Pickathon 2022

Pickathon 2022 – a Review

Earlier this Summer I wrote a short piece called Gentle Guidance about how to enjoy this summer’s offerings – as I knew they’d be different and we’d be different. Earlier this Summer I had planned to attend the last String Summit – then I got Covid and had to sell my tickets. I thought that attending Pickathon might assuage some of my remorse and sadness, but like Charlie with the football, it didn’t have quite that effect. I’ve attended Pickathon 3 times before and I thought my visit in 2017 would probably be my last – sadly, much of what I found missing/wrong that year seems to have continued to be part of the festival. But Pickathon does a lot well, too – so I’ll start there before adding the “room for improvement” section.

First of all a little bit more back story. This year there was a very welcoming and friendly Pickathon FB group this year. This was something that was missing the last time I attended, and I was grateful to find it. This group led me to the purchase of a weekend ticket for $300. I also posted that I was seeking a parking pass and a friend reached out and sold me his for $70.¬† That’s also where I found a Spotify playlist featuring music from all this year’s performers.

Positive: the Pickathon ticket system allows easy transfer of tickets between people – well done!

I dilly-dallied around on Friday and then saw a message that Pickathon had oversold their parking and that parking at the festival was sold out and that people should instead make their way to the Clackamas Transit Center and they’d be shuttled from there. OK, minus one point, but luckily in my case I had friends near the festival I was staying with – so headed to their house and got a personal shuttle to the festival. Once there I was able to get my wristband and parking pass in about 20 minutes of standing around in a weaving line. Great – soon after I walked into the festival and started finding my way.

In 2019 there had been a terrible accident when 2 Guildworks workers had fallen to their deaths after the festival as they were taking down the collection of white fabrics that had flown over the main stage area every year for years. I somewhat expected that that area would have had some sort of memorial, but instead, it felt very empty and simple compared to other years. I met a few friends on the way which was nice as I was traveling solo.

One of the cool things about Pickathon is that it takes place at Pendarvis Farm which is a big property with a lot of woods on a hill. So, all of the stages are on hillsides – either in the woods or in a clearing. There are pathways everywhere and you can go get lost in the woods which is where thousands of participants and volunteers make their homes for the weekend. When I first attended in 2007? or so I recall hardly anyone camping – and even then it was tough to find a place that was level. But nowadays people come early and bring shovels and brush hooks and make camp all over the place. There are also lots of hammocks.

Positive: there are some really fun art pieces that are great to look at during the day and I’m sure are even more fun at night when they’re lit up.

 

Positive: by every music stage there is a DJ stage – when there’s no live music playing a DJ steps up and plays tunes. Most of the DJs are from local stations like KMHD and XRAY.fm – some of my favorite music in 2017 and this year came from the DJs! The DJ stations also had the best fidelity – surprise surprise ūüôā

I spent Friday wandering around – seeing some folks I hadn’t seen in a while and trying to avoid breathing in too much dust along the pathways. A couple of people had put together a singles and solos meetup @ 4 pm – and I went to that and had a fun time with those who attended. It reminded me a little of my time at WDS – attending Meetups for a couple of days straight.

Highlight: I got to see Yasmin Williams perform. She’s quite a talent and she also mentioned on the stage that she attended my alma mater – NYU. In all my years of attending musical events, I’d never heard a performer mention NYU before – and my heart nearly leaped out of my mouth. My NYU years were pretty special. It sounds like they might not have been as good for her – but still, it was a fun moment.¬† The juice/smoothie place at this stage made me ginger carrot apple juice which was delicious!

Another Highlight should have been hearing/watching Nubya Garcia on my favorite stage – The Woods Stage. And here’s where we get right back into a central problem with Pickathon (that I talked about in my 2017 write-up). It’s the same issue I have with many music festivals. I sat for an hour with a new friend leading up to this show. The DJ behind us was from KMHD and was playing some delicious cuts. Eventually, though it was time to get the band ready to play. The sound people spent about a half hour testing out the bass and drums. I think it makes sense to take the time to get it right – but it was the volume that was the problem. Why subject an audience that is there for the music to testing out drums and bass turned up to 11? And this seems to be a common occurrence at Pickathon.

Then, there’s the volume level of the music, in general. A friend send me a video from Pickathon 2010 yesterday and it was so subtle and lovely. You would probably not ever hear that anymore at Pickathon. I sure hope someone at Pickathon reads this – or, perhaps take a freaking poll?¬† Pickathon goers – do you want to hear all the music at such a high volume that you and your kids should probably be wearing significant ear protection all weekend? People – save your hearing! There’s also the general cacophony aspect – if you click on the fun video image above – you’ll hear DJ music playing at the same time as a nearby stage is playing – this was happening a lot.

It’s Really Simple: Turn Down the Volume

I have a couple of other minor suggestions – but the above is my main beef and probably why I’ll not return. Pickathon does a great job of picking interesting music for all of us – but then makes it challenging for (me, at least) to enjoy. Of course, that leads to people having conversations over the music – but that’s another story.

All that said – I actually had a pretty fun time on the day I attended. The next morning I woke up and thought: do I want to do the push-me pull-ya dance of being attracted to go hear some music only for it to be too loud to handle? And I decided that my one day was going to be it. An interesting part of that is that as I consider my time at Pickathon – there really is so much good going on there. The family area is lovely – and there’s so much encouragement for people to bring their kids (wear earplugs!). And there are a lot of great volunteers and the community that come together to make this big festival happen.¬† That’s fun to watch.

I imagine that this year’s festival was super challenging to put on. Pendarvis Farm is in a section of Happy Valley that is filling in with McMansions at a quick rate. It used to be possible to park right next to the festival – but that property is being filled in right now and was not available. So, we’ll see if Pickathon tries it again at their current location or ends up moving elsewhere.

Finally, so much would be improved if someone just got serious about the sound levels. I’d come back in a minute and probably camp for the weekend. But I won’t be back until Pickathon makes some sort of public announcement about this issue – which I doubt they will. No one likes to admit publicly they are doing anything wrong. I get that.

I’ll probably add to this review as I think of more things – and until we meet again – enjoy the music! Albert

PS – I am open to feedback – please leave a comment below or write me. Thanks. Also, if you enjoy my writing and thinking, I publish a few newsletters which you can sign up for here.

 

If you have extra fruit or vegetables consider offering it to your neighbor

Share in the Harvest!

Share in the Harvest are social groups that connect people in the area who want to offer homegrown food. You can share veggies, herbs, fruit, eggs, and more! Please feel free to ask for what you’re seeking, too. Here are some new groups I started in the last 3 days. Drive less, grow more food, share with neighbors = building community!

Special thanks to Lauren Peterson of Vancouver for her graphic design.

Which group is right for you? Please share ways this could be better. The video at the end is 6 minutes long and explains how to get one of these up and running in .. about 6 minutes. Enjoy.

Share in the Harvest – Southwest Portland
https://www.facebook.com/groups/southwestportland/

Share in the Harvest Gresham
https://www.facebook.com/groups/shareintheharvestgresham/

Share in the Harvest North Portland
https://www.facebook.com/groups/shareintheharvestnorthportland/

Share in the Harvest SW Washington
https://www.facebook.com/groups/shareintheharvestswwashington/

Share in the Harvest Washington County
https://www.facebook.com/groups/shareintheharvestwashingtoncountyoregon/

Share in the Harvest Montavilla and Mt. Tabor
https://www.facebook.com/groups/montavillaandmounttabor/

Share in the Harvest Clackamas County, Sellwood, Milwaukie, Woodstock
https://www.facebook.com/groups/clackamascountywoodstockmilwaukiesellwood/

Share in the Harvest Portland – Group affiliated with the Portland Fruit Project – includes SE and NE Portland and beyond:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/shareintheharvest/

Portland Fruit Tree Project!
https://www.portlandfruit.org/
Donate: https://www.portlandfruit.org/donate

How to start a Share in the Harvest group where you live
video: https://vimeo.com/583606286

10.28.21 – Share in the Harvest Salem, Oregon!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/shareintheharvestsalem

For you DIYers out there: Print and share

 

and

Eugene Area Gleaners

My Great Ideas That Have Gone Nowhere

My Great Ideas

I have a lot of ideas. Here are a couple of great ones that I’d love to see in action. If you find value in any of them please take them and run with them.¬† Here we go.

  1. Weight Loss idea: Wear in 1lb weights the # of pounds by which you’re overweight for that many minutes per day.¬† Lessen weights as you lose weight. Keep going till you’re done.
  2. Berm Portland
  3. Retree the planet with this cool device (1.14.2020 – something like this has now been developed)
  4. Defragging everyone’s commutes.¬† For every job that can be done anywhere in a city – 3rd-grade teacher; plumber; <most service jobs here>: create a database of all of the workers, swap people by their home location or where they want to land. Thus, bringing people closer to home = less commuting. Thank you to Mr. Money Mustache for the inspiration on that one.
  5. Where Does the dirt go: Database of all earth being moved in an urban area. If I am about to remove 2 tons of earth, let the grid know and someone nearby who needs the earth can have it vs. trucking it to the ex-urbs and back. See chip drop program in Portland.
  6. Moving everyone who shares a similar job role closer to home via a database that local employers participate in. This could also be used by tradespeople so that they are working close to home, perhaps using Nextdoor to guide their work sites.
  7. All popsicle sticks should come with a tree seed in them so one could plant a tree after eating the popsicle. Idea progress: I have submitted this idea to Larry Kaplowitz, one of the founders of Coconut Bliss. He said “great idea”. – Feel free to take this idea and run with it.¬† Dannon? Good Humor?
  8. License plates should have QR codes or some way that a person can text a person who owns a car to let them know: a) you’re blocking my driveway b) you left your lights on c) your puppy/child/ice is overheating….. A way for this to work could also be that the person types in the State and License # and then is able to text msg. to the owner without knowing their phone # or other contact info.
  9. How to be a better neighbor – an email series. Our lives could be enhanced so much by people doing some little things better. Better outdoor lighting. Not using the fob to lock and unlock your car and set off the horn of your car. Saying hello. I’ve been wanting to create an email series that teaches some of this and I’m stuck at #2 right now – someone, give me a nudge ūüôā
  10. Turn OHSU lawn at 42nd and Division SE in Portland, Oregon into a giant sunflower patch. 
  11. Trying to get the Air National Guard base in Portland, Oregon near the PDX airport to stop flying F-15s over residential parts of the City. Ideally, I’d love to see the base either shuttered or moved to Eastern Oregon.¬† I’m not alone on this one.
  12. Street signs: They could be metal and wrap around telephone poles Рso easy to display and possibly simple to manufacture.  The street on 2 sides, cross street on the other two Рwritten vertically.
  13. Portland, Oregon Road Scholar program. (ed: 10.22.2020 I reached out to them again with the idea, perhaps it could at least happen virtually).
  14. 9 years ago in 2011, I had the idea to turn the SW corner of the Lone Fir Cemetery into a community garden as local organizations continue to fundraise to turn it into a memorial. I gave up pushing after running into organizational disinterest. Meanwhile, the spot remains a huge vacant lot – a perfect spot to grow food. Sign this petition, perhaps we can reignite interest in the idea ūüôā¬† https://www.change.org/lone-fir-community-garden
  15. More of these ideas I once posted on a site called WhyNot?
  16. 1.6.2020 – T-shirts with “massage here” printed on the top back (shoulders) – perhaps more info on pressure and directions on how to massage on the back of the shirt.¬†
  17. Social media support pages РSee for yourself. 

Great ideas that have gone somewhere

  1. Farm My Yard – https://farmmyyard.org and on Facebook over here. And Twitter… The idea is a way to connect urban farmers with homeowners who’d like their yards farmed.¬† I think it’s also a possible business for teens or young adults to support themselves – providing produce to the community and local restaurants. Check out the website. I feel the idea could really take off if one neighborhood decided it wanted to be a pilot project. Or, if I decided to invest in 1000 yard signs and found people to put them in their yards ūüôā
  2. After the Phone Book: I was part of a nationwide effort to get rid of phone books to some effect. Here’s the FB page and here’s a page on my site that explains the problem and some of the moves I and others used to stop the cutting of trees for no good reason.

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New and Good November 2019

What’s New and Good?Sunset in Newport Oregon

Hello from Lake Albert gone! I’m sitting in our sunny dining room on November 21st and it’s a fine morning. Coffee to my left, laptop to my front and a collection of house plants I’ve gathered over the years. I also like collecting glass orbs and have quite a few strewn around the living and dining room.

But that’s not why I’ve gathered you here. Mostly, it’s just to get in the habit of writing more. Less FB posts and one-off newsletters, and more writing writing ūüôā¬† Yes, in preparation for January and February when I intend to do some longer pieces – namely my autobiography! Yes, it’s 11 chapters long and of course includes info about hitching across the country in 1981, a year living on a kibbutz in Israel and my involvement in Habonim which led up to that; 14 years of attending Burning Man into one chapter – we’ll see how that goes. Some of the chapters could probably be books of their own, but this will be an Albert taster. I’ve actually made a deal with myself that I will not attend Burning Man again until I can hand someone either a copy of the book or a thumbdrive of it or digital download code.¬† Or, the other thing that opens the gates to the playa would be me bringing a giant art piece I have in mind. But that’s a much bigger lift.¬† We’ll see which wins – but my current plan is to bring some form of the book forth next. I have the free time for this, and the stories – encouragement welcome!

Last night we hosted a Higher Thought Cannabis Game night here. Get your game today! It’s a really fun way to gather with people and share insights and thinking. All sorts of stuff gets discussed.¬† I’m constantly surprised at what comes up. You may remember my earlier mention of this game in my Cards blog post of last year. Since that time I’ve become part owner (15%) of Higher Thought and I’m also helping Aaron Trotter out with his empire of decks over at Illustrated Playing Cards. I really do think the decks in my post are possible ways for people to move themselves forward. I think it helps people when groups share knowledge. It almost reminds me of the days of yore when we’d sit around the campfire and tell stories. Perhaps it’s time to go back to that practice so that we can get our societies on better footing in preparation for dealing with climate change and other big challenges headed our way. That’s where my mind went to last night, at least.

So, I’m moving. At the end of the year I’m renting a friend’s house for 2 months (Jan and Feb. 2020!) and then I’m not sure what comes after that.¬† Very likely more Portland. I’ve had this thought lately of starting a “we’re staying” club. No matter how bad the traffic gets. No matter how many noobs from elsewhere come and move in – we’re staying!¬† We could have buttons and patches. I think there’s a value when we decide to stick it out and not do the typically American thing of moving when things get challenging. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve been here 18 years and there’s also something to be said for more sunshine ūüôā¬† And warmth.¬† That’s partly what drew me to the PNW – warmth – so I wouldn’t have to brave the East Coast winters. But today’s very unusual sunshine is reminding me that more of that certainly would be nice.

To perturb my life I’m going to fly back East for Thanksgiving (that is the sweet part) and then drive back to Portland via points non-snow-covered in early December. That’s the perturbing part. I did this drive about 20 years ago and I’m excited to give it another whirl. I hope to visit friends in Chicago, Austin, Santa Fe and possibly California.¬† I definitely want to visit Summer Lake hot springs, too in Eastern Oregon. We’ll see what the weather and various visits have to say about all of this as I get underway around December 2nd.¬† If you living the middle of the country somewhere and would like a visit, please get in touch!

K, that feels good. Off she goes.  An Albert update!

whynot.net ideas 💡

Whynot.net Ideas

Here are some ideas I posted on the Whynot.net site Рwhich is still fascinating.  Enjoy.

large-scale textbk review web

(3 votes)  Date submitted: Jul 22 2008

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Wnd Turbine on Trns line tower

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Aug 16 2006

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Collage Maker 1.0

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Jan 11 2005

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Washer/Dryer in one appliance!

(5 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 29 2004

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Removing impervious surfaces

(4 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 08 2004

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Co-housing works

(4 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 08 2004

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Metro supplied van pools

(1 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 08 2004

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Improving the Oregonian

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Nov 18 2004

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Energy-saving tips at the pump

(4 votes)  Date submitted: May 21 2004

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Phil Busse for Mayor’s top 100

(1 votes)  Date submitted: May 05 2004

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1,000 Ways to improve PDX Traf

(1 votes)  Date submitted: Apr 20 2004

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Mount Hood National Park

(2 votes)  Date submitted: Apr 20 2004

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This Shrinking World

(3 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 31 2003

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Cement Snowmen/Snow-women

(4 votes)  Date submitted: Dec 30 2003

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Freecycle – tis a gift to be .

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(19 votes)  Date submitted: Nov 11 2003

Leave the Leaves by DKG Graphics

All from this neat site whynot.net which is still alive, though not active.

Guest Post: At the Root: Trees Rule

At the Root: Trees Rule

By Guest Blogger: Eileen Stark, Portland, Oregon

¬† ¬† ¬†Although the region‚Äôs unique wetlands and grasslands carry the greatest diversity of species, it is the forests that dominate and most distinctly characterize the Pacific Northwest. Structurally complex, dense, and immense ecosystems, forests sustain trees that substantially outgrow and outlive other plants and tolerate temperature variation and soil differences better. When the first European settlers arrived, conifers covered nearly the entire landscape of western British Columbia and Washington, and northwestern Oregon–from coast to Cascade crest–including the Puget Trough and parts of the Georgia Basin and Willamette Valley.Real Gardens Grow Natives
     These conifers (and other dominant species) are known as keystone species because of their strong and often unique effects on their ecosystem. Though they are greatly outnumbered by smaller plants in the forest, their contributions are mammoth. Cool, wet winters and mild, dry summers, along with rich soils, have made for optimum evergreen growing conditions.
¬† ¬† ¬†Conifers are able to photosynthesize during much of the year and are essential for watershed stabilization. Some species are the most massive on earth, often growing over 200 feet tall and living for more than 500 years. Worldwide, conifers represent the largest terrestrial ‚Äúcarbon sink,‚ÄĚ where carbon is packed away in plant tissue above and below ground. The wettest forests–those on the west side of coastal mountain ranges–were once especially complex, with lush layering and much variation in tree age. Logging has eliminated much of the original, most productive old-growth forests, and massive clearcutting has resulted in severe fragmentation. Today, much forested land is ‚Äúsecond growth‚ÄĚ that has followed logging and wildfire.
     Garry oak (or Oregon White oak) ecosystems, where these oaks grow naturally, have become rare, with only a very small percentage remaining. The loss of these unique ecosystems puts all the species that rely on them in jeopardy, and indeed, some species have already been lost, while many of the remaining are at risk. If you live on land that was once part of a Garry oak ecosystem and are starting with a blank slate, consider planting Garry oaks and associated species like madrone (Arbutus menziesii), oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor), tall Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), and baldhip rose (Rosa gymnocarpa). If your site is too small for large trees, grow the smaller associated species in a meadowlike garden or rock garden. Spring ephemerals include white fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), Henderson’s shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), and camas (Camassia quamash). Mid-bloomers include tiger lily (Lilium columbianum), nodding onion (Allium cernuum), stonecrop (Sedum spp.), harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), and western columbine (Aquilegia formosa); for late blooms try yarrow (Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis), showy fleabane (Erigeron speciosus), and goldenrod (Solidago canadensis).
¬† ¬† ¬†Most yards can support more trees, whether evergreen or deciduous, than they do. If you have the space, grow large trees–the oaks, the pines, the firs–that are quintessential to our region and will help replace some of the habitat that has been lost to development and logging. Just one Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) will provide dense shelter and nesting sites for various birds and small mammals, bark that can be used as nesting material, food for seed-eating birds and browsing mammals, and, as the trees mature, cavities for roosting and cavity-nesting birds.
     In urban areas, street trees that grow in parking strips could be native species (as well as the other plants you grow there). Some good choices for narrow parking strips (not less than 4 feet wide) include cascara (Rhamnus purshiana), Douglas maple (Acer glabrum), and black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii), and for wider strips (greater than 6 feet wide) and without overhead utility wires, Garry oak (Quercus garryana), and Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia). Always check with your city’s urban forestry office before planting.
Excerpt from Real Gardens Grow Natives: Design, Plant, & Enjoy a Healthy Northwest Garden by Eileen M. Stark (Mountaineers Books, 2014)