Caveat: Tree #1018

This tree was there as a single lonesome blueberry leaf continued to hang on despite October’s impending end.
Meanwhile, Arthur had a burst of productivity, today – he got the boat’s bottom washed off, and installed the boat into the barn for the winter.

picture[daily log: walking, 2km; banging and hoisting and screwing things down, 6hr]

Caveat: On doing difficult things…

I was recently asked why I am so focused on this treehouse project of mine. Especially given my well-established discomfort with heights (acrophobia), and its undeniable costs in money and energy.

I think I do it simply because it’s difficult, but not too difficult. It’s a challenge, but one with a good chance of success, especially if I learn to accept imperfections in its implementation – which is one of the lessons life keeps wanting to teach me, anyway.

It’s also a kind of architectural “folly,” such as suits my eccentricities.

And perhaps it’s a weirdly quite literal interpretation of certain vague late-middle-age nesting instincts I have.

I have plenty of projects that are similar. The online world of the – its servers, its coding work, its maintenence – is really just the same thing as the treehouse but in a different domain. In summary, it’s another hobby-type-project that challenges me enough to be hard, but not impossible.

My life has been full of these types of things. Sometimes they’ve ended with failure (my sojourn in the military, my efforts to start my own IT consulting business). Sometimes they’ve ended with success (my work as a database administrator, my teaching career in South Korea).

The treehouse or  the geofiction webserver project are exactly the same kind of thing. The fact that they aren’t remunerated is just an accident of what’s available to be done up here in rural Alaska. The options are limited, so I had to find “jobs” even if they weren’t the paid kind of jobs.

I finished the treehouse’s roof today – more or less. There are some screws missing, because I ran out of screws. I engineered a trapdoor type thing in the middle of one section of roof panel, to enable me to reach and attach the last roof panel. I’ll want to create some kind of more permanent and water-proofed arrangement for this “hole-in-the-roof” at a later point in time. Maybe I’ll make a skylight?

Here is the roof trapdoor, ready to be pulled down over my head.


Here is a view of the south side, now with the roof complete.


I’ll want to put some plastic across the south windows, as I did across the north windows. Then the next project will be to fill in the non-load-bearing east and west walls. These walls will be inset at each end, since the trees go up through the floor at the east and west ends.


Caveat: Tree #1017

This tree oversaw the attachment of the first of the south-side roof panels on the treehouse. I’ve now completed 6 out of 10 roof panels.
Here is a nice view of treehouse from down on the beach – I’m standing right at the high-tide line, looking up. I’ve put plastic over the north-side windows to help actually rain-proof the interior, somewhat.

picture[daily log: walking, 3km; banging and lifting, 5hr]

Caveat: Just going on record, here…

pictureI want to record this, so that at some point in the future (years hence) I can see if I was right or not.

Facebook’s recent announcement of its corporate name-change to “Meta” – its shift to Zuckerberg’s (next) fantasy – is Facebook’s “AOL-buys-out-TimeWarner” moment. Which is to say, it’s the apex before the fall. I would say I’m not super confident about this. Let’s say… 65% or so. Not confident enough to start shorting Facebook shares – I couldn’t afford the risk.

Caveat: Tree #1014

This tree failed to stand out from the crowd.

picture[daily log: walking, 3km; retailing, 6hr = inventorying, 1244 matting and framing supply items]

Caveat: For Advanced Conlangers

“Conlanging” is the accepted name for the hobby of inventing new languages. I have been a conlanger since around age 7 – I remember inventing a language for my stuffed animals – specifically, a tribe of stuffed raccoons – at around that age, and though I don’t have my notes, I remember it being fairly sophisticated for something created at that age.

Like many conlangers, it’s only ever been a kind of side hobby, for me – though it dovetails nicely with another hobby I used to have as a child and that I resurrected in my post-cancer years and that has actually become a major avocation: geofiction. And of course, like many conlangers, I was, as a young adult, drawn to linguistics, where it eventually became one of my undergrad majors at the Univ of Minnesota. I don’t regret that, at all.

Anyway, this post is about conlanging, not geofiction. For some years now, there have existed some interesting websites and computer applications for inventing languages and storing the data. But I found a site yesterday that takes it to a new level. The site is called I actually rather dislike the name, but I think it’s probably good marketing. Anyway, the site is created by people who clearly are quite knowledgeable on matters linguistic – to a level I’ve never seen before. I went ahead and paid the $25 “lifetime” access – we’ll see how that pans out, as I’ve seen many a website offering those terms that lasts 5-10 years before disappearing or radically altering its business model such that the guarantee doesn’t eventuate. But anyway, how could I resist. Let there be more conlanging, then – at a higher level of quality than ever before.

As an incidental, I haven’t posted much of my conlanging work online, at all, but a very incomplete exemplar can be found in this article about the Mahhalian language, which I created about 6 years ago originally.

Caveat: Tree #1012

This tree saw me working hard, very high up, attaching more roof panels to enclose it. Now it and its younger sibling is growing up through holes in the floor and ceiling of the treehouse.
Here is an expanse of roof: I’ve now attached 4.5 out 10 panels. I count as half a panel the one I had to cut for the tree – I’ll get the upslope portion of that panel later.
Here is a not-very-good view up the north eaves, now complete.

picture[daily log: walking, 2km; lifting and attaching things, 6hr]

Caveat: Poem #1912 “And that made me think of the poet Labordeta”

I dreamed yet another vivid dream:
a kafkaesque replay of when
I had gone off to grad school.
In this version, I stalled,
avoided meeting
the professors
till at last
they found
The woman was quite pleasant to me.
She showed me these small clay figures,
instructed me to describe
each one in fine detail.
One was a strange thing:
a fire-breathing
with green

– a pair of nonnets.

Caveat: Tree #1011

This tree was present as I attached my first roof panel (1st of 10) to my treehouse.

I got a view of the roof panel from above – yes, I was very high up, standing on my temporary scaffolding.

Here’s another view of the roof panel.

A lot of my work in the treehouse feels like a kind of live-action tetris game – I spend a lot of time rearranging building materials in limited space as I try to work around it, and with the rafters and cross-braces in place, it’s hard to get large pieces of things moved – I have to solve a puzzle each time I want to move a large piece around, as the space is littered with obstacles.

picture[daily log: walking, 2km; lifting and attaching, 5hr]

Caveat: That’s A Wrap

After spending most of the summer unwrapped, I decided to re-wrap the GDC (RV camper). First I had to start it. I think its battery has permanently died, so I borrowed Arthur’s spare marine battery. It’s the same voltage, but it doesn’t fit very well under the hood – so it was just a temporary solution.

The vehicle started fine with that battery. I ran it for a while, but as I rolled down the driver’s side window to let it air out some, I think some peripheral fuse blew out – the main electrical stuff still was working fine (headlights, motor, etc), but the extras (fan, cabin light, electric windows) stopped working. Instead of putting time into trying to solve that, I taped a garbage bag over the driver’s side window and Arthur helped me pull the giant white tarp over the vehicle.

Here is a picture of it all wrapped up. Note that this was at noon, and the sun was no longer successfully clearing the treeline to the south (the direction I’m facing to take this picture). Midday, no sun. Welcome to winter.



Caveat: People are not going / To dream of baboons and periwinkles

Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.
- Wallace Stevens (American poet, 1879-1955)


Caveat: Tree #1006

This tree saw a strong southeast wind pushing heavy gray clouds through the sky.

picture[daily log: walking, 3.5km; retailing, 6hr]

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