Sunday, August 21, 2011


I was yakking with Steve at Horse Brass about how Quakers (Friends) have traditionally gotten along with military personnel.

The rank and file wanted to draft George Fox as a commanding officer of some kind, or at least that's the rumor (scholars welcome to chime in -- on Facebook maybe?). Annis Bleeke (FWCC General Secretary, Ret.) confirmed the elements of this story during social hour just today (I was showing off my new bike helmet, looks kind of German or Darth Vadery).

In my own case, this heritage has translated into wardrobe concerns. I've been eyeing abandoned US military bases and military surplus stores, as campus and prop inventory respectively, when writing my "girl scout math" curriculum (some boyz allowed), a kind of interactive theater.

We just visited Portland's top military surplus store yesterday, to stock up. One of our household is heading out of the country (no, not for Pycon / Cuba). She's in Houston right now.

Steve suggested "extra-military" rather than "para-military" would be more the label I'd wish for -- less controversial. I'm easy with either, as a Friend.

Brand names such as Fox and Coyote have already been deployed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Doing Hard

"Doing hard" is in contrast to "doing easy", taking me back to that funny movie from Laughing Horse Books and Video, based on a short story by William Burroughs.

I've asked David to come sit next to me in my office so we could surf the net and shop for the knives and case I managed to lose for him off the back of my bicycle. I want him to come out ahead.

We had way too much food, got started late, were lugging a piano (toy Casio), didn't get much help. Thanks to Betsey Kenworthy for taking the compost. She was there for the Nicaragua delegation meeting.

Here's what I posted to the Riseup pdxfnb list:

Alas, one of my worst FnB days ever.

I found David's chef knives (velcro roll) left behind at the
meetinghouse and stupidly put them on my bike rack, not well secured.

They didn't make it to the park.

I am committed to replacing every last one of them.

If anyone sees a nifty knife set appearing on Craig's List -- I'll buy
it back, oyster knives and all, no questions asked.

Dropped somewhere between 43rd and Stark and SE Taylor and 34th....

Also, I think starting our OTY pickup at 3 pm, when food prep starts
at 3:30 is just nuts.

We used to do our pickup at like 11:30 am.

Toting a battery powered piano slows things down, need extra time for that too.

Glad Elise came buy to give me a hug. Tre was kind to me at the park.

David is taking it well too, though clearly upset and disappointed.
I'm really sorry guy.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Google Drones

These came up in a meeting at Bagdad today -- like the cars but higher, and sent to remote areas a lot of the time. Just for surveillance of course, not psycho dark ages stuff from some Dr. Evil horror show.

True, not everyone likes the idea of being on HDTV. Low flying, over criminal stockpiles... what do we choose to call "against humanity" then?

Does "prohibition" mean "no nukes"? A lot of schools think that way, yes. Verification remains a part of the picture, especially over a region as large as North America.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Board Games

:: multnomah meeting ::

Jay and I were chatting at the park about a possible Food Not Bombs board game: a map of some city, different kinds of pieces. Yes, it could be a computer game, like Sims -- it should still have a map though, lots of 'em.

Blue House is of a specific type, a subclass of "FnB machine" (thinking in terms of programming now, object-oriented). We're not specialized to store or refrigerate more than average, whereas some network households may focus on storing and sorting, more like our warehouse suppliers.

Given warehouses are already in the business of storing, I'm always looking for ways for the households to not absorb any more waste than necessary. A "just in time" supply chain means perishables are picked up and used in a timely manner with little need for long term preservation. The focus is on throughput not stockpiling or hoarding. Each kitchen has its FnB stores (shared and/or partitioned). These kitchens may be institutional (e.g. St. David of Wales) or based in a private residence (e.g. Pink House).

Blue House has produced some specialty krauts, other pro-biotics, but our kitchen is not pressed into service in the prep window, some three hours before a park serving. We're an asynchronous supplier of specialty items. Some of our bike rovers are likewise well connected to specific kitchens or stores who appreciate FnB as a valuable community service (which it is).

Our 1950s vinyl kitchen with stainless steel counter tops looks made-for-TV, and I could see doing some shooting here for the training films and promos, but when it comes to food prep our role is to serve as a gateway to one of the institutional kitchens: the one at the Quaker meetinghouse, formerly an Electro-measurements (ESI) property and before that one of Jantzen's knitting factories. The Friends have done extensive remodeling and expansion over the last 50 years or so.

We might call those "supply houses" and a bike with trailer might be routed to go by one or two enroute to a church or meetinghouse. Or a bike with trailer might dash over to a warehouse supplier.

Most warehouses dealing in produce have a walk-in refrigeration unit with a palette or more of produce slated for composting, yet still with some fresh, healthful items for which no one has a use -- until the waste mitigation system is installed (here's a bike with trailer), at which point many vectors point away from that palette to various kitchens and distribution sites.

Multnomah Friends / Google Earth

The idea of a control room taking feed from GPS devices, with helmet mounted web cams and ear buds ("that looks like a good box of avocados, how about grab it?") feeds the next generation science fiction version. This goes with the fleets of biodiesel powered trucks running on Asian restaurant cooking oil, bringing CSA goods in, taking compost and combustibles out.

Connecting my past work with trucking and routing (optimizing delivery schedules) to FnB is part of the larger scale waste mitigation effort. When resources are tight and need to be shared, with some solutions more optimal than others, far more serviceable, there's momentum to develop the simulations and get into anticipatory design mode.

Blue House is close to community kitchens and provides overnight parking for some of the bike trailer fleet (SkyBlue chiefly). We also do low level carryover, some refrigeration. My inventory in the staging area currently consists of squash, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, some fruits, carrots. These were retrieved from the park yesterday and will be picked up by the Tuesday crew later today.

My goal has been to render the model with sufficient transparency to support transferability and scalability (scaling down as well as up). I put a lot of emphasis on the learning opportunities the free school provides for those wanting to master cooking for large groups using a somewhat "just in time" approach.


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Thinking Claymation

I was chauffeuring the chairman around, showing him Produce Row. Hawthorne and Morrison bridges were both mostly shut, so I was surmising Bridge Pedal was happening tomorrow morning.

Having just checked the web site, I see I was wrong. I'm glad I'm wrong because getting to our event would be difficult with that many bridges closed.

We went to Office Depot so Steve could better equip his Portland office. Earlier, at Angelo's with Steve and Patrick, I thought I'd texted Patrick's cell number to Melody (with permission) but later my phone showed no trace of such an outgoing message (Melody later: confirmed receipt). This phone also tries to sell me stuff, which I consider rude.

Another day in purgatory I guess, punishment for sins I'm still committing most likely.

Bridge Pedal
has Catholic connections so yakking about it, and sin, in the same post might actually be apropos.

At Steve's with Glenn I was saying how I was now Will Vinton's friend on Facebook. He's the founder of a famous claymation studio here in Portland. From his picture he reminds me of Jesse Ventura and G. Gordon Liddy.

I was leaning against the wall on the floor, doing some chuckling, taking a break from my queue at the carnival (geek fest, feast, nutritious meal).

Portland as ToonTown, is what I was again connecting through to at Math Forum, under "shovel ready". Steve has Python.TV registered, so why not? We'll need a lot of workshops perhaps, but then so did the WPA (perhaps we'd be able to bring more Python to the UN?).

Tomorrow I hope to see more of the thread with GS about population pressures in a world game context.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


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