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:
   the Gloversville Price Chopper
Saturday, March 9 2024

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

I ran the heat all night, which was why conditions in the cabin were fairly pleasant this morning, with temperatures in the low 60s. This morning I turned off the heat and left it off except for later in the evening when I wanted another bath (since gas is the best way to heat water at this time of year).
Eventually I took Charlotte on a walk down to Woodworth Lake so I could see how frozen it still was and how my dock had overwintered. I found the lake still mostly frozen and the fixed part of the dock didn't appear to have moved at all relative to its stony abutment. (Last year the ice had managed to drag the dock about three eighths of an inch towards the center of the lake, though last fall I'd added some chains to combat such movement.) While I was checking all the parts of the dock, I saw an enthusiastic Neville bounding around. He'd apparently suffered FOMO after Charlotte and I had left the cabin and decided to join us. Charlotte was so delighted that Neville had arrived that she turned into a crazy dog, yipping like a feral jackal and trying to get Neville to play with her. She kept getting in his face, and he did his best, but he's too old for that shit and I told her she needed to leave him alone.
We walked northwestward along the lakeshore to the beaver dams at the outflow. The lake was clear of ice within a couple dozen feet of dam, suggesting the faster currents there help speed its melting.
I returned to the cabin well before the dogs, who had found some project to occupy them. When I next saw them through the kitchen window, Charlotte was again in Neville's face yipping at him, trying to get him to play. But all he wanted to do was get to the cabin and lie on the couch. I went out and again told Charlotte to leave more Neville alone.
I was filling a pot of water to make pasta when I realized that there was no pasta in the cabin. There had been a bunch back in the Fall, and I thought that, as a shelf-stable item, it would've remained. But evidently Gretchen brought it all back to Hurley. So I decided to make run to Gloversville mostly just to get pasta, though of course I would be getting other things.
The closest grocery store to the cabin is the Price Chopper in Gloversville. Normally when I've gone shopping in the area, it's been to the Price Chopper in Johnstown, since I know exactly how to get there. With the one in Gloversville, I needed navigation, at least this first time. I don't think I'd ever been to the Price Chopper in Gloversville, and, hoo-boy, the shoppers there make the mutants at the Ghettoford Hannaford in Uptown Kingston look like the soccer moms at Adams Fairacre Farms! I don't think I've seen such a collection of unphotogenic people so concentrated outside a mental hospital. I didn't see any obvious deformities, but let's just say people in Gloversville make no effort to look nice when they go to the Price Chopper. I saw lots of terrible hair, ill-fitted sleepwear, and the ravages of what I can only assume is fentanyl and methamphetamines. In that environment, I half-expected to be mistaken for an unknown famous person. Despite all that, the Gloversville Price Chopper stocks some good vegan options, including a frozen pizza that was unavailable at the Johnstown Price Chopper.
As I drove back in on Woodworth Lake Road, I stopped in a couple places to gather rocks ranging in size from baseball-like to bigger than a bowling ball. My left shoulder has been pretty much back to normal, but I felt it complain a little when I carried the heaviest of those rocks. I later used them to further extend the orderly-looking retaining wall running along the north side of the cabin's grounds.

Back at the cabin, I fried up a pan of tofu, mushrooms, and onions and boiled up a box of cavatoppi pasta, all of which I ate with Rao's marinara sauce (which I'd been wise enough to buy; Gretchen had taken all of that away from the cabin as well).

I'd forgotten to bring my 14 inch Windows 10 laptop, which is basically a clone of my workplace computer from my last job and is set up to be an ideal travel computer. Without it, I was initially forced to rely on the cabin's two Chromebooks. But there's also a silver HP Elitebook 2740p (one of five or six 2740ps I'd bought cheap on Ebay when I'd thought they had the best bang for the buck). Unfortunately, it runs Windows 7, which isn't all that compatible with contemporary software. Initially it was even giving me certificate problems when I visited any website because its clock was off, something that required a reboot to fix (because of course!). I'd left some Elitech temperature loggers collecting data when I was here back in December, and I wanted to see what that data looked like. But installing the Elitech software was a major headache, as it required the Dotnet 4.5 framework from Microsoft, something the Microsoft installer I downloaded proved incapable of installing. Other than that, though, the Elitebook worked great (at least once I got Chrome working). I could listen to music, watch YouTube videos, edit text (including what you are reading now) and upload photographs I'd taken to Facebook. With a little work, an Elitebook 2740p would be a great permanent cabin computer, especially if I can get it to work with the DisplayLink USB dock (which it currently doesn't, forcing me to use its one smallish screen).

By this evening, snow was falling at a substantial rate, and at some point when I went outside it was about three inches deep. It's impossible to get a weather forecast for the cabin, since thinks Gloversville is a close enough approximation. It's only five miles away, but it experiences considerably milder weather. What was falling as snow at the cabin was mostly just rain everywhere else. I'd seen the prediction for rain in Gloversville and subconsciously assumed that was what would happen at the cabin as well, but I should've known better.

The dock with the frozen lake. Click to enlarge.

The lakeshore above the dock. Click to enlarge.

A view of the overwintered docks from the south, showing the half-floating dock held out of the lake by the overwintering pole. Click to enlarge.

Charlotte and Neville being yarfy along the lakeshore. Click to enlarge.

Charlotte and Neville near the beaver dams at the Woodworth Lake outflow. Click to enlarge.

Another photo near the outflow beaver dams. Click to enlarge.

A large rock near the lake on the walk back to the cabin from the beaver dams. Click to enlarge.

The cabin in snow this evening after sunset. Click to enlarge.

Charlotte enjoying the snow. Click to enlarge.

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