Crevasses, and human bites
Feeling fragile.

One of my long-time favorite aphorisms is "You can't jump half a crevasse." I developed it because I've spent most of my life being surrounded by, and often tutored by, terribly well-meaning cowards whose invariable advice was to abandon dreams because dreams were Too Big and couldn't possibly succeed.

To be fair to them, most of my dreams usually *are* Too Big. But that's a call for intelligent project planning, not cowardice.

Take the Willamette Arcology for example. Assuming I was Paul Allen, I *still* couldn't begin breaking ground on it for at least five years, and completion is probably 20 years off. And last I checked I didn't seem to have billions of dollars lying around waiting for me to discover a use for 'em. I could still start recruiting an architect right now, and publicize the idea and try to attract support, and I hope to be doing *all* these things before the end of the year. No clue when I can start breaking ground, but probably not within five years.

My ex-cohusband (and still close friend) often used to admonish me "Take human-sized bites!" Also legitimate wisdom, and not in fact in conflict with taking big leaps. There's *apparent* conflict, tho'.

I've been pursuing SolarCon for over a year now, and should have a *lot* more done than I actually do. And to pull it off by July, I'm *going* to have to get a lot more done, and a lot faster than I've *been* doing.

I know myself to be capable of this. I do *not* know myself to be capable of doing it given the circumstances I've been in and continue to be in. "Change the circumstances" seems obvious advice, but "how" and "to what" are less-trivial questions. Trying to ignore it and slog onwards hasn't been working well.

I'm going to go slog for a bit anyway, as it's what I *can* do at the moment. But I'll be back to muse on this, and if y'all have any thoughts or suggestions I am most eager to read 'em.

Live #24
Been working with Zack to get my new machine working, and we've hit some kind of bug involving an invisible cursor -- it's *there*, it *exists*, but since I can't *see* it it's not of much use. This is in Ubuntu 15.10, in case anyone knows anything useful.

In the meantime the old machine still more-or-less works, so I can Get Stuff Done, to a degree. Need to work on getting a line of programming proposed for SolarCon, and getting Dragonfly written. And I'm being nibbled by a plot bunny...

Live #23
I haven't been explicit about one of my new personal-structure ideas, and I think my lack of follow-through on it is directly caused by that lack of explicitness. So:

One of my purposes in having the Solarpunk wiki is to ground myself and get myself doing constructive useful work. Before or after writing *here* is irrelevant. Read the whole thing, identify a missing page or one that needs work, and work.

It's American Thanksgiving today, and I'm helping with a feast, but no one will be there before 10am. Means I have 2.5 hours before it's useful to hit the road. OK, let's see what I can do with that time.

Live #22
Did good yesterday; made a squash soup that was well received at both PI/PCC and GEARWesterCon meeting, and hit both meetings. Have followups to do.

transfer funds to pay rent
Finish and send letter to Bud
Finish and send *brief* letter to Stella
Call Zev
Post about IAC to Lee, already done
Followups from OryCon, PI/PCC
Write Scalzi
Followup to Beth Cohen

Did OK.
Got some video of a man doing gymnastics in full plate armor, a meeting of mermaids in the hotel lobby, and about half of the board of OSFCI running arround SMOFfing, which means I'll be able to get some cooperation out of 'em in turning all this into an actual documentary. Not bad. Got the video gear back to PCM without breaking either any of the gear, or me -- taking a bike trailer across the bridges on the Willamette is more of a challenge than just cruising around here in the East side.

Improvised a wonderful soup when I got home, starting with a can of Pho broth, a package of Udon, a bunch of scallions, a bundle of something in the Basil family from Hong Fat's, half a small cabbage, and a foray through the spice rack. It needed a few cups of orange juice and some lemon to even it out. Have leftovers for tomorrow.

Last opportunity to try
Today's the last day of OryCon, and I have nearly no decent footage in the can. I have to get the equipment back to the shop by 7pm tonight. Right now I'm at home -- internet access from the hotel is $15 a shot, which I'm not going to pay -- but after I post this, I get myself ready, get on my bike, and head on off to finish things up.

Trying to get back into visual thinking
Conventions are where I go to play with people who can think conceptually. Conceptual thinking for me is at the opposite pole from visual thinking, and I'm trying to take video of this convention. So I have to get back to the opposite pole. And my first move takes me from conceptual into kinesthetic. So I stop paying attention to what people are thinking and move to knowing where they are. But I'm still not thinking about what they *look* like.

In a few minutes, I'm going to head back to the 'con. I can do video of it, or I can network with people; either one would be useful. If I'm not getting either one done, give up and come home, but I *want* to get both done.

Here goes.

Live #21
Being brain-dead isn't the same as being tired. Last night I was sufficiently brain-dead that I spent half an hour trying to trouble-shoot why the camera with the lens-cap on wasn't recording video. I didn't figure out the problem 'til I had given up, put the camera away, and was halfway home.

The day *before* that event was pretty good; I got my small bike-trailer fixed up and rode to Free Geek with it, taught my Project Management class there, composed and printed the video-release forms, biked to PCM to pick up the video equipment, and then to OryCon, which I intend to record. By the time we were done getting me registered, my brain and several other parts of my body were starting to shut down. I hung around the 'con for a couple more hours trying to get me re-started, and it wasn't working, so I went home.

In a few more hours I'll head off again, remove the lens cap, and resume work.

Live #20
It'd be easy to be disappointed after a day like yesterday, but I'm not. Got some good thinking done, even if that kind of work doesn't leave much to show for itself.

Writing to Bud is being hard because the *subject* is hard. Health Care for All -- Oregon is having issues for the same reason many metacultural elements are, because its mission is conflicting with its scope, and it can't figure out how to grow fast enough to encompass both. Like many such, it's composed primarily of a bunch of soon-to-be retired folks who suddenly have time on their hands and are discovering the world they have to retire into is not to their liking.

Many of them have hit on the idea of collaboration as the key. It's a good tactic, and I think we should be doing a much better and more inclusive job of it -- but I don't think it's the key to the whole problem. I think swarming is, and that we haven't generated enough energy yet to sustain a swarm. So building more energy is the immediate task, and the tried-and-true labor activist methods of holding marches and protests isn't going to cut *that*, either.

Holding protests is about as effective as holding sock-hops at the local high-schools. They often *hurt* rather than help, the damage only ameliorated by not being taken seriously. I suspect the young adults correctly-but-incompletely see the efforts as "the old folks trying to make us like *their* glory days." The appropriation being unintentional makes it only slightly less odious.

So the core of what I'm trying to tell Bud is that I think we-as-HCAO need better direction and that I think I'm capable of supplying it and want to take a swing at it.

And I don't think I'm going to get that letter written *today* because I have to get my small bike-trailer roadable and down to FreeGeek by 10 so I have it with me when I'm done teaching there, and can take it with me to PCM to pick up the video equipment and get that to OryCon so I can start taking video. And I have to get the videography releases printed at FG while I'm there, and get in touch with Ammon to ask him to be my lighting tech.

I'm going to need some more sleep, first. I fell over at about 6pm, so it's not quite midnight now. Bed, then breakfast-and-morning-routine, then fix trailer after it's light enough for me to see what I'm doing.

Ooog. Did good food.
If you are not a vegetarian, I am very sorry I didn't have you over for dinner tonight. (If you are, I still desire your company, but perhaps it should not be for a dinner centered around a leg of lamb.)

My housemate Liam is just back from visiting his brother, who is in the process of deciding it's time to die and is taking his time about it -- not unreasonable, given the magnitude of the decision, but a bit hard on the people around him. So I felt like feasting Liam to welcome him home.

The lamb was seasoned with smoked paprika and dill and simply roasted, along with a bunch of Brussels sprouts tossed in pomegranate vinegar and olive oil, and some purple potatoes. Buttered noodles with poppy seeds went along with that, and on the spur of the moment I improvised something involving mushrooms, onions, garlic, the pan juice from the meat, some red wine, and four or five things out of the spice rack that smelled right at the moment and I'm not going to bother trying to figure out what they were. It went great on the meat, on the noodles, or all by itself.

I still have a letter I want to get sent tonight, but a wonderfully full belly is suggesting perhaps bed, instead.

Live #18
An excellent day. Did the FNB pickup, met with the disability folks, attended the JwJ board meeting, bought SD cards and memory stick so I can film OryCon this weekend.

Write Bud
Write Stella
Call Zev
Make a soup for PI meeting
Prepare presentation for PI meeting
Go to PI meeting and give presentation.

Teach at FreeGeek
Go to Bike Farm, rebuild rear wheel and mount Schwinn trailer-hitch

Enough planning. Food, then bed.

Live #17
I've charted a new daily routine, by which I start each morning generating a plot-bunny. Yesterday's was the overall concept of violent revenge fantasies against the 0.01%, based on the idea that since that's what they imagine *anyway*, might as well make it explicit so we can talk about it. The simple justice of taking their power away from them they imagine as being the exact same thing, so differentiate the cases so we can discuss the differences.

Also, *why*. Terror grows out of fear, and the fear comes from the supposition that all other people are Just Like Us, and the Powerful *know* that if anyone did to them what they've been doing all their lives to everyone else, they'd kill 'em as nastily as they could. This is because they believe that pain is commutative. It isn't, and can't be, but arguments of fact have no impact on arguments of emotion. No matter how much pain I cause Other People, it won't reduce *my* pain in the slightest.

So that's a good explanation of *yesterday's* plot-bunny, but what for *today*? In conversation with Zack, generated the idea of a cabal of gamers who want to spread the art of winning. "Creating the emotional experience of winning" was his phrase. Losing in this mindset is relevant only to the extent it is not winning, and thus to be avoided. So this cabal goes around teaching people to game, and devising games with broad win conditions. And also teaching people how to appreciate it when the win condition comes about.

Okay, plot-bunny generated and breakfast consumed; time to shower, get clothes on, and get out of the house -- though specifically for *this* morning, that will require getting the new laptop up and running first, so I only have to carry one box with me.

Sharing a funny.

Live #16
I'm having a lot of trouble writing to Carlotta, so I'm going to describe here what it is I'm trying to do, in the hope of at least creating an outline to work from.

It's not working; I'm having an adrenal misfire. Nothing actually *wrong* except my glands dumping a bunch of stuff into my bloodstream I'd rather not have there, but it's blowing my concentration to hell and gone. Sorta like the invisible man tapping me on the shoulder at irregular intervals and then not saying anything. "What?"

Live #15
Tomorrow first, then today.

Pick up my new glasses and get them fitted
Do laundry
Write and send the letter to Charlotte that's been hanging fire for a week
Re-schedule the appointment with Patricia that I missed
Replace coffee-grinder
Buy bus pass
Make Shabbos

There's more I could be doing, but that's a full enough day.

Today I got followup emails sent to Michael and Walter at FreeGeek, made a meal that had been hanging fire for three days, and made a trip to the Chinese grocery to restock on soy sauce and curry paste, and as a bonus bought a durian. (It's still defrosting, I might get to eat it by Saturday.) Most of the rest of the day was spent time-wasting on the web. Not good, and I don't know how to fix it. I can recognize my own displacement behavior, but I don't know what I'm displacing or why.

Live #14
Need to set an alarm for getting out of bed. Been relying on insomnia too long; it has become undependable in this regard (got out of bed at 1, went back to bed at 3, then didn't sleep well but stayed in bed trying 'til nearly 7).

I'm going to re-institute a 5:30am alarm. Gives me time to get sweats on and get exercised, then shower, change, and dress before 7am meeting with Zack. Had tried 7am meeting with Liam also, but that so far isn't working. I'm about to talk with him on whether we can make that work or should just can it.

Today is going to be 'sort old paper' day.

Live #13
Met with Zoe this morning, who wants to build a Sterling-engine solar generator, but had no idea of how to do the homework for such a project. So I asked a lot of questions, and she's now off doing homework. Regretfully, she didn't give me any back.

Despite the rest of the day largely being filled with Other People Screwing Up, I feel pretty good about it. Into each life some rain must fall, and I'm in Portland, where rain goes to have a nice holiday. No biggie.

So tomorrow and Thursday are maintenance/cleanup days. I hope to post again on Friday about how my room is fully organized and so are my microhouse projects, and progress has been made on the SolarCon logo.

Epiphany on reading an old book
I just read "A Call to Arms", by Alan Dean Foster. Half-decent space opera, written just before the fall of the Soviet Union, which thus is an element in the background of the story. I've no problem with that; he wrote it when he wrote it. I *do* have a problem with the lead character, who is cut out of particularly thin and unconvincing cardboard. Alan's still alive, and I could convey my opinions to him if I so desired.

But why would *he* care, about something he wrote a quarter-century ago? If he's still writing (which I believe he is), he has either already learned from that mistake, or has no real desire to do so. So the lesson-for-Joel-to-relearn from all this is "The time machine still doesn't work. It's purposeless to try to fix it. Move forwards and build future."

In which building I have four track so far identified to follow. Back when the Busy House was in full swing, I worked best with five; if I can get four working well I'll ask for nominations for a fifth. Titles only in this post; I'll go into more detail on each individually later.

Track #1 is SolarCon.

Track #2 is the Willamette Arcology.

Track #3 is learning how to take personal joy in smaller things.

Track #4 is family. This includes both caring for the old one and building a new one.

Time to get jugglin'.

Solarpunk wiki
polydad , in case I'd forgotten to mention it elsewhere.

Reaching with the hand I don't have
I need to schmooze with a friend. It's quite possible I have some nearby, but I don't know that. I don't know how to know if someone else regards *me* as a friend.

I got *some* stuff done on today, but not much and not enough, and I don't have enough emotional energy to do a "Live" report on it.

Crash and try again, I guess.

Live #12
Lobbied in Salem today for a higher minimum wage, and now have six follow-up emails to send. Two to state senators, one to a state representative, and three to other lobbyists.

This is relevant to Live in that since I'm writing to 'em anyway I'll pitch SolarCon to 'em and see if anybody nibbles.

And I have one more important thing to post about, but posting about it prematurely might negate it, so it'll have to wait 'til next post.

Live #11
I'm real glad for the weekly meetings. I'm actually making pretty good progress, and if I didn't have people to review it with I wouldn't have recognized it.

At the moment, I need a pretty good realistic artist. I have a fairly specific idea of the logo I want for SolarCon, which is to take the little retro spaceship that's done as a line-drawing in the Westercon logo, and do it up as an "I could actually fly that" realistic drawing, of a lot of bare blued flush-riveted metal and red-painted fins. And then take it back out of realism again by having a non-space-suited human clambering on it. And I've got a very specific, if as far as I know not actually *existant*, human in mind. It's a woman in her 30s, who's of stocky, muscular build with a bit of padding on top of that; I figure she weighs about 225, and while if she sweated blood about losing weight she might get that down to 190, she has no motive or desire to do so. Heavy skeleton with some heavy muscle on it; she might have wrestled professionally in her younger years. She's an ultimate mutt; as soon as I assigned her grandparents -- one each from Korea, Scotland, Nigeria, and the Navajo Nation -- I met the man who could be her father: Dan is one of my friend David's housemates, and he's an Irish/Korean. Dan doesn't have any kids yet that I know of, however.

For the logo, I imagine her hanging on to the top of the rocket, but we need a practical reason for her to be there. She's holding a technical manual in one hand and a wrench in the other, and is dressed in a practical costume for a hot rough environment -- baggy pants, work boots, and a lightweight top that won't retain heat or get in the way. I figure the pants and top are the same color, and was thinking of a pastel green.

Know any artists of that flavor?

I've got the brochure outlined, and the poster done other than the need for the logo. (the logo would have to go on the brochure also, but there's other stuff that also needs to be done.)

And I'm falling over. Got the FNB pickup to do tomorrow morning.

Live #10
So with tutelage from Steve, I got some stuff up on I still need to go back and work on it, and will be doing some of that today, but there's words up there. And then I presented it at the Passion Impact event last night, and got two recruits -- one to rep at his school, one graphic artist.

Jeffrey, the guy who's willing to be my rep at Franklin High, asked me for posters to put up and fliers to hand out, so those are what I'm doing next, in addition to reactivating Dragonfly and Now to organize all that busyness so I don't drop or lose anything.

Not good, but better.
After having spent yesterday attempting to excrete pine cones and concrete slurry, I'm about 90% recovered and ready to get moving. Slowly, but moving.

Of primary importance is getting Solarpunk moving. I've already this morning watched a tutorial on editing a Wikia, and have reserved. I've got between 3 and 6 more tutorials to watch, and then I'll get started populating the wiki. My goal is to have it reasonably well-populated by the Passion Impact meeting at 6pm.

Also on that plate (I have multiple plates) are starting a conversation with Sheryl about her domain, getting back on the ball with Dragonfly, and filming Orycon for the Westercon/Solarcon infomercial.

Five other plates of lesser importance: First is Current Activism, in which I need to re-start with and do a CiviCRM implementation of my own so I'm ready to do one for CAT when they need one. JwJ is going OK. I also need to check my lists and see what other organizations I need to be doing things for.

Then come Old Projects, specifically the MicroHouse, the Bike House Trailer, the Kellogg film for the PT-boat folks, and my own bikes. I want to get Laura's old bike dug out of the garage and rehabbed so I can use it as a street-bike, and get my current bike fitted with the cargo bins and the Schwinn trailer-hitch so I can use it as a decent freight-bike. The MicroHouse needs first a new roof paint-job, then install the second window, then put up the interior paneling. The BHT needs to have its wheels fixed so I can take it home, put the roof on the existing back half, and build the front half.

Inextricably intertwined with the above is Maintenance Living. Inventory and purge my Stuff, set up a good portable filing system and start using it, get on disability so I have at least enough assured minimum income to continue, and get myself a better place to live.

And rather than finish an exhaustive inventory, I'll just go start doing stuff.

Live #9
Okay, I'm not up to doing this daily, yet. Twice a week will need to suffice for the moment.

I spent a more focused morning on Friday dealing with Wordpress, and may have discovered a bug in it. I can't tell, though, because the tech support people I called to deal with it were absolutely adamant that providing technical support was not their job, and that they weren't going to investigate something merely because a paying customer was asking them to.

Getting upset at incompetent organizations is a tangent I can't afford to get stuck on at the moment. I found another way to go about my site setup, which might circumvent that possible bug, and so I intend to take a swing at doing it that way this morning. After that, the afternoon and evening I need to spend taking care of the joint Jobs-with-Justice/Voz Salsa Party. And tomorrow I can get back to work for serious.


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