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:
   a roofing guy who does not flinch
Tuesday, May 21 2024
Today Gretchen managed to get an appointment with a roofing company based in Albany that sent down a guy named Isaac to look at our two problem roofs, the aging asphalt shingle one on our Hurley house and the ancient slate one on the Downs Street mansion. Gretchen had found this roofer by specifically searching for roofers claiming to work with slate roofs, since she didn't want to have roofers balk at working with slate or pressuring us to replace it with asphalt shingle. It seems there are a lot of old slate roofs in the Albany area that people want to maintain, so there is enough demand roofers knowledgeable about slate to keep such roofers in business. I liked Issac immediately, mostly because of how unflinching he was. I thought it was important to quickly address the elephant in the room, or, more accurately, on our roof: the solar deck. But Isaac could see that it was simply another set of roof penetrations that would need to be flashed. After we were joined by Gretchen, the three of us walked around the house while Isaac took pictures and talked about such subjects as slate roofing. (He said "It's actually pretty easy.) He then showed us some sample asphalt shingles, and of course Gretchen went for the blackest one, which I thought was ill-advised, since it would probably absorb more solar energy and break down faster. "But we'll be dead by then," she pointed out. It was a fair point. We kept coming around to doomer points such as our limited remaining lifespans or the dismal fate of the Earth under the effects of its enormous population of humans. Isaac cheerfully said that he has to be hopeful, if only because he has a nine-month-old son (whom he showed us).
Gretchen would soon have to go to work, so it was just me who drove over to the Downs Street house to wait for Isaac while he refueled the enormous company pickup truck he was driving. When he arrived, we first looked at the slate roof from the outside (which, given limited sight-lines, cannot be comprehensive), and Isaac identified a few slates that should probably be replaced. We then went up to the 3rd floor apartment, where our tenant Matt lives. He had a world-weary affect, and the occasional dousings his bed gets from leaks around the skylight just seemed to be part of the package. After seeing what he could see, Isaac said the thought the roof leaks manifesting in two of the valleys probably had origins in the cast-iron roof ridges, some of which definitely appeared to be damaged. (I'm rarely suspicious of roof ridges, since so little rainwater actually hits them.) Before he parted ways, he said he'd be sending Gretchen an estimate in a few days.

I stopped at the Hannaford on the way home to get things like pouches of pre-made Indian food, diphenhydramine, tofu, tempeh, an untried brand of vegetable soup, orange juice, and a fun variety twelve pack of an unknown brand of beer. As I was checking out, one of the young women working as a cashier informed one of her young female coworkers that it was beautiful outside and wondered what she was doing after work. Ah, to be young and employed!

Back at the house, Gretchen hadn't left for her prison class because the prison had canceled it because of their need for the room it happens in. So we each made our own dinners (Gretchen made herself vegan mac & cheese and I tried that new brand of vegetable soup, "Pacific Organic Hearty Vegetable Soup" — it was only okay) and went upstairs to watch the two final episodes of Baby Reindeer while I proceeded to drink two beers (I was not impressed by the beer, "Lord Hobo Bodacious Vagabond New England IPA," from the variety twelve pack).
Later, I took advantage of the prolonged late-spring daylight to take Charlotte and Neville for a late version of their usual afternoon walk. But Neville didn't have it in him and proceeded to lie down in the Farm Road until I disappeared out of sight west of the Farm Road, at which point I saw him off in the distance get up and walk back home. I executed a small loop with Charlotte, reaching the Farm Road across a patch of wetlands where I found what appeared to be chicken of the woods growing out of a completely dead pine tree (so maybe it was some other, similar variety of shelf fungus).

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