as an avid drupalista, mac user and ecto fan, you'll need to make one small addition before tying all three together. it's a small modification to the .htacess file in drupal. you can find all this and more within the ecto3 forums!
(this awesome photo is from flickr user leppre - check out frosty sunrise 2 in full detail!)
a week in ohio has brought about an level of personal intimacy that i wouldn't have found any where else. with less funds than i need, i've sprawled out on my childhood bed spending countless hours planning the next four months. between east coast offers of a roving camera man & thoughts of giving up, i find myself in a precarious position.
my life in ohio is simple. my life on the east coast seems extravagant. this journey around the world seems extraordinary. yet, i still look in the mirror every morning and see the same short bearded face. when i look down, i see the same small hands. with a warn out seat, my pants are five years too told. my socks holy. my back, feet, arms and legs feel the burden of the world.
my 29 years on this planet have been extraordinary. it's taken me quite a while to truly understand the detachment my parents gave me. growing up in the last decade of the cold war, in a small bedroom community of a military base, i was exposed to a world far beyond the reach of the three creeks that surrounded my suburban ohio house.
the journey from california to ohio is normal, a loving military couple moves to maximize wealth and opportunity to provide for themselves and their young sapling. a few years later, another young sapling comes along. all the while, the two work endlessly to teach their children of the family tree and the world's forests.
as the older sapling grows, the world takes it toll - accidents, fires, health issues, etc... but eventually the sapling realizes that the world's forest are massive. as he grows, he hears things that don't make any cense. he reads things that seem to have no tangible relationship to the world he lives in. yet, for some reason these stories are the notable stories - for some reason, these stories are the constitution of public discourse.
confuse by their importance and lusting after a deeper meaning - not all of these stores are lost. this young sapling knows that his forest and all the animals that inhabit the surrounding area must be similar to the one he reads.... they must be similar to all the stories he's been told... to all the stories he's dreamt... and with a slight hand of a shovel, he packs his roots, loads up an old VW van and departs to visit the forest beyond.
from the forests out east he sees an urban forest where trees are valued but not harvested. up and down the american coast he finds others who seek a grander meaning from sea to shining sea. across the sea, older sapling and taller trees that seek a similar exploration. across the world the sapling sees the stories, views first hand and oogles images of forests far and beyond - locations with out a single tree in sight - vast beaches of stubborn shrubs rooted on tiny rocks - vast urbanities where all trees have been removed...
all in all, after countless accidents, fires, health issues, loves and losts... returns to his original forest for a feast. like the year before and like any year after, the feast is more like any other family's... filled with it's unique quirkiness and unbeholden to any austere tradition - this family sits around revels in each other's stories, branches and quirks for a specialty ordered feast.
within a few days, this sapling once again departs into the unknown. this sapling has done it before. he's traveled the paths, climbed the rocks, trolled along the beaches and buried his head in the sand a few times. off in the distance there is a mountain, paths to the top are unknown, unproven and most fo the time unrewarding to anyone but itself.
beneath the ground, this sapling sees roots of many colors, shapes, sizes, from a million and one time zones. this sapling knows the roots are strong, healthy and ready to spring forth a new alternative ecosystem based on healthier soil.
while this sapling doesn't quite know his own destination, height or width - he's grown to know the trees, valleys and streems. he knows the glory of unity, the power of diversity, and the love of the world. he knows that he couldn't have done it without the unflinching support of a global family firmly rooted in passion.
thank you. blessing be with us all.
(this is a recreation a photo my father took of my mother in the same yard. click on your fav part and be transported to a magical day filled with globetrotting, house hunting & a birthday celebration.)
it's one hundred percent certifiable, my body has traveled around the world. on 24 may 1978, i was born at loma linda university hospital. on 12 november 2007, i drove around the hospital to seal the deal and officially proclaim my body around the world.
as a descendent of new world explorers, i am now the first modern hidalgo (of moca linage) to circumnavigate the globe. do i feel different?
yes and no. it's kinda like turning a monumental age. you've always dreamt of reaching the milestone, but wondered if you'd make it. nonetheless, you persevered over every oppositional thought and roadblock. i could wax on about how i feel like a billion sea shells or how there's a new spring in my step...
i know tomorrow will be another day - unscripted, unedited and unfiltered. many things can and will go wrong.
i know hundreds of people have placed me on their shoulders and carried my dream across the globe.
i know that i must work twice as hard to show my appreciation for the beauty of all things.
i now know nothing will stopping me from working the world's lemons into lemonade.
i know i am not alone.
(this is a total departure from most of my ramblings... i'm exhausted, but i want to get my "fresh" thoughts on "paper." all y'all should note i listen to the motorcycle dairies like a rechargeable battery pulls it's juice from the wall. track to track, i find an energy like none other... am i alone in this???)
from vancouver to Seattle, i sat with a cast of characters. boarding a amtrak chartered bus, i found myself surrounded by stereo typical travelers - the sports junky worried about customs, the hot college coed, the two friends setting out on a long journey, a preppy couple who had a copy of the ny times, a few hipsters, grandmas, etc...
as rain pounded the roof, we all waded through customs, reboarded the "secure" bus and shlepped to seattle. as we drove through the foggy morning in "upper northwest" (really it's all subjective, in vancouver they call it the lower mainland), the sun caressed the horizon which illuminated mountains to the left and large bodies of water to the right. somewhere through my drowsiness, i too caressed the mountainess coach chair to my left and to my right, i poured out a widow into a never ending water world.
once in SEA, i found myself in the same tiny train station from which i departed. with my eyes barely working, i found the seat assignment keyosk and requested an ocean view. as an FU to my mental state, the vending machine decided to stiff me on my morning ritual of M & Ms. after a solid five mins of cursing, banging and a 110% vagrant disposition, i convinced the machine of my worthiness and was granted my treat.
as i stood to board the coast starlight, i danced (ie wobbled back and forth trying to keep balance) as i looked around at my fellow passengers.
i wondered whom i would meet. i wondered whom i would befriend. i wondered about their destinations, stories, but more importantly, i wondered which cute girl would fancy this bearded flip-floping hobbit.
would it be the hipster from vancouver or the mid-20's vixen wearing an unusually light sun dress for a cold day?
would it be one of the three young college coeds or the layered granola crunching intellectual?
would it be the grandmother who's traveled around the world or would it be married woman traveling without her husband?
after scoring a seat with a rare electrical outlet, i crossed my finger on whom my join my bench. as my luck would turn, i got the acid washed early 40s stoner who interjected "dude" instead of "ahum" or "ahh." behind me and to the left, sat a woman who's disposition suited an afternoon cocktail party, not an early morning long distance train. directly behind me and next to the boisterous three cups of coffee, sat a cute fashionable question.
tipped with firey red hair, this late 20 year old sported flat-black calf high boots, a teal dress of notable distinction and black leggings. the dress looked really familiar. the style was something i had seen a few times before. either in nyc or sf or some other hipster sub-capital. i knew the cut, the frills and somehow i knew the personality would be interesting.
as the train departed, i fell back into my previous state of traveler's coma. an hour or so later, i woke up and ran to my lunch reservation in the a dining car. (btw, what a rip off!)
upon my return, i was blessed with the two women blabbing away and my bench mate passed out sporting a nice collection of drool. tired and alone, i settled into eavesdropping mode. as an observer, i've found myself enjoying the conversations of others... when you've already developed a distain for someone's attitude, it can be a real treat!
behind and to the left, the older woman clad in "funky" jewelry provided enough comments to paint a picture of a strong independent upper-middle class woman from the united states. sounding like a blend of a million and one other conversations, i dreamt she lived in a comfortable house, struggled with her life's investments and more importantly, she was more concerned how others perceived her and her husband. (all of which was confirmed as the conversation wore on...)
sitting to her right sat the fiery red head who was verbally amazed by every burning autumn leaf. from topic to topic, i heard an open, inquisitive and fiery disposition. too boot, i heard the voice of a self made woman. when she said the words "school of hard knocks" my heart skipped a beat. i wondered who was this woman. more importantly, i wondered how to interject an introduction.
by the stroke of luck, the conductor announced we would be stopping in portland for a "fresh air break." within a matter of mins... oh wait, snap! so, there was a glance. when the two got up to get lunch, i sat typing away. next to me sat mr. spicoli (as "fire" would eventually come to describe him). somehow, someway, we made brief eye contact, but too brief to be substantial. ok, if "fire" would have dropped a hanky, then it would have been substantial... so off they went... glare, look, glance noted...
then, when the conductor called out the fresh air brake, i hopped up and to my delight so did "fire." amazingly, mr. spicoli stood in front of both of us. as a die hard smoker, he was ready to pound a few sticks in the 5 / 10 mins we had outside. as we worked our way down the stairs, "fire" commented on the characters and i was taken back... was she talking to me? was she being coy or snotty? was she calling me a character?
regardless, i knew this was my one opportunity. if i screwed this up... i would be screwed up. so i shot back the classical "oh, i think we're all characters."
low and behold, that one little line set off a chain of events that would force me to turn around and hanging over the back of my seat for the next few hours. when we re-boarded the train, "fire" pulled out her old ibook and i was like... "whoa, can i steal some of that?"
in ease, i built an itunes playlist of rock n'roll, jazz, soul, 60's and cover songs... ahem, i am that high fidelity guy. i have that disposition where i judge people by their musical tastes. i know it's such a bad thing... and if you're female and i make you a mix tape. watch out! ;)
maybe it was her light blue eyes or her constant application of a fiery red lip gloss... but every movement seemed to be in slow-mo. i was completely transfixed from topic to topic - indian pizza, dysfunctional family, fashion, music, technology, social networks, self made adventures, etc... every comma, apostrophe, period and question mark had my total awe. if this wasn't enough, she was to be in vangroovy from monday to thursday, but had to cancel to attend her grandmother's funeral... instead "fire" routed to her way to seattle. can some one say "star crossed?
it was weird to think of destiny and the world that exists beyond/after this project. it was weird to have chet baker's "my ideal" stuck in my head after so many months of celibacy. maybe this is a T.M.I., but when i started this journey i dreamt about being a casanova and meeting the love of my life. i still dream that i will find the love of my life... but i now fear that the love of my life is something that's beyond any one particular person. AND that really freaks me out...
well, i now have a crush and an address in SF which will soon start to receive post-cards. :)
sorry to be a ham and get all porkbelly on all y'all. i really don't even know where to begin. the american experience is one hell of a show.
as i write these words, the northwest seaside of washington passes to my left. to my right, everything that i've known fades into a bewildering memory of love. off in the distance, i see islands of prosperity, amusement and a future not yet determined.
since my return to the "main land" i've settled into the gentle embrace of friends. old friends, new friends, friends whom i once disagreed with... friends whom i'll never properly know... friends whom i still don't understand...
as the early morning fly fishermen whip, i wonder what i've caught. i wonder what type of trout has snagged my line. it's been really weird to know that i am four months in this journey. with a little more than 100 days left, i can feel the prickly point of having less than $70 USD in my checking account. i also feel the prickly point of this journey, but do not know what is the exact prickly point. i know that every step brings me closer to the big fish. yet, the fish i attempt to sang is perpetually eluding me.
off in the distance, a steam rises from an urban outcropping and video the scene wondering how my state of nature has evaporated, condensed, purified and boiled off. there are so many things i see that need work. so many ideas that have to be explored, purified and condensed. so many others need to be boiled, frozen or thawed. i no longer see a simple solution to world's woes, but ideas that can transform minds.
we don't need revolutions, we need an evolution to find symbiosis.
to be honest, it is hard to condense what i've seen. it's hard to sit and think about what we are doing when paul hawken brings about more conclusions than questions... frankly, i feel he's written every i wanted to say. it's hard to read benkler and think about the complexity of a networked solution. it is hard to balance the curatanical views of "community managers" who talk about a networked - peer to peer world - yet only want "their" way of salvation through sustainable consumption. it's hard to think of an open solution when history is stacked against us... it's harder to find a solution when many more questions bubble up.
traveling away form the coast, the cold earth hugs a dense fog and envelopes my train... i wonder where if the rosy picture of a networked ecology brings me any closer to understanding.
as we bank to the left and bend to the right, i wonder how to stand for something and yet stand for nothing at all... i wonder who is the conductor and who is the ticket taker... or wether there must either... i wonder how to let my own frustration subside and focus on the ecology of seven.
when i first boarded this train, i did not see an alternative ecology. now as we pass the steaming marshes of everst washington, i see a golden sunrise. a sunrise that awakens us to an opportunity like none-other. i see rays showering the trees with a million points of wealth. i see lagoons glistening with opportunity.
i see an evolution of revolutions.
no longer must we stand in line for gadgets, badges or briefs.
off in the distance, underneath an orange hard hat and donning an orange work vest, i see you.
around the time of my departure, CC Chapman asked me a bunch of questions. while his questions were always on my to-do list, i found myself pushing them aside. then on my last day in delhi, i found myself without power, in the middle of a gnarly rainstorm and without a penny to my name.
while i love CC's enthusiasm, there's a story that you might hear in my voice. when i started the two most recent interviews (jetset & cc's podcast) i was sitting in ashish's apartment, running around trying to understand my own space and my own workflow. too boot, i discovered that didn't have any money to make further travel plans. stuck in delhi i fretted about how to move forward.
so i was depressed, pissed, and concerned... after a few twitters and a few hours later, i discovered who where the real supporters of this adventure...
thank you all!
your enthusiasm has carried me around the world! i'm really lucky to know that my dreams are not just something one can conjure from random blog posts... my dreams are not alone. my dreams are wrapped in a never ending global conversation of hope and opportunity.
THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!
so i've arrived in sydney! it's my last town in the global south for a little over a month. for the past two nights, i was in the delightful company of ben balbo, simon roberts and a slew of other melbourne geeks who's time was fleeting but memorable. it's truly remarkable how a the drop of a hat we can chat and see a networked world of opportunity. thanks gang!
(btw, if you're looking for my ugly mug in sydney... find me tomorrow morning at Coffee Mornings)
Recoded: aug 2007
Locations: cairo, egypt
Tags: luck of seven, illness, cairo
About: the three days i spent in cairo many thoughts filled my head. down and out i found myself alone and depressed. not knowing how where to go or how to communicate, i turned on the camera and shot a few moments... you won't see me more candid than these few mins.
today, i used my taxes worth of internet. waking late and walking out the door later, i marched down the street to the Northern Territories' legislative building. after beeping through security, i found a cute little cubical to catchup on flickr, blip.tv, a few emails and more importantly, edit episode 16 and upload episode 17.
while doing this, i only took two photos today. one of a parking meter and another one of me right before i wrote this.
if you didn't notice, today was a video day. mired in tapes out my ears, i've been having a hard time sitting down to edit. while i think i'm getting better, my set up is a pain in the ass. being on the cheap i grabbed my 250gig 7200rpm LaCie hard drive that ways a ton and requires an external power supply (this should remind my boy scout leader of the time i complained about my packs weight after packing 10 steal cans of beef stew). combine the fact that all encoding has to be done in real time, therefore requiring me to set up my camera and chew up another power outlet. painfully, i have discovered video is not like photography. i have to sit down for at least two hours to encode an 85 min tape.
somewhere between complaining, bitching, honesty and laziness sits my last paragraph and my next.
i'm super excited to have five tapes that need to be encoded, pruned, and edited. if my luck bares strange fruit, i'll get some of that done while i'm here in AUS. if not, then i'm going to have a nice thanksgiving treat for you all. maybe for christmas you'll get an apple tv or something media player and get to watch my yummyness over a fat turkey while i'm lost in the mountains of peru.
this was original written somewhere over the south pacific.
as the hour turns, i cross the equator for the first time. in a nondescript tiger airways airbus, i find the toilet really doesn't flush counterclockwise, i find no big celebration, i find nothing special about this landmark event.
yet my heart, my head, and my stomach bounce in delight. it might have been the most recent copy of the economist or the $3USD korean ramen or 100g of a dark chocolate and hazelnut concoction. but somewhere deep down inside, i think it's because i'm finally making it to australia.
many years ago, when i was in junior high, i use to hang outside the principles' office. surround by wood paneling and a trophy case of the school's awards, my hacker/geek/outcast friends sat under the sole pay-phone wondering how we could harness it's copper to escape from our dreary midwestern lives.
on the weekends, my father and i would drive to book's and company (the most cosmopolitan book store in dayton, ohio) and pick up our monthly addiction of computer magazines, mondo 2000, and 2600. during the week, my friends and i would sit next to the principal's office and scheme up plans to take over the school's PA system or hack the LED student council sign or plan our next 24 hour LAN party.
we were kids. we were geeks. the internet had yet to find it's way into our daily life.
one day, in a fit of youthful frustration, i called quantas and made a reservation to Australia. before the agent hung up, my dreams were dashed. somehow i would have to muster $5000 USD and apply for a visa.
seventeen years later, i have taken care of the two.
while my original plans had me in country much longer than two weeks, my flight to hawaii came at a high cost - fly out on Oct 20th for a few hundred or fly out later and pay close to a thousand - SO my first three days in australia will be spent in darwin sorting my bearings, catching up on emailed contacts, planning my US roadtrip and gathering steam for my trek across australia.
on monday, 8.10.2007 (or 8.10.2007 depending on which side of the world you're on) humpy doo, katherine, newcastle waters, tenant creek, alice springs, coober pedy, woomera, adelaide, melbourne, and sydney will no longer be names on a map nor places a crocodile dundee movie. they and the places in-between will be filled with faces and their stories'.
in seven hours, i will enter my fourth continent 10kgs lighter (thank you kengggg!!!) now with just a few mins to send out a thank you, i am amazed i didn't come to the other side of the globe sooner. despite the cold showers, dictatorships and poverty, the food was great and conversations mind blowing. once again, i find myself leaving a company of friends.
the flight from home has been long and the rickshaw ride unexpected, but you've given me more to view than i wanted. i promise to be back.
well, today marks my three month anniversary. three lonely months tasting the global fruit and discovering that the question i've set out to answer is no more of a mystery than a mexican diner smack dab on the other-side of the world.
accompanied by a spaniard, a chinese, a new zealander and an australian, this merry fruit basket swung off the FCC roof top terrace into a den of happy pizza joints and one mexican diner. to my own astonishment, i found out that "happy" pizza is not just some local chain store, but instead code for stoners pizza. somewhere between happy to super happy, you can hop on a rocket made of dough and disappear into a blissful wasteland of "no-income" locals. if i would have known that happy pizza was more than just a chain, i would have opted for a something a bit more experimental. my regret runs high.
the concept of mexican food is quite normal to me. hell, it's not normal, but a damn staple of every poor brooklyn moment. sandwiched between $1 USD tacos to $3 USD falafel's, my standard NYC meal-to-go is cheap and authentic. then when i meet a new zealander who's developed a hankering for a burrito, i really started to wonder what exactly is she craving.
my last foray into "real" mexican food + one ocean was bad. on a small street in northern france, i devoured something that looked like a fajita. then came ruby tuesday's in delhi. a nacho plate piled high with cheese, jalipanos and sour cream, my stomach churned butter into milk. scored by the bill and burned by the taste, i was quite leerily of an other mexican meal.
with my only other alternative a "happy" pizza, i rolled the dice and found a seven.
the chips home made. the avocado rich. the black beans and the beef a bit sweet. all-in-all, i found a mini-slice of north america delightfully yummy and close to home.
as our global conversation spanned from reintroduction to work accomplished to our futures, i debated my own situation.
two weeks till the journey's turning point, i've had many thoughts on what will come next. deep within my own kitchen, i am cooking up a plan to combine all the things i've touched, smelled and tasted. sometimes things ends up a bit more sweet; sometimes a bit more bitter. i see my own future baking the stories of today into the power of tomorrow.
my outlook on life has changed, i see this world as a big kitchen full of ingredients, spices, pots, pans, ladles, etc... it's up to us to cook up our own media, feed our minds, nourish our souls and make sure the whole family has a bite to eat. the menu might change, the ingredients will vary, but the global family is always the same and i know there's enough for everyone.
what are you cooking tonight?
last night, boy was there a fight.
after taking an eight hour bus from Naski to Mumbai, i found my way through the monsoon laden streets to yashish's company of friends. after commandeering two cell phones for directions, i found a small hotel with three restaurants. nestled in down a dark road stood, my destination was within aqua.
as i sat in an overly sterile environment, i found warmth in the company of nine indians. glued to a flat panel, we watched the semi-finals of the world's first T20 cricket match.
for those of you (like my self) who don't pay attention to cricket, let me enlighten you about a few things... first, the world over has found cricket to be a total bore. second, the world of cricket has a new shortened version. it's kinda like two innings with a pitcher throwing no more than 20 pitches. third, cricket is a fanatical sport. forth, india and Pakistan will play each-other in the world series T20 final. fifth, they are arch rivals.
as i've traveled around india, i see a sense of nationalism unlike any other. there's almost a hell bent attitude that india is ready to take over the world. maybe it's their position as one of the world's fastest growing economies. maybe it's their position as the largest democracy in the world. maybe it's their diversity. maybe it's their position as one of the worlds largest english speaking countries. maybe it's because of their diverse history and willingness to compromise to make things equal. maybe it's because they see beyond the horizon and see a world where their footprint will dominate the globe.
one can not overlook the impact india has on the globe. one can not overlook the pride indians have for their country, diversity, and history. the world can not overlook india.
today, i made a little journey. after last night's jaunt, i woke up with three agenda items... 1. get a new SIM card (btw, i'm writing up a long overdue review of SIM purchases for MobileVoices) 2. hang out with yashesh. 3. find a way to see shreya, a college student whom i met while at digital bridge camp.
the first two were quite easy to accomplish. yashesh is a geek, and despite his maxed out metered ADSL, has his geek connections. ten mins away from his house sits a train station. surrounding the train station sits a local market. as we passed by airtel, hutch, reliance, vodaphone advertisements, i wondered which provider would clam me as their next victim.
as i first attempted in egypt, i selected vodaphone as my vampire of choice. to my surprise, vodaphone gave me a kickass deal, 10 times better than airtel. i kinda felt like a schmuck after the kind booth-man handed me my pre-paid packet and i wooted out-loud.
after a 15 minute interlude of names, phone numbers, addresses, passport and visa numbers, i sent my first text message to shreya. who immediately informed me her younger sister was in town and plans would have to be "family" oriented. in my mind, that meant MOVIE NIGHT!
after my night at movies with omar, i am now hell bent on catching as many movies as possible. you really don't know a culture until you know how they experience movies. despite the whole concept of sitting in a dark room with the lights out, movies are highly social and provide a rare glimpse into the banality of life.
i arrived and immediately qued up to start my bewilderment. the man behind me, stood so close that his belly touched my back. every step forward endured another oppressive re-acquaintance with this discomforted. after two quick steps and a quarter turn to my right, i experienced his dirty fake italian shoe on top of my foot. not to mention his big-assed belly pushing my arm. fed-up with his physical comport, i created a force field with my elbows. in india, physical space is one of those things you create or deal. i took it to the next level and pretty much built the taj mahal between us.
after a bit of slow-going, i was in-front of an attendant with two options - sliver seats (300 rps / 7.50 usd) or regular (90 rps / 2.50 usd). confused, intrigued, bewildered and excited, i pulled out 1000 rps, felt like a millionaire and purchased three tickets.
when shreya and her sister arrived the movie was just about to start and my excitement was about to boil over. somewhere above my head sat three leather lazy boys with our names. walking though security was not a breeze. since isreal, every mall's entrance has a guard, metal detector and bag search. after loading up my pockets with an ipod, cell phone and camera, i set off more alarms than an that crazy old farmer who drove his tracker into washington monument.
apparently, cameras are allowed but not their batteries. cell phones, while allowed, are closely monitored. after a bit of my belligerence demanding to know where my battery would be kept, we dashed up four flights of stairs to one of the most amazing theaters in the world.
there was no opulence, just glutney. the concession stand was to the right. to the left stood seven or so booths for any tasty delight of your choice. hot dogs, ice cream, starbucks, sorbet, cell phones, books, credit cards... there was a booth for them all... not only was this theater in a mall, but there was a mall within the theater.
tucked away somewhere, i assumed there was another smaller theater, but couldn't find it. maybe it was on the half-level below me and i just missed it.
in the theater, we were quickly shown our seats - three fat lazy boys with electronic adjusters to recline. each one came with a soft pillow and a warm blanket. as i pondered when was the last time the blanket was washed, my naked wet legs found warmth. comfortably adjusted a mile apart from each other, the three of us sat in a row to watch "loins of punjab." (spoilers precede this statement. LOP was not entirely a flop, and i might see it again... so now you've been warned.)
the movie had it's moments and more importantly had it's defining moment at the tail end. unlike a majority of the attendants, the three of us arrived too late to stand for the Indian national anthem. well guess what happens at the end? the white guy who's vying for desi idol sings the national anthem. AND in spite of the Indian-American demand for no one to stand up... the entire audience stood up...
the three of us just kinda looked at each other, tossed some popcorn in our gullet and waited for everyone to sit down.
then something hit me harder than bars of soap on the fat guy in full metal jacket... ireguardless of the stereo type portrayed in American pop culture, this country is going to bite us in the ass. we might think of them as a little democratic brother, but india has a shit load of natural and mental resources unyet tapped.
the Japanese economic fright of the 80's is nothing compared to unsmoked resources of Goa. in more ways than one, i've got my money on india!
my life is now a stream of thoughts, words, notes, images and video. all of these things are tied to a machine. this mechanica is unlike any other. i believe has it's own personality, and out of all of my previous traveling companions. he enjoys work.
together we have customized each other. from my frequent browsing around to resizing of photos, the touchpad's texture is warn smooth. the case, once rubbery, is now oily soft. where my watch band rests, light scratches. from 110 to 220, we've basked in the glory of sun to permanently destroy the battery.
internally, i've increased his belly to deal with all of my poor attempts of photography and made many customizations via Pathfinder, iPhotoBuddy and countless free and/or open source software. externally, the world sees him tattooed with the cross of a shotgun and a surange obscuring a corporate logo associated with the apathy of hipster love.
at fourteen months old, we've seen a lot. i'm proud to have tyrone as my travel companion.
for the past few years, i've tied myself to a blog editor named ecto, and it was good.
i'm one of those guys who like to mess with things visually. i like getting my hands greasy with GUIs. more importantly, i'm one of those guys who's finds grammar a tedious chore and spelling a figment of imagination. therefore, marsedit's "hardcore" HTML editing too minimalist.
while i've loved using ecto, i find my head filled with thoughts hard to categorize and suitable for a blog post. while i have several moleskins for random thoughts and journaling. my attachment to tyrone's fast and flexible keyboard drives me to type non-stop.
because, i can tag thoughts, publish vis-a-vis xmlrpc, and keep track of video and audio thoughts through tags, i downloaded Journler. now it's up to me and "j" to hammer out our HTML production. if it doesn't work.... and you're a software programmer... i need something like pages, but kicks out xml-rpc. maybe i'm already using the best editor and don't know it. tomorrow, i'll try marsedit.
(notes to journler's programmer. i use drupal and frequently use multiple categories. under this current version, i can not tag a post with more than one category. also, my edit within "blog" mode seem to be lost in a binary wasteland. finally, the xhtml seems to be specific for journler and my local machine and therefore not for the web. thanks for your hard work, but it looks like i have to find another blog solution. btw, i did try to use it and this was posted with journaler...)
it's day 77 and with the wings of mercury, i've hit 15 countries, taped 31 hours of video, and visited the only lasting ancient wonder of the world. despite my rants of trying to breaking bad habits, i am having a blast.
today, i received two refreshing emails... the first came from my mother who said "...do not misplace your faith" and the second came from an old friend who said "consider this your great adventure. don't start planning for another until you've finished this. experience this while you're living it. don't experience it in retrospect."
both emails came as a nice pleasant blow to my mental state of annoyance. maybe it's my present location that's affecting my head. the guest house where DigitalBridgeCamp is located is a former home for shell shocked WW I & II solders. it would be easy to dismiss my distraught thoughts on the ghost stories of war veterans, but my reality is that i'm trying to understand a gap that's enveloped me. i'm looking for a bridge to ride my painted pony into the 21 century.
today also contained another seminal moment. shortly after lunch, i found myself reiterating a presentation i made two days ago. with the help of a bottle of wine, some country liquor, and a good night of sleep, i sounded more like a scratchy record than fresh fruit juice. lucky for me, a few people disagreed with my viewpoint and it fired up my hungover brain cells into something tangible.
from DOTsub, rocketboom, alive in baghdad, make weekend projects, galacticast, jetset, the burg.tv - to - my name is bill, the tuxedo travelers, the yes men, not an alternative, drishti, video volunteers... i spent an hour or so talking about media and the power of making our own media.
with a camera, an idea, an internet connection and a tool kit, we can tell our own story. in the hands of underrepresented communities, the true face of the world comes into focus. just look at video volunteers and you will stare into the face of the global future.
(ed note, alive in baghdad is right now the creme de la creme of community video units. it's just so sad to watch.)
the following are just small list of organizations, projects and resources. i know my knowledge is limited. if you have any addendum, leave a comment.
video resources for social change
- witness - using video to document human rights
- global voices - a global perspective of online conversations
- drishti - an indian based video advocacy shop
- video volunteers - an exelent example of building local rural media outlets
- dot sub - translate your video into any language
- tactical tech (NGO in-a-box kits) - free tool kits
- ashoka asia
- taproot foundation's - non profit technology listing
- Ideallist.org - tools for fundraising
NGO resources to understand digital technology
- tactical tech - best practices & tool kits for change
- NPO Groups - Rider's News & Rider's Tech
- mobileactive - social engagement with mobile phones
- NTEN - nonprofit technology network
- DotOrganize's report on non-profit's and NGOs
- tech soup - tools, forums and resources
- personal democracy fourm - online political engagement
i'm still having a hard time letting go of things that i should have given up long ago. somehow i've found away to convince myself that my concerns are valid and important. yet, it's funny to think that when i started this trip, i was convinced that a small group of bloggers would have taken a look at this trip and supported it by taking it to the hinterlands of the internet.
instead, i look at my list of supporters and see list of memories - some fun and some pain. i see friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. i see brothers and sisters of battles long passed. i see allies of a battle we all fight in our hearts.
yet, every morning i wake up thinking that i can find that tipping point within the voices of a few. other times, i debate who's really profiting from this endeavor. if i go around the world supporting open concepts and only receive tung and cheek support from community leaders.... i wonder who am i really supporting.
(ok, the other-side of me laughs at the stupidity of this post... i'm on the other-side of the world. i'm venturing to places i've only dreamed. i am further from home than i've ever been. i'm in rural india being eaten by mosquitos and helping out rural NGOs understand the internet. i am in a dream!)
yet, i thought today would be a good idea to dust off my RSS reader and start reading people i stopped reading months ago. it was a mistake. i knew it was a mistake. yet, i did it anyway. after a bit of clicking around, started reading "the a and b list blogger" role and almost vomited.
before i left nyc, i planted many seeds and advocated many more... yet after reading the "west" coast perspective on some of my work, i felt dejected. painfully, i found people harvesting a bland copy of the crop... promoting it and then thinking of it as gold...
when i think of coworking in nyc, i think of many sleepless nights brewing who could help, locations to use and business plans. when beka and i started hosting people, it was a raw space and the idea sound. from meeting to meeting, we advocated a different world - service, *camps, coworking, open source...
now that i'm on the road, i see that i have to let go of many things. yet, i am stuck. i'm stuck in my own head wondering why i seek acceptance from a small group of people whom i don't understand...
so... thank you to all who have contributed and those of you who have contributed multiple times. thank you to all who have taken the leap of faith in attempting to help understand me and the seven topics.
i want to especially thank Doug & Frankie Wheeler. "brother, through thick and thin i see your name in my inbox and i shed a tear. why can't the world have more people like you?"