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:
   Gretchen's terrible day
Monday, August 20 2018
One of our tenants at the brick mansion on Downs Street in Kingston noticed a couple weeks ago that a family that had moved out of their apartment across the street had simply left their cats behind to fend for themselves. Mind you, these were not feral cats. They were mostly-indoor cats without any experience fending for themselves on the mean streets of Kingston. They were puzzled to not be allowed into the house that had been their home. The tenant told Gretchen, and she was understandably horrified and immediately launched a campaign on Facebook to find these cats a new home. She even offered $100 to buy startup supplies for the cats for whoever was willing to adopt them. The whole plan kind of went to shit over the course of the last two days. The tenant had considered transferring the cats to a couple who had shown interest. But then she decided they were crazy and unsuitable. But she'd already given them the $100 Gretchen had earmarked for this project and she'd begun stringing them along about why she wasn't transferring the cats. This is what happens when you rely on others.
In a completely unrelated matter of incompetence, this time of the organized variety, this morning a message was left on our answering machine by the local FedEx people saying that today's planned delivery of the roofing material for the screened-in porch was being delayed until Wednesday because there wasn't a truck big enough to make that delivery. But everything about the size of the parcel had been known back when it had been scheduled for delivery today. Gretchen about lost a gasket on that one, and there were some very heated phone conversations punctuated with escalation to the next manager up the hierarchy. To me, it didn't really matter whether the roofing material came today or Wednesday, though I was a bit concerned that the longer it stays with FedEx, the more likely something bad will befall it.

Given that we might be in peak mushroom season, it seemed like a shame not to go out and look for mushrooms again today. So I sprayed myself with insect repellant and set out with a plastic bag, a phone, and my good camera. This time I went south to the end of the Farm Road, mostly paying attention the the forest to its west. That seemed likely to be good chanterelle habitat, though all I found were some large bolete (some of which had alreaded rotted away) and some poisonous puffballs (the kind that are black inside even before they ripen). On the way back north, I walked east of the swamp that lies just east of the Farm Road. It was prime chanterelle habitat, and I found a great many. To the south, the color wasn't saturated and they seemed a bit listless. But up near the north end of the swamp, the chanterelles were beautiful, and I gathered enough to make several meals for myself. (Gretchen doesn't eat any wild mushrooms; she finds them "too fungal.")

Gretchen was having such a miserable day that she'd taken half a 5mg oxycodone pill. To salvage the day, she had a plan for the evening. She suggested going to Rosendale and getting tempeh reubens at the Rosendale Café and then seeing a movie at the Rosendale Theatre. That sounded like fun to me, though I haven't eaten at the Rosendale Café in years and was a little surprised to hear Gretchen suggest a place I was pretty sure we'd stopped going to. But apparently she was craving the particular open-face tempeh reuben that they make there.
So we drove to Rosendale and parked behind the theatre. As we walked past the front of the Rosendale Café to get to the entrance on the side, we were a little surprised to see our friends Susan and David there with Juliana and Lee. [REDACTED] We sat at an adjacent table and talked about a number of things as a group. Juliana was talking a lot of smack about the Garden Café in Woodstock. Some of her points were valid, but it was a bit much for Gretchen because she loves that place. Also, as you'll see in the next paragraph, if you don't like the Garden Café, the Rosendale Café is a poor replacement.
Gretchen made the mistake of ordering the cauliflower "wings," which were dreary, listless greasy nuggets of cauliflower in extremely salty hot sauce. It was so brutally salty that one had to use the creamy dipping sauce (which was vegan) to buffer it. The only reason it was edible at all was that I was really hungry, and the main course had yet to come out. The tempeh reubens themselves were pretty good, though they came with terrible macrobrew pickles (think Vlasic).
When the bill came, I thought, at $48, it looked a bit expensive. So Gretchen had them retally it and it turned out we'd been charged $7 or $8 too much. When the waitress made up excuses about something having been on the register and failed to apologize, Gretchen became angry and said that the restaurant should really do something to ensure this sort of thing doesn't happen in the future. She said that she also works in retail and if she'd made a mistake like this, she'd own it. It's rare for us to leave a bad tip, but today we did: 12 percent. The reality is that the Rosendale Café sucks. It's staffed by a bunch of stoners. The service is terrible, the food is hit-or-miss at best, and there are better places to go in Rosendale. [REDACTED]
The movie we'd come to Rosendale to see was a documentary called Three Identical Strangers, the tale of three triplets separated at birth who manage to find each other and then go on to discover a dark secret underlying their existence. It starts out as one sort of movie and then transitions into another in a way that keeps revealing the world presented as a darker, more artificial place than it would make sense to imagine. I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that sometimes there is a dark conspiracy underlying the peaceful reality that surrounds us.

A posted sign on a tree on the west side of the Farm Road. I've never seen polypore fungi growing right through a sign like this.

Lactarius or russula mushrooms bursting up through the gravel along the side of the Farm Road.

The faded chanterelles I initially saw east of the swamp along the east side of the Farm Road.

A frog near some sort of mushroom beside one of the swamp's many small ponds.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next