Monday, December 8, 2008

Posts posted in post office boxes rest at an angle like the tipped tails of foxes

The 29th: we're moving in. Fun-a-Day: looks like we're hosting it.
Everything's coming together--time to rustle up some writers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

KEYWORDS: a new home, phase II, transition.

I've settled on an a price with the owner of two little houses in upper Lawrenceville. They sit back to back, sharing a little yard, near 54th between Dobson and Carnegie Streets. The insides are pristine (nicer than any house or apartment I've ever lived in), but don't worry the sterile white walls won't last long.

Sara was right when she said it was a fucker-upper. I can't stop daydreaming about which walls need to be ripped down, where new walls ought to be made--who we can invite to install art, design shelves of scrap, and ultimately live in the cyberpunk apocalypse. My buddy Pat is certified in tunnel building and secret room construction (this will likely prove useful).

With any luck this agreement will be finalized, a deed will be signed, and these houses will soon be converted from simple rental properties into a bridge that connects fantasy with reality.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Abated Breth

Today I am waiting (again) to see if my offer will be accepted for two little houses in Lawrenceville that sit back to back, sharing a yard. A possibly quaint beginning for a home base.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Locked out

The kids at Landslide were kicked out of one of the three houses which make up their base here in Pittsburgh the other day. Cops came and told them they had 15 minutes to get their stuff out. They had been living there for two years, so after they grabbed a negligible amount of stuff (sleeping bags mostly) the PGH Polls boarded up the place.

Landslide is an urban farming project. Basically a bunch of punk kids live in, and fix up, a handful of decrepit houses while farming in a portion of central Pittsburgh that was once victim to a landslide. Though they look like a bunch of ragamuffins, they've lived in this world long enough to know ripping the plywood right back off the building when the cops left would be a short sighted solution. They are considered a non-profit project under the Thomas Merton Center, here in PGH. They've been in constant dialog with local leaders in their mission to procure more farm land, so they knew the right number for their friends to call. Phones in several public officials offices rang off the hook for hours, until finally (after a sympathetic lawyer threatened a federal suit against the city) the police returned to remove the plywood themselves.

Though, since the house has no plumbing or electricity, they are not technically allowed to live there--the property has been temporarily opened to them as an office-type space (which is something).

And while they were defending their home I was hunting for mine. After stopping by Landslide in the morning, and after making a phone call on their behalf I took 2 walk-throughs on my latest leads.

The places are being short-sold presently, so when they offer me a price, we'll know how hopeful it looks.

I'm also checking someplace out in Larryville on Thursday.
I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Limbo is not a fun game that is preformed at parties. I is a place between places. As I continue to look for a house, I do my best to not become frustrated.
Yesterday I sat in my friend, Pat's, side yard, while he explained to me why I shouldn't get the mansion in East Liberty. He was right, of course. I'm working to make a writer's co-op not a fix-up-a-house co-op.
As we spoke bits of burning wood fell onto the gravel from the mouth of a steel drum. While chickens picked grubs from a five foot hight trash-pile. His house is like I hope mine to one day be. A safe haven in the middle of Pittsburgh. A separate world that somehow explains the larger picture better than that picture can itself--synecdoche.
Pat's brother over-heard my woes and invited me into his trailer where he had a laptop sitting upon the mini stove top. I sat on the rumpled bed next to a skittish pitbull, while he emailed his realestate agent's information to me.
I've since gotten in touch with the man. Hopefully this lead with prove fruitful.
In the mean time I whittle away at my novel, and work CPA the publication.
--A toast to in-between.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Colder Days

Heat is coming out of the air and leaving our city. The mansion in East Liberty looks like it won't pull through. I might have found a better deal right here in Bloomfield, my fingers are crossed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


A huge model of the Santa Maria just rolled down Liberty Ave, outside the coffee-shop window where I am with a mock Christopher Columbus astride. Perhaps the slowness of this blog is like the quiet before a storm. All the elements are in the air. On Monday my sister will move into my little leaky flat with me. Yesterday I offered a man 8 thousand dollars for a mansion-turned apartment complex- turned shit-hole. Maybe it will turn into the cyberpunk apocalypse: a home base for an Idea.

Now a huge police vehicle with my small city's logo on on it above the words "MOVING COMMAND," is driving by. It is twice as wide and high as the firetruck following behind it. I assume it is in case all anarchy brakes out and the City leaders need to barricade themselves within.

I'm now reading about Sci-Fi in books by Disch and Asimov. Asimov for one seems to have ideas that are not unlike my own. He says that the most interesting thing about Sci-Fi is that since the industrial revolution science and technology has forced everyone--politicians, businessmen, factory workers--to take advances in science and technology and science into account as they plan for the future.
According to Asimov, everyone in the modern world has to think like a science fiction writer.
It's the nature of modern times.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Distopian Science Fiction Book Club

The second meeting of Pittsburgh's Distopian Science Fiction Book Club is next Monday. Abandoned buildings, barrel fires and Philip K. Dick. Needless to say, it should be pretty good.

Poster Tour

For about a week I left town to help out a friend of mine and sell predictable posters at a series of bland colleges. The work was sleazy and mind-numbing, but It was a change of pace and because of it there is a fat check floating somewhere in the snail-mail system written out to the Cyberpunk Apocalypse.

When I got back last week I found boxes of books and clothes in the doorway of my apartment building. It was the first wave my sister's possessions that that have been flowing from the various cities which have been her home's this past year. Now I've convinced her to come to Pittsburgh to re-consolidate, and help me on my project. Sometime next week Todd and I will be picking her up from NYC, and dragging her to the steal city.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

David Foster Wallace

Another writer of sci-fi killed themselves, I am sad to say. For next months distopian sci-fi book club I will be suggesting "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace.
There is a lot for me to say about how the Cyberpunk Apocalypse is going, and I will tell you, I promise. But right now my battery is low. So until I recharge

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Climate change will add to the apocalyptic feeling of the times.

My sister's blog is featuring an art exhibit that is at the UN right now, and is particularly interesting in regard to my project. Check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sure it's nice, but it's not quite what we're looking for...

The kitchen had no room for an oven to house a twelve-foot square sheet cake, even in 3x4 sections. (If you need to ask, Why on earth would the Cyberpunk Apocalypse need to make a 12-foot sheet cake? then you surely don't know us as well as you think you do.) The second floor wore a plywood facade, similar to a beautiful woman's evening mud mask, but the goddamn mud mask is actually covering up nothing but vast air: The face has been horribly burned, so burnt, in fact, that it's now missing, incinerated. The plywood, just like the anchorless mask, is held up by nothing but perseverance. In cruder times, this would have been considered an artistic selling point, but 2008 is a refined time. We know art when we see it.
And we couldn't see the third floor. It was hanging on to nothing just like the plywood beneath it, the last remnants on a Stretch of Avenue that wants to keep its blight but ends up a martyr for Dead Pittsburgh's Steel-through-Arts Revival. There will be pictures of the damage, taken for posterity; they'll lie in a shoebox somewhere in someone's attic, an attic that will soon separate and fly away from its second floor, but only when it's ready to.
This is the last abused dog at the shelter, and we don't know if it's getting a good home. But with the new (Market Value) hospital down the street, all colored brightly and welcoming to children and market speculators with their Abandoned Building-to-Loft Space conversion kits, oh, there are surely good times ahead for the broken dogs of the Bloomfield-Garfield Penn Avenue Corridor. We just know that it doesn't involve the Cyberpunk Apocalypse...

(Pictures soon?)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome home?

Dan's out of town, so it's just me, Todd, holding down the apocalypse here. I've started a proposal for admission to Bloomfield Garfield Corp. in their Penn Ave. Arts building giveaway, which isn't really a giveaway but more like a sweepstakes for the best redevelopment idea. The winner gets the privilege of buying the building or going back home. The walk-through is next Thursday, Sept. 18. Sara's coming with me, and so is our friend Michael from the Big Idea, the radical bookstore where Dan and I both volunteer; it might relocate to Penn Ave. if this looks promising. Everyone deserves a new home.
But what's home when you're on poster tour, or stuck working at Whole Foods?
Maybe we just need to go home to Pap's and take a break.
This space is directly across the street from Spak Bros., the new, vegan-friendly pizza shack in Garfield. I really like the owners there, but I'm not impressed with their vegan fare, mainly because it's made me sick the two times I've eaten it. So maybe we'll be living across from Spak Bros. with a subscription to Adrian's in Bloomfield. I think it's worth the walk, especially if I don't get sick from it.
More updates soon...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I almost forgot to mention, the Cyberpunk Apocalypse has a small shelf of sci-fi and apocalyptic books for sale the the Big Idea bookstore in Bloomfield. Check it out.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cyberpunk Apocalypse: the publication

Cyberpunk Apocalypse is putting together a quarterly publication! Feel free to submit your work for the very first issue.
All submissions may be e-mailed to with the word “submission” somewhere in the subject heading.

-ESSAYS: What is this space-time we live in? How is it different from other times and places? What does this mean for the immediate future? These are a few of the broad questions that essays in the Cyberpunk Apocalypse should strive to answer.

-INVENTIONS (preferably illustrated)--If you have an invention that you day dreamed up, and it seems do-able (by someone with more know-how perhaps) you can send it in. This is not for people who want to make money off royalties. This is for someone who just wants to get an idea out there into the world. Or if you have a cool little invention you made with house hold materials and you want to show it off, this is the place to do it..

-FICTION (both illustrated and unillustrated): Cyberpunk Apocalypse seeks short fiction that is both creative and modern. Sci-fi that takes place in the present or the very near future is welcome, as well as anything that is particularly in tune with the present or pushes the envelope.

-NONFICTION (both illustrated and unillustrated): We like DIY How To’s for our fellow citizens. Have advice for individuals who want to learn computer programming? Suggestions for people who want a garden but don’t have any land? Or have soil with lead in it? We also appreciate news items that affect people’s lives now and change the world we live in (however subtly).

If your are unsure whether your piece or idea is appropriate for the Cyberpunk Apocalypse publication, please use this short manifesto as your guide.

Cyberpunk Apocalypse: the manifesto for the publication
People who say, “The future is now” are stuck in the past, but their confusion is understandable. The world today is drastically different than the one into which we were born. Increased developments in technology, a shifting fuel economy, and a change in the way we view our very planet have quietly but absolutely altered our world. Everyone alive today has weathered two-thirds of an apocalypse, a turning of an age; one where information and ideas can travel instantly, relationships can be maintained across oceans, but one where transportation of physical objects is more and more costly. This is a place where creativity may be more valuable and necessary than money.

Cyberpunk Apocalypse is obsessed with the present, especially as it relates to the average citizens (middle-class, working-class, and under-privileged) of the apocalypse.

Cyberpunk Apocalypse is a forum in which we can discuss and reveal what this new space-time is. It is also a place to propose and discuss strategies for living in a new world.

It is a place for inventors without technical skills to meet engineers and programmers in search of fresh ideas.

Cyberpunk Apocalypse does its best to keep its personal opinions of what is good/bad to itself. Cyberpunk Apocalypse tries to maintain a practical and objective outlook; focusing on what is and what that means for the people now and in the immediate future.

Cyberpunk Apocalypse is the Work-as-you-Go guidebook to surviving and understanding “now.”

Friday, August 22, 2008

I haven't been getting a lot done for the project lately since I've been working a lot more than usual at the parking lot, and I'm building my friend Ross (a writer and a good guy) a bike.
The picture is of fish swimming around in the park in the North Side. Todd and I have looked around at properties in Garfield, Lawrenceville, North Side, Polish Hill, and Uptown. Now we have to go back through and contact owners and whatnot. At the same time I need to take care of my taxes so I can buy from the city, and go to a bank to see if I'm eligible for a URA low interest loan and to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Soon Todd should have the submission guidelines revised for cyberpunkapocalypse the publication and we can get that rolling. In the mean time I'm working on doing the drawing for the board game I'm doing with shakes, working on my comic, my novel, and tweaking Ross's bike.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

thanks for the invite Dan, i hope to contribute decent
ideas to this forum. I just had lunch with Esther, an old
friend a few years my elder and she asked me what I
was reading ; Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. I related a
few of the ideas in the book which are all hinged on
the alignment of our solar system with
the center of the milky way - the apocalypse.
I knew it would be hard to convey these things
without sounding dumb as shit or bat shit silly, my
feeling was confirmed.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sometimes I Don't Like Todd's Choice of Words

We did get fleas. But it was a good day cruisin' around Larryville looking at spots that may one day become a home of a new kind of writing community. We got caught in a rain storm and Todd, Sara,and I hung out on the stoop of one of the empty storefronts.
From another angle I've written up a draft of requirements and guidelines for the cyberpunk apocalypse publication, and that should get underway shortly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

5401 Harrison, You A Bitch

Members of the 5401 Harrison St. Flea Community were evicted today when three Real Estate Tycoons entered unlawfully just after noon...
We were covered in fleas within 30 seconds of entering an abandoned building three blocks from my house. Shoes and socks came off outside in the street; we spent 10 to 15 minutes picking fleas off our legs, shoes and clothing; and then found desperate cling-ons as we walked down Butler St. Dan caught two trying to climb inside him through his navel, I found one near my left nipple, and Sara found a few that switched rails when I put my arm around her and pretended we were dating.
Us boys, with our dangling boy parts (both circumsized and un-), talked briefly of our fear that a few determined fleas climbed our long, pale legs to hang out with our balls. And since no one has showered since the incident, there's a decent chance that our respective homes could soon be infested with jumping black parasites.
But I'm sure we'll be free of all unwanted creatures by the time we find and procure the physical site of Cyberpunk Apocalypse, even if we carry some of their transmitted diseases until they bury us poor, unpublished 'writers.'

Cyberpunkapocalyptically yours,

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Art in Braddock

I biked out to Braddock the other day to see the art of a couple of friends. The gallery was under the flames and billowing smokestacks of the area's last surviving steel mill--next to some public gardens.

It's easy to see why someone in the rust belt would say they live in a post-apocalyptic world.

The show consisted of photos, mostly exhibiting the peculiar beauty of the rust belt: Trees grown around rusted chairs, rotting windows of abandoned buildings, the little things that are so fun to stumble upon when you're coming out the back of that abandoned four-bedroom with a stack of books you found that date to the '50's, or are tromping through the woods that cropped up where the land had too steep a grade for building.

The photographs weren't necessarily mind-blowing, but they were well composed, and they reminded me of why the post-apocalypse is a place for adventurers, amateur archaeologists, scavengers, and children. I biked home a bit warmer for it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cyberpunkapocalypse is a mash-up

It's finally happened, it's not just me writing on this thing. We feel good about that.

Another take on the cyberpunkapocalypse

The cyberpunkapocalypse is now. It is not amused or confused by irony. It understands bodily destruction and the transcendence of the physical being. The cyberpunkapocalypse respects destruction, endurance, and temporality.

The cyberpunkapocalypse smokes cigarettes (but not in front of babies), swears (often about not making babies), drinks coffee and kombucha, cut itself maybe, and does yoga, sometimes. The cyberpunkapocalypse prays. It wears stockings when it wants to, shaves when it wants to, read the Beauty Myth and went to see Hair on Broadway. The cyberpunk apocalypse may be in Shanghai by now, it may be under a rock in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is hard to say. It travels like the things that are smaller than the things we know now, but are now.

The cyberpunkapocalypse will, and has already anonymously googled you.

The cyberpunkapocalypse might break up with you on Thursday, and get drunk with you on Friday, and go swimming with you on Saturday. Even though you cannot be together forever, the cyberpunkapocalypse will always love you.

The cyberpunkapocalypse knows it will eventually be “put down,…out of its own misery.” The cyberpunkapocalypse will be pretentious because that means wikipedia-ing everything interesting and reading all abstracts but never the entire texts of Guy Debord, Buckminster Fuller, Daniel Pinchbeck, Christopher Lasch, Tristen Tzara, and Fredrick Nietche. You will be offended, but the cyberpunkapocalypse and you will still be friends and communicate amicably.

The cyberpunkapocalypse acknowledges brand consciousness, colonialism, and antagonism. It neither ignores nor advocates for reconstructive surgery or deconstructive psychology. Bike riding and plane flights to visit its mother are some of the cyberpunkapocalpse’s many hobbies; also gardening, JZ, Lao Tzu, scientific journals and tarot card readings. The cyberpunkapocalypse is neither blown away nor unamused by dissonance, free verse, zombie films, and the advertisements on hot 97. It watches many blockbuster hits and underground movies. The cyberpunkapocalypse has done every assignment on learning to love you more (.com). Knowing the cyberpunkapocalypse can seem affected and frightening.

The cyberpunkapocalypse is stuck in an extended form of childhood in which it is unaware of gender, race, or class divisions between people. But the cyberpunkapocalypse has read about these things. The cyberpunkapocalypse is blood diamonds and rooftop gardens, graffiti, and open space. The cyberpunkapocalypse is “pumping you full of lead.” The cyberpunkapocalypse is reading an informational pamphlet about the side effects and knowing “they” are not telling you everything. The cyberpunkapocalypse is the scientist and the copy editor and the research assistant and the design intern, and the print shop, and the media director, and the stock owners, and the company staff manager that have nothing to do with it. The cyberpunkapocalypse is gaining awareness.

The cyberpunkapocalypse forgot about the atomic bomb, and then learned about it again from a lyric in a Bob Marley song. The cyberpunkapocalypse is done with idol worship. The cyberpunkapocalypse has studied many languages and is fluent in practically none. The cyberpunkapocalypse keeps much of its information outside its corporeal body. Only its phone knows how to get in contact with its most important family and friends. Sometimes the cyberpunkapocalypse feels helpless. In these cases it tries to relearn how to grow its food, sew its clothes, fix its vehicle, and build its housing structures. The cyberpunkapocalypse is privileged. Though for a time, maybe even now, the cyberpunkapocalypse washes dishes at below minimum wage. There are pockets of the cyberpunkapocalypse in the third world and rampant under-utilized parts of it in the first world. Everyone who has enough mind/time space to think, is the cyberpunkapocalypse. The cyberpunkapocalypse feels guilty. The cyberpunkapocalypse is made to feel ashamed.

The cyberpunkapocalypse is trying to be infectious. It thinks it is falsely performing for a child when it plays peek-a-boo, but the truth is playing peek-a-boo really makes the cyberpunkpunkapocalypse surprised and happy. The cyberpunkapocalypse is the sound your digital camera makes when it goes click. The cyberpunkapocylpse lives in a world that is not ready. The cyberpunkapocalypse values the real and public spaces. The cyberpunkapocalypse is hugging you, right now, but you can’t feel it because both of you are too awkward and nervous, or so comfortable it means nothing.

The cyberpunkapocalypse is using a rolodex and Polaroid film, and a phone book to prop up the desk in which it will write its own story. The cyberpunkapocalypse will still break up with you on Thursday. The cyberpunkapocalypse is learning to rationalize hurts, and to buy things off itunes only when it needs too.

The cyberpunkapocalypse pitched a tent in the woods off the highway and got fried chicken and sushi in Bushwich rationally, at the same time that evening, it didn’t come to the event at cyberpunkapocalypse.

The cyberpunkapocalypse is hiding. The cyberpunkapocalypse didn’t mean to go shopping at Bloomingdales. The cyberpunkapocalypse didn’t mean to get featured in a magazine. The cyberpunkapocalypse liked the attention but tried not to.

The cyberpunapocalypse retains the right to cover its hair, face, and forearms in modesty, to be chaste, go skinny dipping, masturbate regularly or never, attend church, maintain traditional customs, break political correctness and formalities. The cyberpunkapocalypse has safe sex and supports roe v wade.

You will think that the cyberpunkapocalypse is white, but that’s because you looked it up wrong.

The cyberpunkapocalypse is being disappointed by everything that is exciting; the cyberpunkapocalypse has an idealistic heart and an argument against everything.

The cyberpunkapocalypse could feel your hatred when you asked if it wanted paper or plastic and then listened to that girl who sings the song about “crying in the isle” of the grocery store. The cyberpunkapocalypse could have looked that song up for you and then mentioned it here by name, but that would have been too easy. The cyberpunkapocalypse is like the sagging old carpet at the UN building that everybody walks on and nobody pays to fix it but it doesn’t mind really. The cyberpunkapocalypse is waiting for when it feels comfortable using a capital letter again. The cyberpunkapocalypse knows that the truth is an illusion but wants to believe it. The cyberpunkapocalypse respects its past, analyses it’s present, and has no idea what is coming.

The cyberpunkapocalypse needs me/you.

The cyberpunkapocalypse is a SPACE in Pittsburgh PA with a:

A storefront

A garden

A residency program

A business

A lecture room

A library

A gallery

An online blog

A monthly publication

Love and Real(ity) Estate

I don't talk to girls, which is kind of why I don't call the numbers on those For Sale signs in the windows of marketable homes and storefronts. Two different levels are on display here, and I fall in love with each of them, sometimes several times a week, by the day, or even hourly.
My cyber(pop)punk apocalypse begins with imaginative speculation: I wonder if this girl wants to hold my hand and listen to MxPx; or, in the other realm, I wonder if this house wants me to strip its lead paint while I look hot in protective breathing equipment.
I fall in love with property now more than with girls. Dan and I go out cruising and perusing through abandoned business districts and the nearby residential areas, but he's got a girlfriend and I don't. He calls all the numbers on the placards in windows; I stalk the properties through their Howard Hanna profiles. We talk about an intimate future that may always be just out of our present reach.
I don't really want to be in love with girls, and if I wait long enough before saying anything to them, then some impossible-to-ignore flaw is always revealed: She has a boyfriend; the roof is made of tarp; she doesn't like chickpeas; there's a basement full of raccoons in this one; she likes Saves the Day; there's an inescapable tax lien from the DPW, $75,000 worth of mortgage leftovers that smell like old lasagna, and an ex-porno theater around the corner.
Every experience urges me onward and embarrasses me publicly at the same time. It's kind of like walking through Frick Park while holding hands with a girl on the right and walking a magnificent, well-behaved Great Dane on leash to the left. We round the bend and the sun drops from the sky like a head from atop shoulders or the tower from Allegheny's Carnegie library. There's now a cold, lifeless manikin hand where once there were callus-free palms and fingers with endearingly dirty nails; and the Great Dane on the other side has somehow morphed into The Devil's Horse, carrying his liquor in full tow, staring you down with a Massive Horse Face that could turn the best Kombucha into a pint of Late August's Dumpster Juice.
I experience unrequited love every time I remodel a superficial storefront with my mind. I fall in and out of love nearly every time I see a new girl. And I think I'm never getting married, for fear of commitment basks through long hours of pointed exploration and on top of longer days of research.
Speculate the market? Get approved for loans? I just wanted to replace the shingles, hold hands, and get high on your roof.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pick me up

There's a lot of interesting stuff to talk about--people in other cities thinking about the apocalypse we're a part of, awkward communication with the Pittsburgh Arts Council--but I'll talk about that later because I bricked my laptop and I can't spend anymore time in the Library today. I just can't.
But I wanted to post the link that my friend Jenny sent me today. Post-apocalyptic images of Tokyo. You guy's may or may not know that I was living in Tokyo (drowning myself in the essays of Takeshi Murakami, and hand-me-down "learn japanese" CDs) when I first got the idea for Cyberpunk apocalypse. Maybe these images are so resonent with me because I recognize a couple of the places. Either way it cheered me up--in a eerie sort of way.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

To the North!

That property I was talking about in Polish Hill (the one that is owned by the woman next door to it) isn't going to work out. She just isn't ready to part with it, it seems. Also I illlooked at the inside of an old Deli. The people have done a lot of work to the place, and I would say it might be worth 30 (maybe 40) thousand at the current moment--they payed 10, and they're asking for 80. It looks like a meteor crashed into the basement (which i thought was cool, but still) and the top two floors were just wires and pipes (the opposite of usual, but once again still). In short they were shucking me, and Polish Hill is looking less and less likely for me.
On the plus side, Todd is totally in. He'll probably post on here soon, so you won't have to just count on me. Also we're looking at properties in the North Side, and there are a bunch of good leads. It's really exciting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I got my business cards in the mail today. I misspelled "cyber." Typical.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I might have a good spot in Polish Hill, but the woman who owns it lives next door to it, and wants it subdivided so she can keep some of the building next door to her. We'll see what it's like. There are two store-fronts so if we can get them both fixed up maybe I can use one, and I can make the other available to be turned into a co-op grocery store (since there are people working on starting one, and it's something that is really needed in polish hill). It looks like my buddy Todd, who is sort of obsessed with cheap real estate is on the team (so to speak). He's going to help me find and assess the prospects of cheap spaces. There are just so many places in Pittsburgh were the property needs you as much as you need it. It almost seems a waist to get a spot that's already in ship-shape condition. Besides, so many places are getting torn down there are plenty of spare parts to fix up whatever you need to, it just takes time and work--like everything.

Every day the population of our city falls. People die, or move, and leave a pile of junk behind. Similarly those still living buy more tin cans and ceramic cats than they could ever really want. Yard sales, then trash bins, are flooded and flooded again. Trash may be our city's (and our nation's for that matter) greatest resource. But it takes creativity to harness that resource. You can't just pour it in your gas tank and go.

This is part of what the cyberpunk apocalypse is about. It's about realizing what kind of world we live in--not to criticize it, but to understand it, and to try and harness its potential. We live in a world where the creative thinking is key. Where there's enough raw material to last a lifetime. The question "how do we make it," has now gained its counterpart, "how do we use it," so that parts are not only built for a machine, but the machine is also built for the part.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I got a lot of stuff done yesterday. Beyond what's on the list to the left, I had time to fix Sara's ride (using hacksaws and hammers on bikes is always a treat). Also went to Joedoe's show and went to the rope swing.

It was a good day.

I've got another couple leads on property that I'll need to look into. I need to work on URA loans for that, and draft the business plan. That's on the list for today. I'm looking for artists to talk to about revamping whatever space I get using found objects.

The board game is going really well. We're just tweaking the rules, but we should be going into production soon.

I'll be honest, the end of last week I was a little down. I thought that maybe I'd throw in the towel. I'm so new to realty, to business, to everything. I felt like I was bashing my face into walls just to find a door, and actually I still do. But, I think my face can take it, and the door's here somewhere--or else, I guess, I'll eventually wear a hole in the wall.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blade Running in PGH

My bike is fixed. I have a questionnaire printed out and ready to distribute to coffee vendors. I'm currently making a list of the vendors in Pittsburgh, and I'll go around on Monday handing out my questionnaire. I've been playing around with mortgage calculators on line, and I'm going to take a look at a property soon--do a walk-through. I have to see if I can figure out what the property taxes will be after the place is reassessed.
Next week I need to get a decent draft of a business plan to send out, because then I may be able to get more information about rebuilding one of the burned down properties in Polish Hill.
In the meantime some cool stuff is happening in Pittsburgh. Polish Hill is having its first arts festival: Art What You Got, tomorrow. Also Robot 250 has been going on around the city. It's an arts program that is having events, workshops, and various robots set up around Pittsburgh.
My question is, of course, will someone program the new open source Google phone OS to dream of this?

-until then

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On the llth I posted about what I wanted to do on Saterday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. It turns out, on Saturday, by the time I got to the fax machine the property I was looking into had already been sold twice. I did get to talk to Jenny about business plans, and I had already talked to Colin so I feel like I have a good idea of what I need to do. I'll do some research and then see if the universities have a non-profit specialist that could help me out. Monday, I did work on my bike, but it was far from fixed. I built up a wheel with the help of my friend Steve on Tuesday, and my bike should be ridable tomorrow when Kraynick's (the local bike shop) is open. That will be really good--not having a bike has held back my progress on this project more than you would think.
[Kraynick's Bike Shop]
So, I didn't end up taking over the world on Tuesday, but I did manage to design business cards, finish Philip K. Dick's Scanner Darkly, email back and fourth about a different property, talk to Susan about meeting to discuss using the civic center's non-profit umbrella, and a bunch of other little things I can't remember, which was pretty good for my day off.
Perhaps the most important thing I did was lay under the Bloomfield Bridge next to the rusted mountain bike me and Sara have been sharing. While laying there I thought of a new angle for the business side of the project. Working as a roaster predominantly might be the ticket. If we could get a number of already successful businesses to supply our coffee (which will support Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh writers) in addition to their other brands, we will have an income that is easy to research and put into a business plan, and may be more reliable.
I'm writing up a list of questions that I will use to go around to Pittsburgh coffee vendors, to see if it's a viable option.

Alright, I need to go to volunteer at the Big Idea book shop now. I know this entry is a little dense, but this is what I'm working with right now. I'll talk to you later.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thomas M. Disch

On Friday July 4th Thomas Disch died. He was an accomplished writer and novelist, known for his science fiction. The man apparently had fallen upon some hard luck and in the end shot himself. For more information the Times has a decent article, and of course there's always Wikipedia. In the meantime swing by the Ds in the fiction section of your local library and check him out--in honor of a life spent speculating.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Work is being done

It's amazing how fast time flies when you've really thrown yourself into a project. It gets dizzyingly easy to imagine your life as a movie montage. I have a few leads working on a place for our project in Polish Hill. I'll go to the North Side and snoop around for places soon--once I get my bike back together (probably Monday). In the meantime my website is blocked out, and becoming more informational.
I've talked to my friend Colin (of Fossil Free Fuel) about writing a business plan, which is a main focus currently.

On a lighter note, Cyberpunk Apocalypse and Olly Olly Oxen Free (aka me and my buddy Shakes) are halfway through the drafting of a Battle-Army style board game that takes place in post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh. If you're into nerdy boardgames or just love crazy mayhem, get stoked. It's going to be tons of fun, and we expect to have put together a bunch of copies of the game by the end of summer.

Shakes is also in the layout stage of a new zine all about fan-zines from back before the invention of the mimeograph. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek, and it's really interesting.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to a fax machine so I can follow up on a property. On Sunday I'll talk to Jenny about business plans after work (she helps people with this stuff for a living). On Monday I'll fix my bike, run around the North Side to look for property, research prices and census information and whatnot for the business plan. On Tuesday I shall take over the world.

I'll tell you how that goes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today I was sitting in the quaint little office which acts as the Civic Center of Polish Hill (a neighborhood in Pittsburgh). While I discussed the possibility of starting the space in Polish Hill, I found that my eyes were resting on a small color television set. While the ever cheery and helpful Susan scanned through emails, took phone calls, and copied links for possible grant opportunities, I watched the four cameras mounted outside automatically record whenever their motion censors were triggered. "Welcome," I said to myself, "to the Cyberpunk Apocalypse."

Blog Archive