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:
   Charlotte wags her tail
Sunday, November 12 2023

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

After drinking my coffee and eating some ibuprofen for what was to be a surprisingly mild hangover, I slowly began the process of both cleaning up and shutting down the cabin. Somewhere in there, I took the dogs for a stroll out to Woodworth Lake Road and then returned (as I often do) using a faint old logging road running parallel to (and 150 or so feet west of) our driveway. As I was doing so, Charlotte got distracted by something down in a deep water-filled gulch, and I was too cold to see what it was. Both dogs ended up staying out there much longer than I expected, and after puttering around in the cabin for awhile, I hiked back out there to see what they were up to. I called out for Charlotte right around where I'd last seen her, and she suddenly appeared over the top of lump in the landscape. So then I called for Neville, who didn't respond in anyway. It turned out that he was nearby, busying himself excavating a hole in pursuit of some varmint. He was digging with his front paws and ripping out roots with his teeth while Charlotte sat nearby, watching in adoration. It reminded me of the days back when Ramona was in her prime and would spend hours digging similar holes while Neville sat nearby watching, occasionally pelted by the dirt was excavating.
Foolishly, I drained most of the cabin's pipes before washing the dirty dishes in the sink. So this forced me to wash those dishes camp-style, using two small buckets of water. It turns out it's actually easier to wash dishes that way than the usual way, though I'm dubious how clean they end up being.
Since I can monitor temperatures remotely and am fairly confident the cabin's basement won't freeze, I didn't drain the pipes as thoroughly as I have in the past. For example, I left the heatpump-powered hot water heater tank full of water. If it later looks like temperatures in the basement are approaching freezing, I can drive up to the cabin and drain it. Meanwhile, in the non-basement floors of the cabin, I was more thorough than usual in draining the pipes. I was careful to drain both bidet hoses, since ice destroyed a gasket on the one bidet hose that the cabin had last winter. I also began an aborted cycle of the washing machine so its valves would open and allow water in its pipes to drain backwards or forwards (though ice didn't seem to harm those pipes in the two winters it experienced, when I'd taken no such measures).
After the dogs returned from their hole digging adventure, I began the process of tricking Charlotte into getting into the car. But I was a little too hasty and suddenly tried to grab her, and she ran away. After that I tried reasoning with her in English (which, at least when I'm on cannabis, seems to work to some extent). I told her that we had to go home and that this meant we had to get in the car. And then I had her watch Neville as he climbed into the passenger seat. But Charlotte's attitude was one of "no fucking way!" and she ran off into the woods, where I could hear her charging around in the dried leaves. So I gave up on the whole thing, got Neville to go back into the cabin, and got myself a beer. Eventually Charlotte came into the cabin, and I closed the pet door so she couldn't escape. Then, to my surprise, I was able to snuggle with Neville on the couch without her getting up and walking away, So I tried touching her on the head, and that went okay too. So then I gently took her collar clipped in a leash. From there, she seemed okay being led out of the cabin, but then as we approached the car, she started bolting away from it, and I feared she might managed to back her way out of her collar. So I grabbed her up in my arms and put her in the car. Then I carried Neville out of the cabin and put him in the car too. By then, everything else I would be taking had been loaded, including everything from the freezer except the ice trays, most of the food from the refrigerator, and all the houseplants (including the African black-eyed susan I'd that had been in front of the cabin and then, more recently, in the basement). On the way out to Route 309, I stopped at the recycling shed to drop off a big bag of trash and all the non-deposit recycling.
Initially Charlotte had been shivering in the back seat (probably more from nerves than cold, though to conserve range, I wasn't running the heat) while Neville rode shotgun. But then when I was dealing with the trash and recycling, Charlotte came up to the front and somehow both she and Neville managed to fit in the passenger seat. While there, she seemed okay with me stroking her on the head, though she started panting in a way that seemed more from nervousness than because she was hot. Temperatures were in the 30s when I started out, and I had some trouble with fog on the windshield that eventually caused me to briefly run the defrost. But after that, the windshield stayed clear for the rest of the drive (perhaps because the sun was so strong) and I never had to run the heat again. I'd started the drive with 128 miles of range and arrived home in Hurley with a little over 40 miles remaining. That meant I only used 88 miles of range to drive 104 miles in mildly wintery conditions (temperatures in Hurley were in the mid-40s). Further extending my good luck, Charlotte never vomited at all on the entire drive.

Back in Hurley, Gretchen still hadn't yet returned from an overnight trip to Manhattan and Brooklyn. I eventually took a bath and then did some more work on Alex's spec project, building out a generic text analysis system (don't get excited;, it uses regular expressions to do what it does, not artificial intelligence).
When Gretchen got home at around 8:00pm, Charlotte was so delighted that she wagged her tail, something she doesn't really do around me.

The Schoharie Valley somewhere between Schoharie and Middleburgh. Click to enlarge.

Livingstonville in southeastern Schoharie County. Click to enlarge.

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