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:
   social call Thursday
Thursday, October 26 2023
Gretchen doesn't work on Thursdays, but she managed to stack up a few social calls instead, leaving me to deal with Charlotte on my own for much of the day yet again. For example, I took her on a walk this morning on a short loop west of the Farm Road, and Neville came along too. Suddenly having a young sister seems to mean that Neville is getting a lot more exercise.
To the extent she was around, it was good that Gretchen was present for at least part of the day so she could experience a little of the relentless distraction that Charlotte has been for me. There's the worry that she's going to go out in the road (which she did again today, though she seems to know it's wrong). There are the periods when she's bored and stand around staring at you or (worse) barking at nothing in particular. And then there's the pooping on the floor, something Gretchen's been dealing with but which I finally encountered this evening. Charlotte is supposedly housebroken, but she's developed the nasty habit of pooping in the living room behind the woodstove. Today she also peed on the floor in the living room as well (though thankfully not on anything absorbant). This might be a result of me occasionally limiting access to the pet door so she won't get hit by a car.
Gretchen returned from her first social call with a fluorescent green reflective collar for Charlotte to increase her visibility when she wants to go play live action Frogger. She also had a delicious (and large) vegan sandwich for me she'd bought at a vegan popup whose schedule and associations I don't care to keep in my brain.
Early this afternoon, we went to Gretchen's second social call, which was to introduce Charlotte to our friends the Chris & Kirsti, the photogenic vegan Buddhists who live out on Zena Road. Normally we can't bring our dogs to their house because they feed the wildlife, which has become tame and docile as a result. But back in July, as I'd mentioned, they bought the house next door (and Chris paid me to do some networking there), so that was the perfect place for us to bring our dogs. It had become an astoundingly pleasant day, with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s. There's a pool at the second house, though unfortunately the pool guy (who does things on his own schedule) had closed it down a day or so ago, apparently unaware that there would be a few more pool-friendly days left in 2023. While we sat around mostly talking about some vegan caterer that didn't much interest me, the dogs kept wandering off on their own. I was concerned that Charlotte might wander out to Zena Road, where the zippy cars are going too fast for stupid dogs to have any chance. So Gretchen and I kept going to get Charlotte (and, sometimes, the slow-moving Neville). Eventually, though, we decided to keep her leashed. At some point the conversation shifted to he mess in Isræl, with Kirsti exhibiting the kind of sensitivity that liberal Jews can't necessarily expect from liberal non-Jews these days. Before we headed back home, Kirsti had us drive over to the other house so she could Gretchen some leftover lasagna made by the vegan caterer discussed at length in the dull earlier part of our socializing. While Gretchen was getting that, I was with the dogs watching many chipmunks chasing each other through the leaves like something from a Walt Disney production. Kirsti says she feeds the chipmunks too.
Back at the house, some recruiter from LinkedIn said he'd be calling me at around 3:00pm, and when he actually did, I was kind of surprised (since I am so used to being ghosted by these people). While I was on the phone with him, someone else tried to call me and I was literally limited by the bandwidth of being a single human being as I tried to act to get myself a new job. That sudden interest in me as a prospective employee was the best my job hunt had gone in weeks and substantially brightened my mood, at least for a few hours. But it also helped that the day was so gorgeous.
This evening Gretchen carpooled up to Hudson to see Rodelinda, an opera by George Frideric Handel. A little after she left, I discovered that dog shit behind the woodstove and then took Neville and Charlotte for a twilight walk a short ways down the Farm Road. I then took a steep trail down the escarpment to the Stick Trail, though the terrain was so steep that neither of the dogs followed me down, choosing to instead turn around and walk back home on the Farm Road.
After the dogs settled down on the teevee room couch, I was able to take a bath in relative peace. Then I did a little more work out in the garage, partially disassembling the Craftsman table saw so I could throw out an enormous accumulation of saw dust and then straighten up the stand it sits on, which had gone highly askew over the years. I then drilled a hole and added a screw in a place that should keep it from ever going askew again. As I did this, I had a Chromebook open and playing a YouTube video documenting the casting of an enormous steel gear in some hellish third world factory. Evidently such gears are made from the melted-down cases of old computer towers.

After Gretchen came home from the opera, she wanted to see an old episode of Ugly Betty on our teevee. Both dogs were in the bed with me and she went to shut the door behind Diane the Cat just as she was going into the bedroom to join me and the dogs, but just then Charlotte decided to come down off the bed, and this had the effect of freaking Diane out as the door was closing behind her. I'm not certain what happened next, but there was a sudden sound of Charlotte squealing in pain as Diane disappeared into the bathroom. Evidently in her desperation from feeling cornered, she'd slashed Charlotte with her claws. After that, Charlotte was once more suspicious and scared of Diane, and Diane was now back to being suspicious and scared of Charlotte as well. Charlotte also seemed to have some new anger issues as well, because when I went into the laboratory and carried Diane out, Charlotte jumped down off the teevee couch and came over towards us growling. Things had been so great between Charlotte and the cats earlier today, but all it takes is a single incident like this for all that progress to go up in smoke.

A small pine that got started on top of a bluestone boulder and then managed to split it. This is west of the Farm Road.

Neville on the walk this morning.

Charlotte on the walk this morning. Click to enlarge.

The Farm Road, looking north from near the bottom of the Chamomile Headwaters Trail. Click to enlarge.

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