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:
   discovering November tomatoes
Saturday, October 23 2004
Today I made good progress on the slab resurfacing project, with a little over a third of it being finished by the onset of evening chill. I managed to move a load of concrete and large stones fairly close to the slab by simply driving my truck across the unmowed meadow that serves as our "east lawn." There's a handy earthen ramp leading from Dug Hill Road to this part of our yard, and (though Verizon sometimes uses it to get to the utility pole) this was the first time I'd ever driven on it.
My rapid progress with the slab project is giving me confidence that I'll actually be able to finish it in the near future. At first it had seemed like a monumental task and I'd wondered if I'd have it done by winter. But now it's looking like I'll be done by election day (which is like the Groundhog Day for a more protracted, political sort of winter).
As for winter of the more conventional sort, we've still yet to have any real autumnal chill. According to, temperatures fell into the thirties tonight in "downtown" Hurley, but that's down in the Esopus Valley frost pocket. Up here on "Hurley Mountain" (or whatever it is called) I never saw temperatures fall below forty. (Here I'm referring to the Fahrenheit scale of course.)
Gretchen and I never attempted any sort of garden this year; the most deliberate plantings I did were some White Pines and a Tuliptree in the front yard. But that doesn't mean that our activities didn't result in the planting of plants. Today while I was unloading my truck on the east meadow I found a tomato plant growing in our ad hoc "compost heap," the place off the east deck where we throw biodegradable kitchen refuse. The plant had one large ripe tomato, a third of which had been gnawed away by some creature. There were also a number of smaller green tomatoes that should ripen in a week or so. It's looking like we'll have homegrown tomatoes in November, which in the Catskills is more surprising than the January tomatoes I harvested in Los Angeles. November tomatoes aren't the only freakish consequence of this frost-free autumn; about a week ago I noticed that a Forsythia was blooming for the second time this year.

Headed to Lowes to get concrete, going south down Dug Hill Road about a quarter mile from home.

Headed to Lowes, driving north on Hurley Mountain Road in the Esopus Valley about a mile from home. Click to enlarge.

Returning with 800 pounds of dry concrete mix, headed south
down Hurley Mountain Road in the Esopus Valley about a mile from home.
The blue ridge on the left is the Mohonk part of the Shawangunk ridge. Click to enlarge.

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