More optimistic

I've been finding more job leads in the last week and a half that seem like things I can actually do than in the previous month and a half. With one of them I might even get free school as a benefit. (I'm working on the application for that job first)

bike debate frustrations

On Friday I hosted a debate between two people running for city council in Portland. I got two video recordings, and both of them had problems. One had horrible sound. The file for the other one won't even play.

Any experts out there want to help fix the header of the video that won't play? There ought to be someone who understands mpeg file formats.

Vegetarian political power

I became vegetarian because of being disgusted by roadkill, and thinking wow I eat dead animals what am I thinking. Though it's true that a picture of something gross changed me I don't think that is the best way to recruit new members. I think the way to get new members to anything is to either make it fun, or show how it's going to save them money. Pictures of tormented animals aren't going to do either.

I've been really active in the bicycling sector, and have been considering how I can promote some of my other values. I've gone to a few veggie events, and mostly been either disturbed, or bored. One presentation stood out though. One by someone who worked for one of the environmental organizations of the government. He detailed quite well how much of our resources were wasted on the inefficiency of animal products. You would have much more food if you eating crops directly instead of feeding them to animals, and then eating the animals. There is a lot of pollution involved too. So much is wasted in fact that a vegan driving an SUV may very well have less environmental impact than someone with a typical American meat eating diet who bikes exclusively. I think it might be possible to make this into something that is easier to promote. Saving resources effectively saves money. We just have to figure out a way to make that fun, and perhaps we have a marketing campaign.

So how does this all work in the bicycling sector. The league of American bicyclists refers to the 5 E's Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. It's I'm sure a bit different with veggie stuff, but here is my take on a translation of the paradigm.

This is a lot of work. Have to figure out the numbers to make a convincing case. Have to do the math for resources needed, and the math for nutrition. Need to put infrastructure in place to make being vegetarian/vegan a practical choice.

Teach people the benefits they will get from a standpoint of costs, health, happiness. Teach them to cook. Teach them to grow their own food.

Make being vegan fun! How is food fun? Food is usually a part of every party. Cooking, and gardening can also be fun activities. How often should there be a fun filled vegan event? If you don't have to make a choice as to which event to go to on any given day there aren't enough events.

I'm not saying there should be vegan police giving tickets. Where we need enforcement is when a business claims something is vegan, or cruelty free it really should be. There are laws against false advertising, and they should be used.

Evaluation & Planning:
How is the plan to get people to eat less meat working out? Do we need to change our way of doing things?

Political power is based on a few things. How many people support an issue. How many people oppose an issue, and how loud each of them are to elected officials. The fraction of people in Portland who bike commutes is about the same as the fraction of them that are vegetarian. Though the cyclists have a LOT more political power. They influence elections. Why do they have so much more power? A few things. Most people who don't bike generally support the idea. It benefits them indirectly by less congestion, less pollution, and lower health insurance premiums. Vegetarians, and vegans on the other hand are seen as weirdos that pass out gross pictures. How can we get the non vegetarians to see us as a benefit to society, to support us even if they don't join us? Change how we promote ourselves! We are people who reduce pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. We teach people how to not go hungry by eating less expensively. We turn wasted city land into gardens. Speak with that kind of message, and instead of opposition there will be government sponsorship of our activities. Corporate sponsorship. Exponential growth of converts. And of course with more converts our power grows.

I'm not saying that the people who are passing out gross pictures are wasting their time. I mean a gross picture changed me. I think though that my way will work better. I hope to start something soon.

I might have an ego in thinking that I know best. I admit that. I've been in the paper, and caused government money to be spent because of one of my actions, and on Friday I'm hosting a debate between people running for office. I know I'm an agent of change, so perhaps my ego isn't entirely unfounded. We shall see.

off balance

I woke up confident. Fairly happy. Feeling like I knew what I was going to do with my day. Then the phone rang. Nothing of substance was said. A number accidentally dialed from a phone while fumbling around in a bag. Still though that has resulted in my trying to recover my balance every minute since then. I haven't fallen down, hopefully I won't even have to put my foot down.

Contract signed

Not a full time job just a consulting gig. Maybe I can get enough of these to pay the bills? That would be a nice way to get off of unemployment. It does however seem to mean massive amounts of reading to learn the specifics of the tasks at hand. That only serves to make me more valuable to employers. You could call it my personal intellectual capital.

Excitement at my core

I'm feeling unusually happy, and optomistic at the moment. I've gotten so many new contacts in the last week that might help me find a job that it is kinda overwelming just following up with all of them.

There have now been three city council hopefuls who have come to my bike lunch event.

Perhaps the most exciting though is the people I've met recently.

A different person

I feel like I am a very different person than I used to be. I'm not sure what that means yet. Still there is much about me that is the same. I think I want to change my user profiles in all the online communities I participate in. The ones I have up now are not the me of today, but me of the past. Something that I guess hasn't changed is that it still takes effort to write something interesting. I guess this isn't going to be it. I don't have the will to write something interesting right now, but perhaps just the fact that I am interested writing again will be interesting to people who used to follow me.

Archiving old profile before I write a new one...

I like to talk to random people, and I like to help people, so go ahead, and ask me a question. Sometimes I am busy, but I will still try to be kind. I usually login to multiple services now thanks to gaim, but sometimes I am only on AIM. I don't think anyone has contacted me through jabber yet.

brad wanted us to write a small book about ourselves right?

Email: Look at my msn user name. I read that email occasionally. I want to get away from everything M$ has control over, but so many things are connected to only that email address. Maybe a gmail account, but I guess people don't trust Google either. My main email that I actually have an email program setup to read I don't like getting any spam in so I only give it out to the people I trust the most. And for the most part I don't get spam in it. Hurrah!

Location: I don't actually live in Portland, but it is the closest big city, and many people I know live there so I figured if people are going to look for others in their area they will probably look for people in Portland not people in a not well known city near Portland. I happen to live about two driving miles south of the Cornelius city limits. Zip code 97113. I have a Forest Grove phone number, and I am in the Hillsboro school district. I have my latitude, and longitude written down around here somewhere I am sure.

zapob is also me only with posts too disturbing for some with virginal minds, and might include stuff that you don't want to look at while you are at work.

Join my cult pytharwinism. Basically a religion for people who don't know what to believe, so we believe in mathematics, and evolution because most reasonable people do. If I was good about being a strong leader something might actually happen with it, but soon after I started it I realized it isn't a very well defined idea in my head. I should probably delete some posts, and make it seem more serious, but that is a significant amount of work, and I don't like deleting other peoples posts. I would really like it if I could just make their posts invisible until there were enough posts in the group to make them unnoticed by most people.


Real Name: "Daniel Patrick Johnson" There are so many "Dan Johnson's" in the world, and especially in the USA that omitting the middle name practically makes me anonymous. It would probably take you over a month to find me as I think there are about 15,000 in the USA. My middle name is pretty common too. My middle name was picked because I was born on St. Patrick's day.

Gender: Male

Sexual preference: I like girls.

Culinary Preference: Vegetarian for moral reasons. I don't like to think I am eating a murdered creature. If you count plants as creatures I guess I am guilty. I don't living things being mistreated. Maybe I will become vegan some day, but right now it is so hard for me to find veritably vegan food that I would probably starve to death. Well actually I don't have to willpower to go without eating for even a single day.

Hair: My hair is very curly, and it gets out of control when I let it grow too long. It was blond when I was little don't know what to call it now. Catherine says it is brown.

Hight: 6'2" <- Below average in my family

Weight: I was doing a good job of working on it. I managed to get it lower, but it has been creeping up for a long time now. I can say that I am much healthier than I was when I started working on it. I can do much more without getting worn out.

Girlfriend: snarble AKA Catherine AKA Catie is my favorite person. I think she is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and has much better memory, as well as spelling than I do. I met her through this LiveJournal in January or was it February of 2003 as a result of the death of a mutual LJ friend atroposmoirae who we both loved. She lives in the Houston Texas area which is about 2500 miles of road away from Portland Oregon. So we are apart for such long periods of time. I miss her a lot. By means of air travel we have managed to spend about 7 weeks together between January 1 2004, and August 1 2004. That has for the most part emptied each of our money reserves, but I can say without hesitation that it was well worth it. I feel the most alive that I can remember in my whole life. We video conference, instant message, post messages in each others LJ's, and talk on the phone to ease the pain of being apart. There is talk that perhaps one of us will move to be closer to the other, or we might apply to the same school for the same reason.

Scary Smart: Depends on who you talk to. I seem to be getting smarter if that is possible.

Job: I'm currently developing my skills with GNU/Linux, c, and perl programming. I'm hoping this will give me new opportunities. I have a lot of ideas for products, and services I think I could sell. I'm working on developing some of them, and would like to start my own business as soon as I have stuff ready. Meanwhile I have to pretty much beg for money. I'm interested in having a part time job as long as it doesn't get in the way of going to school. I am also willing to do consulting work for a modest fee. I have done professional sales, and tech support with about a year of experience each. I can fix various problems with popular M$ operating systems, Mac OS, and Linux.

Car: Subaru Legacy. I would rather have a Subaru Impreza WRX.

Aspirations: I would really like to be an mathematician, computer programmer, inventor, scientist, or some combination of that. I just need to follow through with one of my many ideas. I'm getting closer to getting there, but it takes an awfully long time. I really want to get back to school, and work on mastering some interests, and some things that aren't really that interesting to me, but skills I need to master none the less. The degree I most want to have is a PHD in mathematics. Does that say anything about my nerd status?

TheSparks personality test says that I am a DIAT, or experimenter. Not that I use thespark anymore, and I think my personality changes a bit over time.

I love solving puzzles. I'm good at it.

Alternative Lifestyle. Alternative OS.
Linux Distro Logos
Linux is love.

I moved to Portland one year ago today

I'm not sure how much I have changed Portland by being here, but it has certainly changed me. Dramatically! Besides the 50+ pounds that I have lost I am also much more busy that I can remember being before in my life. The only workweek evening I had off last week was Friday, but then I went to a two hour event Friday morning before work, an hour event at lunch, and went to a bar with coworkers after my shift ended. I have more friends, and more confidence.

I've started working on a career change. Bicycling has become such a big part of my life that I really feel like I'm fooling myself if I don't try to somehow make it what I do for a living. A little over a week ago I went to a panel of Women talking about how they turn cycling into a career [1]. I found Natalie Ramsland's story particularly inspiring. She was in architecture school, and realized that she kept designing bike related things.

The earliest memory I can recall is of being in a child seat on the back of my Dad's bike, and my sister being in a similar seat on the back of my mom's bike. I remember that I thought it was the most fun thing ever. One of the earliest successful entrepreneurial jobs I ever did was fixing the bikes of kids with a friend out of his garage in Elementary, or Jr. High. The first job I ever applied for was to fix bikes.

I want to do bike related stuff. I also want to utilize the tech skills that I have spent so much time developing over the years too. That doesn't mean I just want to do IT for a cycling related company. That wouldn't be much of a career change. I have a few things I'm working on. It will really be a big leap when it happens. I have to try though, or I will never be me. Last night I got one of my projects to a hello world stage. I was pretty happy, and excited about that.

[1] http://bikeportland.org/2007/10/18/today-women-get-down-to-bike-business/
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Sleep deprived

First there was the feeling that something alive was on my arm. I brushed my arm in a rather panicky way, and grabbed a flashlight from the side of my bed to see if it was anything. If I hadn't killed it I had at least critically injured it in my blindly brushing it off of myself. I looked around for signs of where it came from but of course it was just the one. This made it a little harder for me to get to sleep. I consoled myself with "the poisonous ones that live in Oregon never even get half that big, I was never really in danger". Did I mention it was big?

Then there was the party upstairs at 2AM.

But this morning looking around I see no obvious evidence that any of this really happened. Was it all just little nightmares? Am I going crazy?