Research, reading, and zines

Quick notes. I finally put together This Is Important #3 with two short essays, “Debt” by Natalie and “Bloom” by Nabil, and art by Laura. This was such a pleasure! I pictured Bloom years ago as a pocket sized booklet with gorgeous art & so to finally bring it into reality was incredibly satisfying – I mean it + Debt as a way of making space for our emotional and creative responses to the stresses of the economy and pandemic and climate disaster.

I’m reading some detective novels by Leslie Ford ie Zenith Jones Brown and enjoying their unusual style.

As I did a zine, Hyphae, about the geography and history of a particular piece of land for the first DWeb Camp on the Mushroom Farm, I am now planning a second issue about the new DWeb Camp location on the Navarro River in Mendocino. Working title, Tabahtea, though the final title will likely be different. Over the weekend I cast out some research nets, and am trying to absorb and synthesize & read more widely. Some sources, all the websites and wikipedia entries for the various Pomo tribes, rancherias, bands, etc; The Noyo, which I found in PDF form; a strange and wonderfully detailed newsletter called The Roots of Motive Power, highlighting the history of the Albion Lumber Company and Masonite Corporation but mostly highlighting its various wheeled vehicles rather than the original vile land grab; Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, v2; a book called The Coast Rangers – Studying old maps – the account of Vizcaino’s voyage to Cape Mendocino in 1602 – Things like this.

I am looking for some specific things like “sites of Pomo settlements” to put them on a map, and you can find mention of them in these scattered sources but nowhere brings all that information together. Probably if I go to a local library in the area, I could find a source, but who knows. (This is also oddly hard to find for the SF Bay Area though I started making a map a while back for my game, Transitory.)

(Note: Now I have this PDF from 1908:

I’d like to know the name origin for the Navarro River but have not yet found it. Also, the name origin for Surrender Creek, which could be horribly related to the genocide of the native americans but could also be related to Lee’s surrender or something entirely different.

Anderson Valley was previously named Long Valley – that helped.

I realized that there was a line where the Spanish missions crept up to in the north, and this is just beyond that line, and right in the zone of a sort of slow motion Spanish/Mexican/US/Russian collision.

Stardew Farmer of bugs and birds

Every morning there are little things I do around the house and garden and kind of pretend to myself that I’m like my character in Stardew Valley tending my farm.

I have this new gadget that’s kind of exciting but embarrassing, an electric composter, plugged in under the stairs outside. It’s kind of like an extra large bread machine: you open it up and dump in some food scraps, it gently maintains a particular temperature, and some paddles slowly stir the compost over the day. So far so good, it’s been going for a week, it doesn’t smell bad, and it also hasn’t filled up, so the decomposers are doing their work!

I guess the compost is kind of like my slime ranch – a microbe and fungus ranch! Dirt ranch? I like to imagine that I’m slowly creating a healthy biosphere for birds and bugs by improving the soil of our postage stamp of land in the city.

On the back porch, I check the tiny glass bird feeder for the finches and set out some peanuts on the railing for our neighborhood blue jay. I want the crows to discover us so that I can tame them and put out crow puzzles, but for whatever reason, the crows stay in the front yard across the street on the roof. Blue jay, finch, and dark eyed junco ranching is a success though.

Watering some plants, always a goal but I don’t always want to pull out the giant, heavy hose and do the entire battery of containers, so I keep a couple of watering cans filled up for the least drought-tolerant plants.

That’s it, I just thought I’d talk about how nice it is to trot around with peanuts, garbage, and a watering can, tending my “farm”!