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

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Like my brownhouse:
   last trip to Cinnamon
Sunday, July 15 2018
This morning I had another rare landlording job. I drove out to the brick mansion in the noisy-ass Subaru to investigate water showing up in the 2nd floor apartment. There had also been water seen on the floor near the toilet in the attic apartment immediately above, so I suspected it was another case of someone overflowing a toilet and not wanting to 'fess up. But the toilet above was at least 12 feet horizontally away from where water had been seen below. Perhaps both leaks had been caused by a problem with the roof, but in any case the leaking wasn't happening now and I couldn't reach any conclusions. I told the new tenant in the attic (and her boyfriend) to keep an eye out for other leaks and headed directly back home.

When I eventually install most of the screen on the screened-in porch, I intend to cover the edges of the screens with strips of wood painted the same sage-green color as the rest of the porch's vertical surfaces. Today I used the table saw to rip 20 such strips from four eight foot two by fours (most of these were about 5/8 inch wide, though the end ones were more like 3/4 inch). I let the table saw run continuously as I worked, and at one point my feed rate was a bit too high and I tripped the garage light's circuit breaker (it also powers the outlet I was plugged into).
Once I had my 20 strips of wood, I lay them all on a pair of saw horses in the yard and used a paint roller to paint them sage-green. It wasn't very easy painting, as the variations in thickness tended to make some strips get more paint than others. And I was so engrossed in the work that I wasn't paying attention to the sky or the sounds outside my headphones. Dark thunderstorms had piled in and when I looked up I realized a downpour was about to happen. The strips weren't quite dry, but I gathered them up as best I could and carried them into the house, placing them on a pair of thin boards to keep them off the floor. Then the rains began.
Meanwhile, the dogs had been out for an extended time in the forest, probably mining chipmunks, but the sudden heavy rain brought them home. Ramona arrived about five minutes into it, followed eventually by a drenched Neville, who had the whole living room smelling like wet dog.
Ray randomly called and invited me to join him and Nancy at a bar called The Beverly in Kingston. I'd never heard of The Beverly, but (given my state since being fired), I could use some drinking with friends, so I said okay.
At 5:00pm, I left the dogs behind and drove the Subaru (with its loud muffler-free exhaust system) down to Ray & Nancy's place in Old Hurley. Jack was my welcome-wagon, and as always he was suspicious at first. But then he was delighted. Ray's brother Kim and Kim's boyfriend Kenny had recently driven up from the City in Kim's boss' Tesla and Kenny had done some handyman tasks around the house, installing a plastic screen door in the back that was enviably unwarped (at least compared to the screendoor I'd been working with on Gretchen's new porch). He'd also replaced a bunch of kountry-kitchen-style ceiling fans with sleek, modern, minimalist ones. One of the kountry-kitchen fans ended up out in Ray's garage studio space.
Gretting out to The Beverly meant driving down Broadway and then cutting over to Fauxhall in those less-familiar neighborhoods of Kingston bisected by the railroad tracks. Inside, The Beverly had an appealingly murky atmosphere and pop music from the late 80s playing on the stereo. We'd come specifically so Nancy could get a negroni, and it sounded like it contained ingredients I like, so I ordered one as well. The bartender was a young woman with good skin that was covered with tattoos. She seemed to know Ray well, which made sense given that he is in the local bartender scene and a frequent patron of The Beverly. We also ordered fries, one of the few vegan foods on the menu. The $4 portion of potatoes gut in the shoestring style was bigger than expected, though the ketchup tasted disappointingly homemade. Among the conversations we had at the bar was an idea for a glory hole finding app called GloryFinder. Ray occasionally riffs in a continuous series of increasingly-dirty imagery, and the idea had grown out of that.
There was a band setting up in the back, so Nancy and I went back there to look. It turned out that The Beverly is a big space with several rooms, and the back room was the biggest. It looked like a high-end VFW hall.
The next plan was to drive to Rhinebeck and eat the Sunday buffet at Cinnamon, the Indian restaurant in its downtown. I'm no fan of Rhinebeck, but I like Indian food, so I was happy to tag along. On the way there, though, we took a circuitous route up a surprisingly steep ridge to Farrelly St. and then over to Kachigian St, a dead little deadend nub with a great vew and a water tower encrusted with cellular antennas (41.937769N, 73.990753W). By then we were close to the part of 9W just south of Kingston's "motor mile," and the ridge we were on top of was part of the one running above Home Depot, the mall, and Lowes, a ridge that passes just west of the Hudson for some distance in the area. Ray and Nancy kept seeing houses they would want to buy in this area. I don't know if it was the view or the houses, or a combination of both that they found so attractive.
We arrived at Cinnamon to find a packed house, forcing us to wait 10 minutes for a seat. The buffet itself was kind of small and attracting a disconcerting number of flies. For a vegan, there wasn't much to eat except the rice and the eggplant-spinach dish and some broccoli rabe with a weird old shrimp flavor. There was also a pineapple curry, but it didn't taste like anything but pineapple, and that's not my idea of Indian food. Everything was bland and very greasy. Ugh. I kind of felt like I needed a shower after eating my plate of food, and I had no desire to go back for seconds (even though the buffet costs a full $20). I don't think I'll ever be going back to Cinnamon again, and I don't think Ray and Nancy had a particularly good food experience either. Others there seemed to be happy with the buffet, especially a table of overweight bears (hairy gay guys) and a table of young white women (though one of them looked Indian), all of them in summery dresses. It was a hot day and the doors of our part of the restaurant had been thrown open to the street, which probably accounted for the flies.
We returned to Ray and Nancy's house as the sun went down, sitting at a picnic table drinking wine and beer and talking mostly about the foliage. A mixed hedge of arborvitæ south of the house had grown into a dense wall in record time, while a hedge of hemlock north of the house seemed to be avoiding any sort of adelgid issues. The main problem these days is from the big brittle silver maples and a dying evergreen west of the house (which would cost over a thousand dollars to have removed).
Eventually biting flys attacking at ankle-level drove us indoors, where we went out to the house's screened-in front porch. There we continued drinking (by now I was drinking first rye and then wine), with Ray serving as DJ, playing music as it came to mind. PJ Harvey was too aggressive for Nancy, and then Liz Phair appeared, reminding us of her existence. Her descent into pop reminded me of similar trajectory by Tegan and Sara, so Ray played some of that. At some point we also listened to the Garbage/Screaming Females version of "Because the Night," and then listened to Patti Smith's version. After Nancy went to bed, Ray and I transitioned to light beer and went out to his garage studio. There Ray showed me some art he'd made during a recent manic phase (when his medication had been either off or wrong). It was all page-filling abstract expressionist stuff, with bold lines designed to break the spaces into similar-sized subunits. I hadn't known Ray did that sort of work and I thought much of it was great, though I don't know how he can tap into that energy now that his medications are are better dialed in.
I was pretty drunk as I drove myself home, but fortunately nothing bad happened. It reminded me that I really need to get my exhaust system fixed so I can drive around without drawing so much attention to myself.

A house wren perched on the copper sculpture above the front door, with a captured spider or insect and yet somehow also singing. Overhead unseen is the ventillation pipe into the upstairs bathroom, and this is where the wrens have a nest.

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