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:
   four drives to West Hurley
Tuesday, January 24 2023
I awoke this morning on the couch in the teevee room (where I often go at some point in the night) after dreaming about a situation in which my marriage with Gretchen had come to an end and I somehow had two different girlfriend who didn't know about each other. I was having trouble deciding between them or even if I should go back with Gretchen. I've had similar dreams in the past, but they are much less common than other types of dreams.

The other day Gretchen took our Subaru Forester to a garage for its yearly inspection. Since upgrading our two-car fleet to non-clunkers (both our cars have backing cameras, though it's true that air conditioning only works in the Bolt), we haven't had to stress out about whether or not our cars would pass inspection (and, if not, what hack I might have to employ to cheaply solve the source of an inspection failure). But the Forester went on to fail its inspection because its back brakes were bad. In the past I'd fix the brakes myself, but that's not a fun thing to do in the winter and, as Gretchen recently demonstrated, our lifestyle is costing us $100,000 less per year than our after-tax income. So this morning the plan was to drop the Forester off at the garage so they could do the brake work. Gretchen was still bleary-eyed and groggy when I rousted her out of bed at about 8:40am, but I didn't want to miss morning standup in the remote workplace.
I scraped the window of the Bolt and started driving down the hill towards Hurley Mountain Road, thinking for some reason that we would be dropping the Forester off at Van Kleeck's Tire. I hadn't scraped the window too well, and the low sun kept filling the windshield with so much glare that I couldn't see at all, forcing me to stop and then proceed cautiously while looking out the driver's side window. When I got to Hurley Mountain Road, I stopped and waited for Gretchen. After a minute passed and she was nowhere to be seen, I remembered that she'd had the Forester inspected at the West Hurley Garage (next door to the Hurley Ridge Hannaford). That would mean going taking a left out of our driveway instead of a right. So I zoomed back up the hill and continued to the correct destination. I found an irritated-looking Gretchen standing in front of the garage with a cordless phone in her hand (she'd forgotten to bring her cellphone). But she didn't need that any more; I'd figured out my mistake.
Later in the morning, the West Hurley Garage called to ask if we knew where the special tool was for removing the custom anti-theft lugnut, which wasn't in any of the usual places. We suggesting looking among the tools under the floor of the way-back. A half hour later they called us back saying they really couldn't find it. So Gretchen and I got in the Bolt and drove back out there to search the car ourselves.
We searched every conceivable place, but the tool was not to be found. Evidently you have to make sure when you buy a used car that that tool is included; the chuckleheads at ALL Motor Cars in Tillson had sold us one without it (we hadn't caught the defective air conditioning either, as we'd bought it in the winter). This wasn't a complete diaster though; Gretchen had called the local Subaru dealer and they told her they would have the tools to remove the special lugnut and we could have it replaced with a conventional lugnut. So I drove back home to continue my punctuated workday while Gretchen drove the Forester to the Subaru dealership for that work (which cost only $55).
During group QA in the remote workplace, Gretchen called from the West Hurley Garage to tell me she had just dropped the Forester off for a second time. Picking her up required a third drive to and from West Hurley.
Near the end of the workday, the garage called to say the Forester was all done, so I drove with Gretchen to pick it up on a fourth drive to West Hurley. The brakes had cost a little less than $400 to fix, which is less than half what a brake job on Bathtubgirl's old Volvo used to cost at the shyster mechanics she used in San Diego back in 1999.
On the way home, I went a little out of my way to visit the Tibetan Center thrift store, but I found nothing worth getting. (I did, however, briefly consider buying a Rubik's Cube, since I never actually owned one or learned how to solve it.)
Near the end of the workday, my brother Don called with an update about our mother, Hoagie. She'd apparently had some blood work done and it was a complete mess (Don didn't have the details), so her hospitalization will continue. And when she's released, it won't be back home to Creekside but to some sort of rehabilitation place. Depending on how that goes, she'll either recover quickly and be sent back home or, more likely, she's never going home again. I told Don that as long as Hoagie stays alive, the money will keep flowing to the places it needs to go to keep Creekside liveable, and that if he needs money for anything to be sure to call Joy Tarder, who controls Hoagie's money.
I then went and gathered a load of firewood a little further afield than I've been going of late west of the Farm Road. There was a mid-sized skeletonized chestnut oak that I'd tried to cut down years ago that was hung up in a tree. I was able to fell it this evening in the snowy post-sunset twilight and assemble a backpack load of ready-to-burn firewood, and there are probably two or three more backpack loads remaining to gather from it.
This evening Gretchen made a weird pasta with a weird salad using various things she wanted to empty out of the refrigerator. The salad was a little heavy in brussels sprouts and cauliflower she'd air-fried in our new air-frying toaster oven.


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