our niece's new dog
Sunday, December 4 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
I awoke before any morning light this morning and had trouble getting back to sleep. So I ate the cabin's one remaining un-bifurcated ambien tablet, which I washed down with some sort of alcoholic beverage. This would ensure that I would sleep fairly late, at least by the standards of the cabin.
After a morning of coffee, Spelling Bee, and unfocused reading of news articles, I walked down to the lake with a one-inch-wide NPT pipe in my hand. I wanted to make sure that it would fit inside one of the two pipe supports already built into the sides of the fully-floating section of dock. I confirmed that it would, which meant it might be possible some day to jack that end of the dock up out of the water much like I jacked up the hinged section of dock. I'm not sure a one-inch pipe will support a quarter of the weight load of the dock, especially once it gets covered with three feet of snow, but I already knew a 1.25 inch pipe is too big for the existing pipe supports. Perhaps I could fill the one inch pipe with concrete and rebar to give it more resistance to flexing.
This is all in response to the difficulty of beaching the floating section of dock near the tree dock. The effort that went into first winching, then jacking, then winching again took a lot of time and effort, all of which was spent outdoors in poor to miserable conditions. If I could instead float that section of dock into the shallows, attach four pipes via pipe supports (I'd have to install two more and place four solid footings under water) and jack it up out of the water on those, then I could winterize it much more quickly. I'd also be able to re-deploy that section of dock quickly the following spring, something that is going to be difficult with it up on the beach. I should mention that the temporary creek that empties into the lake at the tree dock is flowing somewhat energetically, although (strangely) it doesn't quite reach the lake. Instead it disappears into a hole in its delta and travels the last fifteen feet or so to the lake underground.
Back at the cabin, I did a little more trimming of the view to the west. Initially I did some work from the collapsible ladder, but it was apparently it in was in some liminal state on one of the steps, which partially collapsed under my weight when I was up in the tree. So I did subsequent work from the ground. I think the problem with that ladder is that ice can get into it and partially lock against some of the internal indentations only to melt away and leave the ladder in a dangerous state. For this reason, I don't think the ladder should be used unless conditions have been significantly above freezing for a day or more.
I then spent a fair amount of time yet again trying to communicate between my work-issued laptop and the SolArk inverter in the basement. In the past, I'd tried to do this while sitting on the cold concrete floor, but this time I dragged over a small desk (the one Gretchen bought me for use in her tiny Brooklyn apartment more than 21 years ago) and an office chair, which made experimenting a lot less unpleasant. Unfortunately, though, I completely failed at getting any more than a time out error when testing the command-line diagnostics program called modpoll.
I also made some preliminary work building out some server technology that will allow a microcontroller in the cabin to check in on the state of a server-hosted database and turn on or off relays based on their state. This will, in the future, allow me to do things like turn on the generator or the heat completely remotely.
By then the sun was dropping quickly among the trees. So I switched into cleaning mode, a ritual to make the cabin a pleasant place to arrive to.
There was still some light in the sky when I began driving back to Hurley, though it had faded into dusk by the time I got to Amsterdam.
Back in Hurley, Gretchen still hadn't returned from an overnight trip to the City, where she'd seen the musical 1776 with her friend Kia, who gets free tickets to shows because she has a vote in the Tony Awards (I think that's what is going on).
When Gretchen finally came home, she came into the laboratory to snuggle with the dogs on the bean bag. She stayed there for a longer than normal and it started feeling a bit like an intrusion into my personal space. But I knew she missed the dogs, so I wasn't as bitchy about it as the younger, less-fully-formed version of me would've been. After telling me about her trip to the City (which wasn't that interesting), she told me that our niece in Oregon recently adopted a puppy. She showed me a picture of the two together and the puppy (a male named is Sasha) looked like a little Ramona. Amazingly, our niece had adopted a rescue pit bull, the sole survivor from a malnourished litter dying of parvo. That's a huge step outside the comfort zone for a family whose last dog is some sort of froofy poodle mix from an Amish breeder (who, it bears mentioning, turned out to be something of a bitch).
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