New Dress: 3286 NE Mason St., Portland, OR 97211
Welcome to The Eleven, my monthly e-letter to friends, family and associates. This is how I share resources, photos and my current thinking on things that matter to me, and hopefully, to you.  If you'd like to unsubscribe, please click the link at the bottom of this e-mail.  

I've been doing this for about a year so Happy Anniversary to The Eleven! For past issues, please visit my website @

This month I want to share photos from Burning Man 09, and outline some areas I'm moving on.

Temple Burn 09

This photo is of the Temple Burn @ Burning Man from 2009.  Welcome aboard!
Berm Berms and BermingPortland

I have been thinking about this for years: to quiet arterial streets (and especially the homes that stand beside them (See NewDress :), why don't we install earthen (possibly planted) berms? I believe that this would be a great way to lessen the impact of car traffic in our City and beyond. I started a new site,, for this cause/idea, and am seeking support - both financial and research, to prove that this would make sense to do on a grand scale.  I welcome your participation!
Two things I think would make the world a better place.

1. Disabling/Disarming our car horns when locking/unlocking
. Are you bothered by the sound of cars beeping when the owners lock/unlock their cars?  I have been shocked that this has become the standard for our society and have been looking for ways to reverse the trend toward more noise - having cars beeping when they pull up to an outdoor cafe or in a parking lot, just seems wrong to me. If you can figure out how to undo your system or change it so the lights just flicker or a softer sound is made, please have at it.  I'm searching for a clearinghouse for this information, on-line to get the info out there, but so far have had no luck.  Want to create something like this with me?  Car/Make/Model/how to disengage the horn when car is locked/unlocked.  I know this seems petty when you consider we're fighting wars in Afganistan and Iraq and experiencing a jobless recession, but this seems like a task that each one of us can do to make the world a quieter and saner place.  Thanks.

2. Removing the word "Dude" from our everyday speech.
I know this is going to get me in trouble with my California friends and relatives, but here goes. First a quote: George Orwell: ...everyday language "becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."

The Big Lebowski 

I have been working on this one for a while, usually one person at a time. I start by asking people not to call me "dude".  That usually leads to a conversation where the other person seems kind of disturbed and asks "why not?". I go on to say that I think the constant use of one word in our vocabulary is dumbing our society down.  We've got some serious issues to deal with in our world right now - racism, poverty, pollution, climate change, species loss, overpopulation, sexism, health care reform, etc, and we need as much intelligence, and fantastic communication skills as we can muster. By stopping the "over-dudinization" of our language, I think we'll have a better chance at talking to one another intelligently.  I invite you to try this: the next time someone calls you "dude", ask them not to and see what happens.  Thanks.

This is the first time I've written publicly about this, at length, and I welcome your feedback and thoughts! 
Now for the news from Lake Wobegon :)  I just recently moved to NE Portland from SE Portland at the beginning of October.  It's nice to be back in the North - close to New Seasons, across the street from Wilshire Park and close to the Common Ground Wellness Center / soaking pools/sauna and Alberta Street. We're (Eecole, Albert, Dennis) renting a house that is owned by our friends, Steve Einhorn and Kate Powers who are traveling the country teaching people how to play the ukelele! 

Speaking of the arts: here is a video that our community put together which shares what ecstatic dance is all about.

I'm still looking for work in the Quality Assurance/Software Testing arena. I would also consider working with an environmental or social cause group to improve their use of social networking tools, though people tell me I'd make a great lobbyist, as well!  I'm also especially interested in doing brainstorming/marketing work on the ideas outlined on my website, or others of a similar nature.

My sense is that it's time for our society to figure out how to take good ideas and implement them quickly.  I think we've dilly-dallied around in the past, but I don't think we have the luxury to do that, anymore.  That's where my head is at these days: how do I help society take the best ideas and implement them quickly to preserve life on this planet?

I hope your life is going well - that you have good health, joy, laughter, music, good food, and some magic.

Please keep in touch and let me know if any of my ideas resonate with you, and I'd also appreciate your forwarding my missive along to anyone you think would enjoy it.

Albert Kaufman

PS - Congratulations to President Barack Obama

Barack Obama

for winning the Nobel Peace Prize! I think Michael Moore's second note on this got it about right.

Nobel Medals
'A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.'  President Barack Obama