Monday, May 27, 2019

Deep Wild Journal Kickstarter campaign a success!

Our Kickstarter campaign for Deep Wild Journal has been an overwhelming success! We weren't even sure we'd make our $2500 goal, with plans to get relatives to donate large sums to make the minimum. But we made our goal in less than a week! And we're only $100 away from our secondary dream goal of $3500! Still time to give a donation!

$20 get you a copy of DWJ #1 with your name appearing on the Donators page. $40 and we'll send a copy to a friend of yours!

If you prefer check or Paypal, check out our webpage: www.deepwildjournal.com

PS—pic is from Ed Abbey's Aztec Lookout, where I had the honor of working one summer.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1772787758/deep-wild-journal-writing-from-the-backcountry?ref=ksr_email_creator_launch

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Open letter to the Pacific Greens


Dear Pacific Greens,

What's going on? Because I'm barely hearing anything from you, and I was a paying member.

I've been on board with the Green Party at the national level since 2000. The Green Party simply is for everything I am, both domestically and in foreign policy. Most recently I was very much behind Jill Stein, and her running mate Ajamu Baraka, in the last presidential campaign, and especially enjoyed the walk-out at the Democratic Convention. I continue to follow both of them on social media and they're doing stuff.

But where are you guys? I was paying you a monthly amount, and follow you on social media, including Twitter and, more locally, Facebook, but I almost never hear from you. I did receive an email a month thanking me for my donation, and that's it. There was one time when you held some kind of convention, in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The email I received was not an invitation to participate nor, when I went to to website, was there any invitation to anyone to attend, never mind the fact that Lake Oswego is the center of rich white conservative people in the Portland area, and not easily accessible (by design) to poor people from Portland, even by public transportation. The message I was left with was that the Green Party, at least locally, is being run by elite rich white people.

By way of comparison, the Democratic Socialists, of Portland and nationwide, are doing an excellent job of both messaging, and involving members, as well as recruiting members. I'm tempted to just go with them except for their insistence in emphasizing antifa and identitarian politics (which is another letter). And they do things, like letter campaigns and joining other groups in actual protests.

There are many people like me, fed up with the Democratic Party and their oligarch overlords, looking for a third way, a third party, one not paid for by corporations and the rich. This is the time. Jill Stein was hugely visible during that last election period, the Green Party always has been in the last two decades, yet at the local level, nada. Either this is incompetence, and/or maybe your FBI infiltrators are doing their job well.

My suggestion is to open up your messaging to multiple people, so that no one person is in charge of any Twitter or FB account: the more messaging the better. Take a stand, spread awareness about things going on in the Pacific Northwest. Go after the Democrats. Be a presence, get swag out, get t-shirts and stickers out to people. Recruit. Involve. Make alliances with the DSA and the People's Party and the Working Family Party—all these groups have much in common, don't siphon off votes by competing—make deals: they run a state senator in one district, we run one in the other. Maybe don't call yourselves the Pacific Greens? Maybe just be the Green Party? of Oregon? and Washington?

Make me feel like the Green Party and the Pacific Greens are doing something. People want an alternative, and they want what the Green Party is for. Recruit big names: get Tulsi and Bernie when the DNC screws them over (and they will). I'll give you money again, even though I'm poor and I wasn't giving much, when I can see you out in the world doing something. Do it now. Do it quick. Make me feel invited to participate.

Sincerely,

John

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Restop 2 Toilet-To-Go vs. Go Anywhere Toilet Kit by Cleanwaste: A review


Toilet-To-Go vs. Go Anywhere Toilet Kit: A review

'You gotta carry your shit' might sound like buddhist-like proverb, maybe it is, but in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, using 'poop bags' carrying out your shit is now mandatory for all backpackers. You can complain and shake your head, but I'm for it. This has been a long time coming, and with more and more visitors to the backcountry it's becoming a necessity.

I recently had the chance to try out the two main poop bags, within weeks of each other. I used the Go Anywhere Toilet Kit by Cleanwaste in Canyonlands, and a week later the Restop 2: Toilet-To-Go by the Restop Company in Grand Gulch (part of the new Bears Ears National Monument, for now, managed by the BLM where poop bags are not mandatory, yet). The Restop 2 is packaged like a burrito and has the more professional look, but I prefer the Go Anywhere

For those not familiar with the concept, both product offer a basic plastic bag to shit in/on, which then folds up and seals with a ziplock-like bag.

There are two main differences. The first is that the Restop 2 unfolds to a sort-of 'bowl': a plastic ring in which to shit, or which 'catches' your shit. I actually found this kind of hard, at least at first, and if you 'miss', things can get a little, well, shitty, though the bag itself is big enough. By my third attempt I was able to get everything in the bowl. (I know I know, I'm not selling anybody on this...)
The Go Anywhere be contrast is just a big wide-mouthed plastic bag that you spread out on the ground. Easier to hit, though special note for both: you have to pee/piss separately/before, which requires some muscle control.
Second main difference: space taken up after the fact. The Restop 2, though looking smaller before use, actually was slightly more bulky after because of the plastic rim. Which becomes a concern when trying to store the things.

With both products, even with the ziplock seal, there is a slight smell if you get close. I recommend having one (or even two) larger plastic bags to put them in. I did NOT put them inside my backpack, but in a larger back pocket of my REI special (which I know now all backpacks have). To my knowledge, my fellow backpackers never smelled anything.

Each unit, for both companies, comes with some TP and a Handywipe. The Restop 2 actually has the best TP. Like, real stuff. The Go Anywhere has what I know as military/firefighter MRE (Meals Ready to Excrete) TP, which is small and thin and rough: You'll want to BYOTP using it.

Despite that, I'd go with the Go Anywhere for my next trip. The places I've checked, which have been Neptune and REI in Boulder, and the Canyonlands Visitor Center, sell one or the other, so you may not have a choice.

Note: human waste shouldn't just go in the garbage. Canyonlands had a special metal mailbox-like thing at the trailhead for immediate disposal. Grand Gulch did not. So...I dumped mine in the garbage of the first gas station I got to. Sorry. But at least I didn't leave any shit in the Gulch.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Glacier Grey

My essay "Glacier Grey" now out in the new special creative writing issue of GREEN THEORY & PRAXIS JOURNAL. It's in pdf format, read on screen or print the whole thing if you want! (Not great for phone reading though).

http://greentheoryandpraxisjournal.org/gtpj-issue-12-volume-1-april-2019/