Author: Jonathan Erdman

Alaska or Bust

I was enjoying a nice drive, heading west on Highway 16 in central British Columbia, when a tire flew at me, loosed from a vehicle that was heading the opposite direction. My car is fucked but thankfully there were no injuries. If anyone has any advice on handling auto insurance claims while traveling abroad, I’d love to hear it.

Tripping through The State of Jefferson

I’m slowly working my way north in my subcompact Fiat 500, which I converted into a little camper car, of sorts. I stripped it down to the bare bones, took out all the seats with the exception of the drivers seat (which I admit to giving consideration, however short-lived, to the idea of taking it out as well), and I stuffed it full of stuff with just enough room for a sleeping area where I can stretch out long-ways on the side of the car that formerly housed the passenger-side seat.

Slug life

I’m trying to make the most of my remaining time here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I start out tomorrow and in the meantime, I’m packing and getting the car ready for the trip up north to Alaska, but I try to squeeze in some walking and hiking time. I was hiking a few weeks back with an activist friend, Nick, a union organizer. I was introducing him to Fall Creek State Park, which is walking distance from my house. Fall Creek is also my go-to trail because apart from being so close and accessible it’s also not very heavily trafficked. It’s got all the splendor you’d expect from a Redwood forest — towering, serene trees, a barrage of gorgeous greenery, and a stillness that serves to refresh the civilization weary soul.

Berning in the woods

A week from last Saturday was the big kick off push for Bernie Sanders campaign volunteers. There were nearly five thousand gatherings across the country, many that congregated in living rooms and around kitchen tables and private homes, across the fruited plains. There were several in my area and since I wanted to get a pulse on how the campaign was going, I attended three of them.

Go to work naked?

It’s sometimes difficult to get back into the swing of things after tax season, i.e., it’s difficult to resume normal life, especially when my version of normal includes things like getting organized to live four months off the grid in bush Alaska. I also difficult to pick up blogging again, so to get back to posting again, I figured that an ice breaker might help, and the best ice breakers always involve nudity, imho. So here’s one for you: would you rather have an auto loan or go to work naked?

Bernie in San Fran, thus begins the long march

For those of us in the tax prep business, March is truly a long march. Interestingly, the most stress comes not so much from the work itself but from keeping up with life outside of work when you have such little time to run errands and take care of the mundane minutia of life, like grocery shopping or folding laundry. At least that’s the case for me. Hence a day off is often a time for catch up, for such of life’s little things. That was the plan for yesterday, Sunday, my one day weekend. But a friend told me to “do something that lights you up” and I took her advice and went up to San Francisco to hear Bernie and to #feelthebern from other Berners. The really was at Great Meadow Park at Fort Mason, not far from the Warf and the Golden Gate bridge. Here are a few of the sights from the scene:

It’s the end of the world as we know it?

Glenn Beck to Sean Hannity: “We are officially at the end of the country as we know it” if Trump loses in 2020. I sure as hell hope so, but I have my doubts. We’ve heard this kind of thing before. Those on the political right tend to use this kind of hyperbole to generate hysteria and rally the troops to get them out to vote. (This is especially when the Republican rank and file is being asked to vote for an an unsavory and unpopular like Trump.) But liberals do it too: recall that Obama was supposed to bring hope and change yet 8 years later we were in short supply on both counts. Nonetheless I remain hopeful. Hope, after all, is a choice.

Warren is for real and I’m pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg unfriended her

It seems a bit… what’s the word?…Cheeky. It seems a bit cheeky to put anti-Facebook ads up on Facebook, but that’s precisely what Elizabeth Warren did. Predictably, Facebook took the ads down. In the ads Warren called for the break-up of tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, all of which Warren is calling out. I really respect what Warren has been doing in the early phases of the 2020 campaign. She’s come out swinging, challenging the domination of corporations with an intense and uncompromising sense of urgency, which is precisely what we needed if we hope to even make a dent in the corruption that both parties have made normative in America. Here’s more from the article:

Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Capitalism is irredeemable’ | TheHill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called capitalism “irredeemable.” “Capitalism is an ideology of capital – the most important thing is the concentration of capital and to seek and maximize profit,” she said during an interview at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, according to Bloomberg News. “To me, capitalism is irredeemable,” she added, arguing that capitalism’s goals come at a cost to people and the environment, Bloomberg reported.