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

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   what is Joy Tarder up to?
Thursday, April 13 2023
The other day the neighbor of my childhood home sent me a message from Virginia telling me that a gentleman named Robert Nutt was trying to reach me regarding my mother (Hoagie) and brother (Don). I don't know anyone by that name, so I never got back to that person. This morning, though, Mr. Nutt called me. He said that he was concerned about the woman (Joy Tarder) whom my mother has selected as her power of attorney. I told Nutt that I had my concerns too, but there wasn't much I could do about it. Nutt went on to tell me that he had information from sources that he didn't want to disclose to the effect that Tarder was "moving money [from my mother's accounts] around" with the intent of stealing as much of it as she could before my mother died. I said that this sounded disturbing, but again, there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. I said that I'd tried to have conversations about "the future" back when my mother still had her marbles, but she'd never wanted to talk about it. And so now here we are. Perhaps in hopes of making me more interested, Nutt told me that my mother's assets are worth in excess of one million dollars. I said that this didn't surprise me, but, again, there wasn't much I could do now that my mother had made the decisions she'd made and then fallen into dementia. I said that I neither need nor want my mother's money, and that at this point all I care about is my brother. Mr. Nutt then said something about how it was sad that my mother had estranged me and Don (though, since Don lived with my mother up until she was taken to an old folks' home, he can't really be said to have been estranged). I said that that was the pattern with my mother, that she'd gone through her life becoming estranged from one person after another without all that much reason to do so. I said that at this point my main concern is about my brother. I gave Mr. Nutt Deidre's phone number because he apparently wanted to discuss the matter with her as well.
After the call, I felt like some one of my concerns about Joy Tarder were now justified. Why had she been in contact with me so much up until she got power of attorney? That seemed like perhaps she was only using me to get to something else she wanted. I also remember her saying something about "helping" other elderly people. Was this how she got her wealth, by swooping in as a vulture and extracting what she could from senile people just before they died? Then again, what incentive did Robert Nutt have in all this? Was there some reason for him to be casting aspersions on Joy Tarder? Should I be more involved in this mess? Or do I even have any standing? Hoagie may have made a series of disasterous non-decisions followed by decisions, but it's her money and she can pile it up and light it on fire if that's her choice.
Later I talked to Don about this, and he said Mr. Nut had visited him out at Creekside as well. Don said he was a very nice man. I told Don what Mr. Nutt had said about Joy Tarder, and Don defended Tarder by saying that she is a deeply religious woman. "That doesn't mean anything," I snapped. "Very religious people do unethical things all the time." On second thought, Don agreed, bringing up the example of the horrors perpetuated by the deeply pious conquistadors in the New World.

Late this afternoon John, a salesman from Sunrun (they're the company that paid someone to accost me in randomly in the Home Depot regarding solar installation) came out to our house to do a preliminary site visit. Sunrun doesn't usually sell solar panels, it turns out. Instead, they own the panels and handle all the up-front costs. Then benefit for the owners of the house is a locked-in low rate on what they pay for electricity. Our particular situation is tricky because we have large electric bills and a large roof but it's oriented unhelpfully and there are large evergreens to the east that we don't want to cut down. Using some fancy software, though, John was able to tentatively design an array of panels on our roof using both the (east and west facing slopes) that would generate about 70% of our electrical needs (based on our last bill). He then could lock us in at fixed rate of $164/month for electricity, which would be a significant savings. There was also a slight multi-level aspect to the company in that we would get $1000 bonus for each new customer we referred. We also asked about installing solar panels on our rental houses in Kingston, which, it turned out, would definitely be possible (with the exception of Downs Street, since they do not install on top of slate roofs). To get a benefit from the panels, though, we would have to offer to pay for electricity, raise the rent accordingly, and realize the savings from the panels that way. John is a very good salesman, and it all seemed like a no-brainer to have the panels installed. The main downside is that the panels will not be ours, so I can't hack them in ways that, for example, would give us electricity when the grid goes down.

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