Native Plant Wish List

Lower Mississippi Delta

Virginia buttonweed (Diodia virginiana)
southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
black cherry (Prunus serotina)
serviceberry (juneberry)
- common or downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
- Canadian serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
common pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
native plum
- Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia)
- Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
- American plum (Prunus americana)
- wild goose plum (Prunus munsoniana)
wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
mayhaw / May hawthorn
- Crataegus aestivalis
- Crataegus opaca
mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus)
rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium)
flame azalea (Rhododendrum calendulaceum)
coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)
wax myrtle (Morella cerifera)
cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
ironweed
- giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea)
- Missouri ironweed (Vernonia missurica)
common blue violet (Viola soraria)
calico aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum)
frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora)
native milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa)
self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)
large-leaf aster (Eurybia macrophylla)
hempvine (Mikania scandens)
Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica)
spring avens (Geum vernum)
maypop (Passiflora incarnata)

To Travel With Meat

A vanlifer I follow recently installed a freezer. I’m watching because it’s interesting and I like knowing how this is done, but I don’t plan on putting in a freezer, either into my tiny house or any future van.

One of my primary principles is to reduce electricity needs to the very barest minimum, so that production and storage of electricity is the barest minimum. I don’t want to fool with big batteries and huge solar arrays.

The ancestors, who didn’t have refrigeration, also hunted and fished and traveled with meat, so I’d like to learn to do it their way, by drying and canning. For example …

More about drying fish here.

Trades Cooperative

So yesterday I watched a video of a startup webinar from the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. What the presenter is talking about seems a lot bigger than what I’m thinking of, but in the Q&A portion, he did say that 3-7 members to start off was a good size, so maybe not.

I’m thinking of a trades cooperative, with an administrator (me, since that’s my skill), an electrician, a plumber, and a carpenter. Maybe one other, since I like an odd number for voting purposes. A brick-and-tile specialist?

I’ve noticed that a lot of independent tradespeople lack the organization to do things like follow up on estimates or reschedule appointments, adjust schedules, that sort of thing. That’s got to be costing them a lot of business.

And while they keep all the proceeds when freelancing, they have to fool with all the stuff that’s outside their skillset. Banding together in a cooperative sounds like a way better alternative than taking employment at a typical business. The pay would be better and profit is shared. And they don’t answer the phone or manage the calendar or send the invoices.

Could I start by freelancing the administration? And then after doing a good job for a while, sell them on the security of a coop, with the benefits of things like health insurance.

Patently Insane

I was looking up trades administration to see if it’s a thing, and not only is it a thing, they offer bachelor’s degrees in it.

The whole thing is patently insane. I found this page at Capitol Technology University in Maryland — I had to go look up where they were because I was sure they must be talking about Canadian dollars in this image:

I want to ask them, “Are you completely insane?” You want people in the DC area, with a cost of living surely higher than mine in coastal Carolina, to obtain a bachelor’s degree so they can aspire to make a pittance and barely get by? Those last two salaries are probably sufficient down here, but they can’t be up there, and the rest of them represent struggle even here.

Why would I go in hock for an education to make just enough to continue struggling? This is crazy!

And then again, those salaries are for employment. If the administrator were working for a coop with profit sharing, that could be a lot better.

But I’m still not falling for this degree nonsense.

I should point out that this degree is meant to be sought after by people “working the industrial trades who want to start and manage their own businesses.” So this is supposed to be supplemental education for those who already got proficiency at their trade. And yet the above makes it look like a step down for their livelihood rather than a step up.

Propaganda

Woo hoo! My commie propaganda has arrived!

By the way, I found out after I had ordered it that this book is available as a free PDF if you diligently search for it. Oh well.

So the idea I wonder about is: will the revolution come by out-capitaling the capitalists? Do we buy/build the means of production rather than seizing them? Do we take business plans and organizations etc. and strike out the C-suite and replace every instance of “owner” with “members” — the members being the worker-owners? Do we replace boards of directors with workers’ councils?

Right now there’s a “labor shortage” that isn’t a real shortage at all. It’s a glut of crap jobs. Nobody wants crap jobs and with the pandemic on, many feel free to retrain and take employment elsewhere, where the pay, benefits, and company culture are better.

Capitalism loves to mistreat employees because they don’t deserve better, in its mindset. It doesn’t see them as generators of stolen labor. Worker-owned businesses with better pay, benefits, culture, and PROFIT SHARING?!?!?! Those stand a fine chance to out-compete capitalist enterprises for their labor. I mean, where would YOU like to work?

If you take all that money and respect that is currently funneled straight to the C-suite and executives and instead distribute it to the workers, what would you get?

I am learning about mutual aid cooperatives stepping in where governments fail us. In the motel model from the last entry, what if an education cooperative ran a school in the off-hours in the restaurant? This could become super important as more and more states refuse to let their schools teach science and history.

My home state has no recycling; could we form a recycling cooperative?

What else could we pitch in together on? It blows my mind how things like this are stigmatized as “other” when US pioneers and farmers know damn well about barn raising and volunteer fire departments. Pitching in together was how Indigenous people did things on Turtle Island. If I understand correctly, there weren’t necessarily rich people or rich families, but rich villages and tribes. That completely makes sense.

I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about these things, and I’m so ignorant. There’s so much theory, but I want to study practice. I want to study best practice, lessons learned. What worked and what failed. What basic principles are sound and what ones are shaky.

Surely somebody has done a basics curriculum, right?

Housing Ideas – Motel Model

  • Form an LLC.
    • I don’t know what the starter business should be that begins the LLC, but there should probably be one.
    • Give the LLC a capitalist name like Fillmore Investment Group.
    • Each employee of the LLC receives one vote in representation.
  • The LLC buys a motel.
  • The LLC makes any necessary improvements.
  • The LLC sells the units as condos, retaining ownership of the infrastructure elements and the restaurant, if any.
    • If it’s illegal in a location to sell a condo that has no kitchen, the LLC can alternatively sell owner shares in the LLC which come with the benefit of a specific unit.
    • Each unit (or member) receives one vote in representation.
  • The LLC charges a fee for maintenance and insurance.
  • If there is a restaurant, the LLC rents out the restaurant, preferably to a cooperative.
    • If the budget allows, the rent from the restaurant can support maintenance and insurance, and the occupant-owners. need not pay a fee.
  • The LLC rents out their laundry facility to a cooperative business.
    • Any self-help laundry facilities remain available for the occupant-owners.
  • The proceeds from condo/share sales and facility rentals not only go to repay the LLC’s original mortgage to obtain the motel, but also may be used to purchase an additional motel and start the cycle over again.
  • Each motel participates in direct democracy to make decisions affecting the whole location.
  • Each motel elects a representative to a council that directs the activities of the LLC.

Questions:

  • If an LLC employee buys into a condo, do they get two votes?
  • How big can the LLC sustainably get?
  • Do the restaurant and the laundry get votes?
    • If so, does each business get one vote?
    • Do the representatives go to the location’s council, the LLC’s council, or both?
  • I cannot possibly be the first person to think of this. Who else has drawn up plans?
    • Is anyone already working on models like this?
    • If so, who?
    • If so, can they be hired to provide a report?

PS:

  • Open source
  • Best practice

Toy and Water

I did not post an update when I added new buttons to the soundboard. I did update howtheycantalk.org but not here. Anyway, we’ve added Water and Toy. Sophie actually did press Water the other day when I asked her to because I knew the bowl was empty (and she cares about that more than Kai does). The look on her face every time I do that says she understands, but I don’t think she understands yet that the buttons are for her to tell me things. Right now buttons are something I use before I do something she’s interested in. Like a warning or something.

What Am I Studying Now?

And is it Six Subjects?

Probably not.

I have an ongoing and slow moving study going involving Introducing the New Testament, 2nd Edition. I’m only just wrapping up Chapter 2 and I’ve been at it for weeks.

I’m also working on my 9th Step.

I’ve already written about my battle against Malassezia yeast. There’s a huge learning curve with that.

Ongoing study of racial equity. Recently read How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged by Kimberly Jones. Currently reading Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I have several more titles in my list but next up is White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson.

Growing up, I learned to hate communism but never actually learned what it was. So I’m working on that now. It’s really hard. A lot of the foundational texts are written in lofty language that has become hard for me to follow and explainer videos are either just as obtuse or sneeringly dismissive. I did get Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx, A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics by Hadas Thier, and Workers’ Councils by Anton Pannekoek.

Related, but not exactly the same, I’m learning about cooperative business models. Last night I rented Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work, a documentary about cooperative businesses in Spain (not in Marinaleda, which you may have already heard of) and in the US. There is a huge amount of additional information at the website of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Also looking at several resources about mutual aid.

Still training the dogs on talking buttons, but that’s a bit more about supplying data for research than consuming research.

This all is, of course, not counting the constant YouTubing for information about things I have to do. Like replacing a ceiling fan, snaking drains, and sanding floors.

On hold: I’ve got a huge stack of US history books that I want to get to soon.

Human Skin Things, Part 2

The regimen that seems to be working is taking a three-prong approach. Kill the fungus with ketoconazole and tea tree oil. Starve the fungus with moisturizers and cleansers that don’t contain the oils they like. I learned even more about Malassezia on this page, and it was seriously helpful. And here’s that author’s list of safe products.

I wash my face and ears with CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser twice per day, once prior to my shower in the morning and once before going to bed.
Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo every day until the scabs/scales are gone, then reduce to every 3 days until the flakes are gone, then reduce to once every 2-3 weeks as preventive. Apply shampoo, let remain for 5 minutes, rinse, reapply, then rinse again. I have not yet decided on shampoo and conditioner to use the rest of the time. If body symptoms are severe, use Nizoral as a body wash instead of the castille soap below until improved.
As the skin gets better, I use Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Pure-Castile Tea Tree Soap.
After the shower, I apply 2% Ketoconazole to all the affected areas. I apply Hydrocortisone to any severely affected areas after the antifungal is fully absorbed. I apply Hydrocortisone occasionally also.
In the morning I moisturize face, ears, neck, bosom, and arms with CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. It’s got sunscreen. It’s oil free.
In the morning I moisturize the rest of me with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. At bedtime I moisturize all of me with it.
ogx
I treat my scalp with OGX Tea Tree Mint Extra Strength Scalp Treatment after my shower and at bedtime.