Monday, April 30, 2012

Gotta Have Coffee

Lindsey and I chatted about the philosophy behind her song by this title, while biking back from DMV.  A few seconds of that song had made it into Occupation Nation (see previous blog post).

I thought that was apropos, given Occupy the Ports has to do with world trade and what counts as fair versus exploitative.  The equations are multifarious.  That's what the self interested great pirates were about, before they became great computers or whatever we're using today to keep track.  Books, other records.

Anyway, she puts more bite behind it when times are bad and things are heading south (in the sense of "wrong way").  That's no time for goofing off.  Whereas when things are going well, hey, why not kick back and have some fun, have some coffee?

That's somewhat the ethics for her.

We also talked about the tea party connection, and how switching to coffee was a patriotic act in the face of the UK's tea practices back then (talking Revolution).

DMV was moving quickly today.  We took our number and were called to the counter after scribbling as fast as we could on various forms (three in all).  I phoned home to ask Melody to check the odometer (197K plus). Lindsey was letting go of her stake in what had been her escape pod from Savannah.

This Nissan took over for the Subaru (Razz) after the latter's demise.

Walker had become zealously anti peak oil waste and was driving herself to walk a tough talk.  Rather than just let it rust, she invested her asset towards gaining a more settled home life (space in the Blue House), but for herself chose the bicycle as pretty much her only mode of self conveyance, a good move health wise as well.

For awhile we collaborated on a music venture, with me as chauffeur / roadie, earnest dork anthropologist from Princeton, taking it all in.  But she wanted to find a stronger social justice angle.  Actively discouraging driving was part of it, so my job fell away, plus I was never that high on her totem pole to begin with.

Not having taken the same vows, I continued to pay maintenance and insurance, while enjoying free access to the public roads.  I did scale way back though.  I think more in months per tank than in miles per gallon these days.  Getting work that did not require much driving was a missing puzzle piece that came along.

Melody is all but moved out per long term plan; it's not technically the first of the month yet.

JenQ has also folded her tent.

Gypsies are on the move again, will continue flitting through.  Or shall we say Elvyn folk.  None will go far I hope.

We zipped back to quarters from DMV, where Lindsey harnessed the dog for a walk.  I had a late lunch engagement with Steve then went bouncing around again.  Have wifi will work (within the neighborhood -- I don't shoot away all that often, though I do that too, usually only for short intervals).

Quakers have gotten mixed up in the coffee trade themselves.

Multnomah Meeting sent a delegation, my daughter among them.

Last night Tara and I had home made pasta carbonara at the Holden residence.  Patrick, now with Nike, came by for dessert, after Tara's departure.  He was rightly incensed that a little humor in his posters would not be tolerated and the science fair was canceled to teach him a lesson.

Elementary school attracts certain personality types, caricatures really.

Yesterday Lyrik had live jazz.  Nature Boy, one of their tunes, was by an unknown from Colorado, his only hit really.  That and Little Prince were early childhood themata.  They'd likely blend as a cartoon.  I was also into kachina dolls.

Children spontaneously express the archetypes, that's Jung 101, Freud too.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Occupation Nation (movie review)

:: by B Media Collective ::

This is one of those edit/recombine jobs I used to dream about before the Web, when back in Jersey City at PWS 284 (what I called my personal workspace).

Download from sources, remix / value-add, and upload.  That's what people do.  That's what this movie does.

Today's video editing equipment makes that a lot easier.

Take a lot of Dominic's videos from the Laughing Horse collection, run them through a blender, and dollop in healthy doses of recent footage from the Occupy camps, and you've got a basic clay.  Shape it to tell more of a story, and you've got a movie.

That sounds really critical but I'm actually somewhat a fan of video collage, as a still life collage maker myself.  Fast cuts are OK with me.  I appreciate the bandwidth.  I recommend 2:01 to 4:01 as a great sampling, so reminiscent of a Rev. Billy video, I couldn't wait to show it to Melody (she'd missed the first 20 minutes at the opening showing -- a town meeting somewhere).

But it helps to already know a lot of history.  Same as when listening to Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire.  In particular, it helps to know about the Spanish Civil War and the world wide movement to have more local control in the form of worker owned co-ops.

That might be called "communism" or "socialism" in some necks of the woods, but in Oregon we're more likely to think of Burley (no longer a co-op) and Tillamook.  Fascists in Europe moved quickly to put down the 99% in Spain (with Hemingway a witness) but Oregon is pretty far from fascist centers, including from WDC (somewhat strait-jacketed by looney tunes "corporate persons" in this chapter).

Also, the Bonus Army chapter:  there's some good archival footage here.  Again, Portland figures in, as OPDX Park was also the Bonus Army's staging ground (45:10 - 46:10).  Smedley "fighting Quaker" Butler was a hero both times.

JenQ, currently occupying mom's office (with permission -- Carol is away), gets to tell us what Food Not Bombs is doing in the early hours of OPDX (29:40 - 30:18).  Later, FNB moved to a separate tent in Beta Camp.

Lindsey, another housemate, sings Ya Gotta Have Coffee to the camera (53:38 - 53:51) during Occupy the Ports (the movie is chopped into segments).

Good job, B Movie Collective, getting a lot of the action into perspective, and in time for Spring of 2012.

My own work since Occupy has been working with teachers, other characters, on an Occupy STEM initiative, curriculum writing designed to shake more people out of complacency and/or apathy.

On the other hand, for newcomers, it's more about turning the page and moving on from the 1900s and its nightmares.

We don't want the 2000s to be colonized exclusively by those suffering from 1900s reflex-conditioning and/or PTSD.

Faster responders with more apropos reflexes, good intuitive sensibilities are in the pipeline, many of them recruited from Occupy camps and now on more global circuits, looking at lots of problem situations, reporting back to meetings e.g. at Pauling House or whatever.

Speaking of the Pauling House, good job Lew Scholl for rendering Julian's Alpha Helix for Google Earth.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Graywater LLC

Suffering from black & white views? 

Give us a call. 

We'll help you gain a more nuanced vision.

Experienced Graywater dude (note Princeton shirt, cuffka) discerns relevant factoids.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hugo (movie review)

On Facebook I mentioned this movie was better than I'd expected.  However, going in, I had few expectations, other than I expected a 3D cartoon, like where you have to wear glasses (or glasses over glasses).

Hugo would probably be something cute, like a Lorax, I was thinking.  Surprise:  not a cartoon, or not really.

The idea that films are deliberately illusions (which they are), like stage magic, is very much a core theme.  We celebrate that history, its characters, the worlds we get (like this one).  The killjoys are the ones who bring in the reality of killing machines.

The film is about healing, people recovering from war in various ways, which just reminds us of how wounding the war was.  Like losing your father suddenly, your best friend.

Those who have it hard end up teaching about how hard it can be, sometimes unwittingly perpetuating the nightmare.

I was sure that was Ali G's voice -- it all of a sudden jumped out at me.  Yep, Sacha Baron Cohen.  His character would get the girl if only he had more compassion for the orphans he hunts.  "Why do adults like torturing children so much?" the movie keeps asking?

Hugo is something cute, a boy mainly, but with lots of surreal parts.

The world they inhabit is just like the movies.  The clock tower from within, looking out, is like Big Ben, taller than anything within the Paris landscape save the Eiffel Tower.  Within and without need not jibe in the movies, a house of mirrors.

I came into this film straight from fantasies about city bus systems, Trimet's trip planner (which I'd tweeted about).  We rode in on the Max train.

Minutes later I'm watching a pulsing set of city circuits, trains galore, plus there was something in the previews about trip displays.

"Look at that gear thing" she said pointing up at some Trimet infrastructure, where the train's wire gets pulled (in front of Finnegan's).  Walking back the other way, after the movie, she called it a premonition (is there a post-monition?).

Almost a lucid dream, with Henry Sessions smack in the middle of it, as we were leaving the theater.  So much thinner -- seemed surreal.  With entourage...  Yeah, we should catch up guy.

Martin Scorsese directs, Johnny Depp produces.  This is no small time film I discovered.  One of the masterpieces.  Works great in 3D.

These kinds of wonders get postponed, damaged, when war times begin.  WW1 hurt the movies, WW2 hurt TV.  No wonder the true moguls in these media prefer war's simulation to the real deal.

Killer meme viruses are bad for the entertainment industry, hurt the circus.  Hence all the antibodies, the stronger immune system, even funnier clowns.

She asked the bartender to switch to PBS.  Transportation networks again.  Illuminated cities.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Keith McHenry
 :: Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs
at St. David of Wales kitchen ::

I have my appointment with Nikki again, same as three years ago, to sort out the tax situation.  I'm claiming 1099 income in 2011, which is a pleasant change from 2009, 2010 during which I racked up a deficit on my SBA loan (since repaid), doing the coffee shops circuit, roadshow stuff.

That was all at a loss, net negative (in the red).

I got Friendly with Food Not Bombs and we learned to live off what others would throw away.  We got by on no dish TV and very little heat, and will probably live longer and prosper more as a result.

Others had it much worse.

Anyway the neighbors have HD and we never unplugged from the Internet.  Tara got a good public school education, thanks to Mr. Nims, Gonzo, and many others, dedicated pros.  Go Cannibals.

April 9 was a red letter day in that I finally got to meet, cook and serve with Keith McHenry, cofounder of Food Not Bombs.

He grew up in the national park system, having been born on base in Germany (Weisbaden, where Reggie Hyde and his family were from -- friends in Rome down the street).  I'm not surprised he thinks and breathes Logistics and does it well (including big time during Katrina).

Keith's level of management skill has not gone unappreciated.  Some Peruvian group, with hazy ties to IBM, interviewed him for hours.

He's like that advanced CEO you read about in management school, who mingles freely on the line, yet has overview and organizational memory.  Yes, some FNB servings feature table clothes.  Yes, biodiesel has been in the pipeline.  Yes, he's been offered use of airplanes.  All things I'd wanted to know.

As a long time target of negative scuttlebutt campaigns, he's been more successful than most.  FNB still has a great reputation, because it's a great idea and intelligently designed.  People can see for themselves what goes on at all levels.  What's not to like?

As I said in our meeting (St. David of Wales) what other charitable activity allows really well off people to dive in and reap the same benefits (develop cooking skills, eat fresh vegan, work out, do cardio, meet cool people, practice self organization) on an equal footing?

A community gets created where the 1% don't feel demonized, and the 99% don't feel they're being controlled.  The operations are quite transparent.  Rescuing perfectly good food from the compost compressors and taking joy in its preparation and sharing, with due attention to issues of food safety and sanitation, is hardly a stupid thing to be doing.

Boosts IQ and EQ both.

Working with FNB reduces cognitive dissonance by up to 30%, studies have shown.  Walking your talk in a philanthropic endeavor is a privilege not a burden.  One nets rewards, such as even better ideas for how to do the work.

Keith says Donald Rumsfield's maintenance guy has been active in FNB, when not working on the bomb shelter.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Study Hall

The Blue House is in full swing as a study hall again.

Melody just screened a documentary about the Stonewall Riots in New York.  I caught most of it. Satya was in the basement providing an audience for the solo musician, working to blast through 11 minutes of continuous keyboard with no errors.  She made very few.

Satya watched a few minutes of Stonewall then took off, continuing the journey home.  Alex's mom (ASSK) is much in the news today.  The captain called me about that from his boat.  Patrick sent me a link.

The musician and Melody have now gone off into Joseph Campbell territory (more DVDs) while I've returned to the back office to continue with my own studies.

Tara had a good experience at Earlham and will be sealing the enrollment.  She has state championships coming up this weekend, me a judge (though not in her events).

SMAD (Sunday Morning Adult Discussion) was led by Mendel this First Day.  He discussed Lookism, putting a negative spin on the term (he's a skilled public speaker).  The term was originally coined by fat people fighting back.

As one of the fatter guys in the room, I spun a positive counter, pointing out how early Quaker focus on plain dress, no cosmetics, no titles, was precisely a look and feel, sending a message through dress and so on.  To communicate by appearance, costume, dress, is efficient, not necessarily empty vanity.

I cycled between Meeting and the Blue House quite a few times, twice forgetting my camera.  I wanted to have pictures of Bob Smith, a long time family friend and pillar of Multnomah Meeting, in my Photostream.  I have this practice of taking pictures of pictures at memorial services, been doing it for years.  Birthdays too of course.

Some of my conversations were on PHYSLRNR today, another listserv archiving at the University of Buffalo.  I say "another" because that institution pulled the plug on our GEODESIC after all those years, meaning some of my old hyperlinks are now just dead ends.  Such is life in the Wild West of the Internet.

Will I need to get a Kindle after all?  I'm tempted, knowing there's something on Python decorators I might read.

Probably some of my best writings today had to do with influences, though thanks to a crossed wire (as we say in neuroscience) I had Conway confused with Coxeter in one post.  I managed to patch that up, and still be happy enough with the posting.

I'm suggesting we all do more to map ourselves against a backdrop.  Construct your model of history and then fit yourself into it.  Make this a front burner project.  You have a role, and not just if you're a president.

Friday night I rode the bike to 23rd and Alberta and back to celebrate a birthday. After meeting on Sunday I rode 20 miles on EmoKid.  Tonight I bicycled to Food Not Bombs (hi Tre).  These are gestures suggesting I'm hoping to get in better shape for the spring and summer.  This is an established pattern with me.

The more programmed ordeals that would result in stronger skill building will have to wait a little more.

The "off your duff" curriculum is still unrolling (scrolling) and is in the early stages.  "Girl scout math" (as I call it in shorthand) features these Tarzania types I specialize in recruiting, doing all these "tom boy" activities.  They're civilians in my scripts, perhaps training to become doctors without borders.

Kids drawing programs (sketching themes):  tail fins for airplanes for organizations you think might need them (including new ones you invent); the museum / memorial grounds at Gitmo (use Google Earth to get some views) in light of plans to close it.

Stonewall was a Mafia bar in Greenwich Village NYC (one of several) that permitted people to be openly affectionate (slow dancing OK) with members of the same sex.  The police were always raiding the place.  Even cross-dressing was a crime.  During several days of uprisings, several corners were turned.

Talking heads included former Mayor Koch and NYPD as well as bar goers from that time.