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Where's rrix Been: San Diego and Phoenix

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I've been on the road quite a bit lately. In October I spent a week in San Diego with my parents and grandparents, celebrating my grandfather's birthday. It was a good relaxing time, barring the time spent sick on a sportfishing boat. My grandpa and I went out to go fishing and I was excited to go, but the moment we weren't in protected waters any more, I was immediately ill, basically every moment the motors of the boat were on. Unfortunate time, I managed to bruise my sternum from all of that. From there I flew to Phoenix where I did some tourism and got together with a bunch of lovely people.

I visited Taliesin West and took a tour of the facilities. They've got some damn beautiful buildings on the property. They've also just got petroglyph rocks in pools.

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So that's a little weird. Apparently Frank Lloyd Wright found them on the hill behind Taliesin Wes and just took 'em. And they're still there. The colors, though, are remarkable.

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I visited Arcosanti, an architectural commune north of Phoenix with a set of philosophies and aesthetics that I appreciate a lot. Arcosanti is an arcology, a community designed to minimize its impact on the natural world around it. A self-sustaining environment that supports the welfare of its community. I've modeled the ethics and purpose of my software omega project around similar ideas, so I wanted to go and take a tour and see what they have to say, and the ideas behind it all. I learned a bit, but I mostly just saw a community that was struggling in the wake of the death of their singular leader, Paolo Soleri. Since his death in 2013, Arcosanti and the non-profit supporting and surrounding it have been in some internal struggles about the direction to take things, how to grow the organization and how to organize. Oh and they learned their leader molested his daughter and his family and the high-ups in the nonprofit covered it up. So I've been looking at that whole thing a lot more critically than I did when I first visited Arcosanti nearly a decade ago. And the folks living at Arcosanti seem to more or less have development on-hold. And I've got some reading to do for the winter.

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I went to the vaguely Mesoamerican themed Fry's Electronics in north Phoenix. It's desolate in there, real bad like. But they still have the, uh, mannequins with beige boxes and big old CRT TVs on their backs, still.

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I attended HeatSync Lab's 10-year anniversary party, at their new location in Mesa. It's funny, the place is like 20 feet wider, but the layout itself is largely the same. So the first time I walked in it was a bit unsettling, in a "this is mostly but not entirely correct", like if you came home and someone had made your bed. HeatSync hasn't really changed much at all since I left, except for the Main Street public display area, and now it's 20 feet wider. I got to catch up with folks that I haven't spoken to in years, and to eat some incredible food. I stayed at HeatSync until pretty late in the night, just chatting with folks, listening to some music, and going through old photo albums. Some folks spent a bit of time trying to recreate a photo from a decade ago. Real wholesome fun.

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I also had tea with a friend I've known since high school, along with their friends from the Arizona Go club. It was a really great experience, and I had a great time staying up until midnight drinking tea, eating cake, and having a real good night of conversation. I hope to have more of that.

I went to India a week after I got back home from Phoenix, I'll start writing about that now.

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Ryan Rix is a privacy rights advocate and net-art wannabe. Reach them on the Fediverse as @rrix@cybre.space, twitter as @rrrrrrrix, via email to ryan@whatthefuck.computer or on Facebook or on Matrix as @rrix:whatthefuck.computer.