Caveat: Tree #1605 “A migratory tablesaw”

This tree (probably the one kind of barely visible on the right) was there when I finally got the tablesaw moved over from my treehouse to my greenhouse-shed-thing. It was quite difficult to move – too heavy to carry and not able to fit through the treehouse door without extensive disassembly – but I moved it and reassembled it successfully.

A picture of a structure that appears to perhaps be half-shed, half home-made greenhouse (clear plastic siding). There is a table saw visible through an open doorway, and some trees and greenery on the right in the background
You might wonder why I had the tablesaw in the treehouse. I’d put it up there a few years ago because a) I was working on the treehouse a lot and it was handy, but more importantly, b) because I was terrified Arthur would do something with the tablesaw under one of his sudden compulsions to be “handy” but where he doesn’t remember how to operate it safely.

Art and I spent a very long, tedious afternoon at the clinic. He had an appointment – it was just a follow up on the lab tests from before – but the doctor was running behind and so we had to sit around a lot.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 5km; dogwalking, 3.5km]

Caveat: Tree #1458 “A blur”

This tree saw its view blurred by heavy rain.

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The rain was so heavy that the leak-catching bucket in my treehouse overflowed, even though I’d emptied it yesterday.

There was a small flood in my treehouse.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 2km;]

Caveat: Tree #1290

This tree (small, in the foreground) is my redwood tree – mentioned before. I decided it was looking healthy enough to plant it in the ground. I put it along the path to my treehouse.
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picture[daily log: walking, 4.5km; dogwalking, 3km; c093057063084s]

Caveat: Tree #1259

This tree observed the installation of a table saw in the treehouse.
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I borrowed Arthur’s table saw. I told him that I would rather have it in the treehouse, close to my working area. But in fact, that’s not quite accurate. I actually put the table saw in the treehouse because when I use the table saw in Arthur’s shop, he hovers and tries to help, but his hovering is unhelpful and stresses me out – he wants to tell me I’m doing things wrong, he’s always got very particular ways things should be done. By putting the table saw in the treehouse, he’s unlikely to make the long, arduous journey over there just to watch me “doing it wrong.”

picture[daily log: walking, 6.5km; c115066077084s]

Caveat: Nesting, more literal than typically done

I guess this business of making the treehouse into my “outdoor bedroom” is a kind of instantiation of the “nesting instinct,” right? But given it’s up in a tree, it’s maybe a bit more literal than your average human “nesting” behavior.

I took some pictures of the interior of my treehouse, now borderline habitable.

Here is a tatami mat I’ve owned for several decades but haven’t much used. I put it down on the rough plywood floor to be my “bed” – I’m always a floor-sleeper (Korean/Japanese style), so that’s fine with me. You can see the complex pieces of plastic I’ve put over the window holes – this is temporary until I make actual windows, which is really my next major project, but it’s going to be a slow process I think.

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Here’s my screen door on the east side – facing the high-tide line and Arthur’s dock. You can see I put a little railing now at the edge of the balcony. There are two smaller trees poking up through the floor of the balcony, hidden to the left behind the wall.

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Here’s the screen door on the west side, where the stairs are.

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Here’s my bed after I’ve made it up for sleeping in, and I found some old throw-rugs to put down.

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Just now we’re having a very rare Southeast Alaskan thunderstorm. There was a big boom.

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Caveat: Nine Years Cancer Free

July 4th, 2013 was the day I underwent a 9-hour surgery to remove the tumor at the root of my tongue and the lymphs on the left side of my neck. It seems an odd day for a cancer surgery to Americans, but bear in mind I lived in South Korea. It was not a holiday – just a regular day. A Thursday.

I remained in the hospital for the rest of July. And in late August and through September, I underwent radiation (x-ray tomography) to further ensure I was cancer-free, but I like to celebrate July 4th as my cancerversary.

Last night I slept in my treehouse. That was the very first time I’ve done that. I mostly have waited because I have wanted to try for some modicum of bug-freeness. With my two custom-made (somewhat slapdash) screen doors installed, and my third door opening simply blocked off with plywood, I felt that I could hope that at least some portion of the bug inhabited spaces outside would leave me alone. I think some bugs still got in, but not any worse than sleeping in the attic, I don’t think.

I slept fine. The birds seem louder out there. Notably, the traffic on the road has a different “sound” than sitting in the attic with the window open, so the first few times a vehicle went by, I was disoriented as to where they were driving – it sounded like they were coming down the driveway. My position relative to the various nearby steep slopes is somewhat different, and so I guess echos and such things are arranged differently.

I could hear the sea sloshing, and around midnight, there was some wind that was rang my wind-chimes and woke me briefly.
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Caveat: Tree #1217

This tree saw the framing-in of the west wall of the treehouse.
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Now… I still need some more 3/8″ plywood for covering the framed-in walls, and I then need to engineer some doors – the door-openings are of course non-standard sizes (and likely not even square), so the doors will have to be custom-made. This will push my wood-working skills past any previous benchmark, if it proves successful.

picture[daily log: walking, 6.5km; dogwalking, 3km; c113068075084s]

Caveat: Tree #1200

This tree (there beyond the doorway, I guess) was there as I finished framing-in the east wall of my tree house. There was a severe dearth of right angles involved.
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picture[daily log: walking, 4km; dogwalking, 3km; c107061069085s]

Caveat: Tree #1176

This tree (which sticks up through the floor of my treehouse) was there when I installed a new worktable in my treehouse, which I made with some scrap lumber and a used pallet which I acquired from my place of employment.
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picture[daily log: walking, 7.5km; dogwalking, 3.5km]

Caveat: Tree #1032

This tree helps support the east end of the treehouse. I thought this was a very clear view of the “suspension bridge” style that I use to attach the deck of the treehouse to the tree.
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picture[daily log: walking, 2km; moving and lifting stuff in the treehouse, 2hr]

Caveat: Tree #1020

This tree is in a treehouse. It’s my young coast redwood tree (sequoia sempervirens) planted in a bucket.
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Meanwhile, here is my garden’s entire seasonal production of potatoes, with a few late carrots included.
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picture[daily log: walking, 3km; retailing, 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 opengeofiction.net – 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.

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

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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.

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

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.
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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.
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Here is a not-very-good view up the north eaves, now complete.
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picture[daily log: walking, 2km; lifting and attaching things, 6hr]

Caveat: Tree #1011

This tree was present as I attached my first roof panel (1st of 10) to my treehouse.
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I got a view of the roof panel from above – yes, I was very high up, standing on my temporary scaffolding.
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Here’s another view of the roof panel.
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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.
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picture[daily log: walking, 2km; lifting and attaching, 5hr]

Caveat: Tree #1004

This tree was there when I completed my rafters for my treehouse.
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Here is a view from down below.
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Next for the treehouse, I want to put in small stretches of exterior wall covering above the windows, before adding the roofing material.

picture[daily log: walking, 2.5km]

Caveat: Tree #1003

This tree was near some water.
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I worked on the treehouse a lot today. But it was small things, and in the end the only visible change was the addition of a 4th rafter, and a sort of temporary scaffolding to enable me to more easily reach the top of the south wall. It was a hard day with a lot of reversals and frustrations and acrophobic delights.
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picture[daily log: walking, 1.5km; banging and lifting, 6hr]

Caveat: Tree #998

This tree saw me finally finish my wall sections (10 of 10!) on my treehouse over the last two days.
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Here is an inside view of the south wall.
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I realized I need to buy more brackets before I can proceed to more work on the rafters.

picture[daily log: walking, 2.5km]

Caveat: Tree #995

This tree was there as I added wall section 7 of 10 to the treehouse’s south wall.
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I moved toward developing a kind of assembly line of parts for my wall sections, finally. That means the next sections after this one should go together faster – but I stopped today because it was quite chilly, overcast, and the rain started again at around 1 PM.
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Here is a view of the south wall from the inside.
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picture[daily log: walking, 2km; sawing and carrying, 5hr]

Caveat: Tree #991

This tree saw me making very slow progress on the roof of my treehouse. It was a clear but chilly day – first taste of Fall.
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Fred and Pat stopped by and took their boat back home.
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picture[daily log: walking, 3km; sawing and banging, 4hr]

Caveat: Tree #983

This tree saw the addition of a sixth wall panel to my treehouse, and then I lifted the first roof-rafter into place.
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picture[daily log: walking, 2.5km; banging and hoisting, 4hr]

Caveat: Tree #969

This tree saw wall section 3 of 10 installed on the treehouse.
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Here’s another angle. I had seen a hole in the rain, and jumped in.
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Meanwhile, a pair of young deer visited the driveway.
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picture[daily log: walking, 3km; banging and sawing, 2hr]

Caveat: Tree #966

This tree saw me adding a second wall-section to my treehouse. I plan a total of 10 semi-pre-fab wall sections, five on the south side, five on the north side.
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Here are some other views of it.
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picture[daily log: walking, 2.5km; hammering and banging, 3hr]

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