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About me:  First-time father at forty-something, forest-dwelling, Finnish sauna fanatic, emergency physician, ED Medical Director, ultrasonographer, professor, student, photographerfilmmakerauthor, localism entrepreneur, and real estate developer. Led team that created and manages the Viroqua Public Market, an award-winning adaptive reuse of a historic Viroqua, Wisconsin landmark building and home of the Rooted Spoon eatery.  

Infatuated with the region where I reside, the "Driftless Area", a unique and mysterious zone in SW Wisconsin never bulldozed by glaciers - resulting in an ancient, undisturbed lands of artisan spring-fed streams, foggy valleys and magestic rocky bluffs covered in prehistoric oak savannas. A real-world Middle Earth. A destination sanctuary bioregion with an abundance of water, sustenance, energy, connectivity and cooperation. Arguably the richest soil on the planet and notably, mostly controlled by interconnected families.  A geographic locale with an optimal balance of wet and dry, warm and cold, individual and collective, allowing us to not only survive but thrive as the Earth inevitably churns into its next version.

I have playful recurrent dream: This enchanting zone of land, is like an Arc!  And we, the people of this Driftless Nation, venture together upon the waters of a world-wide calamitous flood, on 2,000 year mission to foster collective bliss. 

 

      And thus healing is not a destination, but daily practice.

 

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Next big adventure - spearheading an eco-housing cooperative here in Viroqua.  Skinny: design and develop all local material, intact-tree, timber-frame, Earth-burmed homes set into edible garden landscapes on the undeveloped lands of Viroqua.  

 

Owned by a cooperative of shareholders, where one share equals one vote equals one home.  Furthermore, we cooperate in a variety of side-gigs, like AirBNB innkeeping, destination micro-weddings and events, utilizing otherwise unused vacancies in or homes!   So, a housing and business development cooperative company....  Neat, eh?   

 


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F E A T U R E D   F I L M S

 

Music Video Short: Work & Wisdom

 

 

Music Video: Elephant Love (version 1)

Original works by the band Soul Music

 

 

F E A T U R E D   P H O T O G R A P H Y

An assortment of my photography our beloved Driftless Area and beyond.... 

Friday
Jun072019

Hive Capitalism 

The 10,000 year run of the cult of private wealth accumulation has mostly failed us. Mother Earth is kicking back and for many whatever comes, will be disruptive and unpleasant. The aforementioned threat is real. However, must all suffer and what precisely shall we do about all this? 

Parking capital in the coffers of an elite few, putting morality aside, is simply unacceptably inefficient.  

Moreover the interconnected digital world, has grotesquely distorted our natural tendency to cooperate into a destructive abomination. Instead of nurturing individuality our binary avatars have become soldiers of in-group bias, concentrating us into likeminded groups. Comrades to a few and enemies to all else. Including ourselves 

Thus we have been indoctrinated into a death cult of the amassing of individual wealth at all costs, of Competition over Collaboration. We perceive humanity as groups not humans, self as group not soul. 

The solution is not about redistribution of wealth or other impossible measures - it’s about what shall we choose to do with the wealth we are about to create! 

Those holding the capital cards are perhaps 1 billion times more wealthy. What could possibly overcome this magnitude of disparity?  It is the power of the mind and true self, repentant, re-directed, revived. Specifically, it is the power of each interconnected revitalized soul, cooperating together, each following their bliss mission, generating capital, the surplus of which is shared equally.  And with each added member, the power grows exponentially, soon eclipsing our folly and forging a new way. 

Let us form a scaffolding that allows participants to sculpt a web of bliss energy that joyfully tangles us together. Thus manifesting a village where each citizen rides the currents of Devine flow, interwoven. For it is this flow state, that sustains our souls.  The garden of Eden before shame.

To repeat, one person actualized in Bliss flow added to another exponentially grows the bliss energy. 

This bliss flow may seem intangible and hypothetical but we are incorporating something acutely real. Bliss flow is joyful tasks that benefit our culture, infused with the love energy of Mother Earth and the others who have gathered here (and likely generating profit).  All built on a shared wisdom ensuring sustainability despite our egos and flaws.  

Certainly in Viroqua and the Driftless we already participate in a spontaneously formed primordial cooperative society.  Now is the moment and place to formally organize into hive capitalism. Mission Driven Cooperative Companies Owned by Shareholders. One share equals one vote. No hierarchy; there is no guru upon a throne to disappoint us. In fact, each member is a guru. And when it is our time to lead, it is accomplished with service and selflessness.

 The vision - create wealth generating cooperative ventures which fill cooperative coffers. Then supply capital for additional worthy projects. And of course, celebrate and appreciate. 

Our mission: to leave a lasting positive effect.

The timeline, 70 generations of our descendants, living within a society, we are poised to revise and optimize. 

Thus, I propose to you, hive capitalism.  Now is the place and the time to energize our tribal mind (and our tribal banking).  

 

 

Saturday
Jun012019

Fox Cave Trailcam Series

 

This family resides in a mossy cliffside cave, 80 feet above a box canyon and the South Fork of the Bad Axe Creek - on my cabin property outside of Viroqua, Driftless.  They've granted permission to film their comings and goings.  I shall post captures often and we can observe the kits' development.  Can you guess how many children she has?

*WARNING - video series may depict semi-violent sibling grappling, dismembered prey, and scary fox kit eating predators.

 

 

Episode 1

 

 

Episode 2

 

 

 

Episode 3, finale

 

 

 

Saturday
Dec282013

No House at All

I cannot attest to the authenticity of any of the suppositions and claims made  herein however I will share my understanding of the background behind this photograph. 
This is an assumed haunted house, moments east of Viroqua, Vernon County Wisconsin USA. I can't tell you the exact address as the street sign off the gravel road off the gravel road off the gravel road off of a gravel road was either not there or very unclear.
Having explored countless of these in my lifetime, when I encountered this one - which I had never somehow seen before - I could not resist peeking around inside.
Coincidentally, I was listening to a radio program about exploring abandoned places. I liked the phrase they used, take nothing and leave only footprints.  It gave me comfort, implying I would likely leave intact.
The abode was only a few feet from the road, so I presumed it would be ramshackled and pillaged - converted into yet another mundane, boring place, by numerous prior like-minded explorers. Nothing very interesting here I'm sure.
However, I was shocked, almost nauseous, when I enter.  As I think of it now, I'm struck by a chill equal to the one afflicting me as I walked in.
 Other than the dilapidated state of the structure itself, it was as if people were still there. Or more accurately, it was as if they were there one second, and then gone the next.  A couple strides past the threshold I quickly turn assuming someone was running up behind me.  Of course, there's no one.
The attire of a middle aged couple are still hanging in the wardrobe and thrown across a still made bed.  A lumpy fold in the sheets, a sleeping body, simulated.
A cute little workshop, with nails nuts and bolts, neatly organized into dusty masonry jars.
And then the kitchen, where the photograph was taken.  Flatware left exactly where it was last placed. A weird greasy stain leaves an outline around each piece. A bowl still seemingly filled with supper set at the head of the table. The National Geographic from 1983, turned over waiting patiently to be picked up and completed.
And the clock on the wall.  The damn clock. Stopped intriguingly at 7:20. What was it.  Batteries finally died.  Or, don't know. It disturbes me to look at it.
There's a steak knife. Stainded with mystery meat.  A saucer with amber residue on the floor.  Was there a poor pet here too now vanished with its master?
Compelled by slaughtered expectations, I command a seat at the table. Not out of disrespect but remembrance.  Maybe it will gift me some form of understanding what occurred here at 7:20, 1983.

With a startle, I launch upward.  An intense sudden grumble, completely out of place in this forsaken emptiness.  Seems to emanate from the vintage ice box.  I relax again realizing it's but a passing angry snowplow.  There and gone with absolutely no regard for my questions.   Invisibility juxtaposed to the necessity of modern life.
Nothing is taken and only footprints are left.  Drove farther down the road to my destination and then back towards the curious house set on revisiting.
I don't know if I just got a little lost or took a wrong turn, but when I pass by what I thought was the house's location... there was no house at all. 

 

Sunday
Nov172013

Sad analogy of invasive honeysuckle to the zombie apocalypse. 

Sad analogy of invasive honeysuckle to the zombie apocalypse. 

I don't watch much TV, but I have been addicted, as many of you are, to the Walking Dead series on Netflix. 

In the show, humans are infected with an unknown pathogen that destroys higher brain function, leaving us biting, nearly indestructible soulless creatures that wander the Earth in hordes, guided only by our brain stems. 

When defending yourself against a pack of these (who seek to dine and you alive) the only means to terminate them is to take out their brainstem. Of course, as you try to take them out, they try to take you out as you do. 

Even as limbs, mandibles and other appendages are cleaved and cracked, lopped and falling away, they still keep at you with their grizzly dentition and grasping festering nails hoping for a shot to tear into your subclavian vessels or eyeballs as you hopelessly observe your certain demise or at least incredible maiming in horror. 

When I'm in the forest, standing alone, armed only with a lopper, machete and chainsaw, I often gasp at the volume of invasive honeysuckle that surrounds me, envelops me, smothers me. 

They seem to approach like an army of mindless zombies, hell-bent on my tortuous death. It's me or them to the end. The odds are with the zombies that they will endure, consuming my flesh and soul, assimilating me into their death cult. 
They feel no pain, they require little care, they easily dominate and amass the precious Earth energy, sapping life from the natural world around them. 

The challenging things about honeysuckle eradication, horrifyingly, even after you take some out there are many more, infected seedlings, waiting to grow up and replace the deceased. Is it possible to really ever eradicate them? What am I doing in this dark forest alone? Are these contusions and near death events wasted in my futile battle against the endless undead. My pathetic delusion that there is hope of eventual headway. 

Moreover, the more you disturb them, snap, pull, push, and saw into them, the more their brains tells them to grow. Unless you kill it, these efforts actually makes the organism stronger. 

I have to remember, you have to assault the brain. 

My strategy is simple, attack each one individually. Commando up to it and rapidly fracture it's extremities. Rip it's mouth leaves from it before it can chew into me. Penetrate deeply into the skull, and crack out the brain (its relatively delicate root ball) like a soft-boiled egg, again the only means to kill it for good.

Of course it's not that easy. Countless times, after launching my combative efforts, they never go down easily. They try to enucleate my eyeball with their pointy limbs, choke my air in strangleholds, puncture my heart and lungs, as they go down in our desperate death matches.

Sometimes even after their seeming death, as I push them into grotesque piles, accidentally falling upon them, they attempt one last maneuver to have me join them, as I plummet into their infinite sharp edges.

Finally, with some degree of temporary relief, I watch boastfully as their fetid corpses burn. 

But alas, the foolish reprieve is brief, for as I turn to prideful stroll back to camp, I walk straight into another rotten, chewing tangle of them. 

My invasive zombie apocalypse.

Now, where are my loppers!?

Friday
Dec142012

Hi there

Hi there