My New Friends-Locked LiveJournal

I've been on LJ since 2002, and used to post very publicly here and use this space more as a blog.

That is no longer the case - I am now utilizing LJ as my personal social journaling space. As such, all posts since 2010 are 'friends locked', and I routinely keep my friend's list trimmed to folks I feel I can trust, who have context for me as a whole person and who reciprocate the sort of sharing I do here.

I also greatly appreciate interaction here, and trim out lurkers routinely (ie. if you've not commented in a while and/or don't post yourself, that might be why you find yourself no longer on my friend's list.) I journal here not to entertain you, but rather to mutually share and get reflection.

Whether or not I 'friend' you here is not so much a reflection of my personal feelings for you as a friend - but rather if I feel this medium of communication is what works for us to mutually support each other.

This medium doesn't work for all relationships - and that's cool. So what does work for you? Facebook? Instant Messaging? E-mail? Video chat? If you want to keep connected with me, please do reach me in your preferred communication style.

Recent Trimming of the Friends

Over the weekend, I trimmed about 50 or so folks off my 'friend's list' here on LJ. I'd be surprised if most of the folks I trimmed even notice, as I find no evidence they were actually following me anyway (ie. never comment, etc.).

However, if you were included in that and actually read this... here's why:

I'm in the midst of re-adjusting my social online life to better balance my needs for real communication and feeling connected. I'm currently on a 30-day Facebook fast as I evaluate its role in that (I'll likely go more public and less deep there.. or not, I haven't fully decided). And I'm coming to find that I want to use LJ for more personal thoughts, musings and rants.

Since last year, I went 'friends locked' and have been enjoying a non-public spot to share. This year, I'm going deeper with that, and wanting LJ to be a place I can actually connect with people. So I'm trimming it down to folks I feel I can trust, who have context for me as a whole person and who reciprocate the sort of sharing I do here.

I also greatly appreciate interaction on what I post, and will be trimming out lurkers routinely (ie. if you've not commented in a while and/or don't post yourself, that might be why you find yourself no longer on my friend's list.) I journal here not to entertain you, but rather to mutually share and get reflection.

Whether or not I 'friend' you here is not so much a reflection of my personal feelings for you as a friend - but rather if I feel this medium of communication is what works for us to mutually support each other. If you feel you do want to share here on LJ as described above and I cut you, I will consider re-friending you.

This medium doesn't work for all relationships - and that's cool. So what does work for you? Facebook? Instant Messaging? E-mail? Video chat? In Person? If you want to keep connected with me, please do reach me in your preferred communication style. This is all about encouraging more direct interactive communication.

All my contact info is on my user page for those who care to keep in touch, and you can easily watch our travel status to see if we're coming near you by watching our Technomadia stuff.

Just want to lurk? Sorry.. this is no longer the place for that. But you're welcome to follow our public blog at http://www.technomadia.com (or the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/technomadia) to keep up with our traveling life.

2009 in Review

I think 2009 will go down in my memory as a year of abundance, a year of diving in head first and really feeling as if I've reached a new level of harmony with myself.

We started out the year in San Francisco by crashing Macworld with a double decker party bus we were brought in to organized to launch an iPhone app. It was a stellar launch, but alas funding is all but dried up and the product seems to remain spinning its wheels a year later.

What Chris and I learned about social media from the experience helped launch us into new directions that greatly shaped the course of our year. At the beginning of the year, our humble little Technomadia.com website was seeing about 1700 views a month. Not bad for a travel site intended for friends and family to keep up with us.

We used our invitation to present at O'Reilly's eTech conference in March to debut our new website as a WordPress blog, and amped up our Twitter presence, taking what we learned and applying it. Over the course of the year we got featured on several other travel blogs, LonelyPlanet and Makezine.com. We rounded out the year with features Gizmodo, Slashdot and MSN - for doing something as mundane as taking a month long temp gig doing manual labor. We've been labeled 'Location Independent Professionals' and 'Lifestyle Designers' and have crossed into those communities as well. December will have nearly 20,000 views of our website - which doesn't include our several hundred RSS and Facebook subscribers. Absolutely mind boggling.

It feels good to be effecting positive change on the world by helping folks break free and invent their own boxes. It's also a touch frightening at times to know we're now that much more visible.

Our increased visibility has helped lead us to meeting some downright amazing people and making awesome new friends. My life feels so absolutely abundant with the depth of connections made this year, and unlike nomadic years past - I no longer feel lacking of community. We've put efforts into forging community in some of the cities we consider home bases, as well as connecting with other nomads.

This year's Camp Nomadia at Burning Man was over-the-top successful - 70 travelers gathered in one spec of space on the desert. And we've managed several rendezvouses with other nomads from across the globe as our paths intersect. All the while, getting gobbles of quality time with existing friends and family - either in visiting their homes, or intersecting with their business & personal travel.

I feel I've found a balance of being a bridge between communities, while still feeling like I belong.

In my 2008 year in review post, I ended it with hoping I'd 'find my nomadic groove'. I am calling that wish successfully fulfilled.

In 2009, I feel more connected, more in love with, more loving and more appreciative of my life partner, Chris. We've share so much, navigated so well and partnered so successfully on many projects as we find our groove as business, travel and life partners.


2009 was not all charming however - it seems to be an epic year for deaths and tragic illnesses. Both in high profile people, and in people I care about. I offer my sincerest sympathies to those affected by a loss this year, and ask everyone to ask yourself if what you're doing today brings you joy? If it doesn't.. it's in your power to change that. Loss brings reminder of just how precious and short life is. Don't waste a moment.


I enter 2010 with a feeling of abundance in choices career path wise. The first few months of the year should show to be decisive and interesting.


In 2010, I want to answer the call the reclaim LiveJournal. It's part of my challenge in finding balance between writing as a publicly read blogger and sharing at a more personal level. I miss the community connections that once existed here. The dialogs. The opportunity for friends to form and deepen. A level of sharing that, while useful for their own purposes, Twitter and Facebook just can't even touch. After the first of the year, I want to write more here - I want to share more of my personal journey with people who see me more in context of who I am. And I'm leaning towards taking a primarily friends-locked approach. I hope you'll stick around and engage in conversation - and reclaim LiveJournal for yourself as well.

Keeping Vampire Hours

Working a night shift has been a most interesting experience in body & mind hacking.

My circadian rhythm has totally adjusted - however it stills feels odd to go to bed after sunrise, and wake up just before sunset. We picked the night shift as I needed to be at least available to my regular clients during normal business hours (I can at least check e-mail and receive calls if I'm awakened... whereas I can't even take a cell phone into Amazon.com). And, because we were coming directly from California and still mentally on PST, we figured the night shift would be easier to adapt to than the evil get up at 4am to work a day shift option.

Our shift starts at 5pm and we're now getting off at 5:30am the next morning. Amazon has us on 5 12-hr days this week (however, we're opting for four 12 hrs days and two 6 hr days which amazingly feels like more time off to us) - the final push to Santapalooza. We stay up until 8 or 10am after watching a sunrise (and usually to the sounds of gunfire of nearby deer hunters - deer which greet us in the dark as we enter our campsite earlier in the evening.. er.. morning ), sleep until 2 or 3pm. Rinse. Repeat.

On many days I'll squeeze in my work and online life into the hours of 2-4 pm (even later on our evenings off). Which I have to keep reminding myself when I get home the next evening.. err... morning.. after working a night shift, that while a 'day' has transpired for me since sending an e-mail - that for most folks, they've been mostly slept and likely not even read my e-mail yet, let alone had time to act and respond.

Meals are odd. We have dinner food for our wake up meal, a lunch break at 11pm and then sometimes beer & donuts for our 'dinner' when we get home. Only two options for food that early in the morning that don't involve us cooking - donuts and McDonald's breakfast.

How we reference days has been totally weird. Terms like 'tomorrow', 'yesterday' and 'today' generally require further explanation and clarification - because there are now two possible definitions available to us. Our experience of a 'day' traverses two calendar days to the rest of the day time working world.

And, I find myself hesitating when I refer to the first half of our shift (5p - 11p) as 'this morning' - which is a very natural thing to call the first part of the working day.

It's really odd to experience just how culturally engrained and abstract the whole concept of time vocabulary really is.



It'll be interesting to see how long it takes our bodies to adjust to going to bed earlier in the .. umm.. day, night, evening.. whatever.

October & November Wrap-Up

Here goes a periodic wrap up of my life in the past 6 weeks or so - for those who prefer it all wrapped up in one place, instead of scattered throughout brief status updates:

- We stayed in Hemet (southern California) through the end of October - wonderful to be still for a bit, being neighbors to awesome friends in an awesome location.

- One of my father's best friends passed away. He was like an uncle to me. It is very sad.

- Due to some contracting issues with one of my companies, I have essentially cut back my role to a level that is just barely sustainable financially.. by choice. I'm now exploring new opportunities to fund my marvelous lifestyle. It's exciting, actually.

- In mid-October I flew up to San Francisco to attend 'Experts Academy' with my dear friend Sterling. The seminar was a 4-day intensive of 12+ hour days non-stop. I learned a lot of stuff that I'm still noodling over and what I might like to do with it in new career paths. It was awesome to catch up with Sterling, and have a brief visit with some of my Bay Area friends before heading back.

- I opted to take the Coast Starlight back to LA - a 12 hour train ride along the coast of California. Absolutely divine. If you ever have the opportunity - do it! Ample leg room, walk around at will, dining car, social/lounge car, electrical ports at each seat and amazing scenery. A perfect way to relax, think and catch up with oneself.

- We took our Jeep in for regular maintenance and warranty work on the transmission. In the process it was discovered our tow hitch was bent. Further investigation revealed small cracks in the frame where the hitch attached. After a lot of consulting with our trailer company, body shops and hitch specialists - we came to determine that our Jeep was towing at darn near its limit anyway, and the additional extender we needed due to the spare tire placement was putting us over capacity. In a nutshell, the frame could be fixed, but it would likely just continue to occur.

- We relocated to San Diego at the beginning of the month, in part because our nomadic friend Ben was also there. We ended up camped next to him for a week - much fun being neighbors. San Diego also gave us lots of options for frame repairs and vehicle shopping.

- We bought a new tow vehicle. Shopping at CarMax.com made the process painless and actually fun. Buying a vehicle in California made it financially painful, as they forced us to pay sales tax despite registering in South Dakota. Ouch. However, we now have a pretty red double cab 2006 Toyota Tundra with a camper shell with ample tow capacity and lots of storage space. We have significantly increased our storage room and feeling much less packed in. We are sad to let our awesome little fuel efficient diesel Jeep go tho - she towed us over 40,000 miles since we got her in May 2007.

- After San Diego we rendezvoused with Sandi Wheaton, a Route 66 roadtripping photographer that I had been helping prepare for her semi-nomadic debut.

- We and Sandi ended up photo touring around the Salton Sea for several days, along with our Hemet friend Sean. It was.. awesome! We ended up camped at the infamous Slab City where Sandi had a friend who lives there full time at 'East Jesus'. It's a post-apocolyptic pre-singularity experimental artistic habitat that is just mind blowingly cool. We had an fantastic time.

- We're now working our way eastwards towards... drum roll.. KANSAS!

- Why Kansas? We decided we wanted to spend Christmas with Chris' folks in St. Louis - so we looked around for options between now and then. We discovered that several of our full time RVing friends were going to amazon.com's distribution center in Kansas as temporary seasonal workers. We decided.. what the heck? Get paid for a month of shipping boxes (work out & meditation all in one!) and hang out with other cool full timers? We'll arrive in less than a week and see what it's all about.

The Nomadic Itch

Even before I went full time nomadic, I got the itch to travel and experience novelty about every 3-6 weeks. I think I've had a nomadic soul all my life, and maybe even its in my blood. While I have initial trepidation sometimes, I love the thrill of overcoming it and plowing ahead - opening my mind to whatever is next.

We've had our landing gear engaged for just over a month now in Hemet, CA at our awesome friend's place. The views are spectacular, ample hiking, the people wonderful and score - we have RV hook-ups and our own covered outdoor living room, office and beer garden. It really is it's own paradise, and we feel completely blessed for the opportunity to be here. I've been able to keep the nomadic itch at bay with a couple of travel adventures that didn't involve moving the house - a weekend in Las Vegas and a weekend solo in San Francisco with a glorious return trip via coastal train.

But the itch is here, and it is strong. I've been still long enough. I've recharged and I need a change of experience.

The problem is.. where to next? There are so many possibilities. The ones ruminating in my noggin include:

- Starting an eastward trek to St. Louis - aiming to spend holidays with Chris' family and reconnect with our growing community there. This could include stops to see our friends in Lake Havasu City, AZ, Albuquerque and my bro in Austin. Or maybe a diversion through Salida, CO for more beer snobbery and experiencing this thing they call 'winter'? And it could be extended to time in Indiana for warmth of heart and hearth, and then planning a rendezvous with my parents somewhere, perhaps even ending up back in Florida for a bit. Afterall, hardly anyone from my Florida life has met Orion and Kiki.

- Head up the west coast to the Seattle area, with a likely stop in the Bay Area and Oregon, to both concentrate on further developing a sense of community there, and spending some profound geekery with the original technomad, Steve Roberts - including going sailing with his cat Java on Nomadness. And then heading eastward from there, battling winter roads.

- Stretching our boundaries by crossing in to Baja Mexico for a bit, since we're so close.

- Meandering around southern California for a bit, chasing the ideal paragliding winds - and perhaps satisfying my craving for beach time.

- Insert your suggestions here


More than likely our path will include some combination of the options above. Afterall, embracing the power of 'And' is a philosophy I treasure.

And really, if this is the level of my 'problems' - life ain't so bad, eh?

August & September Review

Ok.. so I missed updating August. Here's an overview of what's been up for me in the past 2 months instead for those who don't follow along daily on twitter/facebook.

- We traversed the western United States from St. Louis to California in early August, and had many amazing adventures along the way. They're all chronicled here, with pictures.

- We arrived to Burning Man a couple days early to help set up the placed camp that adopted Camp Nomadia. Kiki stayed with our host family from the Obama campaign in Fallon. It was great to catch up with them before and after.

- Burning Man was awesome, Camp Nomadia was huge and we stayed late to help with clean up efforts.

- After Burning Man, we got invited to an AfterBurn at PermaBurn in northern California (in between Susanville and Alturas). Essentially, a square mile of land was purchased with the intentions of becoming a year round Burning Man community where people can build, store and deploy massive art projects. The land is under 100 miles due west of Gerlach, making it a great launching area for the playa. We were curious to check it out, as the project sounded quite interesting. We stayed for 4 nights and met a lot of the folks driving the vision. Small group so far with a vision of adding thousands of members. For just $200 you can get a lifetime membership which entitles you to camp on the land as much as you want and you have a vote in the direction of the city. We're intrigued and can recommend checking it out if it intrigues you too.

- After PermaBurn, we continued on with our intentions - stopping in Sacramento to put Burning Man back in storage and then on to San Francisco for our quarterly 'All Night Dance Celebration'. Even fire marshalls couldn't thwart our fun, and I'm amazed at the resourcefulness of the community as a whole to quickly regroup and hold the event right on time at a new location.

- And then it was southward to Hemet to get to where I was most craving - somewhere I could put down the landing gear for a while with no plans afterwards. Nestled up in beautiful mountains with awesome people for the past couple of weeks. It's been good to relax, be essentially still and focus more on life instead of getting somewhere - which is essentially the mode we've been in since last March.

- And it's a good thing I had time to focus on life.. the end of September saw the contract that the company I run with my folks back in Florida having some.. complications. The end result was that for the next 6 months, there would be a shortage of income that was about equal to my part time salary. After a lot of thinking, I decided it was best to lay myself off instead of trying to have everyone adjust to reduced income. The sense of freedom this brought to me surprised me and superseded the fear of no reliable income. And just as I was getting used to the idea, I pulled off some amazing contracting magic and managed to unexpectedly get the funds back. Now, with the knowledge of what a new level of freedom felt like - I had a choice to make. Take the reliable income, or go with the freedom? I ultimately came up with a balance that has me feeling like I'm fulfilling my obligations to the contract to stay involved with my unique knowledge of the system we support and develop - but no longer has me on call all of the time (the thing that limits my flexibility most). I've reduced my income by quite a bit - to a level that will just barely make ends meet. I wanted that, so that I become motivated to develop other income sources instead of resting on the known. I'm still adjusting emotionally to the change and I don't think I've really had time to fully process on what it means exactly or what's next.

- We were invited to attend Photoshop World in Las Vegas by our technomadic buddy, Ben Willmore. Apparently he's some big shot there.. I dunno, we just appreciate him as a fellow technomad who's fun to hang out with. We also got to meet up with friends from Florida in town for the event too. An amazing time that I was unfortunately mostly too distracted by attempting to handle the logistics of making the above transition to fully immerse myself in.

- Chris and I have been following intermittent fasting since the beginning of July. Thus far, I have lost 15 lbs and him 17.5lbs. I'm finally back to below my pre-surgery weight - and feeling great.


What's up next?

Actually.. no clue. I just committed to attending an immersive conference with a friend from Florida in San Francisco from Oct 15 - 18 which plays into future career options, which I'll likely just fly up for while Chris visits with his cousins in LA. Beyond that - we literally have no plans until Burning Man next year.

Burning Man Wrap Up

After 11 days on the playa, we left yesterday and have been spending the past day de-dustifying in Fallon, NV.

Burning Man this year was amazing, and I'm really seeing my tribe of full time travelers converging. We had 70 people in our Camp Nomadia camp, and had stellar placement right behind Center Camp. Combined with being placed across the street from Homebrew camp, we really had not much reason to leave camp. We had a constant stream of people coming by to visit - so much so, we had to put out an 'Off Duty' sign one afternoon.

Many highlights, many photos, many stories.


Anyway, we made a post today about Camp Nomadia with some fun photos of the camp. Check it out:
http://www.technomadia.com/2009/09/camp-nomadia-at-burning-man-2009/

Count down to Burning Man

Yesterday we repositioned to Sacramento, where we keep our Burning Man specific gear in a storage unit. Last night, we swapped out most of our reality camp clothing for playa wear. With limited closet space, we can't carry both around.

Over the next few days, we need to:

- Procure bikes, as we left ours down in southern California with friends earlier this year due to a bike rack failure.
- Stock up on food & beverages for 12 days
- Buy booze to contribute to our camp's central bar
- Get haircuts
- Maybe find some more el-wire to decorate our bikes at night with - thankfully, they sell it in grocery stores in Reno now.

Most everything else is taken care of - as bringing your actual house to the playa greatly simplifies preps. For us, Burning Man is essentially like any other day, but with different clothing.

And that's what our theme camp, Camp Nomadia, is all about. It's shaping up to be a fantastic camp with over 40 nomads from across the globe. We'll be a neighborhood of folks who really are at home. And with many thanks to Pandora's Fix-it Shoppe sharing their space with us, we will have an awesome address of 6:00 & DNA (right behind Center Camp). If you're playa bound, stop by and see us - or attend one of our Nomadic Happy Hours. We'll even be doing a 'Technomadic Lifestyle Workshop'.

We're slowly inching our way towards the playa this week, with a stop in Reno tomorrow and then visiting friends and Kiki's kitten-sitter in Fallon. We'll likely head to the playa on Friday or Saturday with our Early Arrival passes, and help with set up of our camp.

Camp Nomadia finds a home!

Out of the ashes of not being placed, our camp for nomads has found a home! The wonderful folks from our St. Louis area burner community has invited us to share their most-excellent placement. Camp Nomadia will be nestled amongst Pandora's Fix-it Shoppe and Dream Lounge, at 6:00 & DNA.

If you're coming to the playa this year, stop on by to fix stuff, mingle and have a drink.. we'll be right behind the Evolution ring and Center Camp. We'll also be hosting a series of Nomadic Happy Hours inside of Pandora's lounge, as well as a workshop on how to become technomadic. Click for our full schedule of events (also in the WWW thingy).

Also, if you're going this year, feel free to reply with your address :)