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:
   soft gummy wood from a lake
Sunday, April 16 2023

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

Puttering around the cabin this morning, I used the large cube-shaped piece of granite I'd retrieved yesterday to replace a bad step in the stone staircase to the lake trail behind the cabin. To get such a large rock to work, I had to dig out a fair amount of sandy soil, which then was in danger of being washed away in the next rain. So then I gathered small sticks to build a series of erosion controls both along the side of the steps and also in various places along the artificial slope behind the cabin. After the winter, the soil around the cabin has become surprisingly spongey, perhaps due to frost heave. Pretty much anywhere I step, I leave a visible footprint.
At around 10:00am, I convinced the dogs to join me on a walk down to the lake. When we got down there, the surface was glassy and still and the sky was mostly overcast. Temperatures were fairly comfortable, maybe in the upper 60s. While the dogs snorted around investigating the shoreline, I decided to drag a mid-sized fallen tree out of the lake south of the dock just to unclutter the waters there. The tree wasn't very big, but it was near the limits of what I could pull out of the water on my own. After I had it on the shoreline above the dock, the dogs waddled over and began chewing on it in various places with gusto. Waterlogged wood is soft and funky and must be perfect non-food chewable substance for a dog. As they continued with that, I continued removing wood clutter from the adjacent shoreline. I also cleaned up many dozens of small fallen twigs in the area above the dock, since it's no fun to get poked between your toes by tiny sticks while walking around barefoot.

Later in the early afternoon at the cabin, the sun came out enough to reliably generate electricity. A guy at the battery manufacturer had written me back and told me in detail what I needed to do to recover the household battery. But I wasn't sure the one charger I had produced the correct voltage and amps. So I decided to defer that task until next weekend, when it's likely that I will have the equipment that I need. This meant I cleaned up the cabin early in the afternoon and was on the road well before 2:00pm.
As I drove along the Mohawk just west of Johnstown, I happened to notice that the "low oil" light had come on on the dashboard. I don't think I'd seen an oil warning light in well over a decade (though it was a common occurrence on my old Punch Buggy Green back in the mid 1990s). So I found a place to pull over and then added the oil as an Amtrak train raced past nearby. Fortunately, I've been traumatized enough by oil emergencies that I always have a pint of oil in any vehicle I own that is powered by an internal combustion engine. This fixed the problem, and I was able to drive normally the rest of the way back to Hurley. (I suspect the oil issue is a sign of neglect; normally Gretchen rememebers to have the oil of cars that have oil changed every so often, but she kind of hates the Forester, so nothing in her brain reminded her of this basic need.)
One of the dogs kept farting out cloyingly unpleasant farts that I could smell despite having two or more windows partially opened while driving at Thruway speeds. Thinking one of them might have to poop, I pulled into the "text stop" at milepost 139, within sight of the three WROW-AM radio towers that go into perfect alignment just north of Wemple Road (near milepost 138). I'd never been to this text stop before, so it was a little strange to discover that there's no place to park except along the access road passing through it. But there's an available meadow suitable for walking dogs. Unfortunately, though, I never saw either dog poop and the farting continued once I got back on the road again. While I was wrangling the dogs back to my Forester, I happened to pluck a blood-engorged tick from Ramona's back. Had she picked that up in the Adirondacks? And what the hell is wrong with her Seresto collar? (I hadn't seen a fat tick on her in years.) I'd thought maybe there were no ticks in the Adirondacks, but earlier today I'd found two smallish ticks climbing on me that I must've picked up somewhere between the lake and the cabin.
I remember keeping an informal tally of the roadkill I saw along the way, just because it was a weird mix of things. On the drive up to the Adirondacks I saw a dead porcupine, and on the drive down I saw a dead porcupine, a dead coyote (the first roadkilled coyote I can remember since I was living in Los Angeles) and a large brown creature I think might've been a beaver.

Back home in Hurley, Gretchen proceeded to tell me the not-especially-interesting tale of her food adventures yesterday in Manhattan with Lisa P. The main upside for me was that she'd bought way more food than she could eat, so there were some fun leftovers for me.
Later I went down to the greenhouse, mostly to get away from Oscar the Cat and all his neediness. While down there, I eventually dozed off. Meanwhile Gretchen showed our Downs Street 1R unit to a woman she quickly decided she didn't want to rent to (the woman had an unpleasant personality, was of an age we've had bad luck with, and complained about Midtown, among other things). Given all the demand for rental units in Kingston, it's easy for landlords to be picky.

A "thruple" of three male mallards on the lake today.

Neville on the lakeshore above the dock. Click to enlarge.

Ramona just beyond the tree dock. Click to enlarge.

Ramona and Neville on the dock today. Click to enlarge.

A composite (it's colt's foot, an exotic from Eurasia) that seems to be common this year on the artificial slope behind the cabin. Click to enlarge.

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