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Environmentalism [Oct. 5th, 2011|10:21 am]
I'm an environmental advocate. It really kills me when I have to listen to people when they say, "What's really important is educating people about how to take responsibility for sustainability."

No. No it isn't. If every single person changed all their lightbulbs to LEDs, it wouldn't be enough. It wouldn't even be close.

The structure of the system has to change. Fundamentally. 

We could build buildings that didn't waste energy, no matter how people use them. We could build an electric grid that is efficient. We could make everyone move into the city and build public transit up to a point that people basically had to use it. 

We need transformative new sources of energy and we need electronics and machines specifically designed so that 90% of the parts can be reused in future iterations of the same machines. And we need systems for easily recollecting those things so the manufacturers can easily get to them for reuse.

We need cities to quit wasting stormwater, for God's sake.

That's what's needed. It's fundamental. And there's nothing your personal practices or my personal practices can do about any of it. The system has to shift, not you or me. 
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Owning your own home [Aug. 9th, 2011|01:09 pm]
 Bafflingly, friends and acquaintances of mine are announcing proudly on Facebook that they are about to become homeowners. It is impossible for me to express any excitement for them. 

I sold my house in May. Honestly, I wouldn't even call it a bad experience. It stressed me out and I lived in a shitty neighborhood, but at the end of the day I probably roughly broke even. In this climate, who can complain about that? I sold in a downturn and still came out all right. 

That said, as my emotional experience with homeownership waned I started looking at more historic studies of homeownership as an investment. It is a bad investment. People think it's not because they buy a house and hold it and then when they sell it FEELS like they get a lot of money. They think the difference between what they owe and what they sell it for is profit, but really it isn't much when you account for inflation and, odds are, it isn't anything -- it's a loss -- when you factor in all the money that they forgot they put into it. Fixing things. Rehabbing things. Improving things.

Bad investment.

And if you bought the house because you wanted to control your own space, I can't help but just think that's materialistic. The joy you get from painting a wall a color you like has roughly the same utility value of buying a nice car or nice clothes. Sure, fun at first, but in the end it's just one more damn thing you sunk money into.

So to me, it comes down to money. And, in terms of money, a home is a bad deal. You probably won't make much and you are exposing yourself to considerable risk. Remember, if you financed your home, you are investing on leverage. It's just about the same as taking a loan from a bank to buy a stock you believe in. Maybe it's a good move and maybe it isn't, but if it doesn't work out you still owe money.

Well, that's almost true. One argument the irresponsibility set has one here in the US is that all you ever actually owe is the value of your home. If you walk away from your home and the bank sells it, it can't go after you for the difference between what it sold it for and what you owe. If you bought a bunch of Wal-Mart stock on leverage and sold it for less than you paid for it, you'd still owe the bank the difference.

I know this isn't very liberal of me, but I wish that weren't true here, for housing. I wish you still owed the bank if you couldn't sell your house for what you owed. That would make developers a lot more reluctant to build more subdivisions, and this country does not need more subdivisions. 

At the end of the day, home prices haven't fallen to historic norms quite yet, so it still isn't a buyer's market. Further, if we ever see a boom in housing again it's only because, once more, we have gone batshit. So as far as I'm concerned when a friend buys a home all I see is them taking on a new set of headaches that they don't well understand. I can't feel excited for them. I just want to tell them that they are likely to regret it. 
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Everything has changed [Jun. 6th, 2011|10:27 am]
OK, everything hasn't changed, but I did move, and moving was a really big deal. I simply moved to the other end of Philadelphia. It's only a few miles away, but it's all the difference in the world.

First of all, I'm not a homeowner anymore. This makes all the difference in the world. I didn't think I was susceptible to things like dogma, but we all have to learn. The American Dream is not for everyone. If you're of an unsettled spirit, like I am, you may not like owning a house. I found it to be a source of endless worries and anxieties.

I love not owning that house any longer.

Second, I finally live in a real neighborhood. People like me live there. There is a coffee shop around the corner. There are several really nice bars. I couldn't walk to anything at all that I liked when I lived in North Philadelphia. Finally, I am in a real place. It's glorious.

My new place is great but there's a long transition between the owner who still has a lot of stuff there and me. I won't really be unpacked until he moves out, sometime in August, I suspect. If it's even that soon. but I got my big bookcase up yesterday and many of my books are in it now. The kitchen has my own food in it. My clothes are mostly accessible as well. We're getting there.

It's a good transitional step.

I am ready for another gigantic change in my life, but I needed to get out of this mortgage before I could really start pursuing it. Now that's done.  

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My web-comic is up and stuff [Feb. 15th, 2011|11:56 am]
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[Current Location |Philadelphia, PA]

Soooooo... yeah, I've been working on a webcomic for a while now. Since last May. I've been drawing and drawing and drawing. Now it is up and ready for you to check out.

The first strip just went up. It doesn't even really make any sense. I think it took me about 2 minutes to draw, and you can tell. I'm showing (almost) all of the early strips I did, without editing, under the assumption that if anyone ever really starts to like the strip they'll be curious to see how it evolved early on.

So, keep checking back every Tuesday or Friday. Or, actually, why don't you just save this link and look again in September. That might be better.

All that said, you can see the new strip now. It's called Eat the Babies. It's about a walking, talking television who's two best friends are John Maynard Keynes and Woody Guthrie. You can see it here:
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BradyDale pressing the Ford Global Test Drive to protect water! [Jan. 5th, 2011|04:55 pm]
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[mood |hyperhyper]

I'm starting more than a car with Ford Focus. Watch my video here..

A pause for these commercial messages...

I submitted the video linked above to the Ford Focus Global Test Drive competition. Normally I wouldn't post this kind of thing online, but there seem to be some positive indications. So now is the time to put your clicks behind Clean Water! So if you, my interwebs Friends, would go to Facebook, view the video, click LOVE IT (and add the app), then I will give you a big smooch the next time I see you. And thanks!

A win here would give me resources to educate the public about threats to water in PA and NY. It could create fodder for lots of great videos and blog posts about Pennsylvania's waters and the folks trying to wreck them. Ad the app! Support it! I will love you!
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Resolutions for the next time I travel [Dec. 23rd, 2010|08:52 am]
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I am not that good at travelling anymore. I don't do it much. Here's an example: one of the devices that makes travel much more bearable (especially with the ubiquity of the audibly invasive CNN airport network) is the mp3 player. I packed really well to come home for X-mas. Except that. I even had it out. Somehow, it didn't make it into my bags. Other mistakes made this trick that I don't want to make again.
  • For early morning flights, either don't get to the airport before the ticket counter opens, or print out my ticket the night before (I have never done this, but I should start).
  • Buy or make a breakfast the night before and have it waiting for me when I get up. Coffee. Maybe an egg sandwich. Everything about food at the Philadelphia airport is frustrating. The lines. The pokiness of the staff. The choices. The health qualities. The lines. Yeah, the lines.
  • Did I mention having coffee ready the night before? Yes.
  • Don't forget my mp3 player.
  • Repeat myself less.
  • Find out my gates ahead of time. OH YEAH. YOU CAN'T. It'll be 2011 in ten minutes people, we can do this! 
  • Bring my water bottle. Empty, but bring it. 
  • Bring a bit of printed reading material, because they don't let you use your Kindle during take-off and landing.
I have been successfully packing lighter and doing the carry-on only thing. I didn't do that for year, so it's baby steps forward. 

The last thing I need to develop is the patient detachment that will enable me just to weather minor frustrations with a minimum of anger and annoyance. This one is going to take some time, but at 33 I am already enjoying the mellowing effects of a bit of age. I am not at airport mellow yet. 
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Help me raise money for Clean Water [Dec. 3rd, 2010|03:13 pm]
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[mood |accomplished]

If you click the link, you'll see my video on Facebook arguing that Ford should give $10K of it's promotion funds for the new Ford Focus to Clean Water Action. We are fighting Natural Gas Drillers all across the East and this is a great chance to leverage Ford's clout to draw attention to the way drillers are wrecking our streams!

If you dig my video BE SURE to click the "Love It!" button under the video. That's a big part of how they will pick their winners.

If you can retweet it, blog it, post it to your Facebook wall or otherwise spread the word... you know... even better. Thanks!Edit

MY VIDEO! Ford Global Drive on Facebook
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My blog has officially moved [Dec. 2nd, 2010|10:19 am]
If you ever read my main blog, it's now at www.thistoowillpass.com
It used to be on that URL but a couple directories in. Now it's in the main directory. And it's all redesigned and upgraded and etc, so you might like it better. 
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You can't see me blog! [Nov. 18th, 2010|06:07 pm]
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[Current Location |United States, Philadelphia ]
[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

 You can't see my blog. Not right now. Sorry about that, but I am changing hosts. I've been on Yahoo! for years, but I'm finally getting out from under the dying early Internet empire. Can you believe the founders once thought that the Internet could be organized like the Yellow Pages? With teams of real people putting sites into categories nested into categories.


Whoever thought that would work? 

Yahoo! has continued to limp along, despite itself, and I paid money into the behemoth for the privilege of them hosting my little blog for far longer than I should have ever been willing to. That era is swiftly come to an end, but, man: has Yahoo! ever fought it! They have been as unhelpful as possible as I have worked to leave them. I guess I can't blame them, but it just illustrates why I am so glad to move on. 

OK, wow, four paragraphs in and I haven't even gotten to the point of this post. Nice. That's the luxury of keeping a LiveJournal account that no one reads. I can put my thoughts down here. I once again want to revamp my blog...

For a long time it was just sort of about me and ... like, whatever. 

Then it was about, like, the arts and stuff. And creativity. And whatever. The Philadelphia creative scene. Doing that well was honestly a lot harder than I thought it would be. And I wouldn't say I was totally into it. 

But this whole host shift has led to a pretty hefty shift in the site. I've already successfully moved some stuff in ways that I have wanted to for a really long time. You can't see any of this yet, because the internet still believes my site is at Yahoo. If you go to it now you see a very old school html page with a little message at the top saying, "Hey, things are changing" and some links to sites that I used to like when I made an old-fashioned links page like 4 years ago. 

So I was thinking about this, and I have a few ideas:

1) It's kind of in the name. I could change the site to "This Too Will Pass: because some things must end" and talk about things I want to end, be over, go away. I could really get snarky. I could start with Skinny Jeans. that would definitely be my first post. 

It would be really negative, but that's sorta me.

2) A friend of a friend just started a blog about how she really wants to be in a music video. I love the concept. It's got a clearly defined goal and yet it's narcissistic enough to be satisfying and can potentially lead to very exciting real life experiences. I kind of want to steal exactly this concept. 

Or write about how I want to be an action movie.

But the odds of either of these things happening for me are remote enough that I probably wouldn't stay interested.

3) OK, did you know there are forums on Craigslist? Here's the eco forum. A part of me kind of wants to go on here and just pick on conservatives. For example, on a thread about Global Warming, one fellow wrote the following:

11/16 14:25:45 outside the US they are socialist and

they bend over and take it up the rear on everything. YOU want to pay 75% taxes??? You want to live and work and play within 25 miles of where you were born, FOR YOUR ENTIRE LIFE???

So I wrote this in reply:

11/18 14:53:03 It's true. It's all true.

I went to Europe recently. It's so true. Everything is grey and miserable. People walk down the street and say: oh my God! My life is so hard! All I can do is eat baguettes. The Government makes me!

It's the worst in France. People in France are the most petrified.

You ask people, "Why do you let the Government push you around so?"
And they say, "The prime minister's wife."
And you say, "What about her?"
And they say, "She's just so hot. We are very afraid."

This would probably be a lot of work. It might be fun to find one satirical thing to say to one of these guys every few days. That's what I'm into: fun.

There's also a haiku forum on there. Dig it:

Wild Horses Can't Keep 'em Out < buffalohorse > 11/18 13:31:16

Mustangs penned up wild
The grazing units roam free
Helps the economy

It's really the last line that makes it. I've never been too into forums, but if I were doing it as a way to keep the blog going, it might be good.

Actually, I could do a mix of both. Write up the things I need to end and then post it on Craigslist to see what sorta reaction I get. 

You know what? I'm going to go try that with Skinny Jeans. 

But I still rather like the idea of something that yields me having some sort of adventure. Like the guy who traded the paperclip up to the house. 
Or getting in an action movie.
Or even just in a play. 

Umm... or a porn?

Okay, not a porn.

Here's the thing: I honestly think the idea is right there in my URL. I just have to find the truth. Hunt it out.

This Too Will Pass? What are these four words trying to tell me.
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Here's an example from the web-comic [Nov. 1st, 2010|01:00 pm]
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[mood |artistic]

Warren Ellis asked if his fans were making web-comics, so I posted a couple of the comics I've finished there, even tho my comic is not yet up, technically speaking. I loaded the two I made into Flickr, so I thought I'd post one here.

I am decidedly not doing a superhero comic, but there is one superheroic stand-in, because I like to comment on the idea of supeheroes and also the sort of ideas superheroes tend to propagate.  

Save the Department Store!
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