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:
   bluegill nesting
Sunday, June 26 2022

location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY

Yesterday I'd spent so much time working at the dock that I hadn't been at the cabin when the battery level fell so low (from charging the Bolt) that the SolArk inverter shut down power to the cabin. The power did come on eventually when I'd unplugged the car and hot water heater. But we nevertheless limped through the night with not quite enough power. But this morning as sunlight ramped up, I didn't feel the need to babysit the process. So I returned to the dock with a rich set of tools, including the angle grinder. There were still pieces of makeshift bracketing that were intruding into the place where I wanted to screw down the last plank on the hinged section of dock, and I wanted to be able to cut that away. I also wanted to cut the tips off some lag bolts that had stood in the way of subsequently-added carriage bolts solidifying joist attachments on the framework of the last section of dock I will be installing, the fully-floating ten by twelve foot square. Once I'd done this (and replaced a few hex bolts with carriage bolts, thereby having fewer angular heads capable of tearing up watercraft), I was pretty much done with all the dock chores I could do entirely by myself. I was pretty sure that I would be unable to move the ten-by-twelve-foot framework to a place where I could attach the floaters without at least one other person's assistance. So I cracked open a beer to celebrate even though it was still well before noon.
While I was at the lake today, I finally figured out what was causing all the two-foot-wide circles of clear sand and gravel on the lakefloor in shallow water all along the lake's edge. One such cleared circles was near the dock in that place where a bluegill had been jealously guarding territory. That bluegill had since vanished, and I'd been able to gather rocks from that area. But now either that same bluegill (a fairly large one) or a very similar one was back in that spot, chasing off intruders and apparently making the kinds of currents that keep the gravel bed free of muck and organic matter. On the other side of the dock, somewhat further away, I saw another such cleared circle, this one presided over by a considerably smaller bluegill.
The weather at Woodworth Lake has been warmer than it's been on previous weekends, though I never felt motivated to fully immerse myself. Biting insects are less aggravating now too; we're down to just deer flies and the rare mosquito. I find that if I'm at the end of the dock and kill a deer fly or two, that depletes the local population and I then have peace for a long time afterwards.

Back at the cabin, I wanted to install the baseboard planks in the upstairs bathroom. But to run the saw to make the necessary cuts, I had to fire up the generator. A happy side effect of doing this was that I could build up some capacity in the cabin's battery, allowing me to more fully-charge the Chevy Bolt once I was done using the saw (I don't think I can run the saw and charge the Bolt at the same time). Before launching into all this work, I swallowed a recreational percocet. This kicked in while I was in the thick of things, and I suspect it made the whole process more of a "crackhead project." This seemed especially so as I kept trying to cut a little 7.25 inch piece of baseboard with a 45 mitre on one end. That mitre kept looking terrible, and I was unable to cut the currect mitre (of something like 48 degrees) until I propped up the wood being cut on one side using a piece of cardboard.
At some point I communicated with Gretchen and she invited me to meet her at the Bearsville Cantina, our new favorite high-end Mexican restaurant. I told her I wouldn't be back until after 8:00pm, and she said no problem.
So I drove the usual way, cracking open a beer as I passed Catskill. I also sent Gretchen a message at that point she'd know it was time to head to Bearsville.
When I arrived at the Bearsville complex (whatever it's called; oh it's Bearsville Center), I saw the Forester with Ramona and Neville waiting inside. So I had to say hello to them and pat their heads. At that point Gretchen, who had forgotten something, showed up. Before going into the Cantina, she aggressively brushed my hair with her hand so that I would look less like a homeless person. (I never look reputable after a weekend at the cabin.) Nothing could be done about my missing tooth, of course.
We got a table outside in back overlooking the Saw Kill. Throughout the meal, I kept seeing patterns in the river stones. At first I thought I saw Charles Darwin, but looking at the arrangement later, it looked more like Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
The Bearsville Cantina is always coming up with new vegan dishes, and important new one is the Impossible enchiladas, which feature Impossible Burger faux beef. I ordered that, and it did not disappoint. I also ordered a house margarita, which costs $15 these days. Gretchen was in a drinking mood, to the extent she ever is, and ordered a watermelon-flavored sour beer. But she only drank a few sips before deciding it tasted "like ass."
We spent much of the meal with Gretchen telling me how over she is of Powerful continuing to live with us. She's also dismayed at how little attention he pays to current events, something brought into stark relief by her having to explain to him the implications of the Supreme Court's striking down of Roe vs. Wade. After we'd discussed that exhaustively, I gave Gretchen some updates on the state of the cabin, where there are only a few projects left to be done.
After our meal, Gretchen wanted to show me this adult playground area that had been created behind a fence in the back of the complex. The gate was locked, and as I looked for a stick to pick it with, I saw a gap where one could easily get in just by sliding in sideways. So we (including the dogs) walked around back in there, amazed by crazy adult play and lounge equipment, including the most robustly-constructed ping pong table either of us had ever seen. Evidently no expense is being spared in the renovation of the Bearsville Center after it was recently purchased by an extremely wealthy woman.

After convoying back home, I drank some scotch and climbed into bed.

The dock with its new deck-covered hinged section, viewed from the west. Click to enlarge.

Viewed from the northwest. You can see the framework for what will be the floating section of dock still on the shore to the right. Click to enlarge.

Viewed from the south. Click to enlarge.

A bluegill guarding a section of cleared lakefloor. Click for a wider view.

What faces do you see in these stones in the Saw Kill?

Ramona on the steps of the Bearsville Theatre this evening. It was closed at the time.

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