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:
   Upper Cherrytown Road
Saturday, November 26 2011

Deborah had a big moldy cabinet she wanted moved out of her bedroom, so she invited Gretchen and me to come over today so we could help with that and then walk our dogs at a nearby place she's discovered. When we arrived, Ilene the affordable traveling vet was there to investigate Al-Lou's skin condition, a minor rash that looked to her like an allergy. Al-Lou was delighted to see Eleanor, and the two played like little puppies for longer than any of us seemed to expect (as Sally doddered around the house and yard).
Once the moldy cabinet had been moved, Deborah drove us out to the west, in an empty spot on the map equidistant between the Ashokan and Rondout reservoirs. There we met up with Deborah's KMOCA colleague Michæl, who at the spur of the moment had decided to join us with his dog Penny. Al-Lou had finally met his energetic match, and those two played like crazy for the rest of their time together. Somewhere in there, Penny taught Al-Lou the joys of tug-of-war at either end of a stick.
We walked along an old road through a forest featuring an unusually-dense understory of Mountain Laurel. This was all Catskill Forest Reserve until we reached the ridge, where we came to the gated entrance of an abandoned tree farm (41.858886N, 74.338989W). It consisted of several rough concrete buildings set amid several random concrete structures (here a concrete block wall, there two concrete block walls connected by sagging roof). One of the buildings partially consisted of an old shipping container. It looked like the kind of place where Iraqi warlords torture their prisoners. The grounds were strewn with trash, mostly the kind one associates with plants: buckets, barrels, plastic crates. Inside, though, the buildings looked like they'd served as residences for squatters. Amid the torn out insulation were all manner of rotting things (perhaps covered with a layer of human feces). There was even a crude painting of Jesus Christ. I found an old hand mirror amongst the crap and salvaged from it both a flat mirror and a concave one, the latter useful for starting fires.
We walked back to the parking area and then went on a separate hike across Upper Cherrytown Road. The trail scaled a ridge at a moderate slope, and when it hit its first switchback, Sally just stopped and looked at us with as if to ask, "Really?" So we turned around and headed back down. By this point Penny had exhausted Al-Lou and had to turn to Eleanor for goofy amusement, but she wasn't having it.

Michæl had told us about some sort of crafting fair happening in Cottekill, so we decided to go there next (though it wasn't exactly close). We stopped on the way at the High Falls Food Co-op for snacks. I had to add a lot of hot pepper and salt to the Chana Masala soup to make it taste like anything.
As for the craft fair, it was held in an old church and was threatened by neighbors complaints, two things that made it seem a lot cooler than it actually was. For the most part, the crafts were overpriced. Eventually I went out on the front stoop to enjoy the pleasant outdoor weather. There was a guy there with a tiny little girl who kept coming over with gravel stones to arrange on the concrete near my feet.

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