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
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Like my brownhouse:
   swimming pool in the bluestone mines
Thursday, October 7 2010
This evening after she got home from work, Gretchen seemed bored, so we ended up taking a walk down to the farm road to a new part of the forest she's been visiting lately, a series of semi-abandoned bluestone mines centered at around 41.926652N, 74.123383W. There are some beautiful pieces of bluestone back there, if only one could find a way to pull them out. It seems these old mines are reachable from Reichel Road, so perhaps I could get my Subaru back there if I really found a tempting piece, such as the 12 foot by one foot by four inch slab that would make an incredible rustic bar. (Too bad it probably weighs five hundred pounds.)
As fucked-over parts of the world go, these old mines aren't as bad as they might be. I only saw one place where rednecks had target practiced on a glass bottle, and there was no evidence whatsoever of teenage blight. Oddly, though, there was a nearly-intact in-ground swimming pool that had obviously cost someone many thousands of dollars to install. It made me wonder if perhaps there was an abandoned house under one of the many lumpy piles of mine tailings.
Part of the reason Gretchen had discovered these bluestone mines was that someone (and we have a good idea who, but the property lines aren't clear) had intentions of subdividing the adjacent forest and selling it off as lots. Crude roads had been cut and parcels had been marked. This all might have been a shrewd real estate scheme a few short years ago, but the preparatory activity seems to have coincided with the recent collapse of the housing bubble, and it's doubtful anyone will ever buy any of the lots now, especially given the ugly nature of the landscape and the enormous costs of building proper roads to them. It wouldn't be the first poorly-hatched get-rich scheme that had come to the Dug Hill Road Plateau only to die an unsung, whimpering death.
At some point we lost first Sally and then Eleanor. Normally when hiking in the forest we don't worry about such things, but we'd ranged so far from home that we were a little worried, especially about Sally (who might easily have been injured clambering over those rough bluestone piles). Also, we were so far back that our dogs might have been tempted to come home via Reichel and Dug Hill Roads, which would mean being exposed to over a mile of active highway (and they're not especially smart about cars).
But Eleanor caught up with us on the walk home somewhere along the Farm Road, and we found Sally waiting for us back at the house. Eleanor had been digging for chipmunks and her face looked ghostly from the lighter color of the dirt impregnating her fur. As for Sally, she can no longer hear chipmunks and has lost interest in mining them.

A dead tree in the middle of the bluestone mines late this afternoon.

An airplane making an approach to one of the New York City airports the other day. There appears to be an air corridor from Europe that runs parallel to the Hudson and crosses over the Ashokan Reservoir at perhaps 10,000 feet.

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