Friday, June 28, 2013

Privatizing Public Parks

FNB Picnic
city contemplates padlocking public facilities to placate vocal private home owners

Free access to Colonel Summers during posted hours, to the rain protection structure in particular, may soon be prevented if neighbors to the park are successful in privatizing this public property.

A vocal minority would like to lower property values for others by behaving as if they lived in a gated community with the right to control public access, a short radius from downtown in a major metropolitan area, with public parks zoned for public use.

That includes sharing the roads, not just the parks, with cyclists and pedestrians, with people looking to get out of the rain sometimes.

At the other end of the spectrum are the more enlightened capitals, which keep municipal restrooms open, well lighted, spic and span during posted hours, with attendants as necessary.

Yes that costs money and yes that's what public funds are for, not locking restrooms and gating kiosks.  Civics 101.  Yes trash accumulates.  Pay to have it removed.  It's a park.  Remember "park"?

The city's plan to kill its own parks is of course counter-productive as it lowers land values for everyone to have a city that's unintelligently managed and advertising that fact by padlocking the bathrooms it can't manage to operate.

Ugly porta-potties replace stately FDR era public works, more evidence of an Idiocracy in charge, squandering our collective inheritance.

Protecting urban ecosystems and subcultures from gentrification and conformity is part of no one's job description.  This is how wetlands get paved over and intellectual hubs get destroyed.

Summers has been a switchboardFood Not Bombs uses it to serve healthy vegan food to triathletes and marathoners.  A youth-knit subculture that helps keep communities in touch runs through here, connecting the Americas by bicycle.  It's a migration stop for exotic species -- of human.  Some of them make noise.

Enlightened neighbors would (some do) feel blessed and privileged that their park is valued and used in this way.  It's not a boring deserted vacant space, a park in name only.

Isn't this close to Hawthorne and Belmont, reportedly cultured?

Doesn't Portland have a reputation for weirdness, self-cultivated, business supported?

Can one have the talk without the walk?  Isn't that called hypocrisy?

What a great way to bring death and rigor mortis to a neighborhood.  Run a pogrom, by hijacking the city to play the heavy.

I've spent a ton going back and forth between that park an the nearby Barley Mill as well as eating for free, or serving my friends.  That's my playground too, a favorite destination by bicycle, sometimes Tri-Met.

Forgive me if I sound pissed.  Lets say I despise bullies, especially / including the ones who hide behind the mask of anonymity.  We all know that bullies are the worst of cowards.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Odd Vid Clips

dialectical materialism 
( machine world )

camera room

post WWII civilian economy (USA)
( machine world )

with thanks to cyriak

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Retreat Conversations

Lew Scholl today at Meeting updated me on some of the things happening with Google Earth.  I'd noticed that his painstaking rendering of the Pauling House appeared to have been replace with something more sketchy.

Were they over-taxing their computer power, extending beyond their own reach, and now needing to dumb things down a little more?


Speaking of Google Earth, we were talking about "ask not what Dufur can do fer you but rather what you can do fer Dufur", a apocryphal town motto attributed to Dufur, Oregon (not Darfur),  and I "flew" there in Google Earth and then started absent mindedly following route 197 in a northerly direction... woah, what's that?

Celilo Converter Station off Route 197

A very space-alien looking facility, something to attract the attention of the paranoid.  We checked it out.  Ah so, the northern terminal of the HDVC Pacific Intertie twixt the Columbia River and LA.

Europe has a bunch of these links too, with more on the global drawing board. The old mercury arc types are giving way to those using thyristors.

Of such stuff is a Wanderers conversation made, not trying to scare ya off or anything.  It's a Nerd Fest you might say.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Solstice Retreat

I returned to the scene proclaiming "BS" to be OK, defending it.  That might have been a kind of ice breaker, but the conversation was already rolling.

I think I missed Michael's didj playing.  I'd retreated from the retreat earlier, after pizza arrived, to check on my family.  This was the Summer Solstice.  Wanderers acknowledge these astronomical days.

Glenn is a font of information about the "goal posts" (solstices), and the zig zag path of the Annalemma between them, the lines of the so-called tropics.  Many an ancient statue has these goal post arms.

Michelle's group had joined us.  Good to catch up.  Thanks also to Christine, Helen, David DiNucci.

I started reading about the history of Earlham College today, having invested in the book after my tour of the campus thanks to a student from Kazakstan:  Earlham College:  A History from 1847 to 1997 by Thomas D. Hamm.

Quakers were found to be subversive by grand juries in some states because of their stance against slavery from the late 1700s forward.  The position was nuanced in that some Quakers asserted the slavers' rights on the principle of church and state separation.

As long as the state said it was legal, who were these churches to say otherwise?  The War of Independence had been fought for a reason, one being to end the tyranny of church dogmas, be those the Church of England's or any other.

But the fact that Quakers had disowned any of their own who kept slaves, a painful enough process, gave them that "holier than thou" aspect that rubbed slaverholders the wrong way.  Plus everyone knew they encouraged escapees to continue north, rather than turn them in to the authorities.

Indianapolis to this day has that central monument to the Civil War, in which it fought on the side of the Union.  When Quakers started escaping the South, that future war was as yet prophesied (projected) by only a few.

The split between Orthodox and Hicksites was also still somewhat new, and was rending meetings.  The alchemy of these many splits and distillations is not that easily followed, with "Quaker guts" posters telling only part of that tale.

Too often, the tale of slavery gets divorced from the tale of Indian Wars.  Indiana was named that for a reason.

Helen, of Jewish heritage, had been quizzing me whether Quakers prayed aloud to God in meeting.

I explained about our silent worship format, and the fact that when Friends break the silence, as moved by the Spirit, they might use any number of formats or templates, including sometimes a spoken request of a singular deity, a form one might label "prayer".

A worship discussion, more like Sunday Morning Adult Discussion (SMAD) allows more in the way of direct commentary and feedback.

Unlike those training in Roman oratory, Friends do not have a direct debate format.  Himalayan schools apparently have this and it might be to our benefit to develop in this direction.  The say Quakers avoid confrontation sometimes to their detriment.

Also at the Wanderers retreat, we used Google Earth on my Android to circle Breitenbush Hot Springs and Detroit Lake.  Christine has helped clear a lot of trails around there, while another of us present had grown up in a dam-building family, like Glenn's did, his dad a chief engineer for the Detroit Lake dam.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mr. Lonely (movie review)

Per the "Making Of" movie in Special Features, on this DVD edition, Harmony had wanted to make a film about communal living, but then also had this Mexican Michael Jackson impersonator kicking around in his head.  How could these fit together?

The Marilyn Monroe "from the dead" scene well captures the projection, of a girl idol whom in real life also died (suicide unless you're a conspiracy theorist).  Her impersonator is true to the role, with Charlie Chaplin too jealous and brutish.  Michael was more kind and shy, and likewise projected upon.

I noted how hammers were used and included that in a subsequent post to Sean's Wittgenstein list.

I confess I dozed off during the sheep slaughter, whereas the slaughter of innocents (innocence) is somehow a theme.  I'd had a long day.  Some great tree bark in the park (communing with nature).

The impersonators congregate on this commune and stage a show.  The innocent sheep are a subplot that connect us to another subplot someplace else in the world where the Werner Herzog character is hoping to meet up with the Pope, thanks to a miracle.

That a Marilyn impersonator would stop a guy from using a fake rubber hammer to pound his own head is a gesture towards the masquerade carnival, the world of unreal identities.  There's a high level of faux (farce), a lightness of being.

When an unreal identity encases a real one, might it take over?  Wrapping oneself in the mantle of a ready-made persona, that's what actors and actresses do, isn't it?  They play at playing themselves playing others.  Michael's agent is skeptical he'll ever be "real" (like casting one's sights too high).

The "commune living" scenario was very R.D. Laing.

We each bring our own baggage, hopefully not too much of it.  Create something with the people there if you can.  It sometimes works.  That Greatful Dead clan had a good ride.  Tribal villages may be hauntingly surreal and worth haunting if you have the chance.  Go in character.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Right To Dream Too

:: the door project ::

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Dymaxion House

Good work J. Baldwin & Co. for helping get this restored
Related: Habitats