Several of my ICANN pals have asked “how are you doing??” recently and I decided to write a little blog post to make it easier to describe the current sorry state of affairs.
Basically, dropping the ICANN stuff has freed up a lot of time. What follows is a sampling of how I’m filling it.
I’ve been doing a *lot* more music. Just learning how all the new electronic instruments work, and work together, is probably a full-time thing. I’m looking forward to winter when I’ll have a bit more time indoors to get at that. But today it rained and I fooled around with some new software (Komplete Kontrol) that rolled in. This is a completely unedited snapshot of what I was doing — except this is only a couple minutes out of several hours of playing around
The farm is indeed taking up a really large part of my time right now. Spring and fall are busy seasons for me and all my machines (Marcie is busy all the time, that story is over on her blog — PrairieHaven.com). Right now I’m out on the tractor pretty much any chance I can get. The last few days have focused on mowing invasive Aspen trees out of one of the prairies that Marcie has planted. Here’s an action shot taken from my seat on the tractor…
And here’s a picture of the field when I was done later that afternoon — the goal is to mow as little as possible, while still knocking out the little brushy trees. A few years ago i had to mow that whole field, so all the little un-mowed places are definitely a step in the right direction. The last few years of ICANN, there wasn’t enough time to do this right.
I’ve been playing with a new toy — a drone. Here’s a picture of two of them — the big one is the one that takes pictures and video, the little one is the one I’ve been using to teach myself to fly (it’s much better to crash a $40 drone than a $1300 one, although I’ve crashed the big one a bunch of times and it seems to be holding up OK).
And here’s a picture i took from the big drone yesterday, showing the mist moving out of our valley that morning. Marcie has posted a few of the videos on her web site ( http://www.prairiehaven.com/?page_id=24997 )
Then, there’s the continuing battle against frac-sand mining here. All those beautiful bluffs you can see above the mist are the target of the miners — they’d like to peel the tops off of them, extract about 20 meters of sand, and then pile all the stuff back up again (thus completely wrecking the environment around here). I’ve been fighting them since 2010 and we’ve been pretty successful at keeping them out of this area. I’ve been keeping track of a lot of that stuff here on this web site.
There’s been a big change in the makeup of the County Board, mostly due to all the activism that sprouted up around the frac sand issue. One upshot of that is that I’ve just been appointed to a committee that keeps an eye on the land-information system that the County is responsible for (stuff like survey-quality section and quarter-section markers, online property descriptions, deeds, and the like). Just as my interest in ICANN focused on the proper tracking and treatment of domain names, I’m really interested in this land-information stuff. So I still have a hand in the policy-making game.
Another hobby that suffered while I over-committed to ICANN was woodworking. I have a pretty nifty woodworking shop here at the farm and I used to do pretty elaborate projects down there. The last few years of ICANN really chewed into that and I’m looking forward to getting back into it this winter. I went wild about a week ago and started cleaning up the shop and getting things reorganized. Here’s a link to a blog post that describes a typical “big” (all-winter) project. This was a dresser I built for Marcie just before I got caught up in ICANN-madness. You can read the whole blog post (showing some of the intermediate steps) HERE
There’s more, but this is probably enough to give you the picture.
I recently read a quote somewhere that a person should have no more than two hobbies. I’ve got a ways to go to get there, but I think it’s good advice.