You should all go over and read my new blog: drinkscoaster.com. A new home for food, drink, and travel posts.
Well, that sounds about right. According to the Political Compass Test I’m lefter and more anarchal than the Dalai Lama, but then if I headed up a country and was worshipped as a living god, it’s hard to see how I would be able to resist the temptation to, you know, believe them a little bit. Of my hacker/Anonymous friends who have taken this, I’m the most authoritarian and also the most leftist. As Disconnect on Facebook said, “To be fair you are only an authoritarian compared to rest of us anarchists.. You are the most anarchist authoritarian on the planet and the most authoritarian anarchist in the room.”
And what are you?
This should end well.
Last night on the way back to the cabin I’m pretty sure I heard the local bear. It’s a small black bear, nothing to worry about, but all the same unsettling at 4am. There are also apparently cougars about, which is more of a worry, as the cougars of Vancouver Island are the most man-eating big cats in the world.
Then again, I’m not a man, so what do I care?
There are also wolves, although I haven’t heard any, but I’m prepared for that. You bet. I got a tip on Facebook. All the natural world cowers in fear of having its secrets exposed in a random Facebook status update or comment, and for good reason. In this case, the tip, which appeared in my friend Janine’s timeline, is that to keep coyotes off your property, pee on the boundary lines. They can’t see your invisible fence, but they can smell it and go, “Whoa, hippie territory. Hippies. Why’d it have to be hippies? I hate hippies,” and bugger right off. I’m going to see if it works with wolves too. And bears. And rats.
Oh, the rats. The rats. The rats in the walls.
Well, I wouldn’t care so much if they would stay IN the walls; it’s when they come out and poop on my floor and counter that I find annoying. Every couple of days I find another rat poop somewhere I was about to put my foot or my hand, and since the cabin is only about 15 feet square, this is TOO MUCH. At night as I’m lying in my cosy sleeping bag in the loft, I hear them directly above my head on the roof, scrabbling around and chittering, so I drum on the damn ceiling to encourage them to move on and they momentarily stop what they’re doing before starting up again shortly afterwards.
Now, I know what to do with rats, but the fact is I haven’t got a pack of flying Jack Russells with frickin’ laser beams on their heads, so I’m having to make do. If I could find the holes they are using for getting inside the cabin, I could stuff them with steel wool and/or spare tinfoil (washed, so it has no food smells) and that would stop the buggers. The problem is, because of the trees and overcast weather, there hasn’t been enough light to SEE such things in the first place. Once the sun comes out I’ll get a wooden ladder and circle the outside of the house, pull the tarps off the roof and check under there as well, and look at the cistern behind the cabin too. Having checked the weather reports for the area, I expect that will be in May or June.
In unrelated news, I have accidentally left my iPhone at the cabin. This is bad because that motherfucker’s flashlight app is the best damn flashlight this camp has ever seen, and the battery only has 20% left. It’ll die tonight and worse: I cannot use it to actually get to the cabin. I have a weak headlamp instead that Shahee loaned me.
In other unrelated news, I’m starving, haven’t eaten today, and am off to the Best Western down the road to have a burger. I have heard their veggie burgers are good, so hopefully their beef burgers will be as well. Too lazy to walk into town this late; the place rolls up the sidewalks at 5, which was an hour and a half ago.
Still haven’t heard from the new boss about when I start. At this point forget an advance: a retroactive payment would be nice. And oh yes, I started a new blog. Can’t afford the custom domain this week, but hopefully next week I’ll be able to get one registered. With the Manolosphere going the way of the dodo, Manolofood.com is going to disappear, and I need a place for my foodie posts, a dedicated food/drink/travel blog. Will import the old posts and get some new content coming in the next few days.
Well, there it is, as promised: The Grand Haul of my shopping trip.
- Sorel Caribou boots with leather upper and removable felt liners which make excellent slippers for sitting by the fire: $99 plus tax.
- latex-coated gloves for working in the cold and wet, plus cowhide gloves for working in the cold and wet with sharp edges and splinters: $20 for both pairs.
- two pairs of socks which are apparently an historic line of socks from which comes the original sock monkey pattern, which I cannot use because I used the cardboard as a fire starter last night, $20 plus tax. Yeah, expensive, but feet are important. Feet in boots need the right socks. First night I was wearing those fuzzy synthetic socks that are so cute and warm and they formed a velcro lock with the boot liners and I nearly gave myself an injury getting my boots off. With these there are no such problems. A wool/cotton blend, I believe, thick enough to protect against blisters.
- One bandanna. I would hate to live in the wilderness in the far West without a bandanna. It would just be wrong. I think this was like $7 or so.
- One pair hunter green velvet jeans $4.98 minus 30% at the till because they were on clearance. At an original $80-some-odd dollars, no shit they were on clearance! But saving an extra buck and change was nice. It was, in fact, hilarious.
- One pair clay-coloured twill jeans/work pants. For working. Because cold. Wet. Pointy. The woods are all these things. I think they were $9.98.
- One pair denim jeans with some stretch to them. I dunno why I bought these, actually. I tried them on the second day I was here and they were too small. Couldn’t zip them up. Can now, though! In fact, I can put my full fist into the waistband of the twill jeans, at right angles to my waist. I’m gonna need a belt soon.
- One Vicky/Christina cocktail at Little Jumbo, about $17 with tax and tip, but no way was I going to be in Victoria without seeing my friend Janice for cocktails at Little Jumbo.
- Two bags of groceries purchased en route in Nanaimo. It was a Save On, if I’m not mistaken, and it cost $80-something, which, living as I have in Chinatown I am not used to paying, but I didn’t have that, so I put the peanut butter and the Vanity Fair back and then Mme Metro bought me the peanut butter anyway and my bill came to $69 and yes, I had enough for that with like three bucks left over.
So that’s the haul that my esteemed donors bought for me. You know who you are, and I cannot thank you enough.
From the sounds of it, my friend Brenda will be coming up-Island soon bearing fresh bedding for me (Shahee has loaned me an awesome sleeping bag which keeps me so warm some nights I don’t light a fire at all), plates and cups and the like, and some camping equipment to make life easier. Another very kind person whom I met on Twitter has bought me a Swiss Army Knife, destined to be useful every single moment of its existence. And tomorrow the newest arrival to camp is going to see about putting a window into my cabin; he’s handy with construction projects and mechanical items and may even fix the starter on the Beautiful Bus.
As distinct from the Magic Bus, which is an entirely different modified schoolbus a little farther along the trail. No, I’m not kidding.
The workshare here is about two hours a day, six days a week, which is not onerous but has a great deal to do with why I’m losing weight. Okay, so does having to walk two miles to the liquor store and not having any money when you get there. And the amount of meat I’ve consumed this week is: two bison sausages. Period. Otherwise, my protein comes from cheese, lentils, and free range eggs (no chickens here, but wait for it). And I’m not eating much that’s been fried, not even eggs, and the condiments I use are limited because I have to carry them in here from town: sambal, peanut butter, ponzu sauce, soy sauce, Major Grey Chutney which can render even quinoa edible or almost, and that’s pretty much it. Got some pasta, got some peppers and onions, got some rice noodles and quinoa and all the bloody kale you could ever eat.
The work itself is things like: breaking up tiles rejected from the factory, turning them into gravel, and spreading them in the potholes. Cutting up the tree trunks in the woodpile to manageable chunks. Bringing deadfall wood into the woodshed to dry out so it can become kindling. Picking up the garbage left behind by overnighters etc and cleaning up campsites in general in preparation for spring, working on the occupancy agreement (which I have been avoiding as it is already 41 pages long and I’d rather work on a simplified version, but the consensus model means a geometric increase in paper every time you make a change of any kind), breaking down and moving the old, full latrines and setting up new ones using the humanure composting system. It’s pretty basic: you have two pails. One is full of sawdust and a scoop. You put a toilet seat on the empty pail and do your thing in it, then you cover that with sawdust. Eventually it turns into compost.
When I was talking about coming here I thought what I’d be doing was basically setting up systems for workshops and marketing those workshops to whoever…and there are a lot of people interested in this sort of thing. We have people here who can teach, people with skills. We’ve got some musicians, we’ve got a civil engineer who can design shelters for people (who can then build them as part of the workshop), we’ve got Shahee who can teach raw vegan food preparation and do massage and lead yoga and meditation, we’ve got surfers who can teach, we’ve got me, and the new guy in addition to being a competent mechanic is also a tai chi instructor.
At the moment, Symbiosis Ecovillage is a concept and an agreement but not yet a corporation, nonprofit, or registered society. So all of that is up in the air until some sort of legal framework is in place. Yes, I can work towards putting that legal framework in place, but there are things I’d rather do.
Like sit by the fire and share some Jameson’s with my friends.
Like go down to the beach (which I’ve done only once, and I am ashamed of myself for that).
Like do a hike on one of the local trails. Like take a kayaking tour of Clayoquot Sound. Like build my own rocket stove and hot water system, and install a thermal converter so that one little wood stove can give me power, heat, and hot water.
Not that there aren’t other distractions nearby in the great metropolis of Not-Ucluelet.
I never do this. I never, ever do this. But I’m doing it now because AnonymouSky is both one of the most important Anons in the sense of working, getting the word out, and supporting worthwhile Ops, and because he is like this:
You know I don't plan on leaving the problems of this world for my kids to deal with or try to fix.
Unfortunately, he is also like this:
In 12 hours his GoFundMe has raised most of the $8,000 needed for life-saving brain surgery. This is legit. This is not frivolous. Sky was in a car accident which led to him getting a scan which indicated a potentially fatal growth in his brain. He’s had two rounds of chemo and the tumour has shrunk by 60%, which is an outstanding result. It is now small enough and limited enough to be operated on, which was always the goal. That’s where the money comes in.
The GoFundMe says:
Greatings fellow Anons.
One of our most dedicated and loyal Anons, who you may know AnonymouSky, Sky, Starseed or @AnonStarseed on Twitter is currently facing the physical trial of his life. Sky has been involved in more Anonymous causes than can be listed, and has been a regular and important contributor to @YourAnonCentral. Recenetly, Sky was in an automobile accident where he suffered a broken leg and a severe head injury. As a result of this accident, the hospital where he was admitted performed an MRI scan, during which they discovered a malignant tumor in his brain.
Following the scan, Sky’s family and friends pooled everything they had together in order for him to begin chemotherapy.The first round of chemotherapy that Sky went through was very positive. However, the tumor had not shrank far enough to where it would be safe to operate. However, Sky was strong enough to be able to go through another round of chemotherapy. After the last round of chemotherapy, Sky’s brain tumor has decreased in size by over 60%. This is an incredibly positive development. The tumor is now small enough that it can be removed by surgery.
This is where we are calling on Anyonymous, and anyone else who cares, to help. Sky’s samily and friends have taken the maximum amount of credit that they can to help with his surgery. All the money has been spent. Sky is scheduled for surgery in 8 days, but won’t be able to receive it if he doesn’t have the money to cover the costs. The good news is that the doctors are positive that there is over a 90% chance that this surgery will be successful and save his life.
To put this in perspective, Sky currently lives in a region where the average income is 180 – 200 Euros a month. His local support network has run dry of funds. Thus, we ask you to donate anything you can to the following addresses:
If you use bitcoin, please donate any bitcoin you can spare to 1MgVTLHVJ13UxL2x4WH9tsVr4VypvTdVsn.
Again, we cannot emphasize stronger that time is of the essence here. Sky’s surgery is scheduled in 8 days. T
Let us show that “we are legion” and “we do not forget” truly means something. Anonymous simply would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for the actions of Sky, along with the rest of you that have made this movement so unique and special. Please help us continue in that tradition by keeping one of our beloved alive. Any amount in donation helps.
Again, I know shitloads of people who have fundraisers, but AnonymouSky is in a class by himself. He is, to the extent that anyone who is part of a collective movement, important. He has done more for important Ops than virtually anyone else I know, and we should all support him. From the speed this fundraiser is growing, it looks like we agree on that.
Edited to add
For those nay-sayers who think this is a scam, go on. Keep your money. At least there is something in your life that brings you joy. Having gone through cancer treatment myself, in a country with socialized medicine, I can tell you that no, not all costs are covered; it ate up my life savings at a rate of $1300 every two weeks until everything was gone. I have known Sky for many years, have never known him to ask for money, and if I were not 100% sure this was both legit and a good cause I would not have posted this. You’ve no idea how many of my friends’ fundraisers I do not post. I get perhaps three requests a week. Nobody requested that I post this. I was just alerted to it, investigated it, and found it to be real. Sky is good people, and he needs help. Give it to him or walk away, but if you spew bile, expect it to bite you on the ass. Remember what they say about expecting us.