Past Newsletters – The Eleven

Thank goodness for the way back machine! If you’re curious what I was thinking in the past, here’s a pretty good collection of my newsletters. Thanks, readers!

March 2012 – 3.11.12 March 2012
February 2012 – 2.11.12 Val Day 2012
January 2012 – 1.11.12 Happy New Year!
December 2011 – 12.11.11 Year in Review
November 2011 – 11.11.11
October 2011 – My friend Amira and approaching 11.11.11
September 2011 – Back from the Burn, 2011 – 9/11/2011 
August 2011 – Do something big, NOW!- 8/11/2011 
July 2011 – Do something big, NOW! – 7/11/2011 
June 2011 – Birthday re-cap, revolutionary articles – 6/11/2011 
April 2011 – 4/27/2011 – Life through the facebook fan page
3/11/2011 – 3/11/2011 – March Forth, March 2011’s 11!
2/11/2011 – 2/11/2011 – Valentine’s 11!
1/11/2011 – 1/11/2011 – Prospero Ano Nuevo!
12/11/2010 – 12/11/2010 – End of 2010 – Happy Hannukah!
11/11/2010 – 11/11/2010 – Kaufman’s 50th
Oct 2010 – Oct 2010 – Register to Vote, Voting Party, Election 2010
Sept 2010 – Sept 2010 – back from the Burn
August 2010 – August 2010 – Variety Pack and Beloved write-up
July 2010 – July 2010
June 2010 – June 2010
May 2010 – May 2010 Birthday Email
April 2010 – April 2010: DC Visit Re-cap
March 2010 – March 2010 – Tulips and Dafodils edition
February 2010 – February 2010 – Smoothie Recipe
December 2009 December 2009
November 2009 – November 2009
October 2009 – October 2009
August 2009 – August 2009
Summer 2009 e-letter – Summer from Albertideation
Happy Earth Day e-letter for April 09 – Happy Earth Day 09
The Eleven for March 09, – The Eleven
The Eleven for January 09, – The Eleven
The Eleven for December 08, – The Eleven
The Eleven for November 08, – The Eleven

625438_3801936439987_1863185678_n

11 Years of Activism in Portland

bunsnotguns from little t american bakerI’ve been living in Portland for 11 years now. 11 years of activism. I noticed last night as I was updating this blog (for better SEO and righting some images) that I was putting out a lot more activism over the last couple years than I am now.  Issues like billboards, getting rid of the yellow pages, chearing on the first Obama administration, holding voting parties, idling, population growth and saving the Tillamook State Forest – all were big issues for me in 2009.

These issues all still persist, but I haven’t been focusing on them as much. I’ve started fan pages for a few, and I continue to put a shout out for an issue when I see something about it in the media, but my own activism has definitely shifted some. I’ve also been working hard to develop my business and I hope that eventually that will pay me enough to devote more time to the activist areas that I care about. Actually, one area, Farm My Yard, I have been dedicating a bunch of time to – keeping the website up, updating the FB fan page, and I’m meeting with someone today to discuss building an app for the project. So, I guess I’m not done saving the world.

And, some issues come back around – like my current project regarding the Oregonian’s slide to the Tea Party Right on BlueOregon. They’ve been lying to us more and more about their tea party agenda, and I want to do what I can to call them out on it.

So, I guess I just want to say – don’t worry, I’m still at it. And perhaps I’m partially writing this to myself to remind myself that I’m still busy trying to change the world, I’m just mixing it up more with my effort with people and small businesses to help them with their marketing and getting the word out.

Yesterday, as I was heading to a client meeting I was thinking about being 52 and wondering who I could find to take on the various efforts I’ve started or care about. I was thinking about asking in the dance community to see about training some folks who are 20 or 30 years younger than I am, but noone came immediately to mind. And, I suppose activism is not for the feint at heart. You have to have support in your life – people who really are there to back you – and a process to keep you from falling down when things get hard. I’ve been using Co-counseling for that for many years to good effect, but many people don’t have a process to discharge their fears when they come up against things that are hard – government agencies; industries fighting back; a right-wing media.

All good things for me to think about – succession – who are the next group of activists? Who cares enough about the issues that I do to take them on? And, how do I reignite some of the causes that I cared about and still do but which I have let come off of the table?  Perhaps I’ll do a little spreadsheet and see where things are and put that up for myself and others.  and for now, happy new year 2014 – let’s see what we can accomplish!

Happy Hanukkah!

It’s December 11th, 2012 and time for another edition of The Eleven, my monthly newsletter where I share my thinking with you. As the year winds down I’m reflecting back on what an incredible year it has been.  If you’re not familiar with my writing, please visit my website at http://albertideation.com and check out a few of the articles. My most popular ones have probably been on how to make parties go better for everyone, my thoughts on cellphones, and opening our minds to feedback.

Most recently I’ve been pleased with my Facebook and email marketing classes. These gatherings have given me a chance to share what I’ve learned over the past couple of years with small businesspeople who sincerely appreciate what I’m sharing. I watch as people take the information and run with it – adding people to their email lists; adding fans to their fan pages; and taking steps to put their important messages out into the world. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of repeat customers and referrals and I’m grateful for those of you who are sending your friends my way. I’m also being asked by the folks at Constant Contact to become part of their Authorized Local Experts team which means I’ll be putting on workshops for them soon. I like to teach and I love showing people how to promote their work – so this is a great fit for me.
Boom Box
Also in the paid realm, I’ve had a chance to work with the Boombox Network – an organization that helps their clients reach babyboomers. I wrote an article called Speaking up about Hearing Loss. I learned a lot about hearing loss and my article talks about my history with sound and some helpful links for people who might be facing hearing loss. My previous article was on Cranium Crunches – tools to help with one’s memory. These have been my first paid writing assignments in decades.
Personally, I’ve been finding myself drawn back once again into the supportive fold of the RC (Re-evaluation Counseling) community. I’m part of a few support groups (Jewish, Men’s) and an on-going class. I’ve been using co-counseling for over 20 years to help me keep my thinking sharp. It works and I’m so lucky there is a strong community of co-counselors in Portland.
Eecole
Eecole is finishing up a massage degree – she takes her practical test in Salem on Wednesday. When she passes she’ll be a licensed massage therapist and a nutritionist – world, watch out!
And then there’s the election. I’m still feeling pleased that the direction of the country seems to be more progressive than it was previously. I believe the only chance we have to continue to exist on the planet (along with any remaining non-human species) is if we make some tough choices in the next few years. Choices around size of the human population are bound to arise as we continue to put more carbon than ever into the atmosphere. Whether we stop the shipping of coal from Montana and Wyoming through the Pacific Northwest on its way to China is also up there in importance. I’m reconsidering all of the time I put into things like trying to end the distribution of phonebooks, my sunflower project, and even the tree plantings that I help organize as they pale in comparison with the scope of the problem that burning coal presents.
Albert
Yep, that’s what I look like these days! I’m on a kick to lose some weight and lower my cholesterol – so far, it’s working :)  I’ve purchased an urban rebounder (one of those mini trampolines) and I’m bouncing on it every day while I watch inspiring TED Talks sent to me by friends. I welcome your submissions! My main New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to be outside more – so, if you ever want to take a walk or do other exercise together outside (The Birthday Garden is a great place to work up a sweat): walking, biking, throwing a frisbee, please let me know.
Support: I have a lot of interesting projects going on at all times, and I know others who do. I’m pretty well-connected and love to network – try me :)  If you have any extra time or an inclination to support what I do in the world, please get in touch. I’d love to be collaborating more and having a bigger impact.
Happy Hannukah – even if you’re not Jewish I encourage you to take a moment and light some candles. It’s dark out there and the candles will sooth you and make you smile.
happy hannukah
                         May there be peace in the world
Have a great Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years and Merry Megglemoose!
Yours,
Albert Kaufman
PS – I love sending and receiving mail. If you’d like a holiday card, please respond with your postal address.

Today is a new day – Obama and more

A friend asked me what I’m doing this year vis-a-vis politics beyond voting for Obama & Co. I partly decided to stay home from Burning Man this year because I think the upcoming election is terribly important and I want to make sure that voters get registered and informed. I’m hearing a lot of talk about people being confused about who to vote for, whether to vote, whether it matters, things like that.  I believe that each election is important and the one you’re participating in this year is as important as they come.  Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to. Thanks, Kaya Singer, for asking!

What I’m doing: talking to lots of people, posting relevant things on FB, talking to more people. being public about my wish to see the Democrats win this thing. Working on policy, trying to stay informed by reading Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo daily, donating to candidates in tough races, putting my thinking out there, trying to stay focused on what I want to see happen, rather than in just reaction mode. possibly hosting candidate house parties, maybe having a voting party :) encouraging everyone I know to make sure they’re registered, monitoring and promoting Voting Virgins :) – taking care of my health. cause this is probably going to go on for a while…

After watching the R primary and parts of the convention, and reading their platform, I’m convinced that they need to radically change course – what they’re proposing right now regarding womens’ reproductive health; immigration; GLBT rights – all is very very scary stuff.  And, that is why I believe they’re going to lose big in November. And, their losing (possibly the House) could be helpful to the world in many ways – so, that’s what I’m working towards.  A big Democrat win in November.  Join me!

Letter to the Oregonian on cellphones – mobile

Dear Oregonian,

I read the article recently about the teacher who finds her students texting and her reaction to that experience. I gave up my cellphone 2 years ago and have hardly looked back. I first did it because I didn’t like the disruptions in my life – phone calls, texts, you know the drill.  While others have been stepping up more and more towards smart phones, I continue my distance. It’s interesting because I’m in the high-tech industry, have been for the past 15 years as a software tester and now a teacher of social media and email marketing. You’d think I’d be swimming in mobile technology – but I’m anything but! And I Love It!  

As a businessperson I do think it’s important to be available to all possible inputs out there – phone, text, email, social media (OK, perhaps not FAX).  I also enjoy LPs, Cassettes, CDs – yep!  But when it comes to mobile, I feel my unplugged life makes me a calmer person.  It makes me a less-distracted one – I’m becoming a better and better driver because my attention is improving rather than being scattered.  And, I think it’s even an advantage in business as when I’m talking to someone, they have my full attention – I am not about to be interrupted during our talk.  I never take a call, or interrupt something for something buzzing or ringing in my pocket or on the restaurant/café table (please don’t!, it’s a tech turd, actually!).

Yes, I can’t always be reached by people who I love. Yes, I miss out sometimes on last minute invitations or impromptu gatherings.  Yes, I’d love an app to do this or that.  But no app is going to plant garlic cloves. No app is going to stir a pot of chili.  No app is going to replace a hug – in fact, my sense is that apps increase the distance between us – taking our time with community and friends and focusing our attention elsewhere.  

Without mobile technology my life feels richer than it ever has. If you’ve never done a tech-fast before – give it a try. There are many great articles out there about how one works and their benefit. Who knows, maybe you’ll join me someday (unless you’re already there) and give up your cell, altogether.  You can do it.  You might even like it!

With gratitude,

Albert Kaufman

PS – see other writing I have done on this topic: Why I originally gave up my cellphone, and The Cellphone game :)

This just in from the NYT on 8.26.12 – get rid of the tension

Farm My Yard Design Contest in full swing!

I’m having fun with a sign design contest. Check it out @ http://farmmyyard.org/yard-sign-design-contest/
Here’s Kate posing with my first sign this weekend. This is going to be good!