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:
   walking an unexplored boundary
Sunday, May 12 2024

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

I'd taken diphenhydramine last night to make sure I wouldn't wake up with a hangover from drinking too much. It worked as intended, causing me to fall asleep before I could finish a gin beverage I'd taken to bed. Unusually, the drink and my Chromebook had crashed to the floor at some point in the night, and though the outside of the laptop was doused, it still wroked fine. And nothing bad had happened from its impact with the floor (which it did face down, spreading its clam halves apart in the fall, which probably helped to absorb the impact).

This morning I was still drinking my coffee when I went up into the loft and began debugging the user interface bug that five items in my scrollable device_feature menu had revealed. I eventually found and corrected the bug, updated the Github repository, and reflashed my local remote. The new device_feature is the electric car charging circuit, which I'm unlikely to want to change remotely (since the car isn't at the cabin when I'm not there). Instead, I'll be using the new automated control features when I get them working to automatically turn on and off charging depending on data from the solar power inverter (and perhaps the car itself, if I can get its API working).

While it was still morning, I took the dogs on another walk down to the Woodworth Lake and then north, this time into the woods well beyond the lake. Temperatures were still in the 40s, and this made it ideal conditions for hiking because it was too cold for the black flies. The woods north of the lake is an area I've explored several times in the past. Just north of our boundary with state-owned Adirondack State Park property, there's a set of high cliffs with a cluster of plastic bleach bottles lying at their feet, as if there had been some sort of makeshift drug manufacturing laboratory there at some point. As Neville and I reached that familiar set of landmarks, we heard Charlotte further to the north barking about something, so again I went dashing towards her, trying to get there before Neville did. As I later mentioned to Gretchen, Neville isn't very fast except when he thinks there's a chance of running up a $600 vet bill. I scrambled across another tributary of the creek carrying water from Woodworth Lake and climbed to the top of a rocky knoll (43.127660N, 74.336893W) and soon saw what Charlotte wanted me to see: another big fat porcupine, this time one about fifteen feet in the air supported by a few very thin twigs. It seemed possible that the porcupine might lose his grip and fall, at which point I'd stand a good chance of ending up with two quilled dogs. I tried to hustle the dogs down the slope and away, but Neville seemed to be lingering near the porcupine, so I ended up carrying him down the steep slope until there was no chance he'd double back. He and I ended up finding our way to the western boundary of our parcel, which it shares with state land, and then following it back to the cabin (which it makes it to within 400 feet of). This took us through terrain I had not yet explored. It was remarkable for a series of terraces and old erosion features, some of which had exposed low cliffs, rocky voids that would make for good animal dens, and at least one massive undercut rock with room beneath it for a human to shelter from a downpour. I also came upon what I think is another stream flowing parallel to the Woodworth lake outlet stream but draining a massive forested wetland. At one point I tried to cross the bog, but when I nearly lost my boots in the mire, I was forced to retreat and find a better crossing place elsewhere (one with fallen logs I could stand on). Periodically as we trudged through this new (to me) landscape, Charlotte would come by to check in, and I'd look to see if she'd picked up any porcupine quills along the way.
Back at the cabin, I cooked up some rigatoni pasta to mix with some leftovers and Rao's marinara sauce. But I'd made a little too much to eat all at once, and I didn't want to keep it as leftovers, so the dogs got a nice little afternoon pasta snack. (We've temporarily discontinued Charlotte's strict diet to see if her skin problems come back.)
Later this afternoon, I used long screws reaching well into the concrete to install a pressure-treated two-by-four even with the bottom of the rectangular crenelation in the foundation wall of the west-facing window where I'd put the thermostat-controlled window fan. This was to expand the window ledge into a 3.5-inch-wider shelf for the fan to sit on, making it less likely that it would topple over in a strong breeze. To make it even more secure, I also added a hook to secure it at the top. I also added improvised screw-on metal clips to keep my homemade screen frame in place. (The winds get strong at the cabin, and without these structural details, I could easily imagine the screen and fan being blown onto the floor, leaving the window wide open for the mice and other critters to invade.)
I ended up leaving the cabin a little after 3:00pm and returning to Hurley at around 5:30pm.
I was in the bathtub when Gretchen got back from the City at around 8:00pm.

Woodworth Lake today. Click to enlarge.

A mystery duck on Woodworth Lake today. It looks like a female bufflehead but the body is too light-colored. It could be a goldeneye duck, though the white mark on the head is wrong. Click to enlarge.

Today's porcupine. Fortunately, I had my good camera with me. Click to enlarge.

The bog I tried to cross until I almost lost my boots. You can see Neville on the other side. Click to enlarge.

A rock so massive a human could shelter beneath it. Click to enlarge.

A nook where looser rock had come out from beneath more solid rock that is part of a low cliff. A porcupine could use that void as a den site. Click to enlarge.

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