Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sustainable fire spinning

I found out from this wikipedia page on fire spinning that you can use biodiesel as a fuel. This has been my first incentive to want to learn how to make biodiesel, but when I looked at some instructions on how to make a small batch, it sounded really scary, so maybe I can buy some off of a local producer instead of buying kerosene, which smells soooo nasty; I'd rather smell french fries. I wonder if I can get it to burn without mixing it with white gas as suggested...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Fire staff tutorials

Recently I found this great resource on fire staff spinning and other manipulation, [ mcp - fire staff tutorials ] . I discovered this page when I watched one of this guy's videos on Google Video. Note that the files on the web page are in .wmv format, but you can get all the videos in .avi format on Google Video. These new tricks should keep me busy for a while.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Back to the blog-o-sphere

Well, my life has been pretty closed source lately. As much as I love being a socialite, I also love being to myself, it makes it easier for me to engage in certain things:
  • phone calls and e-mails
  • writing: songs, journal entries, diagrams, computer programs, show programs
  • book reading and other independent study
  • thinking, musing, pondering
  • playing my baritone ukulele and bongos
  • crafting that requries detail and precision (crafting in general can be quite fun in groups, I hope show up at Spins and Needles one of these months, I was too exhausted and I finished work pretty late last Wednesday)
  • meditation and yoga
I'd like to do more things than involve more people, but I have a tendency to end up by myself when I am not living with or close to people I know and care about.

It would be false to assume I do all of those solitary activities regularly. I aim to maintain practice of these things in some sort of fashion, but I'm challenged in juggling all of the things
  • personal journaling (in ink) and personal blogging
  • Free Culture activism (updating and
  • Software development: right now I'm only working on one project for graphic design image plotting, it's one man show right now, but I hope to make it Free Software soon and integrate it with Inkscape
  • Cooking: it occured to me that I should aim to cook 1 new recipe per week; usually my cooking is improvised, so I usually end up with something new every time, but I want to learn to expand my knowledge of flavour combinations using recipes as a guide. Maintaining my efforts in sustaining the G-Spot it closely connected with this interest
  • Learning how food grows : I'm volunteering at the community garden across from my house and I work with is very enthousiasticly demonstrative man; maintaining this relationship is valuable
  • Performance arts: staff spinning, juggling, clowning, and other fun acts (I practice staff manipulation almost once a day, it's a good break from sitting at a computer because it opens up all your arm, wrist, and shoulder muscles)
  • Creative writing: this sure comes in fits and bursts. I never just sit down and say, "OK, I'm going to write", I just get inspired with ideas and then write them down. Often I don't end up with a well-contained work, part of the reason why I rarely perform or publish my creative writing. I have been compiling some songs I wrote for circus performance, and when I get around to creating my own wiki (how can I be a wikinator without a personal wiki **raising hands in the air**)
  • pursuing a path to inner peace and empowerment: physical health through nutrition, and exercise as well as taming and exercising the mind in various ways
Right now I'm at a point in my life where I'm somewhat unattuned and misaligned with my goals. A message just keeps comming back to me that I need to seek some form(s) of mentorship or even council from those further in their life's path. Mentorship was recently described as "someone who offers advice where it is not specifically asked for". Good parents play the role of mentons as well as needs providers, but when an adolescent reaches a certain age, it seems like they learn all they can from their parents. Adolescence brings a need for self-realization and this often leads youth to push away from the advice of their parents. But after the youthful rebellion, many are faced with more responsabilities w. The path that the average middle-class North American youth take at a certain age usually leads them away from their home and not necessarily toward any mentors to help guide them on their path. Many go away to educational instituions like universities and colleges and spend most of their time around people who are roughly the same age as them. Some students may find mentors in instuctors/professors but the institutions don't often foster these relationships. I may just be projecting this onto university because this has been my experience, but I have a feeling it's more than just a delusion. Regardless, I will remain open to discovering relationships for mentorship and council.

Well, that was a pretty heavy note to start out on for such a long gap... an explaination ? I think I'm going to do some bloging time travel and fill in these gaps. Then you'll never know just how long it's been unless you monitor this regularly. But how likely is that :-P

Monday, July 10, 2006

Geeks + Activists + Beer

So, it's been a while since I put anything remotely political on this blog, so I traveled to to see what's in the news. I looked at the headlines on the homepage and said to myself "I feel so distant from all of these stories". But then I discovered a new podcast on the Rabble Podcasting Network: Social Tech Brewing Company Podcast so I thought I'd give it a feature. This reminds me of GOSLING and Copynight.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Seeking dough-nations in a celebration for a rich nation

I just returned from the market area of Ottawa where I was doing some busking for Canada Day. It was my first time busking in Ottawa. I was with a friend who often drums in the market. I was doing staff spinning and juggling while he laid beats. It was fun to busk with someone else but the combination was somewhat disharmonious. At about 3pm (we had been around since 11am) we decided it would be best if we parted ways. My friend left me the lucky pennies, but I put some back into his cup and as soon as I got up to take off, a bunch of people started putting money into my friends cup. After we parted ways, I did some staff spinning on the stairs that lead to Majors Hill Park. I encountered several people I hadn't seen for ages. Also managed to give a couple of lessons. After deciding to call it a day, I wandered around and caught some of the busking shows, you know, the ones where lots of people gather around in a circle around the performer. It was a good lift to my spirits, as I was feeling a bit drained (I missed lunch, was a bit dehydrated, and tired of soliciting donations). I feel like I have a lot to learn before I can hold people's attention like that, but I will eventually. Sometimes I felt like I shouldn't have been busking because I'm just an amateur, but I won't let those insecurities get the best of me. I know I have something valuable to share, and I'm going to continue busking and sharing the art. It's good practice. Practicing across the street at the techwall is one thing, but engaging people's attention and convincing them to share (in) the wealth, that's a whole-nother game. I justified my monetary solicitations by arguing (to myself and others) that I and friends needed to pay off some collective debt that was incured by what I would call a "natural disaster". You see, on our way back from the In:tent gathering I mentioned earlier, the Winebago we were in sprung a leak in the radiator. We tried to patch it up with gum, but that just made it smoke like crazy. Next we tried driving until the car overheated and then letting it cool down. When we were going up the hills we were egging the vehicle on by chanting "you can do it Bella" (the name of the Winebago) , but despite this, it just wasn't working, so we ended up calling a friend and asking them to rent a van to come pick us up, about an hour outside Ottawa. When the driver arrived to pick us up, we found out that while he was in the rental vehicle by himself, a bear basically ran into the vehicle. The driver swerved and fishtailed, and the bear ran away. Everything seemed OK until we found out that the bear had incured some minor damage that we hadn't noticed. Although it was minimal, it ended up costing us $500 because they had to replace the whole panel and of course there was an insurance deductable. So that's my story for the day. Now it's time to go party.