Brian and Anne

Starting a new Convention. Or Rather an Omni-Futurist festival. Help!

I live in York PA now and everything around here seems to be some kind of Fest, so we’re calling it York FutureFest.

It will be the first weekend in October, and even if you can’t come, I could use your help.

I’ve been doing this for over twenty years, so I know what needs to be done, but I’m also just one person, and can’t do everything. I have a web team, but none of them are familiar enough with this kind of event to generate content. We are working on a site on, and in the meantime I put a skeleton page on the site of the parent non-profit, York XL.

Early bird memberships are really cheap right now but go up to $40 August 5th.

If you or someone you know can produce a Call for Art and specify artist rules and registration for the web team, I’d really like to have that go out August 1 if not sooner.

If you or someone you know can write press releases, and/or be a press officer, that would also be quite helpful.

I have a couple of copy editors but could also use someone who can translate things into Spanish.

We have a local graphics designer working on a logo for York FutureFest and as soon as we settle on that (probably tomorrow), we could really use a good layout person to make up a flyer and a postcard.

We also really need a treasurer with time available. Part of the reason for this event is that York PA, once the Detroit of the East Coast, is struggling like, well, Detroit.

Most of my friends here are community activists. They are amazing and capable and already doing a lot, so I’m asking if any of my other friends can lend a hand. York XL has a treasurer but not one who has run conventions.

The long list of roles for which we could use experienced smofs is long, so please, if you know people in the region or can travel here in October, please reach out to those friends personally, and then let me know if you or they can help.

I can be reached at or by cell at 734. 649. 4534.

Thank you.

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Brian and Anne

How do you return to regular sleep?

Rosie has been sick on and off for weeks. With the latest flu, this past weekend, she took to sleep ping long hours in the daytime then being up late at night, unable to get to sleep p. I am our semi official on call late /middle of the night person, because B turns into a zombie in disrupted sleep conditions, and he was already obviously catching the flu. I adapted by also taking a longer nap in the middle of the day. It feels a little like I'm serving on a submarine, doing short shifts, instead of having normal length days.

Yesterday when I got home from running early evening errands, Brian apologeticaly told me he had kept her awake as long as he could but she was asleep in the Guest room. so I was not surprised when she woke up hungry at 11. I got her ready for bed and fetched her a banana and her meds, including 3 MG of melatonin. I also brought up a fresh batch of library books. She read for a bit, then settled down. I ribbed her feet and legs, which have been hurting. Then I turned off the light. she asked me to sing, so I did. I got back to me own bedroom at 2 am.

How do we get her back to normal?

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Brian and Anne

Doing too much, yet getting things done... in the interstices of Life.

It snowed today. About 3 inches, which in Michigan would just mean getting up half an hour earlier to shovel snow, and otherwise winter as usual, but here in York meant they panicked. And by "They" I mean the school districts. At first they notified us there would be a two-hour delay, something that never even existed when I was young in Michigan, but by the time we started getting moving in the morning they had canceled school.

This worked out well for Rosie, who wasn't feeling well anyway, but I had an appointment for massage therapy and chiropractic care, and Brian still had to go teach. Brian actually decided to walk to work to skip dealing with PA drivers who have no idea how to handle snow and also avoid putting his car out in the snow. That left me to shovel, which mostly just consisted of shoving the snow off to the side. The ground was still above freezing, so the snow was wet and heavy, and one of my biggest jobs was pushing the two-foot wide swamp of slush in the road down past our driveway and into the storm water drain that is just downhill from our mailbox. Once I did that the water was able to drain past our property instead of accumulating in the road, but the plows may ruin that tonight just in time for it to freeze by morning.

I don't know if school will be delayed or canceled tomorrow but I'm guessing it will be one or the other.

Rosie's synchro swim practice was also canceled, which again was just as well. I really can't tell if this is a new cold or a relapse of the ongoing cold but either way she seems pretty miserable. She did get dressed (blue like Jewel the Macaw) in time to go to Brian's work so I could hit my appointment. She likes to play with the legos his colleague Joan keeps on hand, and later she told me she played with Brian's Transformers as well. She got moving to let me go to the appointment because she wants me to be relaxed, she said. I admit I can get pretty snappish these days when I'm stressed and headache-y.

I also just get snappish because I make silly mistakes and feel stupid when I'm tired, which is a lot of the time. I was thinking about this as I went down for my nap before going to pick her back up after lunch. I had just recently told a new associate about my condition and how I had to nap in the middle of the day or I get stupid tired. He kind of chuckled and shrugged it off a bit, saying we all get a little stupid when we're tired. Not me. When I am crashing I feel like my IQ plummets at least 70 points in very little time.

I'm sure Brian can confirm this, but here are just a few examples of how this affects me. For one thing, although I *know* I need to nap around the same time each day, which I get tired enough to really need a nap, I get easily distracted, such that my 8-year-old comes up to me me and asks, "Did you nap yet?" and pointedly orders me to bed. Today I went to the guest room to take my nap, picked up my phone to set the timer, and promptly forgot why the phone was in my hand. I remembered I had to set the timer and opened the clock function. The display was totally confusing. I could make no sense of it for a second. Then I realized it was on "world clock" or something and I needed to change the function setting. I looked down at the bottom of the screen, proudly remembered "timer" was on the bottom right, and hit that button. Then I set the timer for 25 minutes, put the phone down, lay down, and fell deeply asleep.

Outside of shoveling the snow, taking out the garbage and recycling, remembering to finally give the recycling guys their winter holiday tip, that appointment, that nap, a quick stop at the butcher, managing Rosie, making Chili for tonight, pre-preparing burgers for tomorrow, doing the dishes, processing one load of laundry, and getting Rosie to bed, I didn't get much done today.

I have a bunch of volunteer web design and event promotion work I wanted to get done last week (Does anyone have a copy of the font Winner Narrow Black, btw?), and am also working on a wikipedia article I want to finish and get out there. I managed to get Rosie to finish writing a letter to her pen pal and to make some progress on a needlepoint project she's doing, but I have to admit that she also spent a fair amount of time lounging on the couch with tea and a cat, watching Rio and Moana on my laptop.

Now that she is in bed I have just caught up on email a little and on updating my calendar, and other correspondence. I don't know if Rosie will be staying home tomorrow but even if she is I'm going to have to insist on using my laptop myself.

How was YOUR day?

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Brian and Anne

All Deaf kids should get a chance to learn sign language (ASL)

A discussion elsewhere has made me aware that hearing parents of Deaf children are and have been discouraged from teaching their kids ASL (sign language), and that there is a political movement to counter that -- to assert that Deaf children have a right to language they can use to communicate with the Deaf community.

I just want to say that I support that movement.

for more background, read

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Brian and Anne

Grow with google: Getting Found on Google Search and Maps

Despite the title, this is really pretty much just a talk about Google My Business:

I attended the workshop and found it useful.

This is part of a Grow With Google series, which included a talk on email, spreadsheets, etc:

Reaching Customers Online with Google

Digital skills for your community:

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Favorite Bean Recipes (a FB Discussion)

The departure from FB Has Begun, so far as I can tell.  So I am making a point of capturing some of my favorite recipe threads.  I have also backed them up as plain text. Here's one from October 20, 2014:

Anne K Gray
I keep reading things that say we should eat more beans. I did not grow up with any beloved recipes involving beans outside of re-fried beans in tacos and of course chili. Please, for the love of beans, give me your favorite bean recipes.

Lynda Gronlund-Naeem --Bean dip
Ok, you dip tortilla chips in it. It is amazing.
1 can chick peas
1 can black beans 
1 can or frozen package of sweet corn
1/2 jar of roasted red peppers, chopped in small pieces 
1/2 jar of trader joes marinated mushrooms chopped in small pieces
1 regular size package of feta cheese crumbles
1/2 to 2/3 bottle of trader joes balsamic vinaigrette 
Mix it all together in a big bowl and scoop it up with corn chips or just eat in shamefully by the spoonful o_O
Rinse the black beans & chick peas before putting them in
Eleanor Sayre -- Orzo with black beans
2C cooked black beans
1 lb Orzo
3 T Butter or olive oil
1C Orange juice
1t cumin
1/2t ground ancho
salt and garlic to taste
1 drop lemon oil
Make one pound orzo. In a large skillet or pot, mix 2C cooked black beans (canned and drained ok), 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, 1 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon cumin, half teaspoon ground ancho, salt to taste, garlic to taste, one drop lemon oil. Boil about 10 mins, add cooked orzo, simmer 2 mins, eat. 
Can also add toasted almonds if you hate salmon.

Jennifer Hoyer  -- Bar BQ beans and rice Any mix of beans you like. Add your favorite bar BQ sauce and some sautéed onions. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer 10 min. Serve over brown or white rice.

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Original discussion:
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Brian and Anne

Getting to inbox: zero (unread)

Might be an impossible task, but still. Goals.

I am steadily reducing the number of things I am subscribed to and deleting old notifications, especially from lists.

A couple months ago I nuked the promotions tab in my gmail account, at which point my Inbox swelled to 48,000 UNREAD messages. Some have suggested I should have just deleted everything in the promotions tab FIRST, but part of the reason I was getting rid of it was there were things in there I wanted to see, in a timely manner, and letting gmail pseudo-randomly decide what to filter out of my inbox really wasn't working for me.
Before I nuked my Promotions tab, I believe my inbox already had roughly 12K unread emails in it.

Last night I got the unread emails in my inbox down below 10K.

So... that feels good.

What are your goals right now?

Have a good Monday!

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Brian and Anne

York Reflections

Shortly after we moved to York, I learned that there had been race riots and rebellions here in the summer of 1969. "So," I thought in 2015, "the 50th anniversary is coming up, and there's almost enough time to plan something appropriate to do!"

Fast forward 4 years, and the 50th anniversary of the race riots/revolts/rebellions is fast approaching. I have been pushing behind the scenes to get people to actually engage with the question of how to appropriately commemorate the event(s).

York XL is helping establish plantings around the two benches that were erected to honor the two people who died one fateful weekend in July, 1969, on a hill in a city park overlooking the places where they were each shot, on different days. (One a young white cop in a supposedly armored car, the other a young black mother, in a car that was unfortunately similar to a car that had previously threatened a heavily armed white gang.) We also hope to erect an historical plaque on the site near the benches, which currently only bear their names and none of their history.

York College is running a series of events highlighting Hidden Figures in York's history, which includes a talk by Dr. Peter Levy next month.

A huge Community project called 10,000 Acts of Kindness is hoping to set a World Record for largest community dinner on June 30th, 2019. ... and I'm sure more will be done.

A few of us are also collecting Oral histories, and applying for grants to better record and preserve this history.

A couple years ago, when we were discussing names for this project, I settled on York Reflections, and established a domain name, I just updated the page for the first time in years.

Trying to get to know the local community well enough to give the right nudges to a project like this in just 4 years has been a (probably hopeless) push. Some of the proposed events have gotten a firm thumbs-down from the community and been canceled. Different organizations are taking different approaches, and though they have come together to discuss ideas and issues, the collaborative I was hoping to build hasn't actually coalesced. Still, things are happening, so I thought I would at least post a public record of things I think are related on the website.

So, that's a thing.

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Brian and Anne

How de do to dos

So... How'd I do on my to do list yesterday? well... I got plenty of rest. I did not catch up on mail, though I did do the dishes and I got started unpacking From Rosie's and my trip to Michigan.

I haven't gotten caught up on photos yet from that trip. I may post some to Flickr. I've been maintaining my Flickr pro account and I remembered the other day it was partly because it was pretty easy to share photos from there to here/LJ.

since I was still coughing and sometimes so badly I got lightheaded, I promised B that I'd go to the doctor today, which I did. he's putting me on another round of antibiotics.

I also got my monthly shot of Octreotide today, and blood pulled for some chromatin labs.

Did not get far on the hair scrunchies yesterday. :( am going to try a different kind of needle but in the meantime I ordered a backup plan from that should be here tomorrow. Rosie's Synchro meet is Saturday.

But first, I go mentor fifth grade journalists and pick up my antibiotics and new sewing needles.

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