New digs

Wow, I had intended to keep more current here, and it's been six months since I last did an entry.  My apologies, and I will try to keep things at least weekly going forward.

I have <lj-cut text="moved again,"> moved again, and have been living for several months with Eric, who contacted me through a Discord server when I was telling stories there about how hard a time I was having finding a new place.  The previous new place, with Mike and Chenoa, only lasted a couple of months before Mike told me that they had a new girlfriend, would rather have her in the room than me, and they would not be renewing my six-month lease.  I suspect that the story behind the story is that the bad-Domme vibes I was getting from Chenoa were accurate, and my being about as subby as an avalanche was annoying her.  But it didn't and doesn't matter, that's a decision they get to make, and they made it.

So I tarted looking, and the answers I was getting off CraigsList were getting ridiculous.  I'll quote you one conversation in full:

Joel: "Hello."

Kathy: "Hi. You're an old white guy. Eeeewww. No. Thanks, goodbye."

Joel: "Bye."

I posted that on the Portland server on Discord, and Eric sent me a message saying he had a room he was thinking about renting, and why don't I come by and take a look at it? So I did, and it's nice, and Eric is very easy to get along with, and I moved in. This time I was very careful to not lift too much at once, and the process was without injury. I've been here about 3 months now, and if the biggest gripe I have is that the guy who built the shower was a foot taller than I am and I really need to reach to get the nozzle down, then life must be pretty good.

Most of my concentration at this point is on trying to get people really *enlisted* in Solarpunk Portland. I've got sixty subscribers on the server, and zero project managers. Two people initially volunteered, discovered the job was bigger than they thought it was, and downgraded themselves. I'm disappointed that the world happens to be shaped that way, but it is their decison to make, they made it, and I get to live with it.

So I thought about it, and realized I hadn't gone far enough with the stepwise decomposition on my project plan. Sure, *building* it all is too big for most people to get their minds around, but for most people the earlier step of writing the proposal and submitting it for funding is also out of their scope. I need to pull it back to something somebody graduating high school can get a handle on, and what they're looking at is "where am I going to live and what am I going to eat?"

So I came up with an idea. Here's a neat toy: . It's a project of a size most people can grasp, and if you build one for yourself and it's yours and you can take it with you, you at least have a safe warm place to sleep. 'Safe' is provided by the city having two huge rivers in it, and you can just ride your amphibian straight into the river, drop anchor fifty feet offshore, and not worry about it. (The Willamette is about Hudson-sized, and the Columbia is nearly Mississippi scale.)

I only posted that two days ago, and have no responses as yet. If I don't get any tomorrow, I'll start writing letters

to my sixty subscribers individually, asking them to tell me either what they didn't like about the idea or what they'd like better.

So that's it for here and now.  Howzbyyou?

Solarpunking Portland

So Livejournal is telling me I haven't said anything here since August.  My apologies, and I'll try to keep things to at least a weekly basis going forward.

It's been a busy half-year.  I'd been in negotiations with housemate/landlord Jeph about buying the place from him when he got diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  He promptly signed his affairs over to his ex and started preparing to die, which is not unreasonable. His ex, however, was, and evidently decided that the house was her ticket to Shangri-La, threw out the deal we'd been working on, and demanded about twice as much.  So I hunted for a new place, found one, and moved.  And aggrivated a long-known-but-untreated hernia in the process, got surgery for it, and discovered that the promised three-or-four-day recovery was more like a month or three.

While this has been going on I've been working on my Solarpunk Portland program.  I've contacted 9 places for sponsorship, and have an appointment with one that has been postponed 3x now, and with another that has expressed a desire for one but not been able to get their act together enough to make one.  And I've got seven callbacks to make along the lines of "I haven't heard from you.  What's up?"

The basis of the program is fairly simple.  I've written up a vision of what a Solarpunk Portland would be like, broken it down into about two dozen projects, and I want to run a seminar aimed at high school and college students in which they either pick one of my projects or propose their own, and develop a formal project proposal and project plan for it.  I act as their Program Management office, helping them with their plans and proposals, finding or developing the necessary skill sets to carry them out, and learning how to not merely carry out a project, but how to do so as part of a coordinated program.

I'm nervous about my planning for the seminar, because as I perceive it it's going to be almost entirely improv.  Going in, I don't know who my students are or what their skills, desires, and needs are, or what projects they might be interested in or abilities they have with which to pursue them.  Mostly, I want to build excitement and enthusiasm, guide them in accepting ownership of their own projects, and then play support crew while they take their idea and run with it.  Sounds a lot like parenting, now that I think about it.

More mundanely, we've just had our snow for the winter and have started in on the rain that's going to melt it all.  I'm still planning on staying in my room for another couple of days, because I don't like wading through slush.  And how's *your* end of the world running?

Making progress.

I feel I have to apologize for mostly turning to this medium when I'm feeling creatively frustrated and need to vent.  While it *is* my metaphorical electronic living room, and I get to complain here if I want to, it's not polite to wait 'til the guests arrive and *then* start venting.  So, some good news:  I updated the Justice Oregon Facebook page ( ) on time ten times in a row, and was only one day late on the 11th post.  12th is tomorrow, and I haven't written it yet, which is one of the things I'm feeling bitchy about.  I'd started with a four-post buffer, and burned through it  almost immediately.  Maybe this coming week I can build it back up again; that would bean writing one post a day next week.  They're only about 600 words, that should be doable -- but I want to make every post six hundred words of relevant, coherent content, which is a bit tougher.

Housemate Liam and I now have a container garden on the porch; six 13" pots with pebbles, potting mix, and plants in them, tied to a just-reinforced porch rail.  The bell pepper is looking a bit sickly, but everything else is thriving nicely -- eggplant, basil, thyme, oregano, mint, scallions, and one other I'm forgetting at the moment.  And Liam bought a used car, which means we're no longer reliant on my freight bike to transport stuff.

I've clarified my idea of taking my Solarpunk Portland vision and doing an academic seminar with it, and am now writing the vision document the seminar will use as reference material.  I'll need to do two short (2-page max.) formal documents to accompany my application, but those will just be administrative summaries -- colleges want to see a syllabus, and everyone wants to see an abstract. More on the vision doc. shortly; it's being a bear.

So that's things here; how's by you?

Devising a new re-set ritual

I was up at 2am for no particular reason, and managed to get a nap from about 7:45am 'til 9am.  And it's now 11am and I haven't gotten anything useful done yet as a result.

I have a nice long list of stuff to do -- write The Body Politic, Housing, and Positive Proxy; two exercise sessions, inventory and proof my completed drafts and make sure they don't need another run-through, and post something to the Justice Oregon FB page.  And I'm feeling fuzzy-headed and disorganized.

So I'm going to go take a nice long hot shower, and then get dressed and go do the first exercise set.  The shower is the actual reset; the exercise is the first activity *following* the reset.

And away I go...

Oops, I forgot. Back now.

It would appear I haven’t updated this thing for a third of a year, for which my apologies.  Also, LJ seems to be deleting formatting, so sorry about that too.

I am not being *emotionally* effected by the quarantine. <lj-cut text = "However,"> However, the lack of genuine human contact seems to be impeding my focus, and writing to y’all, even tho’ in many cases I have no real proof you’re not AIs, is a very good focusing endeavor. So, here’s what’s going on:

I have a potential new web designer for the Justice Oregon website. Interesting issue to deal with there is that while he’s physically 25, he’s emotionally maybe 12 or 13, and doesn’t have a concept that might correlate to “work habits”. He does what he feels like doing when he feels like doing it, and if I’m going to get anything useful out of him I have to help him learn that there are practical consideratioins that go into deciding what to want. What I have to do *first* is a thorough review of what’s already up on the site, and compile a formal written list of what I *want* to be up on the site. Some of that will be user interface, which job I want him to assume; some of it will be content creation, which is entirely my job.

I’ve set up a Slack for Represent Us Oregon, and I want to use that as a tool to establish more of a leadership role for myself in that group. I’m one of two nominal heads of Represent Us Portland, and had been making some progress establishing regular meetings before the quarantine shut that down. There are two nominal heads because there are two different groups with different foci – the other one is a STAR voting group, the one I’m leading has as its declared purpose addressing the whole issue of political corruption, of which voting systems is one item in six. The others are lobbying, ethics, gerrymandering, transparency, and election funding. What we have to be doing about those six things are making ourselves familiar with what law already exists, creating new laws to cover the gaps, recruiting lawyers to check that work and sign off on it, lobby legislators to support it, recruit other people to also lobby legislators, phone bank to support similar legislation in other states, and use that phone-banking to set up ongoing supportive relationships with people and organizations in other states. So far I’ve sent out an invitation letter to attract people to the new Slack, and I’ve gotten 7 out of an anticipated 10-40 acceptances out of a 600-name contact list. I need to learn more about running Slack so I can support the above matrix of activities, and organize people in small local groups to get things done. Probably will first try organizing by State Representative districts.

I’ve been slacking on Oregon Justice Democrats, and really need to get back on the ball with that. I was contacted today by a new State Rep candidate, who seems to be deserving of an endorsement, but it’s been so many months since I’ve done JD stuff I couldn’t remember what questions to ask him. So review that stuff, call him back, and set up an OJD Slack and FB page to use as organizing tools. I can’t afford more web domains right now.

The Iron Fireman story hasn’t gotten any attentioni since last summer, and I want to start and complete Chapter Two of that. It’s at in case you’d care to review it, and constructive criticism is extremely welcome. Chapter Two will start out from the viewpoint of Caleb’s fan-girl, who started out the story namd Cynthia and due to an error on my part somehow became Diane halfway through the chapter. So, pick a name and stick with it, and let her explain how her relationship with Caleb got started. She’s emotionally savvy but not intellectually bright, and since there are already two alpha-geeks on the team there’s no reason she should be. She’s the oldest in the group at the ripe old age of 15, but a lot of the real leadership currently rests with Zari, who’s seven. Twelve-year-old Andy is the power behind the throne, so to speak, but Andy wants to work, not lead, and so is happy for anybody else to do the job.

In addition to those substantive projects, I have three relatively minor physical projects that need to get done: Switching over to a new phone and phone service, getting my ebike working properly, and finishing the spear I’ve built as a gift to my friend Grant. I need one more part for the spear that I’m not going to be able to get until after quarantine is lifted, so that one’s on hold. The other two between ‘em might or might not fill up a busy morning, but I’ve got to get my ass in gear and working for that to happen.

On the personal front I’m still not getting enough exercise, which has been exacerbated by the quarantine, and my digestion is still acting up, tho’ I *think* I may have identified a possible cause in lactose intolerance. Eating yogurt or sour cream doesn’t trigger it, but eating cheese or drinking milk does. They make pills for that, easy to adapt.

Bio-son Zack is still in Philly and working for Comcast, which he has mixed feelings about, but paychecks are nice. Working from home is only mildly annoying to him, and probably wouldn’t be if his apartment complex hadn’t closed down their gym for the duration. Gabe is being much more affected; as an actor with a day-job as a bartender and an apartment in Queens NY that has five or six other people living in it and a grand total of one bathroom, he has retreatd to his Mom’s house out on Long Island and is overdubbing himself to produce clips of barbershop quartettery he then puts up on his FB page, if you want to give a listen. I’m biased, but he’s seriously good.

Dad is still in Redondo Beach with his partner Carol, and the lockdown hasn’t affected him much. He would like to go out for walks, but he’s 87, and postponing the walks for a few months doesn’t seem to upset him any.

So that’s here and now. What’s up with you?

Lost: Two days. Please return.

So yesterday sorta didn't happen.  And neither did last Wednesday.  Yesterday I got to the post office to mail Zack's birthday present, and discovered they are no longer open on Saturdays, which provides a clue as to how often I go to the post office.  I came home from that, unaware of being more than mildly upset, took a nap, and it seems like after my body got up from the nap, I never got back up with it.  Wednesday was supposed to have started with me making my JwJ Phone Tree calls, and I don't know why or even if I might find that stressful, but it never got done and neither did anything else 'til Brian picked me up to go to his house for the holiday.

I cannot express with sufficient emphasis how annoyed I am with this phenomenon.  Despite the damaged-and-partly-repaired pump, I *like* this body, and if it's up and doing things I want to be with it and direct those things.  And I have things I want to be doing.

So today I want to make those missing calls, arrange for travel to Redondo Beach and an AirB&B while I'm there, start scanning the web for interesting things to do with Dad while I'm there, and then do the JO site walkthrough, which is stressful but at least I know *why* it is stressful.  Bonus points if I can figure out where the Fireman story is going next.  First, tho', to the grocery store as I'm out of salsa for my morning grain stew.

I have no clue why those "out of body experience" people are so excited.  The trick is staying *inside* the body. 


I get days like this last one every now and again, and I <lj-cut text="really, really hate 'em."> really, really hate 'em.  I know what I want to do, I know why I want to do it, and I can't focus on it and instead spend my time in fantasy -- either rewriting my life or imagining fantastic futures of the impossible/magical variety.  The stuff I want to be doing is *realistic* fantasy -- future visions I can cause to become reality.  I can't make magical faeries that grant wishes, so that doesn't fit the bill.  And the time machine doesn't work either.

So I can't get a do-over on today; it's gone.  I can get up tomorrow and get done all the stuff I had been intending to get done today.  Starting with finishing the Projects page, and then writing up all the little bits Grant'd catalogued for me in email.  And calling Gabe again and see if I can get him involved with doing an artistic brainstorm for the Art section.  And doing my follow-up calls from the weekend, and also taking care of the mundania of doing my INR blood test and two meetings of different teams from the Global Justice committee.  That's a not unreasonable day; I can do that.  Assuming I can crawl back over the event-horizon of my navel.  Much like we don't really understand gravity, I don't really know how I end up in there in the first place, or what's attractive about it.  (I do at least keep the lint-levels down, but that only explains why it's not unpleasant, not why it's attractive.)

What I'm doing is in Hebrew called "Tikkun Olam"; the usual translation of which is "healing the world."  (Literally, closer to "Repair Everything," Hebrew's weird.)  I don't really do it because I want to, I do it because I'm intimately familiar with my connections with the rest of the Universe and I need to make it better.  Fixing environmental catastrophe feels to me like splinting my own busted ankle, tho' the only time that happened in real life I had a doctor do it for me.  I'm fine with delegation, but while I could find a doc who did a better splint than I could, I don't see enough people around doing well at planet-fixing.  So, me.

But planet fixing doesn't get me laid, or loved, or even fed and housed.  My last fantasizing resulted in the Busy House Polyclan, which ran from '89 to '03 and also involved me being the leader of TriState Polyamory, and being able to do things like invite 3 dozen polyfolk over to my house for a holiday dinner.  Maybe doing this work will help me make enough friends to start a new poly-family, but when I built the last one I was younger, cuter, a lot richer and conventionally "successful", and had already put ten years into building a model marriage, tho' my ex's narcissism wasn't something I'd acknowledged or coped with yet. But I could point to a very successful woman who believed in me, and that's what convinced a lot of other folk that maybe they should give it a shot also.

And I suspect that's why I end up in fantasy-land; I'm dreaming up time-streams where I get something out of it personally.  One of the elements of my birth culture that I had already deeply internalized by age 3 was that we can get by on closer to nothing than any other critter ever evolved.  This works, kinda, but it works by surrendering desire rather than by satiating it.  "Oh, I can't afford that. Guess I don't get one, then."  And life is about fulfilling desire, not surrendering it.

I'm about halfway through a stein of hyacinth tea, which my friend James from FNB turned me onto and which is available at Winco for about $5/lb. bulk.  (And a pound of tea is a *lot* of tea.)  After that, I go to bed.  I don't know if that will have me in fantasy-land again; as I've said before, when my head hits the pillow the world goes blank and I wake up in the morning.  But when I do wake up, I want my fantasy-generator to be secure in the idea that I will again build a big loving family, and have toddlers to play with, and live in my own nice house, and write life-guiding fables for my older offspring.  (Any child of the family is a child of mine; I don't need to actually sire any, tho' that's fun too and my genes are proven good.)

I'd *love* for all of that to become real.  But that's not required, as long as I can build a coherent and detailed enough dream of it to live in I can continue working towards it, and the work is the thing.


Still here.

I finally got in touch with Dad.  As predicted, he had no idea that his phone was misbehaving, or why.  He's going to call Verizon tomorrow morning to try to work it out; he's still not up on the idea that the modern business world runs 24/7.  That last is OK; I can deal with it.

And I sent a brief note to Zack, suggesting we reassume a speaking relationship.  We'll see how that goes.

I think I'm making good progress with Grant on getting the Oregon Justice Democrats website up.  Once it's up, we can use it as a test-platform for developing a Positive Proxy application and the Citizenry-building project.  I've just made contact with RepresentUs; we'll see where that goes, also.

Does anybody remember the name of the mythological Greek guy to whom the gods granted eternal life, but *not* eternal youth? 

Still turnin' the crank.

A very good yesterday -- counseling appointment, met with a new candidate (and suggested he put that off for a couple of years), phone banking for Albert, and a DSA-For-Bernie meeting.  Today, much less -- an oncology appointment (very slight chance I might have something, so they want to check), a blood test, and more phoning-for-Albert.

My thoughts, however, are on v3 of Metaculture.  It has forked; I need to do one version for CES and one version for Sunrise.  So I'm hoping for time between oncology and Albert to thoroughly study the CES website, and if time further permits read over all my own stuff to make sure I know how I started and where I am before I take a swing at finishing it off.

Still having trouble making exercise happen; maybe move it to evenings?  I dunno.  Do need to make it happen, tho'.

So, world here good.  Yours? 

Galley slaves

Back when I was working on the LAMI tall ships, I was often running the galley.  It was common for five of us to be working there, with about 4x6 feet of floor space, and not bumping into each other and getting along fine.  My current housemate, OTOH, seems to be capable of filling our 10'x10' kitchen to capacity all by himself.  We have four counter work-spaces, the sink, and the stove, and he can come in to get a cup of coffee and have all six locations filled to capacity; I have no clue how he does it.  I've learned to just leave the kitchen 'til he's done, as nothing's going to get done while he's there anyway.

Portland doesn't have a tall ship.  It'd be nice to do something about that.  I'm kinda overbooked as it is, tho'.