It’s been a busy year

Mea culpa, mea culpa, it’s been a long time since I last posted anything, well over a year, and much has happened since then. It’s not that I have been idle — far from it.

After making my point last year about the hierarchical structure of the Green Party of Canada under Elizabeth May, I turned away from the viciousness of internal party politics to return to grassroots environmental and social justice activism.

I had previously set up the Vancouver Island Social Housing Residents Association (VISHRA) to fight for the rights of people living in subsidised housing, and built my first Drupal site for it.

Drupal is very powerful but not easy manage, and we had no end of problems getting it to work the way we wanted. Eventually, we learned of a work-around kludge, but finding it took so much of our time that the site still is not as advanced as we would like.

Potty-minded politicians

I then spent almost six months trying to bring some sense to the local Capital Region District (CRD) over its regional sewage plan. This entailed making presentations to a committee of local politicians, the overwhelming majority of whom apparently were deaf, or at least in my view, lacked intelligent reasoning ability.

I built my second Drupal site for that, which you can find preserved here.

September to December of 2010 were spent researching community media at the Centre for a Co-operative and Community-Based Economy (what a mouthful!) at the University of Victoria. During this time I discovered for myself the degree of corporate bias and concentration of ownership of Canadian media.

This lead to my third Drupal web site, which I called Community Media Canada. I’m still not sure what to do with this.

Now what?

Now that’s over, I’m wondering what to do next. Return to blogging about politics with, or even revive Majority Coalition Canada? Carry on with Dandelion Times? Or do what I’ve been so long promising myself to do, which is to focus on the spiritual side of politics with Lovers Of Life?

I held off blogging during the recent Canadian federal election as I wasn’t quite ready, but now that’s over, maybe it’s time to begin. But begin what? That’s the question.

I do have several projects on the go. One involves using Hype, an HTML5 animation constructor, to build a new front page to my WordPress portfolio. Another task I have is to move years of financial data from Quicken to Money, a piece of Lion-ready software I’ve just purchased from Apple’s App Store.

But my enthusiasm has gone. Maybe it’s part of the aging process, but I can’t drum up the conviction that anything is worth doing, both in the broader scheme of things and for myself. I’ve stopped believing that I can “make a difference,” as the optimists put it.

Perhaps I’m just burned out after decades of knocking-my-head-against-the-wall activism, with only occasional victories to show for it, most of which later get swept aside by the inexorable progress of the Industrial Machine. We-Tilt-At-Windmills-R-Us seems to have been my motto these past decades. It’s time to stop.

Attending to health

Certainly, my health has suffered and needs repairing. Last year, I started catching up on years of dental neglect, and earlier this year finished it off, although you never quite catch up to the state the teeth would have been had they not been neglected so long.

But thanks to the reduced charges offered and excellent attention by the Cool Aid Dental Clinic in downtown Victoria, the toxic load of silently-festering dental caries has been reduced, and my immune system is breathing a sigh of relief and thanking me for it. And the morning meditations have enabled me to work on the early buried traumas with their associated areas of deeply-held tensions, which I’m slowly letting go.

Dental neglect is one of the major vicissitudes of poverty. I don’t know why dentistry was not included in Canada’s medicare, but I’m sure the dentists fought hard against that. Offering free dentistry to homeless and low-income people and families would be the most productive step towards ending poverty.

Patience, patience…

I seem to be into a period of healing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That’s what the astrologers are telling me, and they’re very good at reporting the cosmic weather, so I pay attention to the best of them that I can access online. I’ll just have to be patient — but patience is something that takes a long time to learn.

Digital Portfolio

Stuart 128

Hi! You’ve reached my digital portfolio site. It contains a collection of the past few decades of my WordPress blogs and Drupal and other web sites. And you thought one blog was enough — but not for me!

Mind you, that’s not to say that I maintain them all religiously. In fact, I’ve given up keeping some of them working. The pattern went in cycles. A now retired environmental and social justice activist, I’d set up a site or blog for a specific campaign, then tended to neglect it when that campaign is over. Some of these campaigns went on for years, so over time, I’ve set up and abandoned quite a few sites. Cobwebs galore!

Now, thanks to the wonders of WordPress, they are all sheltered here under one integrated roof. I’ve also included a link to my original freelance portfolio site from way back in Web 1.0 days. (You can return here from the standalone portfolio site by using the ‘blogs’ link.)


Drupal sites

I’ve also become proficient in building sites with Drupal, a more powerful (but more difficult) content management system (CMS). Here are my three campaign-related Drupal sites. All of these campaigns are now complete:

Pegasus Press

I also set up and ran Pegasus Press, an eBook conversion and publishing service for writers, musicians and all kinds of digital creatives. Nice try, but too much work for insufficient returns. The sites still exists, and the six or eight books I published are still available on the Apple, Amazon, and Kobo bookstores.

Meetup groups

I built this site Victoria PiMakers And Others, now handed over to the VicPiMakers Meetup group to manage. It was (and still is) a WordPress site focused on embedded Linux systems such as the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Others.

Since handing off the above site, I set up another Meetup group VanIsle Westies to allow Volkswagen Westfalia owners such as myself on Vancouver Island to get together. It’s still going strong, over 60 members now.

Data Science

My most recent online construction came out of a growing interest in Data Science. I decided to learn the R statistical programming language. I needed a place to put my notes, which turned into a series of tutorials called An Introduction To R, which I presented to Victoria PiMakers And Others, starting in April, 2018.

That brings this page to my current state of activity.


About Stuart

Stuart 128

I’m a long-time freelance writer and editor, and a print and web designer. Think “creating, presenting, and managing content” and you’ll get an idea of what I do. I’m also an environmental and social justice activist, so add to those considerable professional talents a desire to make the world a little better, and you’ll get an idea of how conflicted I can be regarding working just for the money. Not that you’ll want to take advantage of that fact, I’m sure! You can email me at any time. I generally reply promptly.