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:
   not watching the WNBA at Mountain Hut Pizza
Sunday, October 8 2023

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

It was nice to wake up at the cabin this morning and have it all to ourselves for our old-married-couple rituals. Happily, the rain had stopped and, in fits and starts, the sun finally emerged. It was cool and rather breezy, but for October in the Adirondacks, it wasn't so bad.
Alarmingly, though, Ramona failed to get out of bed all morning and Gretchen ended up forcing her to get up. She stumbled out into the great room and collapsed on her dog bed, to lie there inert for much of the rest of our stay at the cabin. Something is clearly wrong with her because we later have great difficulty finding her anything she wanted to eat. She even refused sweet potato dog treats, though she eventually said yes to some stale old corn chips, which has always been one of her favorite foods.
I did some more electrical work in the basement, finishing a sprawling basment circuit that had placed outlets all along the north and east wall. It finally ended with a seventh outlet on the south foundation wall near the basement's only south-facing window.
I also did some further digging under the screened-in porch near the cabin's northeast corner. I'd found that some of the fill used to make the path down to the dock trail had gone soft (almost like quicksand) in all the rain. So I shoveled more sand into the voids made by my footsteps until the path was once more solid. Then I spread out some fresh new leaves on the path's surface to protected it from erosion.
I've been a little concerned about the change in elevation I've made to the landscape near the cabin's northeast corner, which has been to lower it. I'm wondering if this has made the frostline go deeper as well. If so, am I compromising the footings of the cabin's foundation, the tops of which are now only buried beneath 18 inches of sand for a short stretch. This is unlikely, since the mass of material nearby is too deep to experience frost. But I'm also worried about the footing for the pillars holding up the decks. These are rectangular blocks that had been sticking a few inches out of the ground. I was curious how deep they went and whether they'd been cast in place or were made somewhere else and dropped into holes in the ground. So I dug down along the side of one of them to see how far it went and if it ever spread out or turned rough, but it was a consistent block going down at least 30 inches (I never found any change of form along that entire length). One thing I could do to feel better about possible deeper frost penetration is to dig up the area between the east foundation wall and the nearer of the deck foundation pillars and bury styrofoam between them at a depth of two or three feet. That would solve the problem of any frost coming from the landscape changes I have made to date. And if I dig deeper further out later, I can bury more styrofoam.
At some point Gretchen and I (but not the dogs) walked down to the lake. I brought the pipe gate hinge brackets I'd bought to do some initial fitting, carrying them in a five gallon bucket so I could also gather rocks on the way back. At first it was blustery and cold, but then the sun broke through and the weather turned so pleasant that Gretchen decided to go for a paddle in one of the kayaks. I had a little trouble getting the brackets to close tightly enough around the piles I wanted to attach them to, but I eventually got it to happen after figuring out how to apply the right leverage. I attached two of the brackets high up on the furthest out piles but still have to attach two more brackets down in the water on the closer-in piles, but that will have to wait for a hopefully nicer day.
On the walk back to the cabin, I walked over to the beaver dams at the lake's outflow and gathered up some broken glass that the Boy Scouts must've collected at some point many years ago with the intention to carry away. Mixed in with it in the pile they'd made were some nice pieces of wrought iron and even some pottery shards and bullet casings. I took everything except the more useless pieces of steel, and this left me plenty of room to also gather some rocks as I came up through the granite cliffs.
Back at the cabin, I drew out the design for a set of doggie steps I am making that will use sheets of plywood as the stepped strings on either side. I laid it out so the cutting of one string makes the step pattern for the other string. The idea is to make a set of steps that will be easier for Ramona (and other dogs) to climb. I never got around to doing the actual cutting. By this point Gretchen was ready to head back to Hurley.
Earlier, Gretchen had had a plan for this afternoon to maybe go to Mountain Hut Pizza in nearby Bleecker and get the staff there to tune a television to an WNBA game. When we'd mentioned this to Andrew, he was sure that everyone else in that place was going to be wanting to watch one or more football games that would be happening at the same time. So it was looking like if Gretchen wanted to see the WNBA play at a restaurant, she would have to pick a real sportsbar, one with lots of screens. (Some years ago she'd said she had success watching a WNBA game at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Kingston, where they also had good fries and even cauliflower wings.) She said she would've tried Mountain Hut anyway had I been willing to accompany her there, but that wasn't something I wanted to do.
We set out from the cabin with about 140 miles of range in the battery, which should've been plenty for the scenic route. But something about how Gretchen either drove or managed the climate control system had us burn through about 120 miles of range, so it was very good that we had managed to get some sun today, or that 120 miles of range we'd had until this morning might not have been enough.

Gretchen stretching on the dock this afternoon. Click to enlarge.

\ One of those pipe gate hinge brackets (with quick link) attached to one of the dock's pipe piles.

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