contributions were as futile as prayers
Friday, November 4 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
It was a beautiful sunny, warm day in the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, though, it was a workday in the remote workplace, and the work I was doing was about as miserable as it can get. To give you a sense of the issues I was having, I'd make an experimental change to some code, reload, and the problem would seem to be fixed. But then later it would turn out that the problem was manifesting at random and my "fix" had nothing to do with it. It was all voodoo and my contributions were as futile as prayers. I'd even taken a recreational dose of pseudoephedrine to help me focus on the work, but all it did was make me feel vaguely dysphoric. Periodically I'd take breaks to go out and shovel dirt into the ditch along the styrofoam I'd glued to the north foundation wall over the preceding weeks.
At some point I made myself feel better by customizing a frozen vegan pizza with poblano peppers, a few slices of jalapeños, and mushrooms and it turned out pretty good for a pizza that had been in a freezer.
Near the end of the workday, I started working in earnest on my foundation wall insulation project. On this trip, I'd brought a powersaw (the 20 year old Black & Decker "fucked saw" with failing bearings that make an ominous whine) equipped with a masonry blade to make quick work of cutting the Wonderboard, which is the material I am using to cover the styrofoam. The fucked saw proved super helpful for making the cuts necessary to accommodate a basement window and making the few small shapes I needed near the Bilco doors. To glue the bigger sheets of Wonderboard in place, I needed to fill in the trench I'd originally excavated (to install the styrofoam) until there was only five feet of styrofoam exposed. This would give me a solid surface to set the Wonderboard on top of until the beads of glue that I'd run near the tops of the Wonderboard could dry. Near the Bilco doors, less than three feet of basement wall was exposed above ground, so there I could turn the last sheet of five foot by three foot Wonderboard on its side so it could cover five feet of horizontal distance instead of just three. I continued working until it was nearly dark, using various sticks and tools as props to force the Wonderboard solidly onto the styrofoam along the top edge. The glue wasn't actually that important, since most of the work of holding the Wonderboard in place would come from the pressure of soil against it. But I didn't want insects to be able to find their way up from below via any voids between the styrofoam and Wonderboard and make it into the wooden parts of the cabin unseen and unobstructed.
After dark, I relaxed on the couch with one of my Chromebooks, the dogs, and a stiff drink. Eventually the diphenhydramine kicked in and I went off to bed. (The beds at the cabin always surprise me a little by how amazingly comfortable they are.)
There was a creepy moon rising through the trees this evening, with Jupiter above it. Click for a wider view.
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