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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.

Enough hands?
polydad
I'm a bit worried about today.

Yesterday, I got a load out of the storage area all by myself. Good work, completed.Collapse )

Progress is good.
polydad
"warriorsavant" pointed out that garage sales are depressing; he's right. But even if I make no money at all and just send all the stuff to Goodwill on Tuesday, I will no longer have the $150/mo. storage area fee any more. I'm good with that. (I would *also* like to make some money. But that's extra.)

Today I got the first of three van-loads out of the unit and into my driveway. Tomorrow morning early I go get the second load; the third is the two big center section pieces of the entertainment center, which should happen at 1pm if I can get at least two people to help. Or one very cooperative gorilla, which is unfortunately unlikely.

I've got 4 conflicting events for Saturday, but since I moved all *his* stuff for him, I'm counting on Liam to do the "sit in driveway and take money" part of things. I might even be able to get the use of the van to shuttle back and forth between all my meetings; haven't talked with him about that yet.

Having gotten some hard physical work done feels good.

A moving experience.
polydad
Shortly after I'm done writing this, I'm going to go clean out my storage area and bring the contents here for a garage sale.Collapse )

Getting derailed.
polydad
I went to a presentation on "Navigating the Oregon Labor Movement" last night, given by the AFL/CIO.

The many Union people I've been dealing with for the last half-dozen years mostly strike me as good, well-intentioned people who are trying to do all the right things for mostly-inaccurate reasons.

I am hesitant to try to point this out to them; when I've tried such things previously I got fired a couple of times for it. People do *not* like having their fundamental premises questioned, on the whole. (Even research scientists.)

Note that I say "mostly inaccurate", rather than "wrong." If I can concentrate long enough, I'll get back to that. I'm having a Trump-overload morning, and it's not 7am yet. This may get tedious...Collapse )

Finding a necktie
polydad
When I was working on Wall Street in the '90's, I had a friend working nearby named Carson Gaspar, who is to date the most flamingly gay person I've met. Even being in IT, he was still on the Street, and his bosses finally came down on him for his "unbusinesslike" dress. He came in the next day in a white button-down shirt, immaculate 3-piece navy pinstripe suit, and a beautiful blue-and-gold regimental tie.

It wasn't until you looked closely at the tie that you could discover that the fine gold embrodered regimental stripes were actually the word "Faggot", embroidered in script over and over and over and over...

Does anyone know where I could find such a tie now? I've got a friend who would be very amused by one.

For that matter, does anyone know where Carson is now? I suspect those two would get along well, even if the local neighborhood has a bit of trouble surviving the experience.

I'm *sure* I left a bellybutton around here *someplace*...
polydad
My first two sources of information are my email...Collapse )

Proportion and Responsibility
polydad
If I bash in your head with a club, the fact that somebody else has an atom bomb does not make me any less a murderer.Collapse )

Governance
polydad
I’ve been working hard, if not very productively, at things that are difficult for me. So instead of dwelling on those, I’ll go back to something I'm good at.Collapse )

Bureacrophobia
polydad
So, after waiting on hold for an hour twenty, I got a woman who may not have been able to enunciate clearly but was at least determined to be helpful. The "I can't get to my messages" problem is a known problem and "they're working on it", which I'm not going to waste finger-tapping arguing about. That's out of "Identifying fuck-offs 101".

The insurance issue may be serious; apparently the bureaucracy made a mistake when they enrolled me in the first place years ago, and I've been getting my health care from the wrong agency all along. And other than the annual enrollment error, they've been doing a pretty good job of it; they just send me to Kaiser, Kaiser does their stuff, and I get consistent and reliable grade-B health care.

Now, by the end of the month I'll be getting care from some as-yet-unknown-and-new-to-me agency, and I have no idea how they'll do it or how well.

Obocide
polydad
I've been on hold for 30 minutes so far...Collapse )

Solarpunk, Arcologies, and Assholes
polydad
Since I've had...Collapse )

Coaxing Stephan out of his hole
polydad
I'd really like to ask Stephan Leger for help, but it's a bad idea. I am frustrated by this.

Stephan is head of the Oregon Justice Democrats, which could be really helpful in a number of regards, lead among them investigating the Oregon Democratic Party, which much like the national Democratic Party is completely corrupt at the highest levels and staffed lower-down with well-meaning idealists who aren't willing to admit they're being suckered.

The National Justice Democrats share the same problem; their prime cause is to elect progressives to the House of Representatives. But I've read their charter, and it isn't limited to that. Pretty much any progressive political activity is covered and encouraged -- while stressing taking over the House of Representatives, yes, but Party-cleaning and "lower" races are also explicitly encouraged. And while it *isn't* explicitly mentioned, I don't think they'd mind turning out a right-wing Democratic Senator in a primary either.

However, the top of the National JD's is made up of the kids of the Establishment, who want to continue the Democratic Party as it is and to them always has been. ("Always" is pretty short when you're twenty.) They want local action for the purpose of improving their national-level power-base.

So every time Stephan talks with them, they talk about electing progressive Democratic Congressmen, and want to know what he's doing to help them. And Stephan's only 24 himself, and *doesn't* have a family background in politics, and is neither aware of nor willing to admit that he's being bullied. The last meeting I attended, he recited the party line and threw the floor open, and I voiced my opinion that the two best things the organization could be doing were in order 1.) Clean out the State Party, and 2.) Elect State-level officials. *Every person in the room except Stephan* agreed with me emphatically. And that's the last I heard from the Justice Democrats, aside from beg-letters from National.

So I've got a great State-level candidate (Maxwell, SD-16) I want his support on. Well, more accurately, his group's, whether he's waving the stick or not. And he's a timid young man, with a National-level organization yelling at him to do things *their* way. And I need to write a letter to him that doesn't start "Hey, Stephan -- are you willing to stop being a coward yet?"

It's gonna be tough. Any suggestions?

Tanakh distraction
polydad
So I went to torah study this morning, primarily because I wanted to talk with the rabbi about what would be the appropriate venue at shul to circulate the Portland Just Energy Initiative. Rabbi wasn’t there, no one else knew. And the day’s torah portion was one of those dedicated to the proposition of proving that parts of this ancient book are superstitious horseshit.

If a man is jealous of his wife, and has no evidence of actual fooling-around on her part, he is to go to the rabbi with his wife and complain, and the rabbi is to cast a spell on the wife that will make her sick if she is indeed fooling around. Casting spells, guys? Come on. And who can be responsible for an emotion other than the person feeling it? The main point of the setup is that she and her hypothetical lover are the only ones who know if she *is* fooling around. So maybe the jealous guy’s right and maybe he’s wrong, but not only doesn’t *he* know, pretty much nobody else does either. His ignorance is *also* his job to deal with – either learn more, or come to grips with not knowing.

Me, when my now-ex-wife found a lover, he was a nice guy, so I married him too. Different times, different values. (Hi, Jer, if you’re reading.)

There was some interesting hypothesizing going on about the displacement of Goddess-based worship with male-centered culture. The group were entirely amateur scholars, however, so evidence and citations were lacking, but the viewpoint of trying to determine the sociological background and the acknowledgement that the document was written by committee over centuries were both part of my personal Jewish identity, so that bit was fulfilling. The group was about ¾ female, which fits my own experience of Jewish culture; the men try to exert some influence through the worship and custom because that’s about all the input they get. Don’ mess with the balabusteh.

None of which gets my nine follow-ups written. Back to work.

Soup
polydad
Judging from the smells, I may have just done something special in the kitchen, so I wanted to try to get it down, if possible, while I still can.

Leek and potato soup.
Two large and one medium-smallish leeks, chopped medium
Two medium Yukon Gold and three small white potatoes, peeled and chopped in about quarter-inch cubes
Six somewhat skinny stalks of celery, chopped a bit smaller than the potatoes
A dozen medium-large Crimini mushrooms, sliced in half and then in about 1/8” slices
One bunch parsley, chopped medium-fine
Half a dozen scallions, sliced in about 1/8” slices

Melt a stick of butter in a gallon or larger pot. Dump in everything, add:
Salt (didn’t measure, guessing a rounded teaspoon’s worth)
Szechuan peppercorns, ground fine, another rounded teaspoon
3.5 oz. Chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (half a can)
A generous pouring of dill, maybe another one of those teaspoons
A jigger of single-malt scotch
A teaspoon full of finely-chopped garlic
A vigorous shake each of black and white pepper

Stir every few minutes for about 20 minutes; the recipe I improvised said “until all the butter is absorbed”, but I didn’t know what that looked like so I just guessed at “well, that looks cooked.” Then add a liter of chicken stock and about half that of beef stock, on the "it's here, throw it in the pot" theory. Let simmer for half an hour, add a pint of heavy cream, stir again, and serve.
Tags:

Cranky body, successful interview
polydad
This is my own virtual living room, so I can do whatever I want, here. At the same time, y'all are sitting on the couch reading, eating the snacks, and sometimes answering back, so some rules of civilized behavior do apply.

My body's being cranky, and I want to try to work through it anyway. If it doesn't get less cranky by lunchtime, I may head over to the urgent-care unit; they don't open 'til 1pm anyway, and I'd feel silly going to the ER for "I need to pee and I can't and it hurts when I try." I have some meds for that, and I can take an extra dose.

Interview with Sierra Club was successful -- they like me, and also like me for the treasurer job -- and they also have another person to interview, and liking me isn't enough, they have to like me better than everybody else. OTOH, they also told me that it's an unpaid position, which makes it considerably less interesting. (There was no mention of payment in their solicitation or job description, and the duties are certainly professional and at *least* full-time, so I'd assumed paid.) OTOH, I will be working closely with the Funding Director, and if I can raise the money to pay me a salary with they'd be pretty short on arguments to not pay me one.

I'm behind on follow-ups; my goal is to get all 9 outstanding finished today, and then apply for the known-to-be-paid position at CAT. And I've got a potluck to get to after that, and two bits of cooking to get done concurrently with writing -- but that's an excellent meshing of activities; when I've had too much keyboard I can go chop veggies for a few minutes. (Sweet and sour red cabbage and leek-and-potato soup, if you're into such things.)

Just proved the point; the celery is now chopped for the soup.

I've got two "mortality" issues I'm dealing with. Easier is Dad, who is 86 and has enough money to last him in his current life-style to 90. I think he's good for at least five years after that, and might well make his century; *his* life-plan ended sixteen years ago. So I have to make plans for how to care for him after his money runs out. I do have siblings, but while I can count on them to contribute as little cash as they can get away with, that's the best I can count on them for.

The other is the Big Task I've had staring me in the face for decades, and haven't made material progress on yet. And it's breakfast time, so I'll get back to that tomorrow.

Another "ooops...!"
polydad
I'm behind on my follow-ups (4 down, 9 to go), but other than that things are going OK. I have a meeting at 9 with a Metro candidate (Portland's Regional government), and an interview with the Sierra Club at noon. And I got up to a friend's page full of Trumpeting, which I need like -- and resembles -- a faceful of sewage.

Trump has been a malevolent non-entity since I was in high school; no news there. And I've already voiced my disgust at the Rethugs whose treason maintains him in office. What I need to focus on is how to keep *myself* centered and functional. Much like taking swimming-lessons in a whirlpool. But as the old NY cliche has it, "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!"

Joe Buck is a nice, liberal guy. So is his opponent Christine Lewis, taking the term 'guy' as gender-neutral, which seems obvious. I haven't met with Christine yet, and my objective is to get 'em both on the radical side of liberal.

...and boom, there goes the schedule. Just got an email from Joe; he owns and runs 3 restaurants, and had a break-in last night, and needs to re-schedule while he handles the cops and the insurance paperwork. Okay, I understand the need and can accommodate that. (Why would someone break into a restaurant, other than being really hungry? It's not like we leave the cash in the till or something.) Does really throw off my morning, tho'.

***Recalibrating...***

Drilling BITs
polydad
Okay, it’s 5am and I’ve been up since Zack pinged me at 3:48. Not rude on his part; he’d asked me to ping *him* at 3:30am my time, and I’d agreed, but my phone’s alarm clock works only erratically, and hadn’t gone off this morning. (Properly set; I checked. Want new phone.)

I need to write the Big Important Thing – but I’ve had that need for years, and haven’t been able to effectively act on it yet. Siderea had written (https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1409042.html#cutid1) on why her style of writing is difficult, and I echo some of her difficulties; since I’m trying to do grand synthesis, a blown attempt usually produces gibberish, not editable rough material. Another pair of tactics I can try are: 1.) writing about why the writing is hard (which you may notice is what I’m doing at the moment), and 2.) doing both simultaneously; using my gibberish-production as a tool to help me write about why it’s not working, or 2b.) use the gibberish-production as a tool to write about new and different tools or approaches I might use to address either writing problem or the subject itself.

Providing background for #1, the BIT is why and how to build a human metaculture, and how one tells one has finished successfully doing so and how it works when it’s done. Since a metaculture is a growing organism, it’ll keep growing on its own after one is done creating it; that’s a design feature, not a bug.

Metacultures are squishy; not only do they come in a lot of different shapes and configurations, an individual metaculture can change shape and configuration without losing cohesiveness, and will often do so if it notices one studying it. (Think of the famous old joke of the primate scientist hurrying out of his subject’s room and then turning to peer through the keyhole, and finding a brown eye staring back at him.) This doesn’t make the descriptive job *impossible*, but it does impose an additional difficulty.

My political work over the last few months is in pursuit of an implementation attempt. Having a readable map of what I’m trying to accomplish could be helpful in doing so. It’s a tricky tool, tho’; most of the politicians and would-be politicians I’ve been talking with are very short-term focused. There’s good utility to that, but we-as-metaculture *also* have to look to our long-term issues. I sympathize with the politicos in their being irritated at someone who seems determined to make their jobs bigger and more difficult.

Some, like John Maxwell (running for Oregon State Representative for District #19), will get it just fine. Others, like Jo Ann Hardesty (running for Portland City Council position #3) are likely to be annoyed at me for trying to distract them from meeting those immediate needs. (“Black people are being shot by police for being black, and you’re bothering me with *this*?”)

It’s part of the nature of a complex organism that it *has* to do more than one thing at a time, so Jo Ann’s not incorrect. It is probably still useful for me to keep her informed about what I’m doing, even tho’ she disagrees with my prioritization. Keeping open communications is good, but it’s also important for *me* to remember that that’s not the core of *my* job. I’m trying to implement a metaculture.

That’s enough to be one complete thought. I’ve got lots more, but at least I can do you the courtesy of trying to keep it in manageable chunks.
Tags: , ,

Kid got canned again
polydad
Zack got fired yesterday. He'd been there a bit over a year, much like his last job. He's getting a little bit more clued in about how to tell when things aren't going right, but still not fast enough to placate his employers. They're giving him a month's severance, which is nice as far as it goes.

From what I can tell from what little he shares with me, the main problem again was his social skills -- not knowing when to ask for help, for the most part. He *did* have a real tough employer, so his having the Aspie Talk with his boss may have been seen as making excuses.

Right now *I'm* in the middle of reorganizing my head, and feeling his pain is a pain in my own metaphorical butt I could have done without. I know this kind of "feeling" is an illusion, but being an illusion doesn't make it any the less real -- I have a pain in my Zack, and it hurts, and pain is distracting. And he only likes help if he explicitly asks for it, so I've got both a fair amount of shutting up to do and some very delicate questioning to plan out for when he *does* finally get around to asking for it, because he also only wants as *much* as he asks for, even when (almost always) he's not asking for enough or on the right subjects. ("What was wrong with the way I was arranging the deck chairs that caused the ship to sink?")

I've signed up for a political-protest bus trip leaving Saturday for LA; about time I visited Dad down there anyway, I like the cause (justice in the Philippines), and it's about a hundred bucks cheaper than flying there and back. I can write more about that both in a bit and from the road; right now I need to email them about scheduling so I can tell Dad when I'll be visiting.

Big, no?
polydad
So, An Arcology in PortlandCollapse )