Rialian's Realm

Thoughts and Considerations

Things brewing…

by rialian - June 16th, 2011

===Upon reflection, staying up until 4 making yarrow beer was not the most conducive to my being conscious before 1 pm (chuckles)

===Hey, it is coming upon the solstice, the full moon was up last night, I figured it was a good time to do this.  We are running low on the batch from last year, and we had a REALLY nice crop of yarrow in the garden. (it is one of the “weeds” that I encourage in my garden…and the quality of the plants was excellent this year.)

===My recipe for such things comes from Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation by Stephen Harrod Buhner…I highly recommend his books)

===Yarrow beer is very…lemony, but not?  No hops, of course. (grins) We are growing some, but I admit, I am not a hoped beer fan.  Once we have more space for such storage, I may set up a more formal brewing area, and play with a bunch more things.  As might be guessed, I do not drink alcohol to just drink alcohol….I am more into the idea of the healing effects one can get from the working with yeasts and herbs.  What you eat and drink should feed your soul and your spirits..(grin)

(Raised Eyebrow)

by rialian - June 13th, 2011

===Thresholds has passed, and apparently was good for a lot of folks.  Yay.

===It seems there was some drama that someone decided to tack onto me before my event AGAIN. (sighs) Thankfully, a few folks had a chat with the person in question so that I did not need to deal with it.

===So, let me say again….I have general rules for my events.  I have sadly had to put them in place because I have had to deal with people making bad choices, that impact the ecology I am trying to encourage at my events in in my hearth.  If you need to do a power play in my hearth, do not attend.  THIS INCLUDES trying to make that space feel unsafe for someone else.  If you do not respect folks thinking they are otherkin, I would rather you not attend, and may boot you out if you are obnoxious about it.  If you have issues with me, I am running the event because i enjoy the event.  You deciding to attend because you want to flaunt yourself in the idea that I am some “leader” you need to resist….is stupid.  No, really.  Most folks attending are attending because I have actually opened up a space for events, not because I have any power in their lives. A fair number of individuals have a LOT more social power than I do , I just open the space because no one else is so inclined. 

===Which leads to the issues of open and closed access events.  WTT is one of the few events that has survived this long because it has someone that keeps a door open, but requests that folks do not hijack the events with their public display of therapy need.  It takes years to develop an ecology that encourages behavior that is not disruptive.  Totally open events do not seem to develop this sort of ecology.  Neither, interestingly enough, is the “everyone is equal” mindset…mostly due to the problem that that “equality” tends to be “I get to have issues at others, no one else gets to have them, they are obviously not as sane/functional as I” mindset.

===Gatekeepers and Keystones tend to be the lightning rods that draws ire….and that is what I am…a Keystone/Gatekeeper.  That pretty much puts me in the role of the Tori that you cross under, and might associate with safe space….not that which really is telling you what to do.  And I will say…I get a fair bit of graffiti and notes and rants tacked onto me due to this. (chuckles) Thankfully, I tend to self-maintain pretty well, so I am able to keep spaces going.

A nifty link, and a line of conversation that grew from it that is not really related….

by rialian - June 4th, 2011

RFD is a reader written journal for gay people which focuses on country living and encourages alternative lifestyles.

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===Finding the above actually led to an interesting tangent of conversation, reflecting on how some folks that I have encountered do some of the things I do, but there is little reason to think that they do it BECAUSE they have to compete with me (and vice-versa), while it is painfully obvious that others are doing something because I have done it (or they are trying to impress others with the cool thing they are into…)

===In some things, there is a sort of concurrent evolution…it is something you find a lot in various reasonably-isolated elven groups and individuals.  They TEND to find that they have been doing similar things, and that really is one of the ways you can say that elven is it’s own path. 

===There are others that pick up on something that is the current “cool thing”, and try to wear it as part of their identity.  They take up things because it is how to get accepted, not because it ever pulled them.  (This is different from the ones that see something and say “oh, my…YES.  NEED to work with THAT”….)

===You can usually determine what sort is which by how they go about said activities, and how it feels when they work with it/talk about it.  (This also, of course, goes into internal feedback loops/external feedback loops, and proper relation to both…but that is another post….)

Cooling, Electricity, and Assumptions

by rialian - June 2nd, 2011

===We finally got a ladder for using in the house….which has made a big difference in the house temperatures.

===Our house has been designed reasonably well, I like to think.  One of the designs is that the bedrooms have very high, angled ceilings with north-facing clerestory windows rather high up.  They can be opened up, and have screens.  The problem has been that they are very high up, so i have not been able to reach them to scroll them open.

===Once the windows are open, the hot air flows up and out of them, pulling cooler air up and making for better ventilation. for that side of the house, especially if I also open a lower story window or two.  It also is better if I have fans on to help this along a bit, which we have.  It will be good to see how well this works when it gets hotter again.
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===I was reading The Archdruid Report today (link is to the post for June 1st) .  Electricity is one of those things we take for granted…and a lot of our systems are based on the assumption that we can get it easily.  It is not good to base everything on that assumption.  (the sheer amount of electricity lost in transmission and in holding it in the grids is deeply frightening, if you look into it.  The fragility of those systems is possibly more so.)

===I now live in a rural area. My water is still dependent on electricity.  My well is a fair bit deeper than what I can find in terms of a hand-pump backup.  When the electricity goes out, my well is also effectively unavailable.  This is an issue for most folks, unless they have an old hand-pumped well or a cistern/filtered rain catchment system.  (in the short term, lack of electricity will not take out water service in most cities, as the water is usually kept in those water towers, which provide the pressure needed.  How all that water gets into those water towers is another issue…(grins))

===Most of our rather important systems are based on access to electricity.  Water, food storage….heating and cooling….we design our lives on the assumption that electricity is going to be a constant, and that we can use that constant to change environments rather than designing ways that work with those environments to make things livable.

One more week….

by rialian - June 1st, 2011

===Walking the Thresholds is next week.

===Folks have been registering: thank you! 

===Anyone have any last-minute workshop offerings or requests?

===And, as always…the general note:

===”Walking the Thresholds is run by Rialian.  If you have issues with him that have you on bad terms with him (and this takes a bit of work), please do not attempt to attend.”

===Likewise, as I have said in the past….if you are coming to Thresholds to harass someone else, I reserve the right to accept your money, and THEN boot you out.  (amusingly, the last group of folks that came to harass someone at my event left of their own accord….It seems that they did not cope well with my walking up with a sheaf of their open online correspondence on open boards, and letting them know that everyone seemed to be aware of their intentions.) (I count “wanting to work things out with someone” that does not want to talk with you….to be intent to harass.  Even if they are not attending said event (see previous example.)

===I dislike having to have such notes up just before the event, but you know….the stupid need reminders.  The main example even had an email directly sent to them stating the intolerance of ulterior motives…and they still came, and still attempted to claim that I was mean and kicked them off site. (laughter)

===All that said…WtT is looking really good…and drop me a line if you are coming!

And the Summer rolls in…

by rialian - May 26th, 2011

===Summer is definitely here…very warm, and the dewpoint is really high. (dew forms at 68 degrees today…erg.  Way to high a humidity).

===So I got my bread baking done early, so that the kitchen will have some chance to cool a bit before the heat really hits. (This evening I am coking up a roast.  This lasts us a fair bit.  The season for some of the greens from the garden is going to be ending in a bit due to the heat…thankfully, I should have the warm-season greens out there in time to keep things going (I am putting in leaf amaranth…this should be the perfect time to get it going.)

Still life with bunnies 2, the education continues…

by rialian - May 23rd, 2011

===Well, FooFoo has apparently figured out how sex works.  He has not sufficently engaged with Little Bunny (who is not so little anymore) that it was time to remove him from her cage, or she was going to beat him soundly about the head.  FooFoo is now showing his newly-gained skills with Harmony.

===I am currently hoping that the chickens are producing eggs by Thresholds….It would be nice to be able to serve eggs from Mithlond for breakfast.  I will not be serving any rabbit meat for a while….probably have some available by Crossing the Thresholds.

===The garden is now producing a good amount of salad greens.

===Today, I work on the raised beds near the house.  Our long-term plan is to make the larger garden plot more of a perennial vegetable producer, with wild foods area (and a section for corn), and have more of the often-used annuals grown closer to the house, as they tend to need more attention.

My life…a snapshot (still life with bunnies 1).

by rialian - May 22nd, 2011

“Maybe the rabbit is a virgin…he has not had the advantage of magazines, or sex advice shows….”

===You see, my wife has an interesting sense of humor.  She is telling me that my proper job is chaperoning the rabbits to ensure they have sex, as I was not taken up in the rapture.

===So, I am told that I need to teach the male little bunny known as “Foo Foo” the ways of poly, as he apparently has not figured out that he needs to apply himself to multiple rabbit action.  Oh, there is now a correction…I am to teach him the ways of COMPETENT poly.

===Now, I realize that there are differences in rabbit poly and the sort of poly that I would consider in my life.  For one, I am not trying to produce multiple litters of offspring in order to have them eaten by others.  There are multiple other differences as well….which we will not be discussing here.  I hope you all have been amused by this snapshot into typical conversations around the homestead. I will note that there was no discussion of me showing the rabbits how to breed, or physical dynamics.  (The conversation actually started when I commented on the sexual incompetence of Foo Foo, and that Little Bunny had to cajole him into actually having sex.  It was odd, but is to be expected after the way she treated him the last time we tried breeding them.  Oh, and I did tell them about the cookbook that a friend of mine sent me…that also might have made him a bit less interested, who knows.)

Erg…(food allergens)

by rialian - May 20th, 2011

===Ok, I must remember to not eat anything made with soft-white bread…such as rolls for subs, when out and about.  I just got up from one of my “soy coma” experiences, brought on by a chicken cheese-streak I picked up while picking up the cold cuts for sandwiches.  The sandwich had no mayo, so I KNOW it was not that. (I really hope that it was not the chicken…I will sometime have to see if I am starting to react to soy-fed poultry…oh, that would really suck in a bad way)

===The fun thing with this particular allergy is that you get slightly different reactions with each batch you encounter.  Sometimes it is achey and flue-like, sometimes it is…well, a rather quick run through the system.  This was the soy coma, where I got home, and had to REST. 

===Still a bit spacey, but able to function.  Oh, how I dislike the additives folks put to things I should be able to eat….

Ah, the “Rapture”….

by rialian - May 20th, 2011

===As I have seen a number of folks considering pranks for tomorrow in the Untied States, might I make a suggestion?

===When you are putting out shoes and clothes with dry ice in them to make them steam, put various pagan symbols on them.  There should also be a note nearby, preferably with gilt edging or, better yes, written in a calligraphy hand….stating “We are sorry..it was the Pagans that get Paradise…you Christians did not live up to our standards.”, or something to that effect.

===If you are going to do a prank, nice to make a statement as well…(chuckles)