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:
   induction stove installed
Tuesday, August 8 2023

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

The plan today was for all of us to pack up and head our separate ways from the cabin by 9:00am. J and the teenagers would be driving back to Pittsburgh via Buffalo, a seven hour road trip, and Gretchen and I would be driving with the dogs back to Hurley. First, though, there were the three hungry teenage mouths to feed. To keep things simple, Gretchen put out bread, butter, and jam. As for coffee, J said she'd get some somewhere on the road, and I just drank some leftover coffee from yesterday (someting I almost never do). Then the power that'd put in the battery using the generator last night finally ran out, and we quickly ran out of water as well. I was worried about the icecream melting in the freezer, so I fired up the generator for about twenty minutes and hoped it would be a sunny day (which it ended up being).
Meanwhile there was a frenzy of cleaning, straightening up, and moving bags out to J's Subaru. (Everyone except Gretchen and me seems to travel with enormous amounts of stuff.) Normally Gretchen is happy reusing bed clothes after a guest sleeps over, but when those guests are teenagers, that's where she draws the line. She told the kids to strip their beds before they left.
There were some hugs goodbye, but I definitely got the fewest of those. And then we were off in the Chevy Bolt and could finally debrief in full about what we'd just experienced.
We stopped to get lattes and hash browns at the Dunkin Donuts near the Amsterdam Thruway exit. While Gretchen was ordering those (and taking care of an emergent lower intestinal issue), I tried to get the dogs to poop in the grass behind the shop. Some woman who works there saw me with the dogs out there and came out to gush about how cute they were. She asked if the dogs would eat a donut. I told her they very much would, and so she split one for them.

Back in Hurley, I had preliminary call with some woman about a Node.JS job that I needed to mentally prepare for. That sort of stressed me out until it actually happened. But I do good on such preliminary calls, and I felt like I'd made an amazing impression. But then then the woman I'd talked to ghosted me the rest of the day, not doing any of the things she said she would. This had happened with an earlier call that had also seemed to go well, and it made me wonder what about my pitch wasn't working. Maybe I shouldn't say I've been laid off? Is the salary I'm quickly coming up with too high?
I had a landlording task over at the Brewster Street house, so early this afternoon I went over there to check on an electrical outlet that wasn't working. This had happened at the same house in the past, and had required a bunch of work to fix (including tearing into plaster walls), so I'd assumed the worst. But the problem turned out to be a tripped GFCI switch. Was it really true that nobody in that house knew about GFCI outlets? In any case, it was an easy problem to fix. I also checked up on an occasional leak in the basement wall that looks like it can be fixed with a little spray foam.
While I was out, I went out of my way to visit the Tibetan Center thrift store. Rob (who now has an impressive mane of hair) was working, and he always gives me the best deals; I got a 900 MHz headphone (with base station) and a not-terrible bread knife for only $3.25. I figure the headphones are one of the ways I can improve my entertainment when I'm puttering around up at the cabin, since their range is considerably greater than bluetooth.
Back home in Hurley, I explained to Gretchen the GFCI outlet "fix" I'd just done, and we decided to make a new rule: any problem outlets reported by a tenant must be photographed before we go out to attempt a fix. Gretchen had been vegging out in front of the teevee all day as way to recover from all the socializing and hosting she'd just done. But then this evening she had to drive 40 minutes and teach an English class in a nearby prison, and (because of a variety of unique circumstances) it was making her anxious. It ended up going great though, and while she was out, not only did I take a bath, but I also installed (and got working) the new induction-powered stove top on the kitchen island. I didn't have a suitably-large circuit breaker, so we can't run all the burners until I get one, but other than that it seems to work. Unlike a traditional stovetop, it's a black slab, borrowing design cues from the iPhone. Also as with an iPhone, it is controlled entirely by touch. There are permanent graphics in the surface showing where the controls "are," but turning on a burner is all about swiping and tapping. The lack of surface features means this new stove will be much easier to clean than the old gas stove it replaces. Induction stoves depend on ferric cookware in order to work, which was the reason my first test failed; a test with a magnet demonstrated that I was using an all-aluminum pot.

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