Steve’s Update 4/26/2015

Hello everyone, here’s what’s up!

Kraken-Con went great. The convention is amazingly fun – indeed at some point I may need to stay over as opposed to hit it for a day.  I spoke on resumes (which was early, didn’t have much attendance, but the attendees were great folks!) and making Japanese Curry (plenty of attendance and suggestions).  I’m thinking the Resume panel might not be a good fit, but I’m thinking of more food panels.

In fact I’ve been wondering about doing a book on curry – and collect curry recipes, analyze them, format them, and bundle them up.  There’s a book from Japan on curries served on Battleships in the Japanese Navy – but it’s not translated.  So why not do my own?

I’m starting work on my next few books in the month to come.  There will be one on Project Management (and if it gets done depends on getting some contributors), and one on anime culture.  Those are in the schedule – the curry one is just an idea.

Tumblr’s latest update messed up the Seventh Sanctum Tumblr feed, but it’s working now.  The feed is re-enabled, so let the ideas flow!  Turns out none of it was my code, so I wasted time troubleshooting that.  Which means now I can get back to generators.

Finally the latest Crossroads Alpha Podcast is up!
Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 4/20/2015

Hello everyone, got a lot going on! So let’s begin!

First of all the Newsletter?  I decided to make it display my RSS feed in a nice newsletter format.  That way I’m not updating a standard format, I can keep everyone informed, and people in the newsletter get my other fun posts – plus it’s easier to maintain.  Sign up if you haven’t!

Next up is my speaking schedule- I just added three events (though the PMI one I should have done earlier)

Kraken-Con  April 26th, 2015

I’ll be at this fantastic, twice-a-year convention with two panels.

  • Epic Resume Go! – My Resume Panel For Creative People panel, I’ll discuss how you can make writing a resume into a fun creative exercise.  Or a tolerable one.
  • How To Make Japanese Curry – Kraken-Con last year was the premiere of this panel, and now it’s back and improved!  I’ll discuss the history of Japanese Curry, the basic recipes, the many variants, and of course my own healthy version!

PMI Silicon Valley May 13th, 2015

  • Leveraging LinkedIn To Get Yourself Noticed – My new panel on how to use LinkedIn, with a focus on getting people’s attention and going beyond LinkedIn 101!

Fanime – May 24th, 2015!

I’ll be doing one panel at this enormous convention – and I recommend coming by no matter what as this event is amazing!

  • Fan To Pro – My classic panel on using hobbies in your careers, I’ll discuss just how a fannish interest can take you farther – and in ways you haven’t thought of.

 

Now after all THAT . . .

My next book plan is in order.  I’m going to look into doing a book on Project Management Techniques – but as opposed to long, drudging outlines, it’ll be more bite-sized knowledge.  I’ll know more in a few weeks, so stay tuned.

 

That’s it for now.  Let me know how you’re doing!

 
Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Recipe: Eight Cup Curry

So before I go into detail about this recipe, let me give it to you first.  Essentially I repurposed a recipe to make a general curry, it needs work, but it’s a start.

So here you go:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large tomato, diced (about a cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (S&B Curry)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 4 cups assorted diced non-starchy vegetables
  • 4 cups assorted frozen or cooked legumes
  • Around 1/2 cup of water
  • Cilantro if needed.

Instructions:

  1. Place tomato and garlic in pot, with just enough water to cover the bottom.  On high heat stir and mash until it forms a paste, adding water if needed.  The goal is to keep just enough water to make it into a paste but not dry-fry it.  This takes around 5 minutes.
  2. Add any vegetables or frozen vegetables that need cooking to soften like carrots or peppers or cauliflower (some frozen vegetables are cooked then frozen so pay attention).  Add a bit more water, enough to have the bottom of the pot covered.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, stirring every few minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add legumes and any vegetables that don’t need to be cooked, just defrosted, mix thoroughly.
  4. Add spices and stir thoroughly.
  5. Cook until heated through.
  6. Serve alone or with a grain, with cilantro if desired.

So this is a repurposed version of a green pea and yam curry I had that was very simple but tasty, so I wondered if it could be remade to a general curry.  If I could get a general curry recipe that’d let me use most anything I had, it’d be very useful and tweakable.  It also would create a general recipe that would let me, or anyone else, use whatever was lying around, or use a few frozen vegetables grabbed at a store.

The name comes from the fact it’s designed to use eight cups of food – half legumes, half other vegetables.  The original recipe worked that way too.

How did it come out?  Decent.  It was a bit too hot (an issue with the original recipe) and sour, but still quite good – one of those things that I can critique while still noting it’s good.  At the core of it is a solid curry powder and simple ingredients, which works.  I was put in mind of a kind of curry at a good buffet – you might not be thrilled if it came as a prepared meal, but it’d be acceptable in that situation.

I think I can make it work with a few changes – something sweet (an apple or raisins in the sauce), perhaps a bit less lime juice, maybe cut the red pepper.

One thing that stood out in this meal is what the mix did – I had four different vegetables (carrot, red pepper, cauliflower, green beans) and two legumes (green peas and black eye peas), plus I served it on barley (my preferred grain).  Every bite was a mix of flavors, each chew revealed more – all wrapped in strong sauce.  Once I get this right, this is going to be a great meal.

Also note it’s rather balanced.  Combine this with a grain and fruit for desert and you’ve got just about every kind of vegan nutrition there is.  Or eat two servings for a full meal.

Not a vegan or vegetarian?  I think substituting 1-2 cups of meat for an equivalent amount of vegetables may work.  Not sure beef would work on this – chicken or turkey is probably best.

I’m going to keep working on this one.  Done right I get something that’s fast, shareable, and good – and because it’s based on proportions I can scale it up easily (even if that’d technically be sixteen cup curry or twenty-four cup curry).  A great way to make a lot of meals at once or a lazy way to stock the freezer for a lot of food fast.

 

Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 4/6/2015

Hello everyone, just wanted to give you some updates.

First, new generator!  Yes, it’s my Undead Generator!  I’m trying to get back into the generator swing and that’s my first one – and it worked out pretty well.  Give it a go!

Look for some upcoming changes here.  I’m going to restructure my newsletter to be more of a feed from here.  That way I can have a more intimate contact with folks.  Now I just gotta reorganize it!

Over at Muse Hack (which will also have some fun changes coming . . .) I’m still writing on geek culture.  Yeah, I’ll get back to careers, but I really want to cover this!  Check out my latest on culture and reaction!
Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Crossroads Alpha Podcast!

Over at Crossroads Alpha, the gang has started doing a regular podcast.  It’s a “deep dive” on various subjects.  In this case the first episode is about Auterism and Individual Vision.  I’m biased, but I was pretty happy with the depth of conversation, from Wendy And Richard Pini to great Japanese Directors, to David Lynch.

First go on over and get it at iTunes!

You can find us at Talkshoe!

There’s also an RSS feed!

Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

The Unbearable Straightness of Gayness

I’d like to talk about male sexuality, straightness, and gayness. I won’t be addressing female sexuality in any detail as I’m a straight cisgendered white guy. Gonna write what I know.

Anyway, ever notice how there’s something very . . . gay about aggressively straight guys?

You know what I’m talking about. Guys being manly with guys about guys doing guy things. The bros that seem to be so into bros you wonder why they aren’t deeper into bros if you know what I mean. The guys so big on guyness your gaydar melts down because there’s so much guy you wonder if you got a vowel wrong . . .

And you’re speculating someone’s closet is used for more than socks.

There’s something very gay about guys being really, aggressively straight. I call this The Tom Of Finland Phenomena, after the artist who drew very gay scenes of super-masculinity.

And I’ve got a Theory On That.

Signals And Actions

So let’s talk humans and signals. Humans are social creatures, creatures of communication, even moreso than other creatures. With words and glances and actions and tone we’re constantly communicating. We’re often not aware of it (which explains many a social faux pas), but we do it.

Sex is all about communication.  If you think about it, life and reproduction is transmission of information, so sex and communication are impossible to disentangle.  Sex involves a lot of forms of communication.

When it comes to sexuality, we need to send signals to attract a mate. What makes us desirable? What do we offer? What’s good about us? What are you doing Friday?

Sex is about communication with mates. But that’s not the only form of communication.

We also warn off rivals. We show how great we are. We show we got there first. We ward someone off with a glance or a snarky comment. We have a talk with our best friend that maybe he should back off.

So we’ve got to warn off people, be it by an aggressive display or making them realize who’s with who. There’s a “warding” aspect to sexuality.

We also bond with people over sex. Not the people we have sex with, but the people we relate to – our friends, our group, our mentors. We learn from them or teach them about finding mates (or one-night stands). We share war stories and funny tales or brag or ask where we can get that rash looked at.

Sex is about finding someone, about warding off rivals, and something we bond over.  At no point does this seem to matter if you’r gay, straight bisexual, or whatever. These are basic human traits.

For that matter “sexual preference” and “sexual identity” can be pretty damn fluid. I’m straight, but let’s talk Chris Evans for a moment.

Because Woof.

Because Woof.

But at some point straight behaviors, as noted, seems . . . kinda gay.

And when you break down the different ways people communicate, I know why.

Let’s Talk Bros Before Knows

Let’s take a look at stereotypical hyper-masculine behavior. The stuff that is so straight male that we’re thinking it’s gotten a bit gay. Or a lot of gay, no matter how many claims of “no Homo” are made.

Stereotypical hyper-masculine (and indeed toxicly masculine behavior) is aggressive. It’s posturing. It’s often angry. It’s bragging. It’s a constant kind of showing off.

(It is also, to judge by many straight women I know a turnoff if that’s all there is).

We know people like this. We’ve known them in real life, and see it in Internet Tough guys and forum-bragging. And we wonder about them because there’s just something . . .  off here.

Let’s unpack this.

These are guys bragging and showing off. Their behavior is macho posturing. They’re either warding off rivals or forming social bonds with others who act like them.

What’s not in there is mate-seeking. Oh sure they talk about it, they talk about it a lot, but there’s a lot of talk and very little long-term growth. It’s talking scores like a video game – it’s bragging.  Talk of mate-seeking is really about showing off how great you are or warding off rivals to look tough.

These are people engaging in two of the three social behaviors, but not actual mate seeking or fitness for mates.  It’s a bit hard to believe from the average macho posturer that women really want a self-centered “alpha male stud” whatever who’s managed to take the worst parts of metrosexuality and retrograde behavior to create an unholy fusion of annoyance.

Also, when you look closer at hyper-masculinism, the female is often excluded. One is to avoid femminine behavior. One is to be “a man.” In some further spheres of pick-up artistry and political extremism, women are downright degraded (by the people who want to sleep with them, whichseems weird).

An extreme posture or position inevitably leads to exclusion. Hyper-masculinity excludes the feminine.

When it’s guys being guys around guys to get the interest of guys, while excluding women and female traits, it seems pretty damn gay.  It’s so about men that it becomes kind of a mobius strip of suspected closeted behavior.

Looking A Bit Further

So in a nutshell I think that hypermasculinity seems gay as it’s all aggressive performances for other men in a way that is so exclusive of women you wonder. When you’re showig off for your bros, we wonder if that’s really where your mate-seeking behavior is directed.

I’ve also wondered if part of this is the appropriation of macho steretypes by gay culture (again, Tom of Finland). Gay people in cultures with hypermasculine elmenets could adopt them out of mockery, parody, or commentary – certainly I’ve seen that in gay culture over the decades, from the village people to macho-themed bars out here in the Bay Area. Much as history is replete with sexually ambituous mystics like the Berdache, maybe you can play Holy Fool in order to kill some Sacred Cows.

This explanation helps me finally grasp what I was getting to. Straight men who are obsessed with other men, showing off for other men, and excluding the femminine are going to give people the impression they’re kind of closeted or confused.  Maybe they are.  Even more ironic because most “hypermasculine” types I meet are homophobes, since they’re so big on being manly.

Maybe the best way to be manly, whatever that really is, is to remember women.
Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 3/30/2015

Hello gang, not too much to say today. I’m coming down from a pretty busy time, recovering, and finishing undone chores.

First of all, I’m doing an Undead Generator over at Seventh Sanctum, so stay tuned.

Working on some new writing plans for MuseHack.  I’m focusing on culture for awhile -and I HAVE to revive Civic Geek somehow.

I AM now planning my next books, so stay tuned.

I’m also probably going to do more here – but turn the newsletter into a blog feed to make it easier.

Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

A Few Dollars Makes The Difference

In the Bay Area, rent and housing prices are an important topic of discussion since that’s where no small amount of your paycheck goes.  I was out recently with friends, when the subject came up, and someone mentioned a person they knew who took an insane commute so they could avoid insane rents.  They had few options.

In The Bay Area, there seem to be these weird cutoff points in rental options.  Make X amount of money and you can live in this area, but X plus even a few hundred more a month opens up new options.  As one gets more and more options, you end up almost being able to save money – because you can, say, afford an expensive apartment on public transport and ditch a car.  Or one can live near work and cut commute time – and use that to do a part-time job or run a startup.

It’s not just that you have to spend money to make money.  When you have money, sometimes you can save time and money or make more time and money.

A boss of mine once ditched her car, lived in a small studio near public transport in the expensive area of San Francisco – and came out ahead financially.  She had all of San Francisco as her playground, a great job, and plenty of options.  But ironically, to save that money she needed to make enough to live in a place where she needed less.

Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

 

Build Your Own Jim Jones

This article on how ISIS and the LRA maintain their cultic hold over their followers is fascinating. It’s well worth reading on many levels, and concludes with the fact that we can break cults by getting inforrmation to followers. Cults after all control information, build whole worlds for people to inhabit in their own minds.

However what happens when people create their own echo chambers?

I’ve been contemplating lately how the internet lets us build echo chambers. How we can find narrow communities to tell us just what we want to hear. How we can use a tool to learn anything to experience more of nothing.

I’ve no doubt many of us have encountered people well down the internet echo-chamber. I’ve seen it among game geeks and anti-vaxxers, and of course among many political spheres. The world is at their fingertips and they want to wear gloves.

As we face various terrorist groups that are cultic, we may want to ask how we’re going to deal with people who have decided to become cultic. People with options. People without a gun to their head. People who have a choice?

They just chose to find their own guru or empower one.

Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/

Steve’s Update 3/23/2015

Hello everyone and I hope you’re doing well!  Busy here as always, but I’m hoping for some sanity.

I started a new job so that’s kept me busy, though as it’s a contract it’s not going to involve as much overtime.  I’m just adjusting to a somewhat different schedule.

As for what I’m doing next, I’m getting my plans in order after the last few crazy weeks.  More cooking, writing at Muse Hack and Seventh Sanctum, and hopefully new generators!

I also want to try to do more writing.  At Muse Hack I’m also going to explore some social issues of geeks to branch out a bit.

Also I really need to update CivicGeek – it’s been awhile.

So let’s see how the weeks to come go!
Respectfully,

– Steven Savage
http://www.musehack.com/
http://www.informotron.com/
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/