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:
   power-outage cabin retreat
Wednesday, October 5 2022

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

A power outage arrived while I was sittIng at my computer getting ready to start my day, and it was the kind that didn't immediately resolve itself. When I checked the Central Hudson outage map, it told me power would be back on by 11:30am. But I'd already hatched a plan to go to a place where I could work, and not a local one either. So at 9:00am I woke Gretchen up to get her to reschedule a landlording task for this evening and tell her my plan: to drive to the cabin in the Adirondacks and work from there. It would mean driving separate cars there, since Gretchen would also be going to the cabin this weekend but had to work at the bookstore today. Part of my eagerness to take the Subaru Forester was that it would allow me to finally transport a piece of ten foot conduit I'd been unable to fit inside the Bolt. It would also allow me to haul more bluestone than I usually carry (not that I actually would be doing that given all the other bulky things I'd be hauling). I'd already communicated with my remote colleagues, so they wouldn't be expecting me at the morning standup. Initially Gretchen didn't think it was a good idea, but then she apparently realized that it was something I wanted to do, kind of similar to all the things she does that she doesn't exactly clear with me first, and it was as if a switch was flipped and she insisted that I should go. Part of this was just the difference between her half-asleep brain and her fully-awake one. So I loaded up the various things I would be transporting, as well as the dogs, and began the drive.
Initially I was driving in a fairly heavy rain, but this gradually wound down as I approached Albany. At some point near the Coxsackie exit I had to piss so badly that I used a travel mug as a urine receptacle. (Urine doesn't skeeve me out at all; I'd be washing it out and drinking tea from it soon enough.)
The dogs hadn't pooped yet today, so I got off at the Pattersonville rest area to give them a chance to do that in and around the employee lot (which is reachable via its own access road, separated from the Thruway itself by a gate to keep vehicles from accessing the Thruway that way). As I was walking the dogs here, I was listening on my phone to the scrum sprint review, an event that happens every 21 days.
Because of ongoing street construction in Amsterdam, I drove to the cabin via Amsterdam's motor mile and then across the northern neighborhoods of Gloversville instead of going, as I normally would, past the Fulton County Airport. This meant that I got my inevitable Impossible Whopper from the Amsterdam Burger King. The employees who work the Burger King drive-through window often get a jolt happiness in their dreary workday just by seeing Neville in the passenger seat, and today was no exception. "He's gonna get some," I assured the woman running my credit card. I had, of course, gotten a whole extra order of large fries just for the dogs.
At the cabin, one of the first things I did was wash out my pants, since pissing into a water bottle on the road hadn't gone entirely as hoped. Then the dogs and I feasted on french fries and I ate my Whopper.
This afternoon in the remote workplace, we had our every-third-Wednesday Agile "sprint retrospective," which I've come to treat as a de facto happy hour. I don't know that I've ever attended one without having an alcoholic drink in my hand. THis makes me feel looser, funnier, and more charismatic. And when one feels this way, one tends to project this feeling to others. Today marked the last day of work of a developer who had been with the company for seven years. He was leaving because he'd been offered a job with better pay at CVS. This had me thinking about the expense of not providing every reasonable incentive to prevent a developer with so much knowledge from going. Based on the learning curve I've experienced, the expense of training a replacement is so high that almost any raise (certainly to the level CVS is offering, though that's unknown) would be worth it to the company. We discussed these issues at length, and everyone was in agreement with my thinking on this. But, as Joe the Lead Developer said, management views us all as "replaceable," and are unaware (or are deliberately blind) to the actual costs of training new developers in this niche industry.
AT 5:00pm, I walked down to the lake and paddled a kayak counterclockwise around the main part of the lake. Some large machine could be heard going back and forth on the ground on Pyotor's building site, preparing it for what I've been told will be a log cabin.
I ate a lump of cannabis long enough before going to bed that I would be awake when it started kicking in. Among the things I did that before that happened was to check out the progress on Ibrahim's A-frame. Some of the roofing has been installed, and I noticed saw that there will be some skylights on the massive roof, though only on the north side. I'd brought the handtruck with me, so I on the way back to the cabin, I gathered a number of pieces of flat granite for use in bulding out the pathway passing just north of the cabin.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next