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:
   Dug Hill Road sand
Friday, May 29 2009

I'd been fighting a losing battle with the lawn because my weapons haven't been up to the task. The gasoline-powered lawnmower is permanently disabled with a badly bent blade rusted inextricably to its shaft, though I'd be loathe to use it in any case. There are two push mowers, each set to cut different heights, but it doesn't take long for grass to grow too tall for them to do anything but flatten it. I've got a sickle (no scythe yet) for the long patches, but I've ceded more square footage to prarie than every before. Today, though, I made a valiant effort to spiff up the parts of the lawn still within the umbrella of horticultural order. I went over the twentieth of an acre that I still mow, getting it down to a tidy golf-course length. Then I trimmed the weeds and long grass along the stone walls and bluestone walkway, which, left untended, quickly reverts to jungle. This was the first bluestone walkway trim of the season, and as always for yard maintenance milestones this year, came unusually late.
At some point I drove down to Stone Ridge to recover some borrowed computer equipment from Jed, the guy I worked with in the prisons back in the early Spring. I've learned from experience that I have to actively recover things that I loan to people, even good friends, or I never see the stuff again.
On the way back home, I stopped on the west bank of the Esopus at Fording Place to get sand and gravel for the greenhouse project. There were a couple rednecks there hanging out smoking cigarettes, so I didn't feel free to do the kind of mining I normally do when I go there. So finished my sand gathering at the stream crossing on the lower part of Dug Hill Road in Catskill State Park. The sand there was actually superior to that of the Esopus in that it contained less organic matter and silt. I suspect this had something to do with the fact that the stream along lower Dug Hill Road floods much more frequently than the mighty Esopus, which may not have flooded in over a year.
In the early evening there were heavy rains from passing thunderstorms making it difficult to unload my buckets of sand and gravel.
Our friends Kris and Brian came over for vegan pizza night. It was their first visit, so we gave them the whole tour (including the greenhouse and my cluttered laboratory). At some point Gretchen introduced them to the game of Boggle (which we hadn't played in over a year), and we ended up playing over a half-dozen rounds. Gretchen was, as usual, the Boggle champion, but there were other things going on that kept things entertaining. Kris, for example, was an unabashed cheat and also played completely made-up words. As for me, my chief contribution was the banter I put around my words as I read them from my list. For example, "'date,' as in rape," and "my last word is a racial epithet." We were delighted to find that Kris and Brian have a similar sense of humor to our own, one that tends towards the somewhat shocking and politically incorrect.
The downside to hanging out with Kris is that at some point she inevitably starts singing the praises of colonic cleanses, which strike me as unnatural and at odds with the assembly-line method by which the body absorbs nutrients. She also said some things about high colonics that seemed suspect; for example, she claimed some people had seen toys from their childhood washed out during a cleanse.
Towards the end of the evening, after the four of us had drunk three bottles of wine, Brian was showing me how to make paper airplanes that behaved like boomerangs. These were quickly destroyed by Kris and Brian's brindle mutt Lola, who still has the rubbery energy of a puppy.

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