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Quarl
Go watch the Us series by bleak-creep. I put it at the top of my page so you now have zero excuses.

Cory F. MacNiven @Quarl

33, ♀ she/her

Horticulture

Alfred University

Groundhog Lake, Colorado

Joined on 5/30/05

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Relative Blog Contents:


I. Inactivity Apologies

II. Studio Build

III. LOOK AT HOW MUCH BETTER MY LIFE HAS GOTTEN SINCE MY EARLY 20s

IV. ...Making Stupid Shit That Made Me Happy

V. Hang Gliding Edit


I don't like to blog unless I got content, have been trying to make videos to include in recent blogs. It's kind of worth checking out my Alesis Strike Pro E-Drum content [HERE] [AND HERE]. I've been super inactive digitally and felt it was necessary to make an update; especially considering I've been ignoring Discord messages. Something about that app, I just hate it. Red dot notifications with numbers make my eyes glaze over. I've got hundreds of messages I haven't opened. Best chance to get my attention right now is with a DM right here on Newgrounds. I go through periods of massive activity and content creation followed by dry spells in which I'm more invested in my day to day life. Avoiding my computer is a sport. Tom and I have started building the music studio these last few weeks and when we're not building he's on conference calls. Sharing the office has always felt a little cramped, having my own space again is going to rock. Totally check out some of those older blogs or my YouTube channel to get an idea for what kind of jazz-dnb-electro-acoustic shenanigans might be created in the future studio space.


II. Studio Build


Two walls are up, floor is done:


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I'll get into some of the nitty gritty of the studio construction with some more pics in a second but I want to plug a few of our older projects first. Tom and I moved off grid over a year ago. For those that are unaware, off grid simply means we don't receive electricity from the national grid, it does not mean we don't have internet. We use Starlink's satellite network to stream tv and work from. For some reason the term off grid has been misunderstood with a few people on Reddit, "hur hur how can you be on Reddit if you're off grid," massive eye roll. I tried finding an older blog post about the solar array but didn't see one, guess I forgot to talk about it. The solar array was literally the first thing we worked on when we moved onto the mountain:


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I probably never blogged about it because we technically never finished it. If you study the above snow picture, you might make out that we never actually cut two by four to attach steps on the left most pathway going up the panels. Turns out we don't need to climb the array to move snow off the panels; pushing snow off the first string quickly melts the snow on the higher panels. When the wood starts getting a little older and rotten we've talked about doing this project again but with metal. We got a plasma cutter and welder for that project when we get around to it...


Some context for those out of the loop: we bought a property a couple years ago in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The house was built by a man named "Spark." Originally it was a summer cottage for his family that we've been repurposing for year round living, there's no winter access (I'll talk about snow mobiles shortly.) The house was originally outfit to run on propane but gas is crazy expensive, hence the solar array. Tom engineered and drew the plans for the array in Georgia after watching a fuck ton of YouTube videos on Will Prowse's channel. If you have any interest in making a solar array or running something off solar power you need to look at Will's YouTube channel. Here's a couple of old pictures of Tom building the battery for the house:


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We did not build the inverter. If you've ever "built" a computer, think of the inverter as the mother board that comes preassembled because you're an idiot. "Building" a computer is usually rather simple because all you do is plug a few things into an already assembled mother board. Think of the inverter as the thing you don't want to do yourself because fucking it up is expensive. The above battery is just a bunch of smaller batteries daisy-chained together then covered in tape. We have a second back-up battery the same size that we built after this picture was taken. It sits below the first where all the paper is pictured. I never bothered to get a picture after the back up battery was assembled, fuck me.


Another project we managed to hustle out last summer was enclosing the porch and installing a pellet stove for heat. See this older blog for some information on enclosing the porch. I've already rambled like crazy and haven't said much about the studio space. We started the studio project by using a rented excavator to flatten some land and keep the building's foundation level:


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That picture is actually from last year, we borrowed another excavator from a friend to redo the horrible job we did last year but I didn't take pics. We're using six concrete blocks to build the foundation the studio is being built on top of. Leveling the four corners was a small hassle but allowed us to go ham for a few days after everything was ready.


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(Tom used the winch on the Jeep to straighten out a few things. Mad improper but neither of us are carpenters. The man in the above picture is a glorified computer geek WHO I LOVE. Read this older blog about how he proposed. Wedding next year, June 2023. Let me know if you want to show up.)


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After putting in some studs we cut and crammed in some Styrofoam insulation panels. We used the same panels under the floor of the enclosed porch. Just like the porch, we're going to install a pellet stove to provide heat. Our house is heated with a stove but our back up redundancies are electric and gas. Pellet stove is just super cheap and the wood pellets can also be used for cat litter. We use electricity during the day when sun is hitting the panels. It's always smart to have back ups when you live off grid, hence three possible sources of heat. Our budget last year included a snow mobile and a tracked UTV; two vehicles to manage the snow. Our roads are not plowed in the winter so we had to manage 8 miles last year to the nearest parking lot outside an industrial pumping station in the middle of the San Juan forest. We parked our Jeep there last year but our car was broken into once, that's an entire story unto itself. We came across a guy who got his truck stuck in the snow and gave him a ride into town. We found our Jeep broken into a few days later with one of our tow straps broken but still attached to his immobile truck. We called a tow company to unfuck his car when he was gone, called the cops, and eventually got a police line up. He was very easy to identify via a cliché tear drop prison tattoo under his right eye, can't make this shit up. Instead of parking the Jeep at the pumping station this year we're just putting tracks on the Gladiator for our trips to Walmart:


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Fuck this blog is out of control. This is why I ignore messages on Discord, my life is fucking mess of projects, builds, and fun. There is so much cool shit going on that I'm not going to include in this blog because it might come across like I'm gloating. My life is super good right now but it hasn't always been this way. My 20s were a rough patch of hustling and working. While marijuana is currently being legalized in states across the US, I might have relied on moving it illegally to pay bills in my early 20s. That wasn't a confession, I have no idea if that time of my life will ever come back to haunt me but so far things have been peachy. I will confirm or deny nothing...


III. LOOK AT HOW MUCH BETTER MY LIFE HAS GOTTEN SINCE MY EARLY 20s


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SEE WHAT I'M SAYING? Ignore that time in my 20s when I tried paying bills doing sex work, my 30s are a much better period from which I can apparently gloat about how good life is. You people can find happiness too but first you probably have to do some soul searching, grow a little, and experience life's lowest lows. There were valleys in my 20s that have given me the outlook I needed to better enjoy my 30s. Enjoy little things. Depression will kill you, as it killed my mom and my cousin when I was 25. I fought with depression, anger, and dysphoria nonstop growing up but I kept...


IV. ...Making Stupid Shit That Made Me Happy


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MAKE STUPID SHIT, ALL THE TIME, NEVER STOP.


You people are artists, musicians, animators, programmers... don't let life stop you from drawing something dumb or making noisy music that nobody loves. I'm no one special but I never wanted to stop being weird and making stuff. Go make cartoons, bleed out some content, cry but also work hard, keep a roof over your heads, pay bills, know where your next meals are coming from. Stay in school, brush your teeths, don't lose sight of things that matter because one day you may rise from your depression strong and beautiful. You, yes you: you're a phoenix. From ashes you will rise and become bitchin' fire birds. YOU ARE LIONS, BELIEVE IN YOURSELVES! KILL A GAZELLE, EAT IT IN IT'S ENTIRETY. DON'T THINK, JUST EAT. FEEL THE WARM BLOOD DRIP DOWN YOUR FURRY CHIN. YES, YOU. I BELIEVE IN YOU. FUCK YEAH, mic drop.


V. Hang Gliding Edit: Bleak-Creep commented on the hang-gliding pic so I decided to repost this video from an older blog. I have to re-up my registration and fly again, it's been a couple of years. This video was taken at Look Out Mountain Flight Park in northwest Georgia. Now I'll have to make a six hour drive to Salt Lake City Utah but there's a huge flying community out there and the wind is consistent daily so it's much better for learning. Look Out Mountain had incredibly inconsistent wind in comparison.



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