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good bye toast (from blog.blip.tv)

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a big thanks to charles hope for filming my good bye toast and bigger thanks for posting it on the blip blog!

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day 3 - heading to prague and transitions online

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just when i thought i was scott free, i decided to take a nap in pamplona's airport. like madrid, i had an hour or two to kill before the flight and i thought it would be ample time to meditate. sure enough, meditation led to a full on, hard core sleep. dreaming of oblio and his dog arrow, we wondered through the pointless forest.

right as the album ended, i woke up. nay, i jumped up. something was wrong. something was really really really wrong. no, i didn't develop a point on my head, but my watch indicated my flight should be boarding and in front of me there was no line... frantic, i grabbed my bags and bounced to security with loud verbal inquires if my plane was still here...

pamplona's airport is fairly amazing. right out of the 1950's, there is only one landing strip and two doors - one for departures and another for arrivals. in this day and modern age, they jam packed an xray machine btw the double doors. two spanish centurions stood guard as i shoved my backpack into the xray machine.

then my worst fear came true, off in the distance stood my turboprop with frantic activity to pull of my bag. in front of this horror stood an Iberia airline attendant. she said emphatically said in english, "if you want to fly, you better get your ass on that plane." in front of her, stood four super friendly national police officers who wanted to tear open my bag and quiz me on every geek toy.

after her statement, they all chuckled as if this was a ploy to make me miss my flight. with my bag barely closed, i ran down the tarmac flailing my arms and screaming, "don't leave me!!!"

pampalona - 1 once onboard, i realized this was all in vain. like every other flight, in front of me stood nine others just getting to their seat.

as soon, as my dirty cheeks sat down, my flight took off to the pointless forest.

my transfer in madrid seemed endless. departing from the same terminal as the previous days sunrise, time stopped for 24 hours. the stores, the attendants, the air, the people... it all seemed to be the same...

once on board the CSA plane, i discovered the wonderful world of sardines. surrounded by 40 spanish high school kids on their way to a track and field event, i climbed into my window seat.

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check out twitter!

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while i´m kicking around for the first few days. check out my tweets from barcelona, pampalona and prague!!!

http://twitter.com/noneck

day 1 - 07.07.07

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rooftop pamorama

today, i embark on a journey. beyond mind, body and soul... today, i journey around the world.

rom now until i land in prague, i will not have internet access. frankly, that doesn't bother me. to be honest, what really bothers me is that i will be wearing the same pair of underwear, pants, shirt, and t-shirt for the next three days. i know that those physical discomforts pail in comparison to the next seven months.

fueled by taurine, nicoteen, water, and the prospect of getting gored by a bull. i am ready for what happens next. i am ready to see the world.

no matter what happens next, i will have the memory of my friends. standing tall on a williamsburg rooftop, i will never forget the tearful goodbye.

honestly, never before have i found it so hard to embark on a journey. never before have i found my love for so many to be so painful.

never will i forget the hugs, the fears and the seven cheers. as today marks the beginning of a journey, tomorrow marks the beginning of an opportunity like none other. let fortune find us all and let us all be blessed to seek out buried treasure.

t minus 11 days - transcendence

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with 11 days to go, there are many things that i'm trying to figure out. thankfully, i am now sleeping knowing that these issues are logistical.

the last 24 hours completely burned me out. after spending the day talking to my self and drinking too much coffee, i met up with whurley. on the ride from the Roosevelt hotel to a web 2.0 social networking session / social media club at some "bridge and tunnel" bar, we delved deep into a quick recap of the iphone press. after walking through the doors of the social networking meetup, my friend's smiles indicated i was soon to be pimped.

on a an empty stomach, i repeated the same statement over and over and over.... seven...seven...seven...seven... despite that everyone loved the idea, every time i described the next seven months, my heart skipped a beat. from handshake to handshake, i was scared. impressively, i was not the only scared individual. once i laid out my plan, people freaked. i kinda wanted to say, "it's a ok, i freaked out too.."

instead, they would look at me with big doe eyes and ask how, why, route, etc... by the end of the night, i was ready to depart. i now can only imagine what it's like running for office and run from 0-60 all evening long.

day 2 at the apple storeafterward whurley, grace, charles and i chucked incessantly that our new iPhone homeboy, greg packer is that guy who stands in line for everything. from bill clinton to the pope, from new york times to associated press, greg is the that guy who strives to be the first. he was quoted frequently enough to be banned from the associated press.

after dinner, whurley and i jetted to meetup with the iPhone boys. upon arrival, we discovered a three more in line. david clayman, aka mr taproot, told us that a well respected newspaper reporter went out of his way to exclude mr first in line. i cringed at the prospect that a reporter has the gaul to say that the man who stands inline for everything is not part of the story. this reporter even went out of his way to exclude greg from photos.

it's really funny to think that before today, greg was an urban legend. from first in line to front page story, he's that guy who has stood the test of time. if i had the time, i would spend my last days documenting his life, friends, support network, and stories. i can't even begin to fathom the hours spent in line holding a sign saying, "i'm that guy!"

deep down inside, i feel for the guy. i wish i had the time to see how his story will last the test of time. i wonder about all the other gregs who have stood the test of time looking to be first? i wonder, how many gregs stand in line and are no worse for wear.

btw, this week, these are the last things that i have to complete.
* check out moshe's storage building next to the navy yard
* aquire containers that are lockable, waterproof, and airtight. when i last lived over by the navy yard, i was introduced to the world world's most traversed freeway. sealing is healing!
* find airline ticket
* pack room and clear out my bedroom
* despite my last post of packing too much, there are a few things that i need to clean out.
- i need to get a pack lock that allows me to wrap my bag and leave it in a coffee shop without fear of someone walking away.
- poncho
- emergency mirror
* transfer utility bills to my roommate
* list motorcycle on craigslist
* promote saturday's 07/07/07 departure brunch (which everyone is invited)
* make final appointment for shots

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why have a logo in latin?

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in last night's couchsurfing philandering, i was presented with the same question "why are you using a language you don't know? use something that you know..."

...and i won't write down the rest of the ridicule she shot out...

damn it, can't a man just want a sexy logo written in latin. why is it so hard to create an artist representation of what has festered for many years. my father and i have always discussed what should be on our modern family crest. we've debated for many years with little agreement.

why use latin?
there are too many reason to why i want latin, but i'll give you one... "plvs vltra"

in my mind, invoking latin is invoking all the spirits that have created who i am today. from roman legionaries to my ancestors who voyaged with christopher columbus on his second voyage. from my grandfather who never had a formal education and survived the brutality of the korean war to my mother who married a dream and traveled the world.

latin is THE romance language. i can not think of anything more poetic than a dead language that once "ruled the world."

ps - rotating languages is already in the mix. once the logo is framed, there will be an on going project to translate...

anyone know latin?

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every explorer should have a flag to plant in the ground! - noel hidalgo

...yes, yes... i know and understand the connotations of flag planting or as some may like to call it conquests, thievery, desecration, etc... but that does not deny the fact that planting a flag is no more than the thought of leaving your mark on the planet. sure we now openly debate our current marks on the planet, but that does not deny the fact that humankind has been leaving it's mark on the planet since we appeared from the great dust of mysticism or evolution...

to that extent, my good buddy dave hollier is working on a pirate inspired logo for this journey. consequently, we one major dilemma. we don't know latin...

first, we are debating on how to have a date displayed. for example, i would like to have "7th of july 2007" at the top of the logo. in latin, do you write "MMVII VII VII" or "dies saturni vii julious mmvii"? preferably, i would like to have it all in roman numerals, but i've never seen any date written that way.

according to wikipedia's julian calendar, 7 july is a "nones" day and would be written as "a.d. VII Id. Julius MMVII." consequently, 7 july on the julian calendar is really 20 july on the gregorian calendar, and therefore not my day of departure. according to another site, 7 july on the julian calendar is written as "dies veneris non. ivl. mmdcclx a.u.c.". so now that i'm really confused, i'll go back to gregorian calendar which states "dies saturni vii julious mmvii."

second, i want to translate "luck of seven". according to UBC, the translation could break down to....

Seven
septem

Luck or Lucky

felix felicis : lucky, fortunate, happy.
fors fortis : chance, luck, fortune
fortuna : fortune, luck, fate, chance.
fortunatus : fortunate, lucky, happy.

...but within the latin grammatical structure there is also...
contigo : (with dat.), to happen, befall.
cum : (prep + abl.) with.
insisto : to enter upon [a journey] tread; (with d.) follow.

in my dimwitted, uneducated guess, i would translate "luck of seven" into "fors fortis insisto septem" or "fortuna insisto septem." could it also be "fortuna cum septem" or "insisto fortuna cum septem?"

can you help?

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pardon the dust bunnies, i'm still around

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the past two weeks have given me introspective time to think about one of the most important part of this trip... love. the unrelenting, always self giving love. you know, the type of love that builds from years of exposure and common kinship. the type that type that exists from parent to child. the type of love that builds among friends who grow up experiencing the same joy, excitement and loss. the type of love never seems to die.

thankfully, the past two weeks have been spent with some of my oldest and dearest friends, stories of treasured memories, my brother and my parents. as the next five weeks unfold, there are many things that must be done. a majority of them will rattle my cage, shake my will, and question my own personal resolve. one thing is certain. love is immortal.

Ohio - May 207 - 67this morning, as i uploaded several photosets to fickr, i read a pleasant piece about two late-twentysomethings who will embark on a similar voyage around the globe. throughout the article, i can hear the same answers to the same quick witted questions i am asked. when it comes to why we attempt such an experiences, well...

People are always willing to lend a helping hand,” Ms. Collins said, “because there are so many things, like the wind, that are completely out of your control.”

...and frankly i feel the same way... my mother has always said, "if you are nice to people, people will be nice to you."

over the next week, i'll be cranking out two video pieces, a travel narrative of the past few weeks and a very special announcement (that has taken longer to announce that original conceived). until then, i leave you with Buddha's four immeasurables - love, compassion, joy and equanimity.


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project pedal + envy + meta = this

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at times, i can feel very timid... i just got done watching project pedal's videos and they are slick... many kudos... nice intros, segways, effects, myspace music, good press, good fundraising, etc... in summation, i am envious.

preface for rest of post, this is a meta and i'm getting cranky.

i did my second interview today. while walking around looking for community shots, couldn't figure out what to shoot... then i thought about my situation. contrasted it with others' and started to wimpier... i'm just getting started with shooting, learning to edit, adding effects, finding music and despite the fact that i've emailed a gazzilion and one people, nonexistent press. golly, i hope this doesn't sound like a rant... to be honest, i thought about doing it on video... then i thought that i would have to watch my self and then edit it all down... how conceit... ewe... then again, i should make a freaking trailer or something explaining what this thing all about... and now after four eyed monsters and project pedal and make... i have to have a hand written intro... ugh!

so, back to the complexity of the situation. i see that no one else is going to elevate the same ideas that i see tightly intertwined. then again, i like being a behind the scenes. so, how do i combine the two? OR better yet how do i gain a sense of vanity. god, maybe i shouldn't be blogging this at all... (jb, maybe this is what i was really trying to say...) after reviewing the past five months of work, the following are things that i really have to do...

  • one, feel comfortable in front of the camera, which is something that i detest...
  • two, detach from myself to make a documentary, and record my actions that seem significant or insignificant...
  • three, keep true to the humble boy who on the playground would sit off in a field with a stick and a bumble bee...
  • four, think...

added complexity? i'm a gemini with a serious case of attention deficit disorder. no really, medically certified!

to some it might not mean much. to others, they set clocks by that &h1t. yet, to me it helps explain the duality to life. granted, this is not a black and white world, but at least i though this lenses i can see clearly. one side of me relishes conversation, excitement and perpetual mental stimuli. the second side, recoils and hides among the masses looking to be like everyone else.

when this project was first conceived, it was an attempt to regain a part of my life that had been lost to three years of political campaigning. then, i set my self free much earlier than i expected, but have now started to float into a unknown space. space that seems more philosophical than physical. theory more so than practice. love more than hate. distance more than connectedness. at the same time, i see the converse being also accurate... i'm more physically adventurous, practicing more than preaching, hating the world that doesn't understand the ramifications, and am now saying something that i should be telling my friends in private. all of this is for some grand metaphysical project that enviably will be more personal, private and adventurous than anything that i've ever done...

ok, that last statement isn't true. there are many things that i've done that i can not commit to admit for fear of the strong arm of the law, but at least it made me feel good. in the end, there are many things that i could be thinking about with the preface of "i wish i could be..."

in reality, i should be saying "do i really need to have..."

ps - go check out project pedal. it's got a good "four eyed monsters" feel... oh and more than likely, it will make it to SXSW '08 and be a huge hit. by the time my movie is ready to happen, this whole notion will be tired. i can see the wired crib right now...


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a rain of thoughts and ideas...

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yesterday it was pouring rain. though this rain was not your ordinary rain - filled with cats and dogs, the rain contained an unusual assortment of information...

at my usual watering hole, an unusual individual passed along a droplet of information that has soaked my soul. it's almost like a dream come true. imagine hitching a ride from london to mongolia in a car whose engine contain half the power of my camelpak... so what's a liter of power in english measurements? think of a fiat, citron or an old mini... in other words, a compact. a EUROPEAN compact. some call them micro cars. others, daily transportation. for a small group, at max 180 people, it will be home and a haven for an international rally that spans from the uk to mongolia. insanity right!?! hells yeah.

organized by the league of adventurists international LTD, 60 cars will leave on july 21st from london. these rebells from around the globe have three weeks to make their way across five "routes" and then end up in mongolia. nothing gets my heart beating like a good car race. nothing gets my heart beating faster than a bunch of lunatics attempting feats of nobility and self determination. nothing will make my heart beat faster than one of the teams contacting me asking for a third driver!

which then got me thinking about a "me" vs "we" factor. right now, public response indicates people think this trip is a cool "vacation" vs "adventure." without having an explicit charitable organization or partnership, it's been hard to convince my reluctant compatriots that this is not a "vacation." heck i had one friend outright question my manifesto's authenticity. not that i have one... nonetheless, i am searching for the right opportunity, partnership, marriage, etc... non-profits, media agents, and others... nothing is too crazy, as long as you don't compromise my integrity and my content.

then somehow the question of integrity carried me down a stream of consciousness back to february... in a mildly cold geneva surrounded by snow barren alps, i questioned what is digital integrity? but it's more than integrity, my real question lies in the existence of what is a digital soul. back at LIFT, sister Judith Zoebelein, holy see, spoke about the internet as a conduit for modern theistical practice. i think that our online existence is an extension of our physical existence. in this place we can explore freudian thoughts, interact and fill the void that a modern organic existence creates, and really understand that our identity wether organic or synthetic is an embodiment of our organic nature. (whew..)

personally, i've always tried to keep my self on the same plain of existence - synthetic or organic... i am the sum of all my parts, but because of my mental space has been growing further than my ability to type and express my thoughts, i'm finding my self in a fractured digital existence.

inherently our online existence is divergent though the plains of participation - flickr, myspace, del.icio.us, twitter, last.fm, etc... they force us to segment our flow. this segmentation provides us the ability to manifest many different personalities. historically, i've attempted to keep a unified existence. online or offline, my worlds collide through a curated view of self. while i am the one who builds the profile, my friends, number of friends and my quality of self is there for perceived through these mediums.

with an infinite number of mediums, these inadvertently give us digital fragmentation. painfully, i now find my self in an altered existence with friends that are unrecognizable, relationships of no value and an overwhelming amount of data. sure, some may boil it down and say that it's a form of internet ADD. when it comes to my own understanding of things... i feel a bit scattered, and concerned with having a life that is inflated.

i'm sure you've all heard the statement, "he looks good on paper..." well for years i've frequented bars and had a persona for my bar existence, then i had my office life, another for scooter subculture, another for political events, etc... and what i find painful is that this is the type of existence i've had since high school... and while i always felt light and nimble, it also felt somewhat superficial. my friends where never given the proper justice, time or love. as for love, let's just say that though it all, i've had my ups and downs... in the end, i can look at a diversity of existence and experience. in the end, i am happy but now on an never ending quest for more.

ironically, the online model i follow is no more different than my physical existence. changing one social networking bio, leaves others disconnected from the current "reality" and presents an alternate universe. in the end, preferences left on one site will attract a different group of followers than what is featured on other sites.

it really does freak me out that i'm bothered by these disparaging profiles of existence. i know they are who i am, or whom i once was, but are they really who i am now? there are many ways to look at these online identities... some see them as time capsules. others, facets of expression, and yes, i know that i'm lumping in many thoughts here... but when i think of my online existence and maybe this is more of a traditional perspective, i want to see an honest reflection of how i view my life, but in reality images are built on how others see your actions...

imagine a figure skater who is just starting to spin. as the figure skater obtains balance, their arms are extended out. as the speed increase, arms withdraw and body mass is concentrated... speed increase and beauty is displayed.... not that i'm a fan of figure skating, but currently that's my perception of digital participation.

fundamentally i am conflicted. instead of being spread across a multitude of plaines, should i scale back? should i seriously consider revoking social networking profiles, firing all friends, and placing a tombstone as an image?

some people call this digital suicide... especially in light of this journey, but there is another argument that resonates... if we give away our own "labor" what protection do we have? on friday, trebor schultz made this his central argument... he waxed on that "we are labors in the digital factories of participatory culture."

this armchair philosopher is not intending this treatise to be a political argument. that conversation will come later, but as i wade though this river of thoughts i find THE real argument... i am asking for your fellowship. i am asking unknown people from around the globe to be my eyes, my ears, my hands, my beds and my wallets. i'm asking you to join me, rebuke the thoughts and notions of mental tyranny. let's go fishing beyond the borders of existence and see the connectivity of all things.


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on my way to harvard...

on my way to boston

armed with my seven tools (macbook, moleskin, montblanc, ipod, tea, camelpak, and red pants), i'm heading back to harvard. after last week's social entrepreneur seminar at nyu, i was made aware of an annual gathering of harvard business school's social entrepreneur club. this will be the third time that cheryl dorsey, president of echoing green, and i will cross paths. also in attendance will be victoria hale, founder and ceo of institute for one world health, and daniel doctoff, deputy mayor of "my fair city" of new york.

to be honest, the only reason why i submitted my $40 dollars was in an attempt to win $2000 in their pitch for change, one of the club's lustrous prizes. now in the wind that fast company killed their profile on Lo7, i go in earnest not to win (since harvard also rejected me), but to see other social entrepreneurs and find fellow projects that will change the world.

while i might not have the opportunity to live blog the event, i've made the goal of documenting the trip and making the best of the number seven. from my seven items, i will hand out seven business cards asking people to tag them self with seven words...

as i sit here waiting for my plane, i do wonder about the adventure in front of me... it's been several years since i last visited boston. back then, i was foolishly in love with a girl. now, some may say that i'm foolishly in love with a project, that just like that relationship, has a purpose but no end goal... oh, wait may be i shouldn't say that. while this project may not have end goal other than elevating the conversation. in the grand scheme of things this is an nevering quest to change people's perception on the tiny planet we call home.


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Lo7 is all drupal! The wiki is now converted...

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after a few days of kicking and thinking, i've finally converted luckofseven.com to a full drupal site. the last portion was the wiki.

i bet you're now wondering, who gives a rats. i'm not a programmer, so i do! for the past year, i've worked very closely helping foster the NYC Drupal community by hosting DrupalCamp One & Two. when i'm out and about in the NYC tech community and someone says "drupal sucks," on average spend 10 mins defending the project and reinforcing the fact that Drupal is like a chassis, you can do what ever you want with it. like every other tool, you need to know how to use it. the luck of seven is another point of reenforcement that you can build a well endowed drupal site without a hint of custom programing code.

currently, i am using the following stock drupal modules..

akismet - spam blocking

spam - also for spam blocking

image - thumbnails for videos

video - to ecapulate uploaded video in the rss feed

pathauto - to give nodes a sexy name

pearwiki - wikimedia engine for wiki page edits

wikitools - for wikiesque nodes

poormanscron - 'cause i'm too lame to figure out cron jobs

smileys - cause i think they are cute

original post - i'm in the process of taking down the wiki so i can move everything into a drupal styled wiki.


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a poem

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i like the way you think. let's become a rink and collect all those who think. we could make a stink telling the fortune of those who think. what do you think?

just or background, a friend made me think of those words... i'm really not trying to be some great poet; i'm just trying to move some thoughts in my head...

Luck of Seven in 125 words for Smith Magazine

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The world is an ever evolving place. Born in California to Puerto Rican US Air Force Officers, raised in the corn fields of Beavercreek, Ohio comes Noel Hidalgo. On 7 July 2007, Noel will depart from the streets of New York City, and set off on a seven month journey around the world to explore seven contents, dive into the seven oceans, and visit the seven ancient wonders of the world. His journey will be your journey. By donating US$11.11 you can help direct his footsteps. Donate today and help the world learn about open-source communities, social entrepreneurs and global change. Though the thick and thin, he will diary his conversations, photograph the world, and record your interactions with the luck of seven.

written for Smith Magazine; photo by whurley.

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back in nyc

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sorry for not posting sooner, but my last few days in geneva were mired with crazy weefee (how the french pronounce wifi) and dns issues that precluded me from posting. right now, i'm back in greenpoint, bklyn, laying in my bed two seconds from passing out.

i'll keep this brief and tomorrow give you a lovely little story. though i can not over state that the conversations in Switzerland are leading me down a new road of discovery. in the meantime, check out my comments from the first day at lift.

thanks to our most recent donor! Heath Row

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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