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:
   Throckmorton flies south
Friday, August 10 2018

location: Twenty Ninth Pond, Essex County, New York

Throckmorton the Loon hung out on the pond throughout the day, occasionally making trill noises when Gretchen swam too close. (Once when I came out to the dock, he let out a single brief "Uoh!") Other times he'd splash about in the water or go on extended fishing jags, submerging periodically and then appearing on the surface unexpectedly in some other random spot, usually within 100 feet of where he'd vanished.
I spent much of the afternoon continuing my study of React (again using Mexican ritalin as a study aid), though I'd take breaks now and then to photograph Throckmorton, the dogs, dragonflies, and frogs. Though I didn't tell Gretchen, I saw a leech today but didn't have a camera at the ready to snap a picture. On several occasions, large masses of spindly pond weed arrived at the dock, and I'd have to rake it out. The dogs excated a large hole near the house, showering an old boat (now exclusively decorative) with dirt and rocks. Once again I used a mass of pond weed as to help fill the void.
Late this afternoon I was in an irritable mood as I came down off the ritalin. I was anxious about my relationship with a former colleague, who had been unusually quiet since the shit went down at my former employer yesterday. I was also deeply aggravated with the computational limitations of my smartphone. These limitations were all due to the Android operating system. Maybe there's a way to view and save source code in Android's version of the Chrome browser, but if so it's not exposed in any menu. I could load a Javascript include into a screen and read the code with my eyeballs, but I couldn't then copy that code and paste it into any text editor; either it was too big, or some unseen nanny process was eliminating it all because it was code and thus dangerous. None of this would've mattered had my laptop had internet access, but I was doing all my internet work at the cellphone spot and hoping to carry retrieved data back from there to my laptop (on a table on the cabin's porch).

This evening Gretchen and I had an improvised meal of leftover peanut noodles and frozen Trader Joe's burritos (they weren't very good). As we dined out on the dock, Throckmorton the Loon decided it was time to leave. Starting in the northeast corner of the pond, he started flapping and running westward, circling the pond counterclockwise (when viewed from above) and gradually gaining altitude. In his first orbit, he only climbed about ten feet, but several orbits later he had risen above the treeline and could head off to his next destination. He decided to fly south, and, because the pond empties into a gorge, this meant he didn't have to rise quite as high to achieve an escape altitude. As he vanished from sight, he let out his multi-octave trill call numerous times. We could hear him for nearly a full minute as he continued southward, perhaps to Bullhead Pond.
By now my ritalin irritation had worn off and I was in a more empathic mood. I asked Gretchen about what all she's been reading, something I don't think I've done on earlier Adirondack vacations. She proceeded to tell me the plot points of a novel (I think it was That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam) she's been reading. It was a novel about an accomplished poet, though not one Gretchen found sympathetic. To me, though, it sounded like Gretchen's problem with the character was more one of Gretchen's worldview (vegan & childless) than something the author was trying to provoke.
Our entertainment tonight was the Key & Peele movie Keanu, nearly all of which I'd watched in out-of-order segments yesterday. (Gretchen had also seen it before.) I loved how weird and persistently specific it was: George Michæl, Allentown, and the agreement by all (no matter how bad-ass) that the titular kitten was jaw-droppingly adorable.
Later I went to the cat to get a flask of gin and was amazed by the number of stars I could see. The air was clear, and there's not much light pollution in this part of the Adirondacks, so not only could I see the Milky Way, but I could see that part of it obscured by a dark mass of interstellar dust. I went into the cabin to tell Gretchen, explaining that the sky had more stars than she had ever seen. We went together out to the dock to see, and she seemed underwhelmed. She compared it unfavorably to the sky she'd seen at Big Bend (in southern Texas), where, she reported, one could see "layers" of stars, as well as constant shooting stars. We saw a few shooting stars tonight, but not all that many. "Maybe it was a meteor shower," I suggested. Now it was Gretchen's turn to be cranky. She took immediate offense at what she saw as my casual discounting of her Big Bend experience.

In the middle of the night, Neville and Ramona ran out of the cabin, and I soon heard Ramona barking about something at the south end of the pond. She was using her periodic "things are fucked up, but there's nothing specific wrong" bark, which is very different from the one she uses when she's treed a critter. Still, given recent events, I thought I should call her back. So I got up and called out to her from the dock. But she ignored me, which wasn't unusual. I decided to walk over to where she was; maybe there was beaver activity or something. As I arrived, I heard a dog barking in the distance to the west. But then Ramona came snuffling out of the evergreens from the east. It was then I realized that the dog some distance away to the west was Neville, and he sounded like he might actually be tracking something. I didn't want him to get lost, so I called out to him numerous times as Ramona became increasingly concerned. I could be wrong, but I had the feeling she was worried he might not be able to find his way back. At some point she started barking in a way I'd never heard before. These were single sharp barks about nothing in particular. I wondered if perhaps this was her trying to help Neville find his way back.
After a bit too long, I heard the sound of a dog trying to make his way through brush and fallen trees on the west shore of the pond. It was clearly Neville, since Ramona was still with me. Eventually Neville waded across the pools and much at the south end of the pond and returned to the cabin. Both he and Ramona jumped into the bed, and Ramona licked my face happily in apparent celebration that order had been restored to the universe.
I couldn't sleep, so I got myself some gin and resumed my React education. It was after 6:30am before I finally put my computer away.

Throckmorton the Loon.

Ramona and Neville on the dog bed at the south end of the cabin's porch.

A dragonfly on one of the ropes securing the dock.

A green frog on a lilypad near the dock.

The spindly weed I keep removing from around the dock.

This is what that weed looks like when forked out of the water and onto a pile on the shore.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next