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)

 

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