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:
   Chamomile River headwaters
Thursday, September 4 2003
From lines on a topographic map (Kingston West Quadrangle), I know that yellow paint on trees in the woods correspond to property boundaries for Catskill State Park. Though the big green blob you see on a map of New York State is used to represent the park, in our part of it actual state-owned land exists only in small irregular scraps of several hundred acres each. The Stick Trail passes through the corner of one of these scraps about a kilometer from our house, continues for about another third of a kilometer, and then terminates somewhere within another rectangular pseudopod belonging to the same scrap.
This morning I was walking the dogs in the vicinity of the the first place where the trail breaches the State Park boundary, and I decided to explore a region of privately-owned uplands to the west. Mysteriously, there's evidence of recent (a couple years old) logging here, and I've been curious about how vehicles could have found their way into this isolated area.
It didn't take much searching to find the end of a logging road heading intriguingly westward, perpendicular to the Stick Trail. Like all newly-discovered paths, it would take me to places I had never been before.
The road was interrupted in two places by fallen trees, but otherwise it made for an easy-to-follow path. After climbing up to the top of a low bluff, it headed slowly downhill and increasingly northward. Soon it became a conduit for water, serving as a temporary channel escorting recent heavy rains closer to their rendezvous with first the Esopus and then the Hudson. The road/stream passed an unexpected bluff, pooled in a flatland, and continued down into a swamp. I'd been to this swamp before - it serves as the headwaters for the whimsically-named Chamomile (Tcha-MO-meh-lay) "River" and isn't far from our house. This swamp is adjacent to our uphill neighbor's long driveway and qualifies for a single sprig-of-reeds icon on the Kingston West Quadrangle topographic map.
I was especially pleased with this new path because it provides an alternative route home from near the end of the Stick Trail, allowing a walk down it to become part of a loop.

The Chamomile River is in blue.
The Stick Trail is in red.
The new route home is in pink.
Home is a red X.
Contour elevations in feet above sea level,
The grid is in kilometers.
Dotted black lines indicate State Park ownership lines.

Today was something of a milestone in terms of my consumption of resources. This morning was the first time I resorted to using a coffee filter that hadn't been among the 500 given to my old housemate John by his friend Fernando back when we all lived in Los Angeles (Spring, 2001). I actually ran out of these filters a couple weeks ago but had managed to use that last one about a dozen times, simply shaking it out in the yard, rinsing it clean, and slapping it back into the coffee maker (which is also a gift from Fernando). Now I'm using some unbleached brown filters, but would like to start using a reusable cloth filter - something can can apparently only be bought in stores that also sell hemp tee shirts and water pipes.

Another milestone came with the arrival of two seventeen-inch flat-panel monitors, both of which I installed on computers used mostly by Gretchen. I'd buy one for myself, but since I prefer 1600 by 1200 pixel resolution, I'm going to have to wait for prices to come down. You can get a 1280 by 1024 seventeen-inch monitor from Tiger Direct these days for only $300, assuming you actually get your $50 rebate.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next