Rustic Cyberpunk

Coffee & Cabins

Cabin Life: Building Walls

6 min read

Between work tasks and copious sprouts of inspiration, I finally managed to put together the basic structure of the cabin walls. This is my first update on the cabin design in almost three months as I'm slowly making my way home from the work site.

The sturctures will be built on the previous foundation design. This is the overall direction I want to take, the details of which will be decided as I have access to more information as well as a building site. Because so much has happened this year, I don't know when I'll be able to begin, but I want to keep walking as long as I can see the path.

Cabin wall framing
The overall cabin wall framing.
Utility structure
Multi-purpose structure wall framing.

There are probably going to be many revisions to the final cabin layout from now until construction. And there might be revisions during construction as well, but I'm satisfied with this arrangement so far. It gives me the most amount of flexibility should things change.

The wall framing itself is fairly conventional and will use 2 x 4 studs for the most part. While this is smaller than a typical house framing, the sizes are matched to the overall smaller interior of the structures and expected snow loads with the relatively steep roof angle I'm envisioning. The stud spacing will be 16" on center as is typical for the U.S. and Canada.

Depending on the land I'll eventually be able to procure, the longest continous wall and the end wall without cutouts or openings will face the direction of prevailing winds on the building site. This will both improve longevity of the structures and reduce interior temperature swings.

Continous wall interior
Longest continous wall with blocking in-between studs. The blocking layout might change in the final version.
Continous wall exterior
Continous wall outside view showing ample room for insulation.

I decided against standard insulation like rock wool or fiberglass for the most part and will probably stick to two layers of "bubble foil" separated by an air gap for the walls, following the same scheme as the foundation. This will probably be eschewed by seasoned builders for various reasons, but my specific use case isn't a traditional building. My decision was based on time, effort, and cost involved when considering long-term viability in a highly weather-variable area with frequent intrusions from local fauna.

Insects and rodents love all manner of fiberous materials, especially in the woods, and I'd like to limit fiber insulation like rock wool only to the area close to the eventual location of the wood stove.

I may also have to move these structures at a future date and this will be a lot easier without the additional weight of fiber batts. Removable anchoring to the ground should suffice to keep the sturcture stationary in the winds expected in the area I've researching. Naturally, a lot depends on how the climate will change in the coming years, but there will be plenty of metal anchoring for the studs, foundation, and roof rafters as well.

Wall end stud
This is called a "California Corner", also called a 3-stud corner, and it's meant to provide a surface for the interior siding when two walls are joined while saving buliding material. The assembly should give enough structural rigidity and still leave enough space for insulation.
Wall blocking
The horizontal blocking between studs will have to be individually cut to fit the end studs, but this is a minor on-site adjustment.
Continous end wall
The end wall also has no cutouts for windows or doors so the final iteration will likely be centered on the middle skid for proper load-bearing
End wall length
The end wall is cut to fit in between the two longest walls of the structure

The walls will have horizontal blocking between studs to add resistance to shear forces. Traditionally, this was done with diagonal bracing, but since the studs are only 2 x 4, I didn't feel comfortable cutting into them to add the diagonals. This does add a bit more weight to the walls, but I feel that's an acceptable compromise.

End wall blocking
The end wall will also have blocking to add rigidity and will likely follow the same spacing as the longer continous wall
End wall and continous side wall joined
Once joined, the shared structure will add to the rigidity of the corner. The blocking will be installed on each wall before raising either one.

The one aspect that I'm still debating is the size of the door. Having a smaller door on the smaller structure template would make sense if I don't plan on bringing in larger equipment. But it adds to the surface area of the cutout, which is a problem when trying to maintain interior temperatures. I have to balance the aesthetics with practicality in this case, but for now, I settled on a 27.5" door opening for both structure types.

I may end up making the doors from scratch as the location and circumstances permit. This will also likely change in the final version or even during the build itself.

Door wall
The door shares a king stud (yellow) with the wall layout to avoid adding more lumber and is load bearing on the bottom skid. Only the jack studs (pink) are additions to the door cutout.
Door wall length
The door wall is the same length as the end wall, which has no cutouts. I'll be raising the door wall and end wall after raising and securing the two longest walls in their final location first.

The importance of nautral light wasn't lost on me during my camping trips and other outdoor frolicking. Even when living in a borrowed cabin, I noticed how quickly I missed the view, despite having ready access to it all the time. The main cabin will accordingly have two windows while the utility/multi-purpose structure template will have one window. I feel this will give me enough light and access to nature to enjoy, even during foul weather. The doors themselves will likely also have a window to ensure I have light coming in from two directions.

The headers for windows and doors are two pieces of 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 with three pieces of siding in between and insulation between the gaps. The roof won't be that big while it has adequate slope so even with heavy snow, this structure should be more than enough to transfer the load to the ground.

Window wall
This is the most complicated layout of all the wall assemblies. There's one king stud (right yellow) that is shared with the wall layout, but in the final iteration, I think I can share two for each window. The jack studs and cripple studs (pink) will come from cutoffs and extras left over from the rest of the structure, so this will likely be built after the rafters and other walls are built.
Window wall length
The window wall is the same length as the longest continous wall, spanning the entire length of the cabin. The utility structure will also follow this scheme for its window wall.
Window wall and door wall joined
There will be blocking between the studs in the final iteration to add structural rigidity.

There are a multitude of on-site considerations even with this overall plan. The actual placement of the structures will depend significantly on the ground conditions and weather. While I'm specifically looking at snowy areas, I'm hoping to avoid any locations with flooding. But this isn't always possible and there may be other issues with permits and easements.

I still haven't given up on building in New York since I have an affinity to the state. My family lives here and if at all possible, I'd like to be withn a day's drive to see them. Time will tell if this is a practical consideration with my potential budget in the coming years.

Onward to the roof structure.

Return to Civilization

1 min read

I'm leaving the confines of freedom for the relative stability of concrete and corner stores. I've lost count of how many days I've been away, but it feels too long to process currently and too short to appreciate in hindsight. Coming back to the apartment has its downsides as flu season is upon us and not enough people appreciate the impermanence of life.


The shorter days mean longer trips at night to get home. I miss the flicker of backseat hypnosis during long rides at night, but I'll settle for front seat vigilance for now. I expect my roommate to arrive no earlier than November and we can resume some semblance of a past life.

I did get the chance to tinker with some of my cabin designs while away and I hope to resume posting them soon.

We Have Internet

2 min read

It's been nearly a month since being back on the road to a remote site for any kind of durable work. This has been an education on the clockwork of society. I used to work at a gas station as a young lad, many moons ago, and I thought that was a great introduction to the full spectrum of americana. Everyone needs fuel at some point, or ice or some other convenience, and being exposed to that many people so early was illuminating. But that was after 9/11 and, alhough the nation was suffering, it wasn't nearly on this scale.

A stressed creature is quite terrifying when also wounded.

This was my first real chance to sow bits and reap news, and while things seem awful, I'm oddly at peace with all of it. At first, I thought it was an odd detachment from society, despite being a participant, but that seems too easy an explanation. The real reason is probably that I understand there are things beyond my control and I strive to make the best course corrections possible while paying heed to my spotters. They're both at a better vantage point and are more experienced in choppy waters. Sometimes, they get it wrong, but that too is beyond my control. Although, posessing eyes and ears does impart me with a degree of responsibility to cross reference reef sightings.

There might be a short delay between the slow tsunami hitting the crowded beaches and the demolition of confidence off its foundations further inland, but I think the toes are starting to get wet here. Things are about to get interesting before winter.

Having Internet at this location has filled my email bin high above my lid so it would take a while to sort through the messages and separate the tins from the trash. I don't know when I'll be able to get back to my apartment, but it seems I'll be able to leave before first snow.

First Day Travelling

2 min read

It feels both great and surreal to head back on the road again. New York still isn't fuly "open" yet, but there are pockets of normalcy that are, hopefully, helping to bring a level of sanity to the self-inflicted madness we're all going through. I'm heading upstate to a virtual dead zone so I don't know if I'll be able to connect and post updates, but I'll be trying either way. On the road, I'll still be working on some cabin ideas.

My home street wasn't as much of a ghost town when I was leaving so that might be a good sign depending on how well the social contract is remembered past grade school. This was also the first good look I had of area after since most of my outings were before sunrise for my morning walks and no one else was around and just to get groceries at other times. I don't know how well my apartment will recover since I know management was, understandably, a little tight on the budget. But I've been told there was enough of a reserve that once maintenance fees start coming in again, things that need fixing will get fixed well before winter. In the grand scheme of things, I'm incredibly fortunate to have a home to go back to.

I love small towns and if I have the choice, I'd live in one. But I've found two Goldilocks Zones for surviving calamity: A sparsely populated area where many or most folks still remain in constant contact, and a densely populated area where groups (maybe just one building and its tenants) act as a single cohesive unit to keep each other safe.

No man is an island...

The New Normal

2 min read

By the end of July, it will be 5 and a half months since "normal" ended for me. The building is still eerily quiet and most of my neighbors who moved out are still away. I don't know how the few remaining folks are making do, but I imagine most are now receiving unemployment benefits.

I'm looking forward to making my mortgage payments in full again without having to dip into my savings. The savings too were dwindling, but I've managed to get a few gigs here and there to make ends meet in other ways. I'm paying the bills as best I can and have cut down on all non-essentials. This part of life was already familiar territory; I just didn't think I'll come back to it any time soon.

I've avoided "staying busy" for its own sake. I felt it was important for my sanity to experience as much boredom as I can, between the little work I have, since I don't know if I'll get to experience it again later in life. This has left my imagination to flourish for the first time since entering the workforce as a kid.

I've been taking a walk every few days in the early morning like I used to and doing so with the mask on has been interesting to say the least. I don't know how effective it really is, but I think the best prevention is still not meeting anyone else on the road at 4AM. Most of the corner stores are open again during their regular hours, with heavy "mask required" signage.

It's strange that I'm getting used to recognizing people just by their eyes and body shape. The winter this year will be interesting too and I don't know how that will fare with the regular flu season on top. I wish I was as enthusiastic about this year's winter as I was during spring since it will be far harder for most folks to deal with. Winter will stil come.

Cabin Life: Building Foundations

4 min read

The dearth of work lately has left me ample space to wedge in design exercises for my cabin. While I haven't finalized the design on the main living structure, I'm getting closer to finishing the others. I've found a good balance between space, cost, and building practicality since I'll be doing most of the work myself. I eventually decided that I'd like to standardize on just two structural sizes.

The main living cabin will remain 8 x 12ft as a base. I feel this is the largest size I'd be comfortable with to spend most of my non-outdoor, waking moments. All other structures will be 8 x 8ft including the library and solar power shed. This size was very carefully considered after looking at cost and space. I was considering under-cabin space, but decided against it due to maintenance concerns and the possibility of having to deal with critters building nests under the structure.

I realized that having larger spaces will mean entertaining the possibility of having more things than I will actually need. This is counter to what I hope to accomplish in the end. There's a difference between having "possibly necessary" things and "I may want that later" things. Extra space for "storage" will attract detritus and I want to avoid it if at all possible.

I was working on the design with OpenSCAD, the same as my wood stove. With it, I found getting the exact cut lengths for each piece of lumber a lot simpler than manually doing the calculations. I don't know if I'll continue using it for other aspects of the structures, but it has worked very well for me so far.

base foundation
Base foundation design. Aspects of this will be shared among all structures.

The structures will be at most just 1 - 2 feet above grade. This is probably variable depending on flood conditions, but that too can be dealt with when the time comes.

foundation skids
The structures will be built on three 4" x 4" treated lumber skids with a treated plywood base on top

I settled on creating a sealed underside for all structures. The treated lumber skids or rails will keep the structure off the ground while the plywood, which binds the skids together, will close the bottom to rodents and weather.

foundation skids
Above the skids will sit a treated plywood base, separating the ground from the floor structure.

A skirting around the foundation is still probably necessary either way, but I won't be running any utilities under the structures. This will give me the fewest number of problems should I need to move any of them in the future.

foundation structure
The foundation structure will be made of 2" x 6" treated lumber joists with staggred blocking in the middle. These will be anchored through the bottom plywood to the skids below with screws.

There will be "bubble foil" insulation strips stapled between the floor joists, leaving a small gap between the bottom treated plywood and the top surface. These are a tad controversial in the Tiny House and Cabin building community, but I believe that is due to a fundamental misunderstanding of how it works.

The insulation value is measured as part an assembled unit with an air gap between surfaces. This provides ample heat retention in the winter and, more importantly, doesn't attract rodents or insects unlike most other insulation materials. This is a bigger concern when building in a rural area as I plan to do. Even in rural New York, rodents like mice and rats are still prevalent. I prefer to make my home less attractive to them in the first place rather than having to hurt them later, once they become a problem.

I'll be adding another layer of the same material on top of the joists as a continuous sheet, taped together. I may follow a similar arrangement for the walls and roof since this solution is also significantly lighter than other types and that will be advantageous if I have to move or raise any of the structures at a future date. Since this continous sheet is on the warm side of the structure, I'll be gaining the benefit of a vapor barrier in addition to a thermal break.

foundation top
The final subfloor will be 3/4" plywood or other composite product, and will have a layer of bubble foil directly underneath to act as a vapor barrier and provide a bit of additional insulation value. The walls will be built on this assembly.

I decided that the entire structure will be built with screws. While the shear strength of nails is greater, that's only one parameter in the whole assembly system. The disadvantages of nails far outweigh the advantages for me when taken overall. Besides, the shear strength is not as applicable in a fastening system that's less likely to work its way out of the structure. Screws are also more convenient when building alone as the material comes together more tightly while being fastened.

The main cabin foundation will also be a variation of this, just adapted to the 8' x 12' size.

main cabin foundation
Main cabin foundation

I hope to have the walls and roof rafters designed soon.

Cabin Process

3 min read

Over the course of looking into separating needs from wants, and distilling what's left to absolute necessities, I kept noticing that the specific problems I'm trying to solve are less about the technology and more about how it's packaged. Knowledge and experience are everywhere, if one spends the time to seek them out. Specific functions need to be separated to independent tasks which can be tackled with various methodologies and devices, if needed.

The things I need to get done are basic at the core level: To be fed, clothed, and sheltered. To be sheltered is what the cabin is for. The wood stove is an extension of this. Arguably, the library is as well as sheltering in comfort and safety is an extension of my needs, blending into wants. I haven't sorted out clothing yet, but feeding myself is not far down on the list.

Every action I'll take as part of cabin life will have a specific list of functions. The tasks and functions within these necessities need more attention. Every process needs an order of execution as well.

Before getting most of the work done, I'll need to charge the batteries for my tools, which means building the solar power shed and deploying the associated wiring first.

A rough breakdown of the cabin process, adapted from the previous list:

  • Build the solar power shed and deploy charging infrastructure
  • Build the main cabin relying on the power shed
  • Build the wood stove while sheltering in the main cabin
  • Build the library before the winter
  • Build the farm at first thaw in spring

The mechanism of the composting toilet will be for another day. I'll likely be staying in a tent or trailer until the main cabin is built.

The solar power shed can hopefully be built with a single charge of each tool so that once the wiring is complete, the shed can sustain itself and provide power to charge the tools used. I can then proceed to

build other structures as long as I can procure raw material. Von Neumann cabins with human intervention.

The power shed is also the single largest financial investment of the entire project. There's no escaping needing to buy a bank of batteries and solar panels. I'm not comfortable utilizing used panels, especially due to the large initial investment, and since I'll be running 120V cables underground to the main cabin. The reason for separating the power source from the main shelter, as mentioned in the "On Cabins" post is so I can place the main cabin in the shade and I won't need to worry about cooling in the summer. It's quite easy to heat a small shelter in winter. It's also to decouple "tech" from "non-tech" aspects of cabin life.

The power shed will also serve as storage for all my tools when not in use so I can better enjoy the main cabin unmolested by the ambiance of construction. The library will hopefully be built quickly with the leftovers from the main cabin build. Since I'm not running power to it, the structure will be the least complicated.

I've talked before about walking tractors and farming, but I haven't really looked that closely into the mechanisms of land movement. Eventually, I'll need some kind of farm to supplement what I can get at the store, and there will be a greater need to move earth in bulk at some point.

To build or to farm, I'll be moving earth. It would be nice if I can use just hand tools to accomplish this, and that is likely the first step in building the shelters, but it's impractical to rely on hand tools alone when there's no guarantee I'll retain my health as-is in the future. I'd like to try my hand at building an excavator once my welding skills are up to the task. This too will be another unit of functionality in the cabin life.

The Library Shall Have No Lights

3 min read

I had just started reading some of the older cabin related books in my collection due to the abundance of time lately. As part of my cabin plan, I've been allocating time and energy toward finding the least expenditure of resources that's practical while still giving me a comfortable living.

Although not quite a tiny "house" by some measures, the space in which I'm comfortable spending most of my time, besides the main living structure, will probably be the library. An 8ft x 8ft structure with one window and one door with a built-in window or two windows and a door without one built-in. And no other sources of light. This might seem counter-productive for a library, but not running any electricity to the structure was a carefully thought out decision.

I want to spend more time absorbing what I read.

The Internet has trained me to gorge and regurgitate without properly digesting information and I'd like to unlearn this behavior. Most of the time I spend reading isn't as enjoyable when processed through an electronic display. It's getting harder to read books because of my digital habit of scanning before context and nuance are properly steeped in the brew of my transient thoughts. Part of this is the faster pace of information and part is the environment. I feel having the information always available is making it rarely appreciated.

Limiting reading time to daylight hours will also, hopefully, re-calibrate my resting period. This isn't the same as putting the phone into airplane mode or putting time trackers or other such contrivances. I dislike setting alarms when waking up, despite having done so since high school. I don't feel very motivated to set similar alarms to stop reading. Understanding that consumption of information has a limited period of productive use need not come with locks, but with the gradual hint of a setting Sun.

The two sources of light, the window(s) and door, are to give ample illumination to read while giving me the best reading clock possible.

There will also be no clocks in the library.

I've been looking at the best approach to build such a structure, and ultimately settled on a modified ice fishing shanty. That website is a wonderful resource for many other ideas.

Ice fishing shanty

The original plans were for a 6x6 shanty, but the structure is simple enough that modifying it to 8x8 is rather simple. Most U.S. building materials, particularly sheet materials such as plywood, typically come in 2ft increments.

original floor sheets

Because of its size, I feel it's possible to build with mostly leftover material from the main structure and a few other scavenged parts. The windows in particular are simple enough, that I'm sure I'll find some removed from a previous demolition. Their sizes are flexible too. The door doesn't need the immaculate appearance of a mansion either and I'm confident that it too can be scavenged. If I can't secure two windows and if the door doesn't have one, it's a simple matter to install a window in the door with the tools I have.

My book collection isn't that large and I feel a single wall-to-wall bookshelf will give me years of reading. I hope to keep only the books I intend to read over-and-over and give away the rest as I finish them to the local library. I will also plan the location of my cabin near such a library for both convenience and to maintain my contact to the outside world. There really is a difference between solitude and loneliness.

Cabin Life: The Wood Stove

5 min read

Last year, I was taking time off in the afternoons and evenings to work on the wood stove design. I've finished the first iteration and uploaded it to Github as part of my ongoing Cabin Life project.

stove front view
Front profile view of the wood stove showing the door and interior fire grate

The overall stove size is 24" (~61cm) wide, 20" (~51cm) high to the cooktop, and about 14" (~36cm) deep including the stovepipe flue attachment, 4" (~10cm) in diameter, at the rear. This is the largest volume I'm comfortable utilizing for the stove alone in my cabin. Github now has 3D view rendering of .STL files so it should be easier to visualize the individual components. The final dimensions may change slighlty as I assemble the components.

I opted to design the entire main structure in 1/4" steel plate with the top cooking surface in 1/2" plate. I feel the thicker top plate should resist buclking under the heat and retain a more even temperature for consistent cooking.

I looked at a myriad of other stoves of similar size and came to the realization that they use a lot of valuable internal volume to enhance the fire display through the front glass. That's great for appearences, but I'm looking at this from a more utilitarian and practical standpoint. I may add a glass front at a future date for aesthetics and lighting, but this isn't a priority. It's also an additional expense that I can't afford in an experimental prototype.

side view
Side door view with the door hinge.
rear view
The top surface is as flat as possible to maximize cooking area without interfering with the rear flue pipe, when installed

The choices I've made best reflect the anticipated heating and cooking needs of my cabin life, once I've established a foothold. This stove is intended for the main living cabin where I'll spend most of my time. There are neccessary alterations, I'm sure, but this is reasonably close to the final iteration of my stove.

damper mechanism
This assembly controls both primary and secondary air flow on either side of the stove with a single lever each. The half-circle offset makes it more inclined to close than remain open, which adds to the stove's safety. The friction between the plates is what allows it to remain open.
damper installed
Damper mechanism installed
air inlet cutouts
Cutouts for the air on either side mirror each other

The design is intended to minimize the time spent with the door open when the fire is being started. Once the flue is warm and the dampers are lowered, the fire should last a good while. The embers should also be warm enough in the morning that adding a fresh log would start the fire again without adding more kindling.

door handle
A single piece of bent steel rod with a spiral wire handle to reduce heat transfer to the hand

A lot of stoves also use a series of pipes with drilled holes to heat and introduce air for secondary combustion, but I'm not sure if I'll follow something similar. I thought this can be done simpler with just a horizontal channel, but until I make the prototype and fire it up, there's no way to make sure this was a good call. For now, I'd like to try the "slot" arrangement in the prototype to see if the burn characteristics are acceptable as-is.

The stove promotes internal circulation where the primary air is aimed down from the top of the fire, and the secondary air is aimed upward from behind the main combustion. This should create a horizontal vortex which should aid in drawing out the gases out of the rear flue. It's a downdraft type with the exhaust products exiting lower than the combustion point. I haven't seen it being used as often, but I think it should work in this arrangement.

grate placement
Location of the fire grate within the stove in relation to the flue and front door
air baffle and secondary inlet
Location of the rear baffle and secondary air inlet in relation to the front door and flue
primary and secondary air
Primary and secondary air intake cutouts in relation to the front and rear baffles

I opted not to have a separate ash tray. In my experience with wood stoves, I've found these to be cumbersome and messy to operate, especially in smaller stoves, while introducing an additional point of failiure. The steel grate should provide adequate airflow underneath the fire, while allowing enough ash to accumulate and protect the bottom surface. Every day, I can scoop out some of the excess ash. This will be part of my morning routine. The grate is a tad overbuilt for its purpose, but this is a simple matter to rectify during actual construction. I may end up increasing its height to give additional clearence below for better airflow

Some of the design choices stem from reducing the cumbersome, tiny log sizes needed in other, similarly sized, wood stoves. I dislike the idea of waking up at 4AM just to stoke the fire because the stove couldn't handle typically larger logs which burn longer and fit just fine in bigger stoves. I also dislike having to further process wood once they're of manageable size to bring into the cabin. The stove is designed to handle full 16" logs. I feel this is a good compromise between a large-enough fire to cook and stay warm, and a long-burning one.

The side air inlets also allow me to reduce the distance to combustibles. A smaller cabin won't have the luxury of extra side space and the addition of extra heat shielding will also detract from the aesthetics of the interior. The inlets, in effect, add side heat-shielding. I want to make this space-efficient while remaining safe.

exploded parts view
All of the components of the stove in relation to each other in exploded view

My welding skills have improved somewhat, but I haven't tested them in practical use. That goal seems unrealistic in the midst of this panedmic, but I hope to get in some more stick time and collect resources for tests once the fog of war has lifted.

I'm considering whether I should build more of these if the design proves to be effective. Although I'm not nearly as familiar with welding as I am with carpentry, I'm sure I can practice enough to turn making stoves into an additional source of income. Even if that isn't viable, it's good to have a few spares in case I'll need to give them away during emergencies. Being able to cook and stay warm with availble natural materials is a good fallback option either way.

Winter is only a few months away.

Passage of Time

1 min read

I'm well set in my theory that I'm slowly turning into Andy Rooney. Not the worst fate, and I fully expected it several years ago. But it's midly reassuring that despite the state of the world, my path in life is progressing in relatively the same direction. I just hope I'm just as accomplished by the time I reach his age. Or reach half his age, if I'm fortunate.

The path in cabin life is progressing as well, and I hope to have something to share very soon. I've completed the wood stove design and I just need to post the updates.

This Too Shall Pass

2 min read

I've effectively been forced into early retirement.

While I have a bit of savings left, I haven't been working since March 18th and I no longer have a roommate. This does mean that I can no longer afford my mortgage. However, I'm hardly unique in this situation and I'm not sure how the building management will continue for the foreseeable future. There's still maintenance to be done and fuel needed for the water heaters, as well as electricity for the lobby and corridor lights, and the elevator too.

I don't know for how long this situation will last, but I'm confident I will live to see its end. I do have a compromised immune system, despite my forays into the woods. I get quite sick every flu season, even with the flu shots, and the seasons I've skipped the shots have left me in a zombie state for a few days. Full effects last at least a couple of weeks each season. I don't know if I have already contracted Coronavirus or have had a milder version of COVID-19, or whether it was yet another bout of the regular flu. I haven't been able to test myself. Most other people living in New York haven't been able to test themselves.

I'm still finding it very easy to pass the time. I get regular excercise and eat well. I have also skipped the early morning walks outdoors and transitioned to walking inside the apartment. I have a bit more space to do so now that my roommate is gone.

I'm staying mentally active by reading some of the books I've been putting off due to lack of time. I've been using the internet only sparingly as content is saturated with data on the pandemic and little actual news. Advertising continues.

All of my side projects have been put on hold. While time is plenty, resources are not. And I want to be frugal now more than ever before, at levels I've been used to since late high school, since there is no guarantee any aid will actually come from the government, both at the state and federal level.

It would be quite a challenge for the few of us remaining here. I'm almost alone on my floor now as my next closest neighbors have also moved out to a less populous area of New York. I hope the building will still be viable when they come back after this is all over. This will be over.

A Moment

1 min read

I've reached the moment in time I was waiting for all these years, after seeing the "Wear Sunscreen" video as a kid who just came home from high school in the late 90s. The imagery was from an era long before I was born, but I felt them as if I've lived them. The advice felt incredibly prescient, even though I was decades away from truly grasping their depth. Just as the words said so.