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WindTapper's Blog

May 2013

The Democracy Project and The End of Power

I have gotten to around page 94 in The Democracy Project by Graeber, and today I caught a bit of the C-Span interview of Moises Naim on his The End of Power. Naim had some of Graeber's terminology and subject matter in common, but Naim's last word on the program was directly opposite the "horizontal" anarchist montra, being a call for better worldwide leadership, otherwise labelled "vertical thinking."
To try to get a leg up on interpreting Graeber, I went searching through Google and found a review I believe will turn out to be cursorily as good as any other review for The Democracy Project at TDP:G from The New Yorker Magazine.

Cement Layer Two

The first layer shrank, I think, as it dried, besides not being quite thick enough. I am not strong enough to mix up the size of batch I would need to make the final layer, so I am just as happy to make several thinner layers in order to build up the final thickness required to accommodate the three-level drain.
This layer was wetter than the first because I mistakenly added too much water. On the other hand, it took too much strength to get all the dry cement off the bottom of the bucket I was mixing it in NOT to add water. I am grateful to the advice I received to only add sand to the cement instead of also adding gravel. Sand makes it much easier to skim off the high places -- scultpting it, in effect, to the desired incline, all the way around the drain.
After this dries all the way through and I paint another waterproofing membrane onto its surface, then comes the rubber layer, starting where the tile stops in the walls and going all the way into the drain, which I fear will be the most difficult job of all in this process. Then another one or two layers of cement before the cement boards are put onto the walls, then the tiling on the walls and the floor are installed.

A Song For You

Reading The Democracy Project I am reminded of a lyric. Please click on, "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" from Aretha Franklin, et al. I like the whole song except for two lines which include, "...not making plans." This I do not understand except that maybe planning is supposed to be in contrast to actually DOING. I think that planning is an integral part of "getting it together."
"Sisters Doin' It For Themselves" is also in contrast with having some leader tell you what to do. Direct Democracy is what Graeber is calling his Anarchisms movement that is worldwide, so, when you hear "Sisters" think "Everybody," if you are a guy. Just as we women must remember that "man" is sometimes short for "human kind."
I am only on page 35 or so, but already I see the massive contrast between Direct Democracy with its General Assemblies of the Occupy Wall Street ilk and when Socialists and Communists try to co-op General Assemblies by placing many placards and speakers at the location where the General Assembly was supposed to dominate. Instead of having politicians tell you what to do, you need to go out and help DO by getting involved in discussions with your fellow citizens of this fair nation -- at least at first. It is called Free Speech, too, even though our various municipal governments have at times taken away peoples' right to peaceful assembly.

Sunset Iris

A few sunbeams stabbed through the trees across the way last evening, selecting a few Iris for highlighting their pink elements.

Iris Project

Since we do not live in Moore Oklahoma, sometimes I imagine the song, "You and Me in Paradise" when I look at a sunny field of Iris. OK. "Field" is stretching things a bit, but we have enough to sense perfume while downwind of them.
I plan to try to cross-breed these with the shorter and darker purple Iris that we have on our property. Both came with the place, but now I am propagating them, simply by transplanting them.

Flowers and Books

I started with 12 Iris and now I have over 100 of these lovely ladies.
I am sorry that the digital camera is short on purple.
As for books, I am finishing Working Class Radicals: The Socialist Party in West Virginia, 1898-1920 by Frederick A. Barkey with a foreword by Ken Fones-Wolf. The author needed an editor because some of his sentences did not make sense to me. However, the book taught me some things about Socialist politics in the early days. We live not far from WVa, btw, and one set of grandparents lived there....
Two other books I heard about on C-Span 3 last weekend, which I ordered and just arrived: The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber. This one, I assume, is about the movement started with Occupy Wall Street.
The last book, which is quite a bit thicker than the other two: The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America by David A. Stockman. I find it difficult for me to believe that capitalism could become more corrupt, but I have a feeling that Stockman will prove that this is so.

CO Experiment Breakdown

Our grass grows too fast for me to be able to maintain the CO2 Experiment during summer, so I will be breaking down the apparatus shortly in order to access the tall grass that I need to cut.
Here's a picture of the set-up as it has stayed for the last while, plus grass clippings scattered over it.
The plastic sheets came from panels that fit together for making one's couch or bed firmer. I did not like them in that capacity because one's body transpiration (moisture) is reflected back to one's body instead of escaping into the air, because these panels are made of plastic.
Without the panels you can see the plastic shelf that has plenty of holes in it to let the exhaust from our furnace flow over the lime-impregnated water. The panels on the second tub directed the exhaust from the first, onto the second tub.
The only difference between the two tubs that I can see is that the first tub has a bit of a crust on the surface of its water, although, there was a higher concentration of lime in the first tub....

Cement Mistake

I was attempting to make a cement shim for our shower floor rebuild project. I combined Rockite, Portland Cement, sand, and a Patching & Leveling Latex Additive. The Rockite and the Additive both say they make stuff harden within 15 minutes. Well, dudettes and dudes. This mixture did not pass Go before it hardened. I did not even have enough time to get it out of the mixing bowl before I ended up with the gravel pictured here. I used it to fill a low spot in our lawn where our truck had gotten stuck last year. It's a leveler, all right, lol.
So, back I go to the tried and true formula of 2 parts cement to one part sand.

Shower Floor Progress

I painted on the liquid membrane from Mokapei -- on to the first layer of cement. This surface actually drains to the center, but the angle is very slight coming from the upper-center of the wall, so I am going to add a cement shim before placing all the Canadian rubber all around. JSYK.
Probably I will use patching compound with acrylic leveler in it. I got the acrylic cheap through Amazon, by the gallon. I am guessing it will adhere better to the liquid membrane than plain cement mix.
Oh yeah. I was supposed to wait 28 days before applying the Mokapei, but I figure the first layer is so thin -- 1 inch down to 3/8 inch of cement and sand -- that it could not help but dry in the 15 days that I have waited.

Pix Practice w Iris

Can't get enough practice.
The pictures keep coming to the entry in reverse order of their input, for some unknown reason. No matter how hard I try, what I try, or where I put words into the entry. And the photos lack the blueness of the flowers.
I try and I try, but to no avail.

Flower Pix

I still can't figure out how to manage picture uploading since I tightened my security settings in Java. Oh well.

Minor Progress Report

I decided to go look for paving stone that was 16 inches squared, instead of trying to make do with the 17 1/2 inch stone that I already had. These two orange (called Oak) stones were $3.98 each at Walmart and fit the bill. This removes my dilemma concerning what to do with the overlap of the larger stones.
Also, the lamb's ear has spread beyond its previous bed and died out next to the sidewalk that I am conspiring to remake, above the recently acquired stones that I placed on our front stoop. So, some minor progress has occurred.
I am still busy getting our garden ready for final planting, however, so my other projects are still only several dreams, even though I work on them in my mind daily.
I am considering buying eight more of these stones to cover the new cement levelling job that I plan to make to the broken walk with cement. Everything leans the wrong way, you see, as it is now, sending rainwater toward our foundation, rather than away from it.
I also picked up some cheap plastic baskets today from Dollar General to fulfill another dream I had of experimenting with copper magnet wire strung around baskets with magnets spinning around them....

Short Sidewalk Rebuild -- Before Pix

A short sidewalk rebuild project is one of the near-term projects on my list. Here are the "Before" pix.
The grey bar at the bottom of the second photo is our front step. One of the upward lines on the sidewalk -- in the center-- is only weed growth, I think. I should probably clear a space for 2X4's to define the sides of the new sidewalk, before the Lamb's Ear mass of plant at the left -- hidden by Ground Ivy -- gets any larger, but I have so many things to do right now. Please see previous entry.
Oh yes. I plan to add two red squares of paving stone to the front stoop which might have subsided along with the back edge of the front sidewalk. The paving stone is wider than the stoop, so this will add another step to the cement project -- building a support that increases the width of the stoop.
I still have a problem with uploading pix. This problem arose after I tightened the security settings on my Java, so I might never get it fixed. Each picture uploads to the top of the entry, as I upload each of them, no matter what I have already entered in words. And the sidespace for comments on each picture is also completely caput.
I have not yet, however, looked into the possibility of changing the settings on my blog to fix the problem with uploading pics and commenting on them.

Lots To Do

On top of the shower rebuild, Spring brings more tasks, what with planting, mowing, weeding, and Spring Cleaning. In addition, now that I have too much cement from the store, I started looking around at various cement projects.
Our front walkway definitely needs cement. Its sections all lean downward toward the foundation. Not good. And somebody tried a quick fix on this problem before we bought the place. They used a mixture containing too much gravel and not enough cement. I suppose that project was accompanied by the end of their bag of cement.
I am itching to get back to work on the shower rebuild project, for I figure the underlayment cement MUST be dry after a week, but still, it is time to get the garden ready for planting, which includes finishing the fencing remodelling.
And what with all the rain we are having and will have the rest of this week, I am finding that not only the dandelions, but also the grass has grown too fast for me to keep up with and still keep our mowers intact.
Ah me. So much to do and so little time.... And I haven't even yet mentioned the foundation I have dreamed of figuring out how to build in our backyard. Since I have gotten some experience with Portland Cement without the extra quick hardening feature, I have started to hope I might yet get that shed built, not to mention electricity generator housings made from cement....

Three SF Books

Number One on my list for pure excitement plus "hardness" of its SF aspect -- that's technology -- is Up Against It by M.J. Locke. For helping us to imagine the future, based on the past, this one should win some sort of award. This book has some computer code that I applaud, too.
Number Two: The Meek, by Scott MacCay is similarly situated in the gene engineering/bio future spaces of humanity and its offshoots of the future. Both these are well written books and carry you forward in many ways, not the least of which is their page-turning aspect.
Number Three: Star Trek, The next Generation: Losing the Peace, by William Leisner. This is the first Star Trek novel I have ever attempted to read. I am struck by just how much baggage these novels must carry -- so much so that the "action adventure" aspect is thoroughly thwarted by the background and set-ups for moral lessons. This is true of all of Star Trek, overall, when you consider all the themes and lessons taught from Day 1 of the first episode on TV in the 1960's. This book updates what has happened to pretty near all the characters of "The Next Generation" -- which, again, I say, is a daunting task all by itself. It does treat the issue of refugees and remind us who enjoy, "just another day in paradise" as the song goes, that many of our fellow humans could use our help.
This is the end of my little vacation, btw.
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