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

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Like my brownhouse:
   the location of the split rock landmark
Monday, April 15 2024

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

Several days ago, the weather forecast for the weekend had called for rain until Monday, when the sun would reappear. So I'd intended on staying at the cabin until today so I could take advantage of that sun to put some miles back in the Chevy Bolt's battery. As predicted, the sun came out this morning (actually, it had also come out briefly yesterday morning as well). But then clouds rolled in and gloomy conditions resumed.
But at least it wasn't raining. To Charlotte's delight, I took the dogs for a mid-morning walk once again down the nascent Lake Edward Trail. This time I spent more time clearing the trail all the way to the woodland pond, which is only a couple hundred feet east of the high cliffs. Once in the hemlock grove atop the cliffs, I picked my way down the gentle boulder-strewn slope at the southwest end of cliffs and went around to the bottom of the cliffs, finding along the way yet more nooks and crannies for wildlife to hibernate in.
By now, I had suspicion that the alignment for the nascent Lake Edward path had passed some distance north of the cliffs, a route that seemed mostly likely given that I'd used compass to lay it out. There were some landmarks I knew about, especially a large boulder that I knew was beside a tree I'd marked with a discreet dot of yellow acrylic paint. Since the cliffs were in a north-south line associated with large boulders, perhaps my landmark boulder was nearby. So I hiked northward from the high cliffs until a number of boulders came into view, including a split one measuring about fifteen feet tall. I immediately recognized it as the landmark boulder, and I soon found the yellow spot I'd used to mark a nearby tree. I would later see on Google Maps that this split rock was about 350 feet north-northwest of the high cliffs.

Back at the cabin, it took awhile for the dogs to come back. And when they did, Neville was first, and his paws were dirty like he'd been walking through a lot of mud. It wasn't sunny, but I decided to steal some electricity from the cabin's battery so I'd have maybe ten more miles of range and thus less range anxiety for the drive back to Hurley.
When it came time to go, Charlotte hopped into the Bolt as Neville was doing the same. She's been much better about getting in the car for me lately, though the last time I'd tried to load her into a car parked beside the cabin, I'd had to carry her. So I'd been a little concerned she'd have a situation adverse reaction to that scenario.

After driving down the escarpment into Johnstown, the clouds parted and it was a beautiful spring day. When I'd left the cabin, temperatures were in the mid-40s, but in the Mohawk Valley they were in the 60s. Back in Hurley, it was a perfect 72. In terms of power usage, I noted that I burned through the first 20 miles of range driving the 41 miles to Middleburgh. I burned through the second 20 miles of range driving the 22 miles from Middleburgh to East Durham. The whole 103 mile drive back to the house in Hurley only used about 75 miles of my initial 103 miles of range. (Yes, the Bolt had predicted I could make it exactly the number of miles it was back to Hurley. The fact that I could've gone somewhat further is likely due to all the potential energy stored in the car starting at 1800 feet above sea level when it would be ending up at 600 feet above sea level.)

Meanwhile Gretchen had arranged for a vet visit for Oscar, our fluffiest, most-annoying cat whom we've had for nearly ten years now. He as an auto-immune condition that attacks his teeth, many of which have already been pulled. He's maybe 15 years old and we don't want to pull any more, so we've adopted a regime of palliative care, where he gets a steroid injection every so many months (his last was in December). At the appointed time, I stuffed him in his little cat carrier, something he definitely didn't like. He yowled the whole drive to the vet and puked at least once. As I was waiting in the waiting area, I Googled my latest health probllem, a persistent pain and tenderness on the outside of my right elbow. Apparently I've somehow gotten "tennis elbow," a swelling of the tendons that bend my wrist backwards. I suspect that the cause of this is letting Neville ride all the way home from the cabin in my lap as I sat in the passenger seat. He's too big to be a lap dog, and keeping him from sliding off or into the gearshift had been a constant battle. I wouldn't be surprised if two hours of that was enough to give me tennis elbow.
As for Oscar, he still weighs about 8.3 pounds and the inside of his mouth is a horror show. The vet gave him another steroid injection and the vet tech cleaned up all the vomit. It all came to only $120, which is very cheap for a visit to the Hurley vet.

I was in the bathtub when Gretchen got back from her bookstore shift. Later we debriefed about our respective weekends on the laboratory bean bag. But by then diphenhydramine was kicking in, and it was all I could do to keep myself from being irritable (one of the social manifestations of the drug). Why was I irritated? Well, Gretchen was in the laboratory, which I consider my safe retreat. With her there, there was no place for me to retreat to. So I had to just sit their and nod along as she tried to regale me with the plot devices of the Rookie, a cop show she'd been bingeing. Let's just say I was not the least bit interested. What I really wanted to be doing at the time was working out the details for making a local control panel for my remote system using a MagTag, a small ESP32-based device with an eInk screen and a few buttons. The eInk display retains its display even when there is no power, meaning it could be used to show the names of functions and what state they happened to be in. The screen takes about a second to update, which is plenty fast enough for the application I have in mine. Initially I intended to program it in the C++-based environment of Arduino. But it's designed from the ground up to be programmed in CircuitPython, which might be a more convenient language for doing things like parsing JSON objects (though I managed to do it acceptably in Arduino C++).

A nook big enough for a deer to take shelter in the high cliffs. Click to enlarge.

A min-cave suitable for a badger, with my handaxe for scale. Click to enlarge.

The split rock boulder along the prefered alignment of the Lake Edward Trail. Click to enlarge.

My handaxe gives a sense of the scale of the split rock. Click to enlarge.

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