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:
   pre-eclipse night at the cabin
Sunday, April 7 2024

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

The plan today was to drive up the to the cabin in the southern Adirondacks so we'd be well-positioned to drive further north tomorrow to be in the path of totality for the solar eclipse that would be happening tomorrow afternoon. We left sometime this morning in the Subaru Forester and this time drove through Albany, as Gretchen wanted to stop at the Honest Weight Food Co-op on the way. She now has a membership there, which means we have to go through Albany on our way to the cabin at least some of the time or it would go to waste. Also, Gretchen much prefers the produce and bulk section at Honest Weight over the meagre offerings available at Hannaford. I get it, but I'm not nearly as fussy and can almost always get what I need from the Hananford in Cairo. True, such items as the slabs of bulk tofu and tempeh that were each the size of an art history book are impossible to get at a Hannaford, but I actually prefer Hannaford's sesame seed bagels to the oversized everything bagels that Honest Weight sells. (Gretchen doesn't consider either products to be true bagels, insisting that they're merely bagel-shaped objects.)
As we approached the cabin, the landscape was mostly free of snow until we started climbing the Adirondack escarpment. Along Woodworth Lake Road, the snow looked to be a few inches deep, and it was deep enough on the driveway that I decided to stop near the top of the hill instead of driving all the way to the cabin. I'd let Gretchen and the dogs out near the entrance gate so they could walk the last mile or so to the cabin, and while they were doing that, I partially unloaded the Forester and shoveled off all the snow piled on the entrance deck (the solar panels and south-facing roof were clear). I'd started heating the cabin remotely before we'd left Hurley, and this had warmed it from a starting temperature of 43 degrees up to 53 degrees. To speed up the warming, I also built a fire in the woodstove.
After Gretchen and the dogs made it to the cabin, Gretchen decided to walk down to the the lake just to say hello. Both dogs went with her. When she came back, she reported that nearly all the ice on the lake had melted, with just a little trace remaining along the south shoreline. She also said she saw ducks out on the water, though she wasn't sure what species they were.

Gretchen has been very excited this year about women's college basketball, mostly due to the emergence of a phenomenal new player named Caitlin Clark, who plays for the Iowa Hawkeyes. This afternoon there would be the final championship game between Iowa and the South Carolina Gamecocks, a mostly-undefeated team, and Gretchen wanted to see it. So she called Mountain Hut Pizza, the little bar in Bleecker (only about three miles away) and asked if they had screens to watch games on. It turned out they had four, and they said they'd be happy to play the women's college basketball championship game (perhaps because there was little else of note happening at the time in the world of sports). So we left the dogs back in the cabin and drove over there at around 3:00pm to watch the game. It turned out they had coverage of the game happening from two different cable channels on two different screens. We both ordered beers (a Miller Lite for Gretchen and a Fiddlehhead IPA for me — I'd either forotten or my standards have changed, but that's not a very good IPA). There were only a smattering of people in Mountain Hut at the time, and the demographic was a little older than us. There wasn't much we could eat on the menu (a soup that could've easily been vegan contained cream), so eventually we ordered fries. But they were the kind we don't much like: the dark overly-greasy kind that tend to flop around instead of having an exoskeleton of deep-fried surface material that keeps them stiff.
Even in the height of my ability to watch women's basketball, I never much liked it. I've always been the person who agonizes over how slowly the game clock winds down. And that was especially true today, because I had no familiarity with the two teams and the people playing on them. Caitlin Clark was good, but she wasn't on fire, and besides, Gretchen was rooting for South Carolina, since they're a much blacker team. (It would be hard for Gretchen to root for a team with so many corn-fed blondes as are on the Iowa team.) In the end, South Carolina continued their current streak of being undefeated. By then there was actually someone else in the bar paying nearly as much attention to the game as Gretchen was. It was some guy who looked a little younger than the Mountain Hut average who had come in with his wife, and Gretchen and he exchanged some banter about the game.
Back at the cabin, Gretchen put together a dinner of noodles with peanut sauce, chunks of tofy, and bok choy (most of this being stuff we'd just bought in Albany). At the time our friend Kate was driving towards us on the Thruway so that she too could come to the cabin and use it as a launchpad for getting up further into the Adirodacks tomorrow to see the eclipse. She messaged us from the road at some point to say that she was stuck in traffic and would be a little delayed. I'd been worried that we'd get stuck on the Thruway earlier today, what with all the New Yorkers driving to the Adirondacks and Vermont to see the eclipse. But it didn't get too bad until late this afternoon.
When Kate arrived, we ate faux cheese with crackers for awhile and then sat down at the dinner table to eat the peanut noodle dish Gretchen had prepared. We spent a fair amount of time fretting about what the weather would be like in the Adirondacks tomorrow. Wunderground was now characterizing conditions for Tupper Lake (the place Gretchen and I intended to drive to) as "mostly cloudy," which didn't sound good. From what we could determine, it looked like the weather would be best the further northeast one went. This had Kate (who would be traveling separately from us tomorrow) thinking she'd try to get to Ferrisburgh, Vermont.
When Kate went off to sleep in the upstairs bedroom, she was delighted that both dogs decided to join her.
I stayed up late drinking kratom tea, but no alcohol. I'd taken a 150mg dose of diphenhydramine too, but it wasn't making me especially sleepy.

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