the_skinny

Urban Hiking: the Yellow Brick Road

It all started when I woke up to doggie diarrhea. I have wall to wall carpeting, and unless you are a product tester for Nature's Miracle, they just do not mix.

My dog has a sensitive stomach, and this isn't the first time for this kind of rude awakening, so after the mess was cleaned up, I decided to look for fencing materials. Sometimes these bouts of digestive distress can last for days, and I wanted to avoid multiple puddles while I am away at work.

So I headed out looking for abandoned chain link fence. Why pay $70 for more fencing material than I need, when I can…

Read More

The New Revolutionary

snowden_hope

It's time to start retelling ourselves the story of what it means to be a Revolutionary before we are lead to believe what we are reading and seeing in the Corporate/State-run media.

The call to revolution is not a call heard only by those who will resort to, or have resorted to, violent acts against humanity or the state: it is a call heard by a moral majority of humanity, many of whom are unaware of their allegiance to this movement.

We are in a collective state of blessed…

Read More

How the Revolution will be Wired

Communication is becoming increasingly web-based as the use of database-driven social media tools and apps becomes standard for social interactions, business, networking, and project management.

While this technology is being used by many, it is in the hands of relatively few.  Larger businesses and organizations with the resources to build and maintain comprehensive custom database driven technology platforms have an edge in a market where a users attention and participation online is a benchmark for success.

Smaller organizations, with much smaller technology…

Read More

Translate This Button: the 15 minute module that will open up your world.

I just translated my entire site into 36 languages. It took maybe 15 minutes, might take the novice a half hour, and is probably the best half hour you will ever spend on your site.

You can do it, too.

A drupal module that combines the amazing power of Google Translate with the ineffable coolness of drupal called Translate This Button is well worth…

Read More

Least we forget ourselves

NOLA House

I remember an indomitable spirit when I was 8 and prancing around in the forest or at a campground somewhere. Something that would overtake me, and that gave everything a smell and taste and feel of something really special always about to happen.

I wonder if 8 year old's still feel that way.

I wonder if 8 year old's still go around mesmerized by the puzzle-piece-butterscotch of some ponderosa pines: go around walking just to find and smell the candy bark. Or…

Read More

Fishing in a Bottle

I was told to put fish in my office.

I don't want to give away too many trade secrets.  My sister said it was good for feng shui and encouraging abundance (money).  She said that I should get Betta fish because they are nearly indestructible.  So I got two, just in case.

The point being that sometimes running your life can be just about as scientific as a Ouija board.  In this case, I'm ramping up for business.  Economic disaster or not, I'm convinced that there are folks out there who want and need websites and databases.  And really, why shouldn't they?

Organizations…

Read More

Creative Strategies for Survival

I don't need to say why this is important right now. We all get it and experience it every day. Survival is getting tricky for all of us but especially for organizations who rely on grant and foundation money for their bread and butter.

Survival of the Creative

We attribute 'survival of the fittest' to Darwin. And regardless of whether it really was Darwin or not, I would argue that to be creative is what was meant.
The word 'fit' conjures images of cave folk running away from woolly mammoths: the fast ones made it, the slower ones got squished. Or we might…

Read More

Atitlan: a city worth it's salt.

Atitlan in real life is a lake with many villiages and communities surrounding it's waters. These villages each have a unique personality, and different aspects (small, large, crime, less crime, friendly, protective, road access, etc.) that make them unique.

Taken individually, each village community is small, and their infrastructure does not of it's own accord necessarily demand attention.

If the assemblage of lake communities in their totality is taken as one whole (where the villages are…

Read More

Mapping for Food Security with Online Web-tools

I was recently in New Orleans working with different organizations and government officials to better understand the opportunities that data-driven websites and online information systems would present in mitigating the effects of tragedy. In their case, the tragedy has happened, and they are very aware that it might happen again. Their experience in having to rebuild after Katrina has made it clear to them the importance of being prepared, and the things that become important in this kind of an…

Read More

Fukushima, living in a post-historic world, and doing my part to put the rap back into rapture.

http://www.scottgbrooks.com(digital art courtesy of http://www.scottgbrooks.com)

These days I begin my morning with a bowel movement, a smoothie, and short self-reminding acknowledgment that I am living in a post-historic world.

What that means for me transcends what I have normally understood when the Buddhists and other spiritual traditions talk about non-permanence.

It means that in addition to understanding that I, a…

Read More

Holy Wars

The wars we wage against ourselves are probably the only wars that are truly holy - truly blessed. Maybe because they are the only ones in which winning is even possible. It feels like I am probably in the middle of one such war, or maybe just a particularly nasty battle. I trust that I am destined to win eventually. I feel blessed on days when I understand that there is no other outcome possible. It can be hard keeping the faith sometimes.

Which brings me to the Santa Fe Flea Market. My good…

Read More

The Gospel according to Thursday

If all the DNA in my body that the doctors always told me was junk is really my own internal internet system connecting me with the rest of humanity, then what would become possible?

If this long and glorious experience that I was under the impression I was having in 'real time' on this planet is really just the day dream of one mitochondria in one cell inside the gut of the one true love and light and ever-giving presence of God, then what would it mean to 'fail'?

Imagine that you are…

Read More

Too Much Information


The information that surrounds us has many layers.

Overlapping like so many translucent angels projected onto the screen of 3 dimensions, they give the part of our brains that actually notice these kinds of things subtle clues, urgent or whispering compulsions, maps, even. Our lives are spent dancing through the eddies of these projections.

We are continually softened like river rocks.

In…

Read More

Finding money in Trees

As all business people do from time to time, I was sitting in front of my computer yesterday and wondering if I was going to have enough work in 6 weeks to sustain me.  It's something that can eat away at a person.  It's a fear that we are almost encouraged to have these days.  When we talk about it with friends or colleagues, they shake their heads and agree.  And so we think we find our fears, sadly, justified.

Until we look out into the world around us - at really what's going on.  I don't mean this is a zen way.  Let me explain.

Today I was getting ready for work, hopped…

Read More

These things are designed to break us open

jung redbookAbout a year and a half ago, I had the privilege of meeting Jo Carson, who read her incredible account of her own death from which she returned at the Alternate ROOTS annual meeting in 2010.

Jo spent her life talking and writing about the way symbols and stories co-create and become us. At the annual meeting,…

Read More

Chasing the Dragon: or how I'm curing my Lyme Disease

We are all habitat.  Microscopic condos for animals old as dirt.  We breath and eat at their mercy.

I first found out I had Lyme Disease in 2003, about 3 years after I initially became infected.  In order to find it, I had to reassemble my own history.  I haven't trusted my memory since.

I was living in Carbondale, CO and we had just declared war on Iraq.  I wasn't getting meaningful work in my field, and so I spent a lot of my time tracking down the plastic candy machine salesman who…

Read More

Miner's Canary

Some folks are miner's canaries.

One of the liabilities of mining is that there are all sorts of gas pockets in the mantel of the earth. Miners would run into them, and because often they are odorless the miners would asphyxiate. Canaries are little beings, and their bodies have a much lower tolerance for poison. A miners canary sacrifices (in most cases unwillingly) it's existence so that a much greater body can survive.

When we look at the conditions of society at…

Read More

The Muppet Pirates

I'm sitting in a recording studio in New Orleans listening to my friends record their 4th album: two blocks away from where I am staying with a friend in the Bywater. It floors me the extent to which my life right now is a series of pretty and benevolent accidents.

At some point I decided that, as long as I'm living, I might as well make things interesting. And even more recently decided that interesting does not always have to include a broken heart. I am listening to myself write…

Read More

Cloud Computing and Free/Open Source Software

cloud

Within the field of technology, there is an undeniable bias towards web applications. There are a number of reasons for this. While still nascent, the internet is the most stable infrastructures in large part due to it's lack of centralization. It is also one of the single most readily available communication tools (probably right next to the telephone). Unlike telephone communication, the internet has the ability to store information in digital form, and host applications that can…

Read More

Creation Myths

We write our own stories. We make shit up, and then we listen to ourselves say it out loud. We create ourselves over and over again this way. We decorate our houses like hermit crabs, we wear certain clothes, and we use them like props in the play about that time we spent here, once.

That we believe these plays are true makes them confusing, and that we believe they are important makes them holy.

In mysterious ways that we don't always grok, we create ourselves from…

Read More

Green Eggs and Ham: a resolution.

There are a host of us who have been accused of having a Peter Pan complex out there, and we're sensitive. The inference that we might be acting childishly, or clinging to childish things is one that some of us generally avoid. 'Why even go there?', we might ask? 'What good would it do in the end?'

So - trust me - I am not turning my back on my fellow victims of Peter Pan complex accuse, when I say that my resolution this year is to have more Green Eggs and Ham.

Read More

Tips for Embarking on a Website Project

So you've come to the realization either that your current website isn't working for you, or that you want to create a new website for yourself, but you don't know where to start? You've come to the right place.

What kind of website?

There are different kinds of websites technologies out there that can make the web more accessible to you and your clients/customers/supporters. Below, I will briefly list each one, and talk about the pros and cons of each. Remember that there is no 'right' or 'wrong' type. They all work, it just depends on what your needs are.

Read More