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:
   flange matches the lugnut holes on a Honda Civic
Friday, August 18 2023

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

After a normal morning of toast, coffee, and Spelling Bee (since Gretchen was playing, I put the arrangement of letters on a piece of cardboard placed in the window for her to contemplate), I returned to the task that occupies most of my thoughts these days. No, not my job hunt (though, it being a Friday, I put some work into that periodically throughout the day), but the installation of foundation insulation. Late this morning I dug out the penultimate slot for a sheet of styrofoam on the west foundation wall. I managed to dig a narrow slot all the way to the footing, but, due to the nature of the material I was digging through (sand mixed with gravel interbedded somewhat with mostly pure sand), the side of this ditch inevitably collapsed, which caused me to have to do a bunch of additional digging just when I thought I'd be able to install a sheet of styrofoam. But once I cleared the collapsed material, things were stable long enough for me to cut and install a styrofoam sheet to size (which, in this case, required cutting out a rectangle for one of the basement's four little windows).
With that increment of progress, I grabbed a beer and headed down to the lake. Gretchen, who had already been down there for hours, was just returning, and we passed each other about half way between the dock and the cabin. She'd actually been able to swim, but conditions seemed too cold for that, so I just sat on the dock for a little while and eventually found some little tasks to do: using Gorilla Glue to fix some splintering wood on the dock's surface and removing the broken toilet-seat base from the pole I'd used to hold the hinged section of dock out of the lake over the winter. Back in Hurley, I'd found an old brake drum from one of our old Honda Civics whose hole pattern (for the four lugnut studs) looked like it might match the hole pattern in the pipe flange at the bottom of that pole, but to be sure I'd have to bring the the old broken base back to the cabin (where that brake drum now was). A brake drum is a solid piece of steel and would make an excellent base for a support pole on all but the softest of lake floors.
Back at the cabin, I was delighted to find that the hole pattern in the old rusted brake drum was indeed an exact match for the flange on that support pole.

Despite occasional clouds that threatened rain, I resumed work on the foundation insulation project, digging out a slot for the last sheet of styrofoam on the west foundation wall. This slot coincided with the two separate 240 volt outlets I'd installed to charge cars. (The first had been a beefy 35 amp outlet that was too big for the solar inverter, so then I'd installed a 16 amp outlet, which is mostly what we use.) These outlets are located on the concrete foundation wall itself, not on the carpentry above, meaning the styrofoam insulation needed to be fitted around them. In addition to these issues, there was also a single buried 240 volt cable leaving the smaller of those outlets in a short piece of conduit en route to the top of the hill on the driveway (the place where we can do charging in the winter if we're concerned about the steepness of the last leg of driveway down to the cabin). So I had to be careful as I dug. As always seems to happen, I experienced a wall collapse near the end of the dig. And then, once I had that nearly cleared up, I experienced an unusual second collapse. But by this evening I was ready to start installing styrofoam. For this location, I opted to stack up a bunch of fragments instead of cutting down a full sheet to size, which made sense given all the custom cuts that would be required to accommodate the 240 volt boxes. By the time darkness descended, I'd managed to install most of the styrofoam (including all of it that went deep in the trench). But I left the fussy little cuts for tomorrow.
In the cabin, Gretchen had used a can of black beans to extend some two-week-old chili she'd made for the visit of our inlaws (mostly what I'd eaten last weekend), and I used it to make several delicious tacos using Stand 'n' Stuff taco shells that had apparently been broken in the store before I'd bought them.

Woodworth Lake today, viewed through my cellphone's fisheye lens from behind the big granite boulder on the lakeshore. I'd left my good camera back in Hurley. Click to enlarge.

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