User:Jan Steinman

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What I'm doing and what I've done.
Jan, making stuff at age five.

Hi! I'm Jan Steinman. I grew up on a southeast Michigan subsistence farm with my parents, two brothers, and two sisters. We pretty much fed ourselves on five acres, while my parents worked full-time jobs -- Shirley, an elementary school teacher, George, a painter and remodeler. Dad, at 93, still raises egg chickens there, although Mom died on June 16, 2019, at the age of 88, after 18 months of assisted living for dementia.

I learned how to run a budget and make a profit at 12 or 13 -- my Dad would buy seed corn, fuel, and fertilizer, we kids would plow, disk, plant, weed, pick, and sell the sweet corn ("always give 'em a baker's dozen"), pay him back for his expenses, and pocket the rest! I sure felt rich at the end of the season to have a couple hundred 1960's dollars to split three ways!

We also had milk goats on the family farm, but my eyes were dazzled by city lights, and I didn't take too much interest. But since moving to EcoReality, I've milked a goat 25,295 times. And boy, is she getting tired of it! (BA-DA-BOOM!)

My agricultural roots have simmered on the back burner since then, but it's all coming back now. It's amazing how much you learn at that age without really thinking of it as a skill!

The Steinman Farm, from 50 feet up.

Sometimes, my dad would match whatever we put in the bank for savings. The sweet corn and money I earned as a groom (sounds better than "stall mucker") at a nearby American Standardbred farm enabled me to start a stereo service business right out of high school at the age of 17.

Although I've been employed quite a bit since then, I've always kept a business of some kind on the side, and left traditional employment completely in 1990, and have been self-supporting since then.

Jan's vision of the ecovillage in five years is fun and upbeat. Jan's vision, 50 years later is dark and foreboding. New.gif These essays won first place in Beyond Peak's Scenario Contest!

If you'd rather chat, you can Skype me, but I currently don't use it often.

Brief Chronologue

Farmboy, musician, skater, painter's helper, stable hand, journalist, editor, cross-country runner, ham radio licensee, tested choleric-sanguine, electronics tech,
car stereo sales, self-employed electronics service, nightclub manager, hobo, TV repair, shoplifter, transcontinental bicycle tour guide, bicycle messenger,
electronics technician, Winter Olympics ski patroller, field service engineer (Korea, England, Cyprus), electrical design engineer, no-children vasectomy, carpenter, computer site engineer, software engineer, ski instructor/supervisor/examiner, project leader, Dvorak typist, systems architect,
independent systems architecture and development process consultant (Switzerland, Germany, Canada, others), mentor, magazine columnist, Internet/web pioneer,
Bachelor of Arts degree in Science/Ecology, home remodeler, herding cats (actually, organizing artists: board member on several local arts organizations), photography instructor, fine-art photographer, graphic artist, printmaker, art gypsy, Internet service provider, vegetarian, welder, biofuel user, award-winning recycler, addict, danced with the New York City Rockettes,
immigrant, Myers-Briggs INTJ personality, tribe historian, ecovillage founder, certified Permaculture designer, ecovillage staffer, certified Permaculture teacher, Photo Editor for Communities Magazine, community educator, movie star, wood chipper, fromagier, agister, lighting designer, soapmaker, currently self-unemployed!


I've been involved with photography since about five years old, when I wondered at the magic of watching the image appear in the developer bath in my Dad's home darkroom. I've kept that interest through the years, sometime simmering in the background, sometimes actually earning my living from it.

In particular, I've long been a fan of Olympus interchangeable-lens cameras. I bought an Olympus OM-2, my first brand-new camera, shortly after getting my first full-time job. I've stuck with Olympus through good times and bad, and am really enjoying using my old OM-System lenses with the new OM-D digital line of interchangeable-lens digital cameras.

I've converted a bunch of Gary Reese's Olympus OM-System lens tests from text to a proper database, so they can be racked, stacked, and compared in various ways.


I Love Books!

Currently Reading

Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan , Azby Brown
In the early 18th century, Japan was deep in an overpopulation crisis. This book shows how the Japanese Edo-period civilization achieved a measure of sustainability.
How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival , David Kaiser
Kaiser reveals how a rebellious group of eccentric physicists returned quantum physics to its metaphysical roots, relating it to mysticism, luck, psychic powers, and much more.

Recent Readings

It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness It's Easier Than You Think, The Buddhist Way to Happiness , Sylvia Boorstein 
A quick read on the basic tenants of Buddhism, presented in an informal way, using the author's anecdotes from her teaching.
Botany for Gardeners , Brian Capon 
Once you start growing things, it becomes helpful to know a bit more about how they work. Capon skillfully puts the science and technical terms into what happens in the garden.
Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change , William R. Catton, Jr.
Human civilization isn't paying attention. Catton told us what was about to happen way back in 1980.
Tools for Conviviality , Ivan Illich
Illich argues that modern industrial methods, with their emphasis on regularity and productivity, sap the autonomy and creativity from individuals. No holy cow remains ungored, as Illich attacks not only industrial manufacturing and services, but also medicine, education, and other standardized, industrial practices, with provocative statements like "Universal education through compulsory schooling is not possible."
Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind , Gene Logsdon 
With humour and wisdom, Logsdon takes us through the fundamental means of local, sustainable soil fertility through the excrement of animals -- including humans!
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder , Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger 
Loving someone with mental health issues can bring pain and heartache. This book helps you set boundaries and helps you help your loved one.
A Prosperous Way Down: Principles and Policies , Howard T. and Elizabeth Odum
This book considers ways in which a future with sell fossil sunlight could be peaceful and prosperous.
Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects , Dmitry Orlov 
With a foot in both worlds, Orlov examines the similarities between the Soviet and American empires, and concludes that the US has not "won," it has simply lasted a bit longer, and has the same fate in store, only possibly much worse.
The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises  
A collection of essays by Fellows of the Post Carbon Institute, an organization devoted to brining the issue of fossil sunlight decline to the public.
In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People , George K. Simon, PhD
How to deal with manipulative bullies -- keep them from pushing your buttons and maintain your sanity.
Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative Building Methods Earth Plaster * Straw Bale * Cordwood * Cob * Living Roofs , Clarke Snell and Tim Callahan
"A complete how-to guide to alternative building methods," full of practical techniques for using earthen materials, straw bale, cordwood, living roofs, and more, culminating in a complete design for a small building, using most of the techniques described.


Pattern Language, A: Towns, Buildings, Construction , Christopher Alexander 
"The theory of architecture implicit in our world today is bankrupt," says Alexander, who introduces a pattern language for making living structures.
The Timeless Way of Building , Christopher Alexander 
The introduction to his seminal A Pattern Language, this volume carefully and thoughtfully lays out the philosophy and methodology in A Pattern Language. While not necessary for using the latter, more famous volume, this book provides a broad overview, and ties together the various patterns into a cohesive whole.
Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities , Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, Diana Leafe Christian 
Practical advice for avoiding typical mistakes and addressing the social, legal, and financial problems that plague the 90% of intentional communities that inevitably fail. Every potential ecovillage should read it, says Bill Mollison, founder of the permaculture movement.
A Simple Method , Stephen Cox
Although it never outright says it, this is an excellent, approachable introduction to the philosophy of modern Druidry. It will change your life, if you let it.
The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships , John M. Gottman
Reveals the key elements of healthy relationships and provides empowering tools for improving your emotional connections.
Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability , David Holmgren 
The co-founder of the Permaculture movement expands the original vision to include sustainable social, economic, and most importantly, energy systems. Specifically raised is the specter of energy resource peaking and depletion, which many so-called "sustainable" practices ignore.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer , Donella Meadows
this posthumous work explains the methodology, systems analysis, behind the models that Meadows used in her influential 1972 environmental call to action, Limits to Growth.
The Untold Story of Milk, Revised and Updated: The History, Politics and Science of Nature's Perfect Food: Raw Milk from Pasture-Fed Cows , Ron Schmid
For mammals, milk is perhaps nature's most perfect food. But modern confinement-fed industrial dairies produce a de-natured, food-like substance that is not very good for you at all. How did things get this way? What can we do about it? Schmid provides answers to these questions and much more. After reading, you will never look at a glass of milk the same again.
Restoration Agriculture , Mark Shepard
Shepard asserts: "Every single human society that has relied on annual crops as staple foods in their diet has collapsed," and he shows how to transition to a food system based on low-maintenance perennial polyculture.

Things I'm Working On

  • Impatience: Is that thing you said you'd have done next week ready yet?
  • Excessive focus: I'm really busy right now, so...
  • Remembering what's important: ... I didn't notice that you are bleeding!
  • Clutter: If I could find my list, I'd add 'find my list' to it!
  • Procrastination: Why wait until the last minute, when you can wait until the last second!
  • Priorities: understanding the difference between "busy-ness" and accomplishment.
  • and many more faults that I beg your patience and understanding with!

Things I'm Not Working On

  • Secret handshakes: There's a fine line between having a common purpose and being in a cult.
    But if you come and learn to milk a goat, I will teach you a "secret handshake!"
  • Spectator sports: "Hey, how 'bout them Canucks!" "Oh, I'm sorry; I don't follow basketball. But I hope Tiger Woods pitches a goalie!"
  • Petty arguments: I'm sorry, you're right, it will never happen again. End of argument -- and friendship. (See "Remembering what's important," above.)
  • Veganism: Is a couple free-range eggs and some grated cheese now and then too much to ask?

Tests are fun!

What kind of soul are you? Results

I am a Hunter Soul

You are driven and ambitious - totally self motivated to succeed.
Actively working to achieve what you want, you are skillful in many areas.
You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.
You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.

An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.
You tend to have an explosive personality, but you also have a good sense of humor.
People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.
You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.

Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

From Blogthings: A Fine Line Between Insight and Stupidity

Career Test Results

16 January 2006

Extroversion |||||||||||||||||| 60%
Emotional Stability |||||||||||||||||||||||| 73%
Orderliness |||||||||||||||||| 53%
Altruism |||||||||||| 36%
Inquisitiveness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 80%
You are an Executive, possible professions include - program designer, attorney, administrator, office manager, chemical engineer, sales manager, logistics consultant, franchise owner, new business developer, personnel manager, investment banker, labor relations, management trainer, credit investigator, mortgage broker, corporate team trainer, environmental engineer, biomedical engineer, business consultant, educational consultant, personal financial planner, network integration specialist, media planner/buyer.

Enneagram Test Results

6 May 2014

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1Perfectionism||||||||||||42%
Type 2Helpfulness||||||||||||||54%
Type 3Image Focus||||||||||38%
Type 4Individualism||||||||||||||||||74%
Type 5Intellectualism||||||||||||||||||||90%
Type 6Security Focus||||||22%
Type 7Adventurousness||||||30%
Type 8Aggressiveness||||||||||||50%
Type 9Calmness||||||||||||||||66%

Your main type is 5

Your variant is self pres

Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Personality Test by

Maslow Inventory Test Results

16 January 2006

  • Physiological Needs (14%) you appear to have everything you need to survive physically.
  • Safety Needs (50%) you appear to have an adequately secure environment.
  • Love Needs (34%) you appear to be content with the quality of your social connections.
  • Esteem Needs (47%) you appear to have a medium level of skill competence.
  • Self-Actualization (63%) you appear to have a high level of individual development.

Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Test Results

16 July 2006

  • Your Type is INTJ
    INTJ type description by Howard Ditkoff 
    A synthesis of information about INTJs pulled from numerous sources.
    INTJ type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss 
    INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know... INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest... INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything... INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability... scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice... Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship... those relationships... tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.
    INTJ type description by D.Keirsey 
    Complex operations involve many steps or stages, one following another in a necessary progression, and Masterminds are naturally able to grasp how each one leads to the next, and to prepare alternatives for difficulties that are likely to arise any step of the way... Masterminds usually rise to positions of responsibility, for they work long and hard and are dedicated in their pursuit of goals... Problem-solving is highly stimulating to Masterminds, who love responding to tangled systems that require careful sorting out... they verbalize the positive and avoid comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an organization forward than dwelling on mistakes of the past... Decisions come easily to them... But before they decide anything, they must do the research. Masterminds are highly theoretical, but they insist on looking at all available data before they embrace an idea, and they are suspicious of any statement that is based on shoddy research, or that is not checked against reality.
    INTJ type description by A. Doerr 
    Be willing to back up your statements with fact... INTJ respect must be earned... Be willing to concede when you are wrong... Expect debate. INTJs like to tear ideas apart and prove their worthiness... Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them.
    INTJ Information website 
    The Theorist’s core needs are for mastery of concepts, knowledge, and competence. Theorists want to understand the operating principles of the universe and to learn or even develop theories for everything. They value expertise, logical consistency, concepts and ideas, and seek progress. They abstractly analyze a situation and consider previously un-thought-of possibilities. Research, analysis, searching for patterns, and developing hypotheses are quite likely to be their natural modus operandi.
  • Qualitative analysis of your type formula, you are:
    • slightly expressed introvert
    • distinctively expressed intuitive personality
    • slightly expressed thinking personality
    • moderately expressed judging personality

Strength of preferences

Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging
22% 75% 1% 44%

Which Lord of the Rings Character Are You?

You are Gandalf.png

Which Alice in Wonderland Character Are You?

You are Alice.jpg

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