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:
   great white hope?
Sunday, August 27 2023

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

The internet stopped working this morning while I was drinking my coffee, and, using my phone, I eventually figured out why: I'd exceeded 20 gigabytes for this billing cycle. I'd checked the usage yesterday morning and had only used 1.6 GB of that 20 GB limit, but what seems to have happened is that the amount of streaming audio and video I'd consumed had somehow not yet been added to the tally. When it was, it exceeded the 20 GB limit. I don't enjoy using the internet on a phone (which, in the cabin, would have to be done in the loft), so I gave up on that and returned to my foundation insulation project.
There was a frog trapped at the bottom of the ditch when I went to check it this morning, and I thought maybe I could get him out with a hoe (since the ditch was too narrow for me to fit in now that there was styrofoam in it). But he just burrowed into the space beneath the foam, being lost completely. There was no way he was getting out, so I had to bury him alive. (I suppose it's possible frogs can burrow out from beneath a couple feet of sand, but this seems unlikely. Even if I hadn't buried him, the walls of the ditch would've collapsed in on him before he could escape.
The fourth sheet of styrofoam on the south foundation wall (coming from the west) would be mostly under the small deck at the cabin's front door. Due to the depth of the footing and the presence of wet sand, my goal was to only install a sheet to the shallower footing depth I'd encountered along the west foundation wall. Even digging to that depth led to trench wall collapses, including one that happened as I was trying to wrestle in a sheet of styrofoam. That attempt went so badly that I had to remove it and put it aside to re-work the trench. In so doing, I managed to make it deeper than it had been. The next time I tried to put a sheet of styrofoam in the slot, I first cut into two pieces, as I had with most of the sheets installed under the east decks. The two pieces were a bit a misaligned, but it wasn't anything that couldn't be fixed with a little spray foam and small fragments of styrofoam. With that out of the way, there were only 24 feet of basement foundation wall still needing to be insulated.
But I was done for the weekend, and proceeded to do the usual outdoor cleanup (putting the tools and pieces of wood in specific places and covering the mounds of excavated dirt with plastic sheeting).

The dogs and I were back in Hurley by about 5:30pm, and I immediately climbed into the bathtub. Gretchen, who had been out doing things with here various newish friends, returned a couple hours later.
She and I sat on the couch discussing some things that had come up in her mind after reading about Michæl Oher, a black athlete who was "adopted" by a wealthy white couple at the age of 18, a story that was made into a movie called The Blind Side. Apparently Oher is now suing his white benefactors, saying they exploited him both for what he would do for their reputation once on the football team of Old Miss and for his life's story for the making of that movie. This had Gretchen searching her soul wondering if she'd been trying to be the "white savior" for Powerful when we welcomed him into our home after he was released from a quarter century of imprisonment. Uncomfortably, Gretchen said she felt a little like she had wanted Powerful to adopt some of our behaviors and become more like us, though of course he's his own person and it was unfair for him to be expected to do so in any way. And so he proceeded to wreck his body with an unhealthy diet, his credit with numerically-illiterate financial doings, and his car with his dim-witted curation of his social network. Perhaps our decision to take Powerful in wasn't entirely altruistic, as nothing really is. But it wasn't exploitative at all. We continued to support him after his diasterous first attempt at living in Albany, and Gretchen nursed him back to health from a very serious medical condition. It was only after his second diasterous attempt at living in Albany that we gave up on him, only to give him an nth chance that he quickly made us regret.

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