more than they have been since early in the coronavirus pandemic. But employees have gotten used to working remotely. The compromise ended up being that employees in my company are now expected to come to work twice a week unless, as is the case with me, this is physically impossible. During the pandemic, the company hired several remote-only employees, though in my case I was technically shuffled from a dissolving company where I could've worked in the office to one hundreds of miles away where I couldn't.
This afternoon at around 4:30pm, Gretchen made lupper, cooking up the soy tempeh we'd bought at the minisuper down near Playa Cuevas as well as a vat of rice noodles (with broccoli) that she was worried would be "too healthy" for me. They weren't great, but I somehow went Italian with that tempeh and put Rao's marinara sauce on both it and the noodles, and it was something. I haven't really been loving much of the food I've been eating of late (either in restaurants or made in the casita) which has contributed to small non-gluttonous portions. This is all probably for the best, because (aside from the hikes up the hill back before we got the ATV) I've been getting much less exercise than normal.
Later after the sun set, we watched the bats flitter around nearby in looping patterns, occasional even hitting the surface of the pool (is this how they drink?). Gretchen has named the bats Mitchell and Jill, and tonight she actually managed to catch them on video.
The light lingering in the sky after the sunset was a neon orange somehow suffused with magenta. In front of this, there were a few smeared-out clouds that looked to Gretchen like charcoal, as they were either dark grey or black. I explained that this was because the sun (or glowing sky) was shining on their backsides, and they were blocking that light. If, however, they were in the east, they would look white, the way clouds usually do. Gretchen then told me that when she makes observations about nature (such as the charcoal-colored clouds) she's never interested in the scientific explanation I routinely supply. She doesn't care about why things are the way they are, she just wants to find the words in the moment to describe how they are at that time. I said that most of the time I function the same way, though her putting things into words activates the part of my brain that wants to have complete understanding of the way things are they way they are. But even when it's not foremost in my mind, I'm always interested in knowing why things are the way they are. That Gretchen never really is does much to explain how poorly her intuition works when it is on her to understand how things operate or interface.

Some kind of hawk.

Gretchen making lupper in our outdoor kitchen.

Sunset tonight. Click to enlarge.

An interesting ship sailing hard against the horizon after sunset.

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