My sister is visiting my Dad, for the nominal purpose of helping him close out the house. I called Dad this morning, and he was sounding more out of it than I'd ever heard him, and he suggested I talk it over with her. So I called back an hour later to do so, and she started in telling me what she wanted me to take and how she wanted me to be doing it. I asked not to be lectured at, so she hung up on me and sent me a snotty email telling me all about how it was all my fault and she was just going to do everything her way without my input.

My sister is a pain in the ass, but not an evil human being. Yet I still have this overwhelming temptation to wait for her next phone call, even though I anticipate that'll take a couple of years, and to simply respond to her hello with "Hi. I don't feel like being lectured at today. *click*"

I reasonably anticipate that if I do that, she'll never call again. I'm wondering whether it's worth it. She has acted as a back-street line of communication with my ex, letting me know things about my sons that I otherwise would never have discovered.

She should not be of any importance to me right now. Nor my brother. Dad I still have some respect for, and I'd like to hang onto that. I need to be building new connections that I *can* respect.

Maybe I'll find something at the new group on Monday.
Had the colonoscopy today, which is actually only a minor nuisance compounded into absurdity by a medical establishment run by old white male homophobes, who are absolutely terrified that somebody might shove something up *their* asses. One moment of moderate discomfort, when the officiating doctor overestimated the length of my large intestine and gave me a vigorous poke in the appendix. No damage, I have no polyps, gut is healthy and I've seen every inch of it, as they kept the viewscreen where I could see it.

Intestines are boring.

However, during the festivities, we discovered I have a blood sugar count of either 248 or 251, depending on which of two successive tests we believe. 100 is the upper edge of normal, so either I'm now diabetic or the test was off because of the fasting, gatorade, and so on. I call my GP in the morning to discuss.

They also told me I have a basketball-sized technicolor bruise at the top of my right thigh/underside of my ass, which would explain why I'm healing from the popped hamstring a lot more slowly than I thought would be appropriate. Also to discuss with GP, to find out if there have been any advances in the sciences of treating such since I was last current in the field in '88.

I have three sets of technical issues and four letters to write tomorrow, and also a Shabbos dinner to prepare and company coming over to share and engage in discussion. *Something's* gonna sluff.

The two issues under discussion are:
1.) The 'Convert Arkansas' project briefly noted in my last post.
2.) The problem of the Duties of the Citizen, which have grown vastly past the abilities of *any* citizen to fulfill.

Posting this fast before the browser-bunnies eat it.
My leg still hurts like a sonuvabitch, and I canceled on going to the Climate Jobs meeting tonight and the FnB prep this afternoon due to an inability to bend sufficiently to put my socks on. Barely-above-freezing weather ain't horrible, but I'm going to wear socks in it anyway.

But I'm *getting* better. Also arranged for a ride to the hospital for my colonoscopy on Thursday. I've had one before; they're no big deal.

New idea popped up today, and I sent it out to 3 or 4 people for feedback: Pick one red state, and start sending "secular missionaries" to it. Find the locals in need of services, and *start providing them*. Give them what a liberal civilization provides for its citizens, and do so as a freely given gift. The Old Culture *does* believe in shame, and strongly. Giving them something and asking for nothing at all in return will result in them seeking something they can give back. It will *also* cause a shift in whom/what they consider 'friends', and 'loyalty to friends' is another high value in that culture. And Barrett, whom I have had high hopes for, just moved back home to Arkansas, which is as good a candidate state as I could hope for. (He's one of the people I asked for feedback.)

That would make *seven* on my project list. I will either have to trim the list, or develop better resource-sharing algorithms. Self-test: The projects are CRH, Service Bureau, FFRN, HCAO, Fremling Friending, Secular Missionaries, and, as usual, I'm missing one. *checks notes* Ah. Asgardia. This is *why* I keep notes.

Gotta stop all this damn getting hurt nonsense, first. I wish I could tell *how* I pulled my hamstring, in hopes that it's something I could avoid repeating. Doubt it, tho'.
I have never hurt myself doing anything hazardous. Walking, now *that's* dangerous. This morning I pulled a hamstring while walking, and went over like a pine in a high wind. Not bothering with formal medical care, as I can figure out RICE without their assistance (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation for those who don't keep a collection of medical abbreviations).

I should really go do something dangerous, so I can be safe. Unfortnately, right now I wouldn't be able to get to it.
So, listy-type PM stuff first, then introspection:

DONE Refill prescriptions
DONE Exercise, shower
Read colonoscopy instructions
Nuke kitchen
Call and email NAYA re CRH, Solarpunk
Call and email PSUBSU, Deyalo re: same
DONE Go to Ross, shop for pan, buy serving dishes

I haven't done *much* exercise, but I'm trying to ease into it and make it enjoyable. So I'm starting with stepping-up-on-the-box, and will add floor abdominal exercises as I feel comfortable with them.

I can't seem to *do* introspection today. Not out loud, at least.
So, Projects:

Community Reinvigoration Homesteading
Fremling Friending
Service Bureau (sub-projects: Bike co-op, computer co-op, tool library, Food-not-Bombs-by-another-name)
FFRN Union Pacific Charter Challenge

Wait, wait, wait. That's the right way to approach the problem from a PM perspective. But self-care isn't part of that model, and that's what I need to be keeping track of, or I'll end up dropping days because I run out of emotional resources and go catatonic.

This is a simultaneous problem, because I *do* get energy out of my self-esteem at being a *good* PM. But that's insufficient, because I need to have enough other positive sources of energy for me to get a project started in the first place. I do need to keep in mind that 'insufficient' is by no means 'bad', it's just 'not enough'.

I can use food as a source of energy. Not only in the most literal sense; I enjoy good cooking and I am a very good cook, and enjoy *doing* good cooking -- a different thing than enjoying the eating of it. I do have to pay attention to not vest *too* much energy here, as I eat more than is optimal as it is.

Sex used to work. Subject not worthy of discussion.

I'm not going to be able to finish this thought now. Maybe in the morning.
My five projects are the program I'm managing. Before I even get to that, I have to manage *myself*. Self-management is taken as given in a professional setting, even though a lot of my popularity among the techs at Citi back in the '90's was because in addition to being boss I also acted as social worker for many of 'em. ("I need workers who can do X. If stresses in your private life are making it hard for you to do X, tell me what the stresses are and I'll see if I can help you resolve them.")

The new Fremling Friending project can be the introduction-to-metaculture element I've been looking for. This is at least 3 orders of abstraction out from "here's what's in it for Joel", though. It's being hard for me to care about me. Or, more accurately, I see my metaculture as myself more than I see *me* as myself. Since by identity I *am* me, there's an obvious problem here.

Since right now I'm not getting anything productive done, I'll head on out to FnB early, take the machine with me, and see if I can get any decent writing done offline. If I do, I'll edit this post to include it.
With all the hoo-ha about LJ's servers moving to Russia, I'm going to hope the cross-posting function here, which had been nonworking for some time, is back to functionality and do my posting here at DW instead.

I've just had an idea for how to proceed with the long-dormant metaculture project. Play to my strengths: Throw dinners for people. The Fremling Friending Dinners, as the central value is that of seeing others as welcome guests rather than as hostile strangers. Idea is to invite two disparate groups (don't want 'em to be so far apart that they can't find anything in common; *do* want 'em to be far enough apart to make 'em stretch a bit; need a decision matrix to measure this -- thoughts?) and introduce 'em to both me and each other; describe my metaculture project, identify each of them as cultures, and tell 'em I'm bringing 'em together to help them celebrate their differences, rather than explain, excuse, or exacerbate them. And also to aid my own project of helping others network.

I've already got four other projects going -- Community Reinvigoration Homesteading, Solarpunk, Asgardia, and the Service Bureau (subprojects: Tool Lending Library, Bike Co-Op, Computer Co-Op, Food-not-Bombs-equivalent) -- and will need to restructure my behavior so that I pay attention to *all* of them on a timely basis. I'm going to have to footnote that and get back to it, because I've got a lot of other things to do today. Starting with a shower, so y'all feel free to amuse yourselves here whilst I go soak my head.
I've got several friends who are trans activists, who are generally amused by my efforts at trying to understand this element of their identities. I also have an ex-boss who identifies as trans, whose existence would give most of said friends severe problems if they had to interact with it. And as they are *extremely* activist, this is likely to eventually occur. ("They" here refers to the ex-boss, not the friends, as they have expressed a profound preference for plural pronouns, and I place a high value on being polite even to people whose deservedness of such politeness is dubious.)

See, trans people are first and foremost *people*, and people come in an endless variety. And the reason said boss is an *ex*-boss is that their primary characteristic is amoral opportunism, which I object to sufficiently strenuously that I felt I had to quit that job. In fact, their "all for one and I'm the one" behavior leads me to believe that they opted to identify as trans for no reason *other* than political expediency -- to have another 'victim' card to play, so that any argument could be turned into "You're only disagreeing with me because I'm trans and you're a bigot!" instead of "I'm disagreeing with you because I think your opinion is incorrect."

I am endlessly and deeply fascinated with the workings of human identity. I observe me to be me, and I have a lot of data as to how I got to be that way, but I don't have nearly as good data on how *you* got to be *you*. Since some substantial parts of me came into existence as the result of conscious and deliberate decisions on my part, I see no reason why my ex-boss's trans identity should be considered 'un-genuine' or contrived simply because they came into being due to a conscious decision based on personal advantage. Or, to speak more accurately, if their identity *is* contrived, so what?

Gay folks have already had to deal with this enough times that we can generally and culturally accept that some gay people being jerks doesn't mean that other gay people are jerks because they're gay. Or black people, or non-theistic people, or what have you. But for newly-emerging identities, this is a real risk.
So we have any number of huge societal problems going on. The one I'm immediately addressing is the lack of a decent health-care system in the United States; the audience I'm talking to is one of the directors of Health Care for All Oregon, a statewide activist group. We've already talked about this informally and he emphatically agrees with me that HCAO needs to recruit a lot of grass-roots-level activists, and that we're currently having trouble doing so because our approach to getting things done isn't exciting to them. We need to build coalition with other groups dealing with other aspects of the same problem; as I put it to him in our recent conversation "It doesn't matter whether you're driven out of society by poor health care, employment issues, housing issues, or environmental degradation, any route to the poorhouse is a bad one." He agreed.

So *one* of the things I'm doing is preparing a list of the current issues -- already done, I find 16 so far -- and the activist groups that are doing something about each issue. I haven't prepared that latter list yet, but I've volunteered for the majority of those groups and know who they are. But the standard organizational approach of going to each of those groups and proposing coalition with them would have horrible results even if it succeeds.

HCAO is trying to get people to do some specific things -- call their legislators, ask candidates to take positions, things like that. The boots-on-the-ground activists they want to recruit are mostly just as motivated by all the other issues on the list, and are more likely to get excited about building relationships with their neighbors and co-workers if they are aware of an underlying central organizing principle for all this activity -- or, at least, such is *my* belief.

I'm running out of attention; this ain't done yet but I'm going to post anyway.
It's a standard SF time-travel trope; go back in time and kill Hitler, make the world better.

Spider Robinson, in the story "the Mick of Time," does it differently. His character goes back in time and hires a hooker for the evening, thus taking her out of the way of a police raid and saving her from serious injury.

What changes of history could we implement by being *nice* to somebody? Instead of shooting Hitler, get him into art school. 1933 rolls around, instead of being a political rabble-rouser he's a moderately successful artist.

I'm interested to hear y'all's thoughts. What other point in history could be deeply remade by being nice to somebody at exactly the right time?

Live #3

Aug. 28th, 2015 09:59 am
Yesterday was a C-. I can do better. Same agenda for today.
I'm rereading 'Swarmwise', as predecessor to writing a project plan for SolarCon, as predecessor to writing a project plan for Passion Impact for the website development and recruitment plan subprojects of that, for presentation Sunday evening.

So let's see how the day goes.
I'm being wobbly, and I need to stop doing that.

I just wrote out half a dozen character studies, which would lead to a story of a bunch of solarpunks meeting on, forming a band, and performing at the 'con. Great story to tell, but telling that story is not what *I* should be doing *right now*.

Zack suggested I try "live-blogging" as a way to help me keep on track, and as best I understand it, this is that. It'd be better if I was doing it on the site rather than here, and setting it up so I can do that is one of the First Things I should be doing.

Recruiting people to run the 'Con is another First Thing.

Finishing 'Dragonfly' is a third. And more than 3 is too many.

And it's taken me all day to write this, when five minutes would have been about right.
Had a client on the Tenant's hotline today that had me going out for sanity checks. I'll be assigning alphabet names as I go along, to protect the guilty.

Ann's friend Bill had been renting a basement apartment, and was moving elsewhere. She agreed to take his apartment; they then cleared this idea with Cathy, the landlord, who lives in the upstairs part of the house. Cathy says "Fine." Bill moves out, Ann calls Cathy to check that the apartment is ready. Cathy says yes, Ann goes to move in and finds out the apartment is far from ready. Discussion between Ann and Cathy ensues, at the end of which Ann's belief is that Cathy has agreed 1.) to provide her with a written lease, and 2.) to reimburse her for bringing the apartment up to standards.

Ann goes out and buys new carpeting and engages several repair services. She installs the carpet herself and pays for the other repairs. During this time, Ann's friend David asks her to take care of his dog for him for a while. Ann checks with Cathy, Cathy says OK. Cathy's friend Ernie will be along presently, so I'll name him now so we can stay in alphabetical order and call Dave's dog Fido.

For reasons Ann is not clear on, Cathy invites Ernie over and takes him into Ann's apartment. Ann has been neither consulted nor informed, and neither has Fido. (Note at this point that Cathy *does* know about Fido.) Behaving with canine appropriateness, Fido bites Ernie. Having neither competence at animal martial arts or common sense, Cathy attacks Fido. Fido takes about a half-pound of hamburger out of Cathy also. Cathy and Ernie retreat, and hie themselves to a nearby hospital, from which Cathy calls Ann, tells her to get out of the apartment within 30 days, and then calls the utility companies and has the utilies for the apartment, which according to Ann had been covered by the rental agreement, cut off. And then calls Animal Control to come euthanize Fido.

Ann is at this point eager to leave and wants nothing further to do with Cathy, Cathy's house, or Cathy's basement. But she'd like to spend the rest of the month with a kitchen to cook in and lights to see by, and she'd like her money back for the carpet, the repairs, and the security deposit, and she'd like Fido to live. Dave would like that too.

As near as I can tell, everybody but Bill and possibly Dave stand accused of Impersonating An Adult. Cathy has no business even *owning* property, much less renting it out, and Ann isn't competent to be a tenant. Despite which she *does* deserve to get her money back from Cathy. Fido is at least not pretending to be an adult human, and is behaving reasonably for a canine.

I've done what I can, in telling Ann how to create a written record of the dispute and bring it to small claims court. Now that I've told y'all about it, maybe I can purge it from my own active memory and go do something else useful.

"Ai, the stupid. It burns!"

Edited to add: More Stupid
Took the bus home from housemate Liam's church volunteer pizza dinner. Bus driver threw a hissy-fit because a woman with a baby wouldn't fold her stroller. It was a *non-folding stroller*, but it's His Bus And His Rules And They Will Be Followed, goddamit. I entered a complaint on the bus service's website, but there is no way to follow up on a complaint and discover if any action has been taken. I'm willing to bet the complaints never even get read. The advantage to an e-based system: They don't even have to throw it out.
I had a bad reaction to a medication, and look like the illegitimate offspring of a burn ward and a leper colony. The hospital dudes were impressed enough to take pictures, but tell me I should be reasonably back to normal in 3 weeks or so.

In the meantime, it's really pushing things even to type, and I can't concentrate worth shit because everything itches. Eyebrows, even. The rims of my ears. The middle of my back. My toes.

And I know what I want to do and how to go about doing it. Starts with reading four books back-to-back ("Swarmwise" by Falkvinge, "Habits" by DuHiggs, "The Art of Community" by Bacon, and "Scrum", whose author I momentarily forget) and then *right away* writing a long brainstorm about how these four idea-sets add up to the functional civilization I want to build. And then get started building it.


I meet with the Orycon con committee Saturday, and Jobs with Justice on Monday. On the negative side, I've had to punt Food Not Bombs and FreeGeek and CAT this week, because itch. And I was going to clean out all my clothes so I'm only keeping stuff in the room I actually *wear*, and that'll have to wait too.

*wriggling* (carefully) *with impatience*,

Back from Home Depot with ten 2x4's, a 10' hemlock closet pole, two 12' window moldings, and a box each of finishing nails and sheetrock screws. Just under a hundred and a quarter pounds. Trailer has a bad tire, or I'd have gotten the plywood, too.

Now to Put It All Together...
Got the daily Pod post done, got the difficult phone call done, and have attached the trailer hitch to the cargo bike and done various maintenance on it. Haven't installed the new shifter yet, though, or done anything on the Micro House Trailer, even though I do now have all the parts.

Still *feels* like I've been primarily goofing off all day.
I've been offline for nearly a couple of weeks now, due to my old machine finally breaking enough different ways at once that I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I now have a *new* old machine, which is much smaller but seems to be working reasonably well.

In trying to summarize what's going on and where to go next, the first part gets bogged down in frustrations with other people's foibles, so let's skip that bit, and merely summarize it as "Joel's desires for mature reciprocal behavior have not been met." I need to do a better job of people-picking; in order to do that, I need a larger pool of people to pick from.

There is also and separately the question of how I can do a better job of encouraging the people I *do* deal with to behave in ways that would better please me; I mention this more as an aside because I doubt that there are a lot of people actively looking for ways to adapt their behavior better to meet the needs of others such as myself. If I happen to run across one, I'll keep you posted.

I've got FreeCiv *on* this machine, but haven't figured out how to activate it yet, and am not sure I'm going to. It's lovely to have a concentration-breaker to get me out of hyperfocus when I need one, but maybe now I need *more* hyperfocus to get the life built I want to have here.

Portland is the most politically aware and radical city I've ever been in, and I want to build on that. I *also* need to assure myself of at least a minimal income to support myself in sufficient style as to be *able* to do that. Those wanting to accuse me of financial profligacy and self-indulgence may form a line to the left, so the rest of us may ridicule you; the only problem I have with my current $300/month rent-a-tiny-room is my doubts about my housemate's ability to sustain it; if he can keep himself and the household going, I'll probably be here for a few years, and I'm fine with that. I'd also like decent medical insurance, some food, and the occasional change of clothes. In about 5 years my need for a new bike will become dire, also.

The Alberta Guildhall is closing; I'm going to be starting the Belmont Pod as a CSE to expand on the tradition, and I'm trying to find out what Liam and Sam are going to do with the Park People community that had founded the Guildhall and the idea of the Hall itself. And it's hot, and the library's A/C is only set to about 80F, so I'm going to have to find a better place to type. More as I find one.
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