Take our lunch poll!
Take our lunch poll!
I've started using Meetup.com to organize several groups. Here's some notes.
For the longest time I've used a Yahoo Groups list to organize the a2b3 group, and that long-lived mailing list continues. It's great to have a mailing list, but it's kind of chatty as a lunch-planning-only effort. So the first of my Meetup groups is the a2b3 meetup which is solely devoted to the tasks of providing an events listing and (most importantly) to plan lunch.
A brand new Meetup is the a2civictech Ann Arbor Civic Technology meetup, which had its first meeting the other night. This is a more classic meetup, one that tries to meet monthly rather than weekly, one that's similar to other groups around the country, and one where I'm starting out from the perspective that I mostly don't know everyone who's going to be interested.
Meetup is a form of civic technology (for the purpose of organizing meetings). For a2civictech, I've been able to use the function of annotating the photos from the meeting to remember who was there, and the little discussion forum around the event is just enough to prepare for meetings and remember what happened there. Meetup also allows you to track the input and output of money to the group, so it's reasonable to track expenses and reimbursement for even little bits of money.
The meetup system isn't free; a semi-annual fee of $72 applies. So by not being free it gives me the opportunity to have other folks help share in the cost of running things. a2civictech is sponsored in part by a2geeks and that's been a great plus in getting it going. You can also share in the roles of actually organizing things by giving co-conspirators some additional rights to manage things.
What strikes me the most is that Meetup is actually designed pretty well to help you successfully organize a meeting. I'm so used to group-forming tools like Yahoo Groups and Google Groups where the goal is to have a discussion online and where the in-person efforts are a very late afterthought. The system comes with a checklist of all of the useful things you can do, and the automated emails for the event planner gently prompt you to do the right thing at the right time. There's obviously a lot of thought and evolution in this system which is a welcome change.
The verdict so far: worthwhile to continue for 6 months, and probably worth renewing.
RSVP now through Meetup.
Lunch at Madras Masala (Maynard St) for a2b3 this week, Thursday from about 11:45 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m.
The usual routine is to show up, fill up a plate with yummy food from the buffet, and sit down for discussion. At 12:30pm someone will note the time and then I'll make a round of introductions and ask a question to prompt conversation.
We've had as many as 8 people for lunch and as few as 4 at Madras Masala, but the restaurant is flexible and if we were to get a huge crowd there's space.
The chime from the a2b3 weekly lunch meetings, as captured by Roger Rayle at Eastern Accents.
A slow moving version of Twitter: always hand write your tweets before sending them.
It's OK to wait quite a long time between initial idea and eventual posting. This also works for blog postings, or at least it should. Twitter happens to make it easy to do in one step for short posts.
How will lunch work on Thursday at a new place? (A2B3 lost its regular restaurant, Eastern Accents, and we're meeting at Conor O'Neill's instead.) Caroline is manager.
What do you want to have stored up so that you can respond quickly to something new after having already thought through it at leisure?
How important is the drawing? (Very.)
Can you focus on something long enough to make it worthwhile to construct a lengthy effort to assemble media to support it?
Suggest it at the Ann Arbor District Library once I get online. It's too hard to fill out the suggestion form from my teeny tiny phone screen.
Jerry Michalski suggesting a similar piece on "bursting vs plodding" and the benefits of each, written by Steve Pavlina.
I'm listening to electronica by Valdis Krebs.
"I think Buddha is one line of work."
ANN ARBOR (Monday, February 18, 2013)
From a news release from Carol Sun of Eastern Accents.
Eastern Accents will be closing its doors for good at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013 (end of the day). A long-simmering dispute with our landlord has finally come to a head, and we’ve decided that it is time for change.
Feel free to help spread the word. We want to get the word out--especially to anyone who might have gift card values to redeem.
A2B3 will continue on Thursdays until the March 14, 2013 lunch, and then we'll go into exile.
A bunch of folks met for lunch on Thursday. Here's some notes from that meeting.
I asked people how they stayed warm. They dress in layers, use solar thermal heating, wear sweaters, wear hats, huddle under electric blankets, and all manner of good adaptive Michigan behavior.
Some events coming up, each of which features some a2b3 group member. Some details elided in the interests of brevity, click to links for more details.
Already happened: Linda Diane Feldt spoke at Crazy Wisdom about the liver. "The liver is the largest and most critical organ for detoxifying the blood, moving lymph, and processing food and storing nutrients. I'm in awe of how well it functions, and how much it does." About 18 people were at the event.
Friday night 1/24/13 is David Bloom and Friends playing lounge-jazz standards at Chelsea's "Back to the Roots" cafe, details on Facebook.
Thursday 1/31/13 2-8p at Burton Manor in Livonia is ACE '13, the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurs. Details on their web site; volunteer opportunities are available which I'm happy to help you track down if you're interested.
Saturday 2/16/13 10a-noon at Eastern Accents is the 4th Death Cafe, led by Merilynne Rush. Notes on the 3d meeting are here with contact info and more details.
Wednesday 2/27/13 from 7pm to 8:30pm in the Multi-Purpose Room is Dan Romanchik about how to self-publish e-books, based on his experience with writing books on amateur radio. Event details.
Thanks to everyone for coming!
Thanks to Patricia F. Anderson for this non-summary of the November 29, 2012 A2B3 lunch at Eastern Accents.
Yesterday saw a decent sized group for lunch, roughly a dozen. Conversation was, as usual, fascinating and diverse.
General conversation included the search for a proper formalmythological "Muse" or Goddess as a kind of patron saint of geeks and code monkeys. A suggestion was Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of
measurement, mathematics, and librarianship, known for her seven-pointed headdress and leopardskin dress.
"Seshat carried many titles, such as "Lady of Builders", "Mistress of the House of Books", and "Foremost in the Library"."
Also mentioned was a recommendation for the book, "War of Art."
Main question focused on upcoming events, where to have events, and "December-y-type stuff".
- Ed's birthday (see y'all next week!)
- Kiwanis sale Fri-Sat 9-12
- Workantile makers fest - January; Show and tell for makers
- Xmas movies at Michigan Theater free on ... Sundays? mostly.
Where to have an event:
- Hathaway's Hideaway
- Pittsfield Grange
- Need a wiki for meeting space in a2
- Check ArborWiki: <http://arborwiki.org/Places_to_have_a_meeting>
- Events as doorway to membership
- "more focused on the diurnal"
- Seinfeld avoidance syndrome
- Marriage licenses will be trickier over the break between Xmas and New Years
Mysterious "boundary marker" stone on Old West Side
A Death Cafe is a safe place where people get together to talk about death and have tea and delicious cake. The idea originated in Switzerland as the "cafe mortel", is organized from the UK, and has spread to France, Australia and the US. Events are low key, held in public places, and are safe and informal.
The Ann Arbor Death Cafe is the first of these events to be held in Michigan. It is hosted by Merilynne Rush, who is a retired nurse and home birth midwife and who has been active locally in at home death care and natural burials since 2008. I talked to her today about it and she said that people "don't have enough chance to talk about death in their life."
The first meeting of the group is at Eastern Accents on Saturday, November 17, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Subsequent meetings are on the third Saturday of each month, except for the December meetup which is on December 8. There is no fee for attending, but please RSVP to Merilynne at email@example.com so that she and the restaurant can make plans.
For more information, please see:
Thanks to +Gyll Stanford, +Steven W. Cornell, +Joel Vergun , +Patrick Haggood , +Dan Romanchik , +Linda Diane Feldt, +John Hritz, +Roger Rayle , +Dan Friedus, and +Brian Rice who made for good conversation at lunch last Thursday.
In no particular order, we talked about the +a2b3 Amateur Radio Club (with Dan Romanchik as the likely point of contact), since we had a couple of people who were online listening to +Skywarn for the last tornado. There was also good discussion of fruit trees and the impact of unseasonable weather on the fruit crops, and at my end of the table some neat talk about underground clay irrigation systems. Joel had a good reception from a Ypsi civic group about his DishFish project.
Events of note for the coming weeks:
Linda Diane Feldt on herbal health for men (Thursday)
Huron River Water Trail meeting
A2A3 Soap Box Derby (Saturday)
Brick Bash (Saturday)
+Grange Junior Makers
Thanks to the 11 (of about 450, or 2.5%) who showed up, and to the 97.5% of you who didn't for whatever reason, it would have been crowded!