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:
   Middleburgh Diner
Sunday, October 29 2023

location: 940 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY

We woke up at 10:00am this morning and it was rainy and cold outside. Overnight the cabin's battery had been exhausted (or, technically, had run down to a level that the inverter decided to turn off cabin power). Normally we don't like to run the generator, but this was a case where doing so was prudent, since the cloudy weather today would never produce enough solar energy to keep the refrigerator refrigerated. Also, we didn't quite enough charge in the Bolt to make it home without range anxiety. So I ran the generator for about an hour.
There wasn't much point in lingering at the cabin, since there wasn't much we could do there except sit around in front of the fire. So we did some cleaning (though there wasn't much to do, as Gretchen had been obsessively cleaning on and off for the past couple of days) and packed up the car. Charlotte had been good lately about getting into the car, but as we were leaving, she didn't want to. So Gretchen put her on a leash and took her for a short work several dozen feet towards Woodworth Lake Road, and I picked them up there.
We took the scenic route back to Hurley, and this time we decided to stop for lunch at the Middleburgh Diner (which is somewhat southeast of the center of the village). Middleburgh isn't just along the route to and from the cabin. It's almost exactly half-way, suggesting (due to its name) that we really do live in a simulation. Gretchen had checked the diner's menu online and saw they had a veggie burger and spaghetti with marinara sauce, so she wanted to see if they were any good. Somewhere on the drive there, Charlotte had vomited, so after stopping at the diner, Gretchen cleaned that up while I walked the dogs behind the diner. I had Charlotte on a leash, so she couldn't do anything too bad. But Neville was slowly walking in the direction of some live chickens nearby. Fortunately we were able to put him and Charlotte back in the car before he could get excited about them.
The Middleburgh Diner is a classic diner, complete with vintage knick-knacks on the walls (some of which were hidden behind temporary Halloween decorations), a sharp-dressed young family stopping for lunch on their way home from church, and homely waitresses who are friendly (but not too friendly) and matter-of-fact about everything. Strangely, our veggie burgers came just as burgers with patties; there was no slice of tomato or lettuce. They'd been deep-fried, so they were delicious. And the fries had been lightly breaded and fried, so they supplied yet more of that decadent diner fat. As for the spaghetti with marinara sauce, it needed a little salt, though it was otherwise good. The coffee wasn't great, but if you get great coffee in a diner, it's probably not a real diner. Overall, we had a good diner experience and will probably be going back (though Gretchen found the fries "too greasy").

Fern, the Australian woman who housesat for us while we were in Costa Rica, had us over for dinner this evening at the house she's now renting (with a housemate) over near Kingston High School on O'Reilly Street. We brought that lasagna Kirsti had given us the other day as well as a pumpkin bread Gretchen cranked out this afternoon as soon as we got home. Meanwhile, Fern had made a salad and a big minestrone soup. The first thing that happened when we arrived was for Fern to say hello to the dogs. She knows Neville already, though she'd never met Charlotte. Then she gave us a brief tour of the house, which was very nice and in great shape for only being $2100/month in the present super-hot Kingston rental market (that's what we charge for our Brewster Street rental, which is a bit of a rat hole by comparison). We also met Fern's housemate Crystal, who is graduate student at SUNY New Palz specializing in the ceramic arts. She would later tell us that she was from "the Midwest," which was how she referred to her hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas (perhaps as a way to manage her trauma growing up in the narrow-minded South). She said everyone in her family is a fundamentalist Christian except her mother, who was (at least for a time) a Wiccan.
For me, the soup was the highlight of the meal. The lasagna contained squash and vegan ham and was kind of gross, especially at the lukewarm temperature it was at when it was served. Later we went into the living room, where Charlotte seemed comfortable snuggling with Fern from the get-go. While Gretchen was briefly out in back giving the dogs a chance to piss, the other three of us briefly talked about "learned helplessness," which was how I described Charlotte's behavior at the end of the crisis on our first evening together in Hurley, after I finally got a leash on her. I said that once one knows about learned helplessness, one sees it everywhere. In particular, I said, I've seen it manifest in the children of helicopter parents. This reminded Crystal of a child in a kids' pottery class she'd taught who couldn't even open a water bottle without assistance.

Neville in the entryway of the house where Fern is now living near Kingston High School. Click to enlarge.

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