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:
   driving an overloaded Subaru
Thursday, August 30 2018
At this point any progress left to be done on the screened-in porch is trivial. This morning I went down there to hang out with Gretchen and the dogs, who had all spent the night out on the porch. As I lay there looking up at the two-by-sixes that form a contour on all walls three feet above the floor, I saw a few spots that needed paint. I couldn't help myself and painted them immediately. Later in the morning, I braved the mosqitoes to get up on various ladders (both extension and step) to paint any under-roof unpainted surfaces visible from within the porch (with the exception of those beyond the girder near the eaves).
Later I removed nearly all of the remaining construction debris from near the porch. This largely consisted of pieces of the east wall I'd had to remove to install the french doors. Some of those pieces had been out in the rain for a year and a half and had collected an impressive population of pillbugs and other moisture-loving invertebrates. Others had been somewhat protected from the weather because they'd been under the deck (which has had a functional roof over it since early June). There are many fewer mosquitoes in front of the garage (where I dragged all that debris) than there are down near the porch, so it was much easier to do the processing of this debris there. Much of it could be cut into lenghts suitable for burning in the woodstove, though first I had to remove a fair number of nails and even some plastic flange that had been part of a window (the one replaced with french doors).
At some point this afternoon I drove the Subaru to a house we'd been alerted about on Facebook that was giving away free firewood. It was on Milldam, up the hill west of Bogart in Marbletown. When I showed up, the woman of the house was in the yard, having just talked to someone else who just leaving. She told me I could just drive up on the lawn and take what I wanted. I told her I was strong and would try to take the bigger pieces. The pieces were already cut to woodstove length, but they were from a thick red oak and the bigger pieces were too heavy to lift from the ground. But I could roll them across the lawn, work them up ontop of other pieces I'd put near the back bumper of my car, and then get them into the car. It only took me about five or ten minutes to load the car to capacity.
On the way home, it was clear I'd overloaded it when I got up to highway speed on a short stretch of Bogart. The undulations in the road caused the car to occassionaly rock low onto its springs, and this would cause the exhaust system (which hands far too low already) to make contact with the road. What a terrible sound that makes! To prevent this from happening, I slowed down, avoided bumps, and tried to drive with the driver's side wheels on the crown (highest point) of the road. Even so, I bottomed out more than a dozen times on the drive home. This happened less often when I was driving slowly (up Dug Hill Road, for example). But when I got into the driveway back at the house, the relatively uneven surface caused a few bottomings-out at low speed. I stopped short of where a concrete-and-stone-covered drainage ditch crosses the driveway and unloaded the car there.
Earlier in the week, I'd processed some of the salvaged firewood that has languished all summer of our garage. But it was hard going in the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes. There was also the issue of my being relatively out of shape, not having swung a splitting maul more than a few dozen times over the course of the last two years.

This evening Gretchen and I went out to dinner in Bearsville and movie in nearby Woodstock. Gretchen was craving moo shu vegetables with pancakes, so we went to the Little Bear Chinese restaurant. Though we've been eating perhaps too much bok choy all summer, for some reason I ordered the black mushrooms with bok choy. Unfortunately, it contained only a few slimy black caps; otherwise it was entirely bok choy. Still, it was better than the bok choy we'd been eating at home, which tended to be long-in-the-tooth and somewhat woody. This stuff was tender and fresh. With lots of hot sauce and brown rice, it made for a reasonably good meal. Unusually, I also ordered a cocktail from the bar. When I saw that the mai tai contained lots of unnamed ingredients, I went for that. It was pretty good, and I didn't know how alcoholic it was until we stood up to leave.

At the Tinker Street Theatre, we saw the new Spike Lee movie BlacKkKlansman, a dramatization of a real story from the late 1970s that had a black undercover police officer infiltrating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. He did so over the phone, though when he needed to be present at functions, a white undercover officer was sent in his place. As you may remember, my midlife ADD is such that I have trouble sitting through an entire movie in one go (I prefer to watch things in 15 or 20 minute increments, punctuated by other things), and at times I felt a little restless during BlacKkKlansman. But it was good movie with a great climax (wherein Spike Lee took inevitable Hollywood license with the original story), and we were left with an epilogue showing real footage of the white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville, complete with Trump's appalling reaction and footage of David Duke (who had been an important character in BlacKkKlansman). My main thought when seeing real footage of David Duke in recent times was, "He's had work done!" Clearly, BlacKkKlansman is an important movie in this terrible phase of American history we're all living through, and it was written partly to showcase how the language of Trump is really just the language of the most vile strain of American racism.
Back at the house, it was nearly 11:00pm. I checked in on the diaspora happy hour and saw nobody was there. Maybe we've all moved on. That would be sad, but it's probably inevitable. I saw Cameron posting something on Facebook owning up to being an alcoholic and an addict, so he can't be doing happy hour any more, at least not while he's thinking that.

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