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:
   a really big piece of granite
Friday, September 8 2023

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

After the usual morning cabin routines, I took off all my clothes and began digging out a narrow 22.5 inch wide slot to install the last of the foundation's insulating styrofoam. I only had to dig down about a foot and a half, so this didn't take longer than about ten minutes. Then I assembled the various rectangular fragments of styrofoam I needed to fill the space. I found I could do this with the least amount of cutting and measuring if I used four pieces arranged in narrow two-by-two grid, starting with two pieces that were four feet tall and about 11.25 inches wide. I managed to get these pieces to fit so snuggly that I had to insert them both at an angle where they joined that I then collapsed using substantial pressure. But once flat, it seemed to want to stay that way, and the spray foam I'd applied to all the joints would act as a quick adhesive once I had prop sticks holding it all in place. Gretchen came out to see just after I'd done a similar thing to the two top pieces of styrofoam, and she made the mistake of asking what I would be doing with the leftover styrofoam while I was under the time crunch of getting the prop sticks in place before the spray foam cured. Thinking she was making this into a lecture about hoarding, I snarled that I didn't want to think about that just now. But then apologized about ten minutes later when I was all done and Gretchen was headed for the lake.
After nearly a year of off-and-n work, I'd finished the foundation insulation project! (Well, the part of it where I install insulation.) So I grabbed a beer and headed to the lake, convincing the dogs to tag along slowly behind me. Down at the dock, Gretchen was reading, but I climbed into the water hammock and had a soak until Ramona arrived. When she did so, she immediately went for a wade, as it was fairly hot. I then took her on a canoe ride to the beaver dam at the lake's outflow. While I was over there, I found some nice rocks to use for adding to the stone steps I've been building above the dock. These were on the shallow lake floor along the north shore not far from the beaver dam. I'd already let Ramona out, and she was snorting around on the south shore about fifty feet away (the bay is rather narrow there). At some point she decided to join me, so she swam across, which was the most swimming I'd seen her do in some time. She managed to get back to the boat, and we returned with our cargo of chonky granite rocks. One of these proved so heavy that the only way I could get it out was to overturn the canoe in the shallows near the dock. This ended up getting a fair amount of water into the canoe, which was somewhat tricky to get out. As for the huge rock, I was able to lift it up onto the dock, but carrying it any distance was impossible. So instead I carefully rolled and it and turned it end over end until it was in a staging area out of the way.
Back at the cabin, I removed all the prop sticks supporting the foam (since the spray foam had now cured) and then spent several hours filling the trench along the south foundation wall until it was near the depth needed to support the bottom of the three-foot-tall sheets of Durock that I would be using to cover the styrofoam (to protect it from physical and ultraviolet damage). Most of this sand came from the substantial piles still beneath the east decks, where the trench I'd excavated to install styrofoam is still fairly deep for most of its length. (My plan is to leave the north end of the trench deep so I can easily walk along the part sheltered from rain to better use the space for storage.) Since I was moving the sand more than twenty feet to fill the ditch along the south foundation wall, it proved easiest to carry the sand in five gallon buckets. Initially the process was frustratingly slow, but at some point I realized that if I filled the trench any more, I'd have to dig it out a little to install the Durock.
[REDACTED] Gretchen had used a grill to cook some corn on the cob on the stovetop, but something had gone wrong with the oil and she didn't like the way it tasted. I don't much like corn on the cob, but I found it edible, though it was about the only thing I wanted to eat. -->
I then walked down to the lake and did a little more work on my stone steps after gathering even more stones (one of them nearly square and very flat) off the lakefloor. As I was heading back to the cabin, I soon encountered Gretchen, who was coming down to take an evening kayak. She asked how much daylight she could expect, and I said "maybe twenty minutes."

The last of the styrofoam installed on the cabin's foundation, near the southeast corner on the south side. Viewed from the south. Note the drainage pipe from the gutter that I had to deal with when installing the east-most piece of styrofoam on the south foundation wall yesterday. Click to enlarge.

The same last styrofoam, viewed from the southwest. Note our pathetic Adirondack garden on the right, whose jalapeños were as mild as sweet peppers. It was so lame that no varmints took advantage of it even though it was completely unfenced. Click to enlarge.

The canoe on the glassy lake late this morning. Click to enlarge.

Flat-topped aster near the beaver dam at the lake's outflow. Click to enlarge.

White turtlehead near the beaver dam at the lake's outflow. Click to enlarge.

Ramona riding in the canoe next to an enormous chunk of granite near the end of our stone gathering mission. Click to enlarge.

A dry teasel head in Shane's clearing (south of our cabin about 500 feet).

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