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Well, *that* was fun.
polydad
Back from a week in LA helping my 86 year old Dad move in with his girlfriend. They have a nice two-bedroom condo in Redondo Beach, and while the rent was not mentioned this is probably saving them at least nine grand between them over what the "assisted living" facility was overcharging them. And Dad gets his ocean view back, which for reasons I will probably never understand is important to him. (He *hates* going in the water, or on it in anything smaller than a cruise ship.)

I got the public version of girlfriend Carole's history. Dead husband Tony was a "factor", which she described as a debt collector. The combination of that, her incessant praise of all things Italian and especially Sicilian, and her description of him as a large and immensely powerful man, who retired from the business immediately after a bad auto accident crippled him, suggests to me that he was a mob enforcer, which would make him the only mob guy I've heard of getting out on a medical. It would be difficult to be terrifying on crutches, I have to admit.

She has seven kids, Anthony and Tom living nearby in other parts of LA, Karen and Suzy living in Seattle, Michael and David living in Maryland, and Deborah being several years dead, nominally from diabetes but practically from simply not ever taking care of her body.

And there's a lot more detail I won't bother describing here. She fills the air with noise, more often happy than not, and I get the impression she's never actually had anyone *listen* before. Murray's *hearing* is terrible, but his *listening* has never been anything less than fantastic.

This morning I met with Brian and Patrick, the former running for President in 2020 and the latter for Governor in November. After Patrick loses in November (he's not even a potential "spoiler"; despite all his earnest running around he's unlikely to get more than a couple percent of the vote) I hope to persuade him to run in 2020 for a lesser office -- not sure which one, yet. State Senator and State Rep. both come to mind; he's more interested in State than Federal politics, regardless of how much we could use a new Congressman from that district.

And it is suddenly bedtime; more on that in the morning, I hope.

*sigh* Adding another one to the stack.
polydad
"Breaking the Scale". About what happens to human judgment when the scales upon which judgment occurs exceed human capacities. Case example: Mom's old "Save your tears until they're useful," when the standards *her* Mom provided were based on escaping the holocaust, meaning no discomfort is worth acknowledging unless more people than I'm ever going to meet are going to die as a result. Contrast: Hypochondria.

Regaining balance
polydad
At my peak, in '99, I worked best balancing 5 projects. I could dart around between them, keeping all the plates spinning up to speed, and put in some concentrated focus on one and get back to the other 4 before they slowed down too much to avoid falling.

This week I tried to go from 2 to 3, and I'm not sure, but I seem to have crashed. Not the plates, me.

Let's try that again, and see if I can make it work.

I start with Solarpunk, which is the idea that we can have our rosy, optimistic, positive technological future *now*, starting from the real world we currently live in. An ethos without an instance is a vacuous abstraction, so we need a project to demonstrate it with. So I pulled the Arcology out of my ass, and mapped it to all the current civic problems in Portland, any or all of which it could be used as a tool to resolve.

That's one. Two is the Para and Schmoo ficton, which I devised as a fiction tool to provide an example of what both living in the Arcology and participating in a positive-proxy political system. It's set in 2035, so as to give the audience a stake in participating in it. I have the option of moving that a bit to give myself some more room, but I'd drive a stake in the sand at 2050. I'll be 93 then, which I do reasonably hope to achieve.

Three is Brian Abel's campaign to be President of the US. You've never heard of him, and unless I can do a much better job of lighting a fire under his ass you never will. He wants to run as a Green candidate, which is effectively the gadfly turf of Jill Stein and Ralph Nader. Brian basically read the Green party platform, said "Sounds good to me," and tossed his hat in the ring. I can *bring* him to the point of creating a political philosophy and running with it, even getting through the primaries and running in the actual election -- but it's going to be a long haul, and we don't have much time.

What caused me to drop all my plates was in trying to fit Brian's presidency into Para's timeline. In 2020, the Democrats could run a baboon and it'd win, so the best Brian is likely to manage is getting to score a few electoral votes, and even that's a stretch. But Para and Schmoo is a work of fiction, so I can include eight years of President Abel in it if I can figure out how. So I asked Brian, and he was no help whatsoever.

Now to regain my balance.

No more alarm clock.
polydad
So as said last post ago my only source of ongoing contact is playing alarm clock for my thirty-year-old bio-son. And now I've had enough of *his* abuse and have told him I'm not doing that any more.

We'll still have our 6am (9 his time) scrum, until he gets offended at that too. But since he's absolutely convinced that any attempt at humor is an attempt to make fun of him, that'll be either today or tomorrow.

Which means I've got nothing. Let's see what I can do with it.

Wrong kind of organizing.
polydad
So today I went to an organizing workshop. What the title neglected to state was that it was a *labor*-organizing workshop, which is a far more limited seminar than I was looking for. Made several good contacts anyway, and have followed up with 2 of them.

The core of the idea is that "organizing" means "building contacts." So, talk with people. And most of the rest of the content was on how to hold conversations without being a self-serving jackass. This is a very good idea, but I was hoping for something a little bit less-obvious and more involved.

Brain? Where are you, brain?
polydad
Okay, the coffee's helping.

Very often lately, or so it seems, I've turned to writing here as a centering tool, trying to find which universe I'm in and adapt myself to working in it. Haredi Jews have a prayer for every situation for similar purpose, but I'm not Haredi and only culturally Jewish (and my Hebrew has lapsed to the "effo bet shamush?" level, i.e., "Where's the bathroom?"), so I need to find a different solution.

Hmm. Pick some favorite songs to listen to on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9q5Sbj3km4 for a start, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U05f60wipag.

Brain full, need to unload
polydad
OK, I've attended one event and sent out 3 letters so far today. And had an excellent nap. So what am I going to do about the remaining 9 letters on the list?Collapse )

Successful Failure
polydad
I've never been so pleased to throw away work.

I posted this morning about my distraction. Then I went and wrote out a proposal, and it was awful. It *really* stunk.

And then I threw it away and started over. Only got a few paragraphs start, but now it's a good start and I can do something with it. And if I hadn't written my previous pile of dreck I wouldn't have been able to.

So yay for successful failure, and on with the project!

Spleen, world. World, spleen. Now play nice.
polydad
I've got a grant proposal to write. The first question on the form is "What's your website?" so I need to create a website for the project. Fine, I started writing. And I find myself continually distracted by the inabilities of the people around me to recognize simple and straightforward *evil* when they trip over it.

We have in the United States two political parties, the Party of Malevolence, currently in power, and the Party of Incompetence, busily waiting for them to fall out of it. We're trapped between Bumblefuck and Murderthug.

What we are suffering from is poor storytelling. Look at the whole Marvel cinematic universe for a case example. There are two teams, the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, and the Good guys will always win and the bad guys will always lose and that's it. As a culture we've learned that winning makes you good, so if you won you must be good, never mind how many innocents you slaughtered in the process.

Yeah, OK, recently they've backed off from that a bit and made effort to Save The Innocents. But at this point that entire genre has gone so far off the Suspenders of Disbelief that it doesn't matter any more. The Bad Guys will always score just enough hits to allow the defending Good Guys to work up a good head of Righteous Indignation, whereupon they throw physics out the window, dial up the super-powers to about 25 or so (even those heros who don't *have* any), and engage in some righteous ass-whooping. The righteous ass-whooping is the orgasm of the story, and all the rest of it is just window-dressing setting up the stage for it.

Damn, there's too much going on here for me to keep hold of it. We can end the positive feedback loop and get back to telling better stories by focusing on building rather than fighting. In a fight, everybody loses, it's just that some folks lose a little less than other folks. If we build something, the project is the story, and its coming into existence is the success, and it leaves us richer by one whatever-the-fuck-it-is.

It will almost certainly be necessary to remove some of these malignant boils from our species. Rather than indulge our sadistic impulses, we should simply end them as quickly and expediently as possible, redistribute all the resources they have managed to sequester, and move on. Gloating is actively counterproductive, no matter how good it feels. We don't want to glory in the defeat of our enemies, we want to get back to making something beautiful.

So the evil that we're tripping over is that we've been subsumed by the sports-game mentality. Playing games is fine, it's fun, and it only becomes a problem when we start mistaking games for life. The model is not the thing. We need to look at what *surrounds* the simulation and not get bogged down in doing ever-better simulating. We're already *too good* at lying to ourselves.So since Thursday I've bought and installed a second, bar-sized (3.3 cu. ft.) refrigerator, put a couple of bread-boxes in the corner, and hung a big hanging basket next to the new fridge. I've also gotten some trays to put the spices on, tho' one of the tray needs legs so it can go above the other tray, and I'm not done with that part yet. (Bought steel bar-stock, bent it to shape, drilled holes in 'em for mounting, and drilled 'em too small. And my arm is too tired to drill 'em out wider for at least the next two or three hours.)

Place looks vastly better. Liam has already started ignoring the new changes and dumping his purchases on the counter, and I've already nagged him about it. We'll see how long *that* continues.

Spleen, world. World, spleen. Now play nice.
polydad
I've got a grant proposal to write. The first question on the form is "What's your website?" so I need to create a website for the project. Fine, I started writing. And I find myself continually distracted by the inabilities of the people around me to recognize simple and straightforward *evil* when they trip over it.

We have in the United States two political parties, the Party of Malevolence, currently in power, and the Party of Incompetence, busily waiting for them to fall out of it. We're trapped between Bumblefuck and Murderthug.

What we are suffering from is poor storytelling. Look at the whole Marvel cinematic universe for a case example. There are two teams, the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, and the Good guys will always win and the bad guys will always lose and that's it. As a culture we've learned that winning makes you good, so if you won you must be good, never mind how many innocents you slaughtered in the process.

Yeah, OK, recently they've backed off from that a bit and made effort to Save The Innocents. But at this point that entire genre has gone so far off the Suspenders of Disbelief that it doesn't matter any more. The Bad Guys will always score just enough hits to allow the defending Good Guys to work up a good head of Righteous Indignation, whereupon they throw physics out the window, dial up the super-powers to about 25 or so (even those heros who don't *have* any), and engage in some righteous ass-whooping. The righteous ass-whooping is the orgasm of the story, and all the rest of it is just window-dressing setting up the stage for it.

Damn, there's too much going on here for me to keep hold of it. We can end the positive feedback loop and get back to telling better stories by focusing on building rather than fighting. In a fight, everybody loses, it's just that some folks lose a little less than other folks. If we build something, the project is the story, and its coming into existence is the success, and it leaves us richer by one whatever-the-fuck-it-is.

It will almost certainly be necessary to remove some of these malignant boils from our species. Rather than indulge our sadistic impulses, we should simply end them as quickly and expediently as possible, redistribute all the resources they have managed to sequester, and move on. Gloating is actively counterproductive, no matter how good it feels. We don't want to glory in the defeat of our enemies, we want to get back to making something beautiful.

So the evil that we're tripping over is that we've been subsumed by the sports-game mentality. Playing games is fine, it's fun, and it only becomes a problem when we start mistaking games for life. The model is not the thing. We need to look at what *surrounds* the simulation and not get bogged down in doing ever-better simulating. We're already *too good* at lying to ourselves.So since Thursday I've bought and installed a second, bar-sized (3.3 cu. ft.) refrigerator, put a couple of bread-boxes in the corner, and hung a big hanging basket next to the new fridge. I've also gotten some trays to put the spices on, tho' one of the tray needs legs so it can go above the other tray, and I'm not done with that part yet. (Bought steel bar-stock, bent it to shape, drilled holes in 'em for mounting, and drilled 'em too small. And my arm is too tired to drill 'em out wider for at least the next two or three hours.)

Place looks vastly better. Liam has already started ignoring the new changes and dumping his purchases on the counter, and I've already nagged him about it. We'll see how long *that* continues.

Pass me the idiot hat
polydad
...So I got the idea to put all the spices on the top shelf of one of the lower cabinets. On trays, so they could be stacked. Didn't work well; kept knocking over the bottles on the lower tray. So, solution: Put legs on the upper tray so it wouldn't hit the lower bottles.

The trays are 20"x14", so I got two 3' long steel bars to form legs with. And then I formed them for the 20" side instead of the 14" side, and now have to un-bend the bars and re-bend 'em.

Oops.

Oblique progress
polydad
I didn't get most of my list done today, and I still feel great about it.

Met with Brian at 8am, and he brought his wife and friend Randy with him. After we spent a couple of hours discussing his (non-)campaign, we went back to my place and I gave him about a quarter of the stuff in the driveway I'm still trying to get rid of. And then he gave me a ride to and from the resale store to pick up the breadboxes I bought on Monday.

And then the new mini-fridge arrived, and I rearranged and cleaned the kitchen. And then made dinner for Garrett and Darius, altho' Garrett was a no-show, which seems to be a pattern with him.

Tomorrow I want to swap the big hanging basket in my bedroom for the little one, and hang the big one in the kitchen. And then mop all the moppable floors. And then it's time to get back to writing Para and Schmoo.

Yay, progress!

Busy bee
polydad
Zoomed right down my list today. One logistics phone call, confirmed by email, two contact follow-up emails, purged the fridge, went food-shopping, and set up an eggplant parmesan for dinner. Two things left on the list: Swap out the large hanging basket in my bedroom for the small one, so that tomorrow I can put up the large one in the kitchen, and go to a Bus Project event.

Nokea
polydad
I'm not going to Ikea any more. I can't really point to the reason(s?) being in the store is so unpleasant, but it is and the unpleasantness is not worth either the occasional bargain or the reasonably decent meatballs.

Overloaded brain, please reboot
polydad
Okay, I'm now working on a 2020 Presdidential campaign.Collapse )

Para development
polydad
Can I get some suggestions and questions?Collapse )

Welcome to oh-dark-thirty
polydad
Tried going out of the house yesterday. Went to Food not Bombs, which was good, but going out at all in this heat was a mistake...Collapse )

Progress is slow.
polydad
Gary will be by with his pickup today to help me take the entertainment center to the Salvation Army. That still leaves me with a couple of pickup-loads in the driveway, which I still have to sort through and dispose of. And then will come finishing up the modifications on the cargo trailer, which will include reinstalling the blown-off roof. (It's not open to the weather; I'd added corrugated steel roofing on top of the existing plywood, and apparently didn't use long enough screws.) This will include completely reorganizing and cataloging the *contents* of the trailer, since the modifications will include reinsulating the walls and ceiling.

Aaargh.
polydad
I was outside 'til 2am last night sorting and arranging stuff for the charity pick-up, was up again at 5am doing more of same, came inside to hit the john at about 8:10am, and came out again to see the ass-end of the departing truck, with only a third of the stuff I'd intended to donate gone from the front part of the driveway.

Now to find a way to get rid of the rest of it.

Not *quite* concluding cleanout.
polydad
It's 2am; the truck to Take Things Away will be here in six hours. I'm nowhere near done looking through the stuff; anything I haven't investigated by the time they arrive just goes. I'm OK with that.

I've found my good cloak and my wedding outfit; I'll hang on to those. A lot of entirely useable stuff, just not worth the space to keep it in inventory.

A little bit cooler. Body still not happy yet.
polydad
So today is forecast to be 93F instead of 98F. I guess I'll take what I can get; it's not like I have a whole lot of options.

Steve took a carload of bookshelves and such last night, and Sabrina will be coming sometime in the next 3 days to get a couple of tubs worth of stuff. And then Friday morning ARC comes to pick up the rest. I informed the site manager, and she's OK with my leaving the driveway a mess 'til Friday -- entirely because I had the courtesy to ask her.

Still feeling out of it from the sunburn. Evidently I'm getting even *more* sensitive; it only took about ten or fifteen minutes last Friday to have me losing skin in places that *were* covered by clothing. Healing will take rest and metabolic resources, but thought is not only not needed, it's an impediment to the process.

I'm not sure if that means thinking about *other* things impedes the healing process. Maybe I can get back to work on the Ficton and the Arcology without interfering. I hope so. At the moment, I think I'll probably go watch "Ant Man and the Wasp", as sitting in an air-conditioned theater and watching a live-action cartoon seems about my speed for the morning.

One mystery solved
polydad
Apparently, in making 4 trips from the door to the van immediately outside it Friday morning, I'd managed to pick up a bad sunburn -- enough so that I'm losing skin that was covered by my T-shirt. So my body saying "No work" Saturday and Sunday afternoons was saying "I need that energy for healing, and if you try to take it and use it for something else this will Not End Well."

I do feel like I can get some work done today, but we don't have the UHaul any more, so anybody what wants has to come get. Tools, camping equipment, bike stuff, the entertainment center (for which my guesses of 7' tall, 8' wide, and 30" deep were only trivially off -- 6'10" tall, 7'9.5" wide, and 25.5" deep), kitchen chairs, card table/folding chair sets, men's clothing, books, and a whole lot of bins I haven't investigated yet.

I'm feeling much more focused on my major projects -- the Arcology and the Ficton, both of which are aspects of solarpunk. I still have to spend the day getting shit out of the driveway before I can do work on 'em.

Listening to my body
polydad
Self policing is a terribly necessary task. So I'm wondering why I didn't spend the afternoon reorganizing the stuff in the driveway.

True, it was 98F out there. Mostly in the shade, but 98F in the shade is still 98F. That just makes it unpleasant, and I can work through unpleasantness.

The reason I paid attention to was my body saying "Don't do this." I have a great deal of history of ignoring what my body is saying to me, and paying attention to it is a good thing and something I need to learn to be much better at. But I do like knowing *why* it is telling me to do, or not to, something. Bodies aren't always very good at communication, and mine in particular doesn't spend a lot of time or effort explaining itself.

So heat was probably not the reason. I got the last load out of the storage area this morning, so my body was fine with doing physical work, and it was less than a half-load, so exhaustion wasn't the reason either. Adequate reason to take a nap, which I did. So why didn't I get up from my nap and go sort boxes? Or, more accurately, why did I consider my idea, and then listen to my body's veto of it?

Still working on this. Right now, I don't know.

Friend Steve will be by tonight, and will take half a dozen bookcases, and whatever else looks good. I hope to persuade him to take the electric cooler -- it's a standard picnic chest with a built-in cooling unit, so if you have a place to plug it in it becomes an actual refrigerator. In the morning I'll call Goodwill, and they can take the entertainment center, the kitchen chairs, the card tables and chairs, and probably some other stuff. And then I can see what's left and make some decisions about it.

Want anything?

Tomorrow, tomorrow...
polydad
So today I will go clean the last of my stuff out of the storage area. Then I have to get rid of it all out of the driveway, and the "neighborhood garage sale" is being a total bust, which I think I could have predicted if I'd spent any time thinking about it. (Zero publicity, zero organization; result, a few people cruising through playing "looky-loo", and nobody really shopping.)

Which means tomorrow a flurry of calling people and organizations to come get stuff. It's more important to me to be rid of it than to monitor where it goes. Better planning on my part, and this purge would have happened two years ago.

After I get done with this week's chaos, I focus on the Arcology and the Ficton. *Two* foci I'm pretty sure I can handle right now.

Good progress, but still not done.
polydad
I have done good work. Despite this, my body is reminding me that it is 61 years old, and has not been in the general habit of loading and unloading trucks. Nothing horrible, but I ache a lot. It'll pass.

I have *not* gotten the entertainment center out of the storage area. I can hire some muscle and get it done tomorrow morning. I will still be achey, even though tomorrow I will not be the one doing most of the heavy lifting. I have this luxury.

As usual, I have a lot more and a lot more *interesting* thoughts going on, but holding my arms up to type displeases me at the moment. More later.