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Completed my civic duty today by holding my nose and voting for the most environmentally sound option in our provincial election.

Sadly, the most environmentally sound option still has very poor positions relating to climate justice and moving away from our late-capitalist system, but I guess I'd rather have an unequal living world than one where everyone & everything is dead.

Still a near-zero percent chance of getting elected in this riding mind you...

It's a far cry from what I was originally planning to do this summer, but I have a small potted all set up. I've already gathered a few of the smallest (but sweetest) strawberries one could imagine.

For fruits & vegetables, I have the aforementioned strawberries, plus green peppers, Thai chillies, tomatoes, white onions, carrots, Bok Choy, and a mystery bean growing.

Also a nice little selection of flowers to attract some bees to my small patio area. Still needs more work, but a start.

Finally hopped on my new bike and circled my little ones as they took theirs for a test spin.

My eldest aimed straight for a metal pole and smoked his new helmet pretty good, but after some coaxing we got him back up and going.

I can hardly wait to get out there and give my bike a thorough run instead of these light glides, but I'll take every moment I can.

SR.Gray boosted

Hi fediverse! Boosts appreciated on this one.

I’m part of a co-op building a platform for artists to sell art without getting exploited. I’ve been working on it for a while but there’s a lot of work to do and I could use some help. A ton of the main features are in place, but there’s still some big gaps and a lot of polish left before it can launch.

The platform is fully open source and developed in the open. It’s built on Phoenix/Elixir and Tailwindcss. Our co-op is already incorporated and established and it’s open to members that want to actually commit but you don’t need to be a member to contribute or help.

Does this sound interesting? I’d love some help! I’m also happy to answer questions. And no, you don’t need to know Elixir already. It’s pretty easy to learn for the things you’d be using it for. Even some design help would be welcome. Feel free to reply here or DM me!


Well, is all wrapped up.

There were definitely some interesting parts. Some panels were more entertaining than others, some were more applicable than others, and some were more capitalist than others.

As a fiction-focused Con, it played out pretty well. I'll have to do a bit of a write-up on it a little later this week at .

The main question is how to keep the conversation, and the movement toward a reality, going?

That's something that we'll have to look at more thoroughly.

Closing in on the end of the first panel at .

The 2nd panel, although titled "Empowering Future Communities" is on "Powering Future Communities."

With the PeerTube feed's instance ( ) having some issues with streaming due to the load, I highly advise joining it on YouTube instead.

SR.Gray boosted

This upcoming weekend is Solarise Con 2022 (register here). Described as “A day of global conversation on Solarpunk, a movement and a subgenre of speculative fiction in which humanity has addressed climate change.” There are four panels, complete with Q&A sessions, starting at 14:00 CEST (or 8:00 Eastern), and each panel seems to offer a different avenue to explore in the Solarpunk genre.

Real Solarpunk Technology (8:00 am Eastern)

The morning opens up with Star Ngei, Martin Restrepo, and Barbara Schack discussing tech. Based on the backgrounds of the panellists, I expect this panel will heavily lean on open source tech & programming. I also anticipate discussion on repurposing older & more affordable hardware for new & innovative use.

However, from the Solarise event page this panel will look at:

How can we work towards a Solarpunk future where we co-exist with technology without creating a technocracy? The answers may already be here. Our international panellists will showcase how to think about technology differently based on true stories from their communities.

From Solarise Con 2022

As the panellists are from Kenya/Poland (Star), Brazil (Martin), and Denmark (Barbara), this will provide quite a varied look at how technology is applied. I really hope they end up talking about more than just the rollout of solar setups, off-shore wind turbines, and the like. Those are great places to start, but there isn’t much left to that conversation for the converted.

Empowering Future Communities (9:45 am Eastern)

Solarpunk is all about community action & benefit. It’s about looking beyond individuals and improving the lives of the community. As a result, I think this topic could be the most important part of Solarise.

Unfortunately, it appears they went a bit in a different direction. Professor Joshua Pearce (Canada – engineer with a focus on photovoltaics), Emilio Velis (El Salvadore – director at Appropedia), and Sophie Paul (UK – director at Reading Hydro) are the panellists, which should provide for a very interesting, electricity-focused, conversation.

During the panel, the panellists will examine the following questions:

What does the path towards a fossil-fuel free future look like? How might we consider decentralisation of power, in quite literal terms? Could we—and should we—consider pathways to facilitate energy-independence and autonomy at a community level?

From Solarise Con 2022

As noted, it looks like the folks at Solarise chose to focus more on a play-on-words (emPOWERing) rather than the community aspect of the panel title. However, there is mention of decentralization, so it will likely focus on how power generation projects can be applied at local levels. Still an interesting topic, but not quite as it first appeared from the title.

Is Solarpunk Just Another Style? (11:30 am Eastern)

I’m not going to dig into this one too deeply, it’s all about aesthetics:

An attempt to visualise an alternative future inevitably takes us down the route of aesthetics — what could this new future look like? How would we dress if we were part of this future? What would be our new identifying symbols? A quick image search would yield cityscapes that are lush with green, some with hints of photovoltaic means of energy generation, and a few scattered wind turbines. How accurate are these images in depicting Solarpunk as a movement? And is “solarpunk fashion” actually an oxymoron?

From Solarise Con 2022

This is likely a much lighter panel, and I feel like there will be a more lively discussion between the attendees and the panellists, but will anything really be learned? I don’t think so. Solarise is aimed more toward fiction creatives than builders of a solarpunk society. This panel fits well with that audience.

What’s Holding Us Back From a Better Tomorrow? (1:15 pm Eastern)

From the title, it sounds like the panellists (Roberto Zamora, Juan Pablo Zamora, Phoebe Wagner, and L.X. Beckett) will be discussing the challenges that stand between where we are today and a solarpunk future. However, as the panellists are filmmakers and writers, and as Solarise has slightly misled with its topics in the past, let’s look at their description first:

Our society resembles stories we like to tell; we revere a good hero—a singular person to champion a cause, someone to symbolise our aspirations. And if someone goes on a mission or conquest, or comes up with a new startup idea, we call them an “entrepreneur” or a “hero” — they become a genius even if these terms perpetuate inequality or the myth of the “great man. We worship them even when their ideas do not benefit the many. But true change is rarely the work of one person. Change happens when communities form and work together towards a common cause. How can we change our narratives so we move from a hero-obsessed cyberpunk present, to a collective solarpunk future?

From Solarise Con 2022

Again, the title is slightly misleading, as it appears the panellists will be talking about changing narratives from the single hero (ie: Greta Thunberg) to collective action (ie: Fridays for Future). Once again, as Solarise Con is aimed at creatives working in the solarpunk genre, this basis of conversation makes sense. I do expect it to be very writer-focused, so people who do not have a background in writing may feel a little out of water depending on the flow of conversation.

But it still applies!

However, even discussion about changing the narrative in a creative sense (ie in scripts, books, comics, etc), those of us looking to create a solarpunk reality will find useful discussion. After all, we can’t create a solarpunk future, if everyone is still looking for the individual leaders and heroes to lead them to that point. We need to work together to make it happen, and we’ll need to change how we discuss climate justice, power generation, gardening, etc. so that it reflects community action.

Solarise Con 2022 Live Watch Discussion

With panellists deep in conversation, attendees may want to dig further into the info. There will be times when people want to talk about what they’ve just heard. I know that’s a big concern for me. Whether it’s the tech, power generation, or how to change the narrative, I’m going to want to discuss it.

For those attending, there will be a Q&A with the panellists. That’s great. It’s good to get some feedback and further insight from those presenting the ideas. However, there’s a limit to what they can cover, both in time and range of knowledge.

As a result, having a live watch discussion is a great idea. Full credit goes to Neuromantic for proposing it. There were a handful of people that expressed interest. As a result, the folks over at Sunbeam City will be having a live chat throughout the day on Matrix.

I’m hoping to carry those conversations forward with more post-event chats on Sunbeam’s Discourse. With some luck, this event will help kickstart a flow of ideas and ways to implement them.

Be sure to register!

This isn’t my event! I’m watching it like everyone else.

If you want in on the live event, be sure to register on the Solarise Con 2022 site.

They have more in-depth info on the panellists & panels, so it’s worth looking at if you’re still uncertain.

#community #panellists #sunbeamcity #solarpunk

Just registered for .

I won't be able to attend the live broadcast of the 1st session, but everything else works out.

It looks like an interesting series of topics, and maybe we can use it as a leaping point for something more at Sunbeam City.

At the very least, we'll probably have a discussion on the topics, although sync watch sessions have also been suggested via Matrix.

I'm thinking it could be a leaping point for a series of discussions/panels that could be a VidCast or Podcast, but we'll have to see what interest there is in that. Could mark a good launching point for some more practical applications.

SR.Gray boosted

My primary Thai Chillies bush is down to less than a dozen chillies, all of them unripened. At one point I had three or four dozen ready to go, so I decided to give them to other people to enjoy. I shared them with a handful of folk, and word spread. People seem to really like my hydroponic chillies.

These same people have also been enjoying my hydroponically-grown Thai Basil, but that continues to grow monstrously.

All my hydroponic salad greens went to seed. This, unfortunately, makes them too bitter to consume, so they’ve come to their end after about a dozen salads. Not too bad in my opinion.

This gives me 4 open slots on my hydroponics. I’ll probably leave 2 of them empty, but I’m still trying to figure out what I want in the other pair. I’ve learned it’s important to leave more space between plants than the system provided, or they block out the grow lights & hinder production.


I have a second hot pepper plant growing “traditionally” in a pot of soil. It has 2 peppers on it so far, but there’s plenty of flowers so it should start producing soon.

I’ll also be seeding & gifting another pot once it’s started to grow. One of my spouse’s coworkers love the peppers so much they put them in most of their meals. It’ll just be easier if they have their own plant to enjoy. I’ve a spare grow-bulb that will help them manage the growth in their apartment.

My strawberries produced three or four of the smallest (but sweetest) strawberries that I’ve ever seen. I didn’t get the chance to transplant it as early as I needed, so I’m pretty sure the pot was too crowded. It’s been transplanted now, with more than enough space to spread out, but I may be too late to get much from it.

Tomatoes are flowering, onions are growing strong, two small bell peppers have begun forming, and most of my marigolds and cosmos are attracting the bees. I’ve moved all of these pots outside now, as my new home doesn’t afford much space for indoor gardening.

My dwarf sunflowers bloomed about two weeks before the move, and have already withered and closed up. They did not have a very long “summer” — about three weeks. It’s a little disappointing, but it is what it is. The pot & soil are still good, so I’ll give them to another seed.

My iceberg lettuce continues to struggle. I think the issue is lack of drainage. The pot I used was meant to be a decorative outer pot, so I’ll need to look into transplanting soon to see if I can save it. It’s still being grown indoors at the moment, as I don’t think it would survive outside without improving the drainage.

I’ve seeded some bok choy. We’ll give it a few weeks and see if anything comes of it.

6-year old’s plants

My eldest came home with a pair of pots for Mother’s Day. One contained some “wildflower” seeds while the other has an orange seed.

He really wants a small orange tree, despite the fact that they do not survive up here unless it’s kept indoors somehow. I’ll have to look around and see if there’s any kind of tiny citrus tree that works well on a countertop so I can give it a try.

The wildflowers have begun to break through the surface of the dirt. He’s getting excited to see what comes of it.

#gardening #makeitgrow #traditionalsoil #hydroponic

Diet-related Goals 

So, the first series of objectives are actually set in the very near future.

By May 22nd, I should be creating a weekly supper calendar and sticking to at least 3 meals on the calendar per week.

That increases to 4 per week by May 29th, and at least 2 of those meals will need to be Diabetic-Friendly.

By the end of the month, I should be actively recording every piece of food or drink I consume in my Food Log, and I should have reduced my poultry meals from 5 per week to 3 per week.

I already don't eat any meat other than poultry, so that makes part of this simpler.

Now, all I have to do is, well, all the work to make it happen.

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Diet-related Goals 

As previously noted, one of my courses this semester is related to .

In addition to "working out" for 1-hour at least twice per week, I need to set a variety of wellness throughout the semester.

A big one that I just hammered out, in detail, with numerous stepping-stone objectives along the way will further transition my diet.

By the day before my 40th birthday, if I successfully follow my plan, I should be following a diabetic-friendly diet with macros (within +/- 2%) of 40:35:25 that is lacto-ovo for all but 1 meal per wk.

Why this particular goal? Well, my spouse is at very high risk of type 2 , and we all eat the same meals. If she has to eat diabetic-friendly, so does everyone else. My kids are also likely high-risk thanks to genetics.

As for the vegetarian twist, well, eating less (or no) meat is one of the largest impact things that someone can do on an individual level for the . It's just one more step.

I do need to haul these inside tonight though, as there's a late season frost warning. We could get frost right to the end of the month. :pika_surprise:

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Last year, my peppers failed miserably and I didn't get any.

Over the winter, I've grown and harvested almost 50 Thai chillies indoors, and it looks like one of my bell pepper plants (that I never had the chance to transplant due to moving) is growing me some goodies.

The tomatoes are flowering as well, which should give me some early season fun.

Internet is live at the new apartment and my ISP upgraded my Eeros to new ones (at no additional charge) with Wifi 6.

Normally I wouldn't care about the upgrade (as the old ones worked fine), but apparently the new model also works as a ZigBee Hub, which will save me from having to buy one as I build up my home automation.

As for the old units, my ISP sends them out and apparently 90% of the material used is recycled. I had no idea, but it is good to see some attention paid to end of life.

Now... I just have to start plugging everything back in...

I guess I should also not the actual brand in case people want to hunt it down when they have to update an item or two in their wardrobe. Looks like the line is The Eco Closet by Novelteez

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I should note, the old sweater was about 12 years old, and the previous hat survived 6 years.

All in all, not too bad given fast fashion...

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Picked up a new hat and sweater today because my previous ones finally wore out beyond any sort of reasonable repair.

Was pleased to find a sweater made from 40% recycled materials, and a 100% recycled hat at my local Giant Tiger.

I'll call that a win.

SR.Gray boosted

I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed with myself.

I joined Sunbeam City looking forward to working with others to make the solarpunk a reality, at least for my small neighbourhood. I looked to learn and to share what I've learned.

But shortly after joining, word came down that we were moving and I feel like I've been completely consumed between that, college, and my kids...

We get possession on May 5th, and officially close on our home on the 16th. By the 21st, we'll have flipped the profit onto our debts and be (almost) debt-free.

I'll step up on the workshopping then, once I can breathe. There's so much more to be done... I mean, the complex I'm moving into doesn't or have any sort of communal .

There's a lot of possibilities, I just need to learn what others have done to create these spaces and find a way to make it happen here.

I'm looking for some to help monitor my blood pressure, heart rate, SpO2, etc. I'm open to watches, ring, ankle bands... Whatever else is out there...

Tech with non-replacable and/or silicone bands need not apply, as I'm very tired of the rashes they cause.

Bonus points if the data is stored locally instead of on the cloud.

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Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a anticapitalist, antifascist solarpunk instance that is run collectively.