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Hybrid Lottery Update

Beantown Stomp has been open for registration for a bit over a week, and we have 122 people registered. In our announcement we said we would run a lottery for the remaining tickets if we had 150 registrations in the first week, and we didn't, so we're going to stay first-come first-served.

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Affordable Housing Workarounds

After reading some about how affordable housing is actually implemented, it looks to me like rich people could exploit it to avoid paying property and inheritance taxes, and generally get around the means testing requirements.
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Drawing on Walls

When I started the bathroom project there was a lot of reason to move quickly: the bathroom wouldn't be usable while I was working on it, and the back bedroom was full of construction stuff. Once I got to the stage where the only thing left to do was plaster and paint the hallway, however, it was less of a priority. So we spent May-November with unfinished walls.

Since we were going to paint them at some point, one afternoon I thought it would be fun to draw on them with the kids. We got out the markers and drew lots of different things. I emphasized that it was only these walls we could draw on, which is the kind of rule the kids do well with.

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Comment, Don't Message

Most of the time, when people have responses to my posts they write them as comments. Sometimes, however, they email or send messages. Since I strongly prefer comments I wanted to write some about why.

A discussion we have in comments will be open to people other than the two of us. People who read the post and are thinking along similar lines can see our back-and-forth. The comments will be attached to the post, potentially clarifying things for people who come across the post later. If the question comes up again I can link someone to our discussion of it. The comments show up in search engines for unrelated people interested in these ideas. Since communicating in public has all these positive externalities, I'm much more willing to put time and thought into a discussion if it can be public.

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Lazy Compost is Worse Than Landfill

Growing up we kept a compost pile. We'd keep food scraps in a bucket in the kitchen, and dump them into a fenced-in pile in the backyard along with yard waste. When that pile was full we'd start a new one, and after a year or two the old pile would have turned into dirt we could use in the garden. While it smelled kind of bad, and would have bugs, we liked that we were doing our part for the planet.

Unfortunately, in retrospect I think our piles were mostly decomposing anaerobically, and it would have been better to just throw things out.

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Arguing about housing

Somerville, like a lot of popular areas, has a problem that there are many more people who want houses than there are houses. In the scheme of things this is not a bad problem to have; mismatches in the other direction are probably worse. But it's still a major issue that is really hurting our community. I've been getting into a lot of discussions, and here are some ideas I find myself saying a lot:

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