I started blogging here in May 2003, posting daily and weekly for many years, but later only monthly or quarterly. The last post was September 2013. That was over a year ago. Let’s call it finished, at least for now. In the meantime, you can still browse my decade via the category links in sidebar. UPDATE: …and when it’s not over, it’s not over.

garden space report

growing veggies is a lot like running open space meetings. there is the smallest of plans, a short flurry of set-up and seeding, and then a lot of picking up cups (weeding) until the documentation (harvest) shows up. oh, yes… and the mystery of it all. now, apparently from nowhere, the first reports of the season are coming in.

in the last two weeks we’ve eaten arugula, spinach, kale, mesclun (though most of it mysteriously failed, despite two plantings and two different seed companies), radishes, chives. strawberries are mounding against a row of collards that are almost ready to eat. second planting of radishes went in today, plus parsley, lavender and some more basil. tomatoes started from seeds are looking like they’re going to do fine and we have twice as many of those as we really need. broccoli is looking doubtful at the moment, but may yet surprise us. corn, beans, purple cow peas, and acorn squash all went in today, too. that should be the last of the topics to be posted, until we give the meslun another, late-season, try. can’t wait to read more of the reports.

the longest-lasting bubbles ever?

this is just silly. and perhaps the longest-lasting dish soap ever.

more than six years ago, i was working in a meditation center in london, yes that london. washing dishes and cooking lunch for groups using our meeting space. mind got to really wondering about how dish soap works. so i googled it, studied up, and blogged it.

fast forward to this year and that old post is still pulling in 1 to 3, and sometimes even more, visits per day. so i googled again ‘how does dish soap work’ and discovered that my old post is the number one source for the answer. how silly is that? and look at all the places i’ve bested on this most important of questions… wikipedia, google answers, yahoo answers, science canada something or other.

see, you really do need just a little squirt.

big weekend in the garden

big cold weekend in the garden, actually. just finished‘s eight week BUGs (building urban gardens) course and couldn’t wait to get out there, even in 30-very-few degrees. so i spent the weekend moving and rebuilding a raised bed, turning and spreading compost, trying out the new leaf vac/shredder, fending off peach tree borers, and digging the concrete i broke up two years ago out of where the new fire circle wants to have grass planted. another few days and the grass will be seeded, the first of the veggies, mostly lettuces and cooking greens, will be planted in the raised beds, and tomatoes and a few other things finally started inside. we live in so many short-cycle routines. it felt great to get out and working on this big annual cycle, and to have had the gardening season expanded by all that i’ve learned these last eight weeks. reminds me of sailing out of atlantic harbors, getting out past the chop and into the big rolling ocean.

return of the blog

just skipped the last five or more versions of wordpress. the latest just rocks. and the upgrade, even skipping so many versions, was surprisingly painless. now i just need to clean up the style a bit and pull a bunch of the rest of this site into it the new platform. it looks like blogging (and the rest of the site) might be fun again.

Forgotten Chicago

Forgotten Chicago is a new website dedicated to documenting little known elements of Chicago’s infrastructure, architecture, neighborhoods and general cityscape, whether existing or historical. I just had a nice little look around and will stay tuned, hoping the site will keep growing.

Inviting Email Subscription

A new toy …er, tool. I’m giving FeedBlitz a try. See the sidebar. For those of you whose primary web destination says “Inbox” at the top. Now you can read by email. Just enter your address in the box and click add. Your address will be used for NOTHING but delivering blog posts.

Inviting Again

To blog or not to blog? Well… okay… blog. It’s been a grand experiment, but there are things I put here now that I don’t have any other place to put. Much to my surprise, and chagrin, there is more to say. So without further ado, here is where I’ve been, mostly gladly, spending big piles of attention these last four months…

  • Four weeks of being very much out in the world, in India and Nepal, honeymooning, retreating, and training in Open Space (notes for the latter, totally redesigned, forthcoming)
  • Learning to use a cellphone. Yes I finally caved, converted my oldest landline, so the number remains the same. And yes, learning… still catching myself listening for the dial tone before dialing. (grin)
  • Rebuilding the best bicycle I ever had (1981). Photo forthcoming, when it gets launched on the first good bright sunny day of Spring.
  • Tearing around Lincoln Square area on foot and on my other bicycle, learning to ride in the cold again, for first time since high school — and looking for a HOUSE.
  • Learning to ride the bike and talk on the phone.
  • Long holidays with the WHOLE family.
  • Facilitating the 2nd Annual Chicago Area Food Policy Advisory Summit, especially rewarding as this is the most lively growing edge of what started in a statewide Summit I facilitated in 2001.
  • C3 summit project, C3 weblog, green dinners, WorldChanging, and Massive Change in the City.
  • Updates to and
  • Opening Space projects, including one for the City of Aspen, a community-wide affair to cultivate broad community support to resolve a decades-old debate about what to do about inbound traffic there.

The Aspen events happen later this week, so I’m off to the airport. Inviting Again. Call me on the slopes, I’ll think I’m going to need the rest breaks!

Phone Tax Dead at 108

Imposed in 1898 to help finance the Spanish-American War, (one of the) taxes on long distance calls end today. You can even get a refund for taxes paid in the last few years. Don’t spend it all in one place.

via Mises.

Sleeping with the Lights On

It’s 2:30AM here in central Sweden, and I think it’s already starting to get light out. I’m not sure it ever really got dark. So strange to look out the window at in the middle of the night, and see all the way across the meadow!

Reading Iran

Iran Press Service is the oldest post-revolution English language Iranian publication outside Iran. Created in 1980 it is also one of the first Iranian Internet publications.

I don’t know if it’s more accurate or reliable than what comes through the mainstream media. I’m just glad to have an alternative source of information on Iranian nuclear diplomacy. Feels like I learn more reading Iranians on Iran, even when they report from Paris, than when I read Americans and Europeans, reporting from anywhere.

UPDATE: See also GlobalVoices for individual voices on Iran, thanks to Christy.

Skype me!

I’m just finishing the first wave of settling into a gorgeous new Powerbook, and OSX 10.4… so I’m finally Skype-able!

Skype me and tell me how it works! All versions of my name were taken, so my Skype name is globalchicago.

Open Question

Here are some musings from Doug Germann about OpenSpaceTech

I must confess to you that I am at a loss to describe to you this meeting. We come to it and meet in a way that shares more of us than we ever planned to share, and it makes us whole; it reveals our beauty-individually and as a community. It causes us to go our and do something we thought larger than us, beyond our reach, but there it is, being done. And when we come away, we come away changed profoundly and surely, and yet we are unable to put in words in what way nor prescribe a way for others to get there.

And yes, that’s pretty much how it is for me, too. It’s all the little aligning and connectings that take place that clearly, if still mysteriously, support new action. I like Doug’s line too, about “What if conversation is how we consciously evolve?”

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