The Eleven August 2019

The Eleven is my monthly newsletter for friends and family.

It comes out on the 11th of most months. You can sign up for it, here. Archived past versions of The Eleven, are over here.

Beloved Festival by Carlton Ward
Greetings!
Hello from the Beloved Festival year 12 (photo above by Carlton Ward). I’ve been attending this one every year and it just keeps getting better. On Sunday, the 11th, 2019, it will be a late morning after a very long night for many of the attendees.
Before I start with a review of the last couple months – please take a moment to donate to Amy McGrath who is running against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. Donate any amount. You’ll feel better after that.
Well, it’s been quite a full time on my end these past months. The main reason I didn’t send out an 11 for July was because I was busily preparing for the Oregon Country Faire. Here are some highlights from recent travels around the area.
June : Summer Solstice Healing Retreat @ Breitenbush – my 24th year. I started attending this event in 1995 when my friend Shelley G. asked if I wanted to travel from my new home, Seattle, and volunteer for something fun in Oregon. I had no idea how influential this event, Breitenbush, and the family I’ve met there would be on my life. It’s a sweet gathering where we all offer healing workshops for one another and I get to play a ton of music and sing my heart out. This year was, as they say “the best solstice ever!”. Come join me next year – send a note to be alerted when tickets go on sale (usually in April). It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to visit Breitenbush, too.
June : World Domination Summit : This was my 2nd year attending this incredible conference. My write up from last year still stands as an accurate reflection of what this is all about – how to live an extraordinary life in a conventional world. But this year I really dove deeper and tried harder to understand what was going on. And, I offered 2 meetups of my own to fellow attendees. Yes, it’s an incredible group of people from all over the world coming together for a week sans cynicism and sarcasm. And, when that happens, and people are there to learn from one another and collaborate on each others projects and personal growth – incredible results occur. I’m still in awe of my experience this year and bought a ticket for the final year, 2020. This is probably the most expensive ticket that I bought this year, but the price was worth it for just one day. Join me next year!
July : 2 weeks later I was helping out in the Wileyware booth at the Oregon Country Fair – 50th Anniversary. I finally realized that what I do at OCF is visit with friends old and new in a 5-day long conversation-fest. I played music naked at the Ritz on Friday this year, which is certainly fun. And the Wileyware gang is a blast – our annual cocktail party on Thursday night featured many of my favorite musicians – Steve Bennett, Timothy Michael Shaw, and Katie Sontag. Overall, one of my best Faire’s ever. Then, it was home to rest for a couple days before the …
Northwest String Summit or, Strummit as it’s known. This was my 4th year attending Strummit and I have to say it was one of the best musical highlights of my life. The quality of the music is very high – it’s mostly jamband/bluegrass – which I love. Think Danny Barnes meets Yonder Mountain String Band meets Dark Star Orchestra meets a bunch of traveling bands that you’ve never heard of who are full of such heart and stories it makes you wanna cry with joy. See below for some links to the Saturday night Yonder Mountain set and music by SideBoob (a collection of all of the women who play the festival who are available to play at the time appointed). Their outfits were incredibly outrageous this year. Strummit has some work to do to improve – some of the same issues I note in my review above from 2018 are still prevalent. I’m particularly concerned about the amount of time bright spotlights are focused directly at the audience and I’m working to try to get this across to whomever is running the mainstage lights. I’m mostly discussing this in the Strummit FB group . Btw, it would be great to have more friends at this event next year. Come dance with me!
August: This past weekend my friends and I played @ Destin and Kellie’s wedding. That was delicious and fun – here’s a picture of me with Mt. Hood behind from Husum, WA!
Albert in Husum 2019
Then, there is the ongoing work with QuietCleanPDX ! I’m meeting with a group every other week to push for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers. Check out our Resources page. If you want to stay abreast of what we’re doing click here and that will automatically add you to our email list on that topic.
I’m also still busy trying to protect and increase Portland’s tree canopy. I organized a group to go see Canopy Stories, recently, and that was fun and educational. If that topic interests you, join us in a group on Facebook .
There were also some community building activities – I instigated a fun 44th Ave. SE block party on 8.2.19. It was the first time some neighbors who’d lived on the block for years had ever met one another. And, the mix of generations was awesome to experience, too. On another day I gave a lesson in “birthday autoresponders” to 2 local 13-year olds while their parents watched. I’m trying to figure out how to pass along the knowledge I have about social media and email marketing to the next generation – because they are powerful tools if used well. I’m also playing way too much online chess on chess.com. Just one more game…
Like you, I’m pretty upset about the gun violence that’s been happening. It’s the fault of Republicans and especially President Trump – that is where the blame lies – and I hope you’re excited as I am to throw them out of office in 2020. They are also responsible for our inaction on climate change. Until they are gone we can all keep speaking out and working on issues and for candidates who speak the truth and do not for support white supremacy. I do have hope – and will continue speaking out.
In the meantime, I think it’s also important to take care of our health – physical and emotional. Do what you have to to get enough rest; drink water; and stay connected with friends and family. We will weather this storm – let’s do it together and laugh, cry and live in the world we want to see – NOW!
Take care and happy Summer.
Albert
PS – Here’s a great set of music by the Yonder Mountain String Band from this year’s Strummit. And Sideboob’s show – all the women who played at Strummit.
PPS – If you like the work I do in the world please take a moment and post a review in one of the spots below. This is something I asked of business connections, but I’d love it if you’d say something if you would. Thanks!
Greetings!
If you are willing, I’d love your review on the following platforms. If you have a Constant Contact account a review in the Constant Contact marketplace would be fantastic.
If not, a review on Nextdoor.com , Yelp!,FacebookLinkedIn or Google , would be welcome – thank you!
I hope you’re having a great Summer.
Sincerely,
Albert Kaufman
PS – if you leave a review in 5 of the 6 places – let me know and you will receive something very fun.

 

Hawthorne Farmers Market Week 3 – 2019

Today at the Market

1844 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd, Portland, Oregon, 97214

2019 Season: June 4th – August 27th

Tuesdays 4:00pm – 7:30pm

Hawthorne Farmers Market on Facebook

On Instagram

Here’s a newsletter I did about Market 2, 6.11.19

Friends Nextdoor

How to build a group of friends using Nextdoor and other online tools Stars

Problem: It’s nice (and helps you live longer) to have a group of local friends – the closer in proximity, the better. Groups of friends tend to break apart over time – spreading to the wind – some people move away; relationships fray; etc.

Problem #2. It’s often difficult to create a new group of friends when one moves to a new place. It can often take people 2-3 years in a new place to “land”.

Solution: Using Nextdoor.com and other online tools such as Constant Contact (email service provider + survey capability) and Facebook (for group functions) it’s possible to quickly build a list of people who live close by who share your interests. This means that when one relocates, it is potentially possible to create a new group of friends, quickly.

Steps I have taken to try this out.

  1. Sign up for Nextdoor.com
  2. Create an email list for potential new friends – ie, a sign-up form that people can use to sign up for your friend’s list (or, just a simple group in your email client like Outlook or Gmail). There can be more than one list – ie, I like to play chess; I like to play music; I like to effect change to make the neighborhood more livable. A person can join one or more lists.
  3. Instigate conversations on Nextdoor around the above topics or ones of your choosing. **
  4. Via private messaging – ask people who seem interesting to you to either join your list (provide sign up link) or tell them what you’re up to and ask for their email address.
  5. Once you have a group – you can start inviting the people in that group to events or meet for coffee and see how things go. This could also be a time to start a Facebook group so that the members of the group can speak to one another and possibly instigate activities themselves – the cool thing here is that you’re acting as matchmaker – and all of the connections are local!
  6. Repeat the above until your social life is full of interesting people who live close by and may enrich your life.
  7. Show others what you’ve done (we learn by teaching).

I’m always open to feedback. Please feel free to help me improve this concept in the comments section below or write me @ albert@albertideation.com.

As of 7.24.19 I have been doing this for about 8 months and I’m learning as I go. I have a list of 60 people in my Portland, Oregon neighborhood who have been invited to various events at my house (mostly house concerts and an orphans’ Thanksgiving) and the experiment continues.

**Another way to find people who share interests is by creating a survey. That way you can find people who share your interests and ask for their contact information all in one effort. And, people love to provide feedback 🙂

Here’s some of my past writing about Nextdoor.com

Cards

It’s in the Cards!

I’ve been playing cards since I was a kid. The game in my house was hearts. I also have a friend, Aaron Trotter, who has been sketching the world’s cities (starting with Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon) and turning the sketches into decks of cards. You can find Aaron every weekend at the Portland Saturday Market.

https://www.illustratedplayingcards.com/

At last year’s World Domination Summit I met Jan Keck from Toronto who has created a deck called Ask Deep Questions. Jan is an interesting guy who is trying to help people break their small talk diets. His use of the cards has opened my eyes and mind to a new tool for parties; family reunions; ice breakers at events; and just a way to go deeper with another person quickly. Science actually shows that people who have deeper conversations are happier. Jan has taken the cards to another level through a Facebook group called the Ask Deep Questions Movement. This has become a hangout spot for those who believe in Jan’s mission and for the sharing of tangential resources. Here is a conversation 4.24.19 between Jan and Erin (mentioned below)

Jan Keck Ask Deep Questions

Jan has also shown me how to run a successful Kickstarter – he had a team of people that he was building as the Kickstarter ran – and he’s also a wiz at using social media and his camera to capture what he’s up to.  His activity mostly takes place in person in Toronto, but he’s also developing tools to teach people his ideas online, as well.

Then, there’s Erin Hickok’s Cards for Connection. I learned about Erin’s work about 2 weeks ago and already I’ve learned a ton about what her decks are about. Erin has been sharing her decks with people all over the country and world for the past 5 years and she’s probably been transformed by the experience. I took part in an online Zoom session with 4 others where we answered questions together – the way this process allows people to share stories; get to know one another; and go deeper – is pretty remarkable.

Cards for Connection https://www.cardsforconnection.com/

Erin also has a Facebook group called Core Connectors which is where people who have been attracted to her work have gathered.  It’s also where some of the online games have happened as well as some interviewing she’s doing. This week she’s having Jan Keck on as a guest and I imagine they will have a very fun conversation! They also share a birthday! Take a look!

Last, but definitely not least, is my friend and local Portlander, Marc Polansky’s game The Higher Thought Cannabis Game. This game is also a series of questions – but they’re designed for taking the group on a journey to answers which build upon one another. It’s a little hard to describe, but it’s worthwhile, for sure. I’ve played the game about 4 times with groups of 4-11 people, and each time has been memorable and interesting.  Here’s a copy of their recent newsletter which comes out weekly and is worth signing up for. Here’s a short video that was made for the SPLIFF Film Festival.


Where are these cards taking me? I’m not positive yet, but I have to say they have led to some new, fun relationships and more of a desire to go deeper quicker with people. I think everyone’s lives can be improved through the use of deeper questions and time together with others to ponder them. I’m always open to feedback or suggestions. Do you know of another deck that I should check out?  And, give something in this post a try and let me know what you experience. Thanks!

Game on! Albert

https://higherthoughtcannabisgame.com/

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