First day in a while where I have the entire day free to do whatever I want

First day in a while where I have the entire day free to do whatever I want. On the list:

  • Run in Forest Park
  • Buying groceries for the week
  • Changing the oil in my car
  • Cleaning my room
  • Maybe building a bookshelf with Tom
  • Some Edit Flows and working on Timepiece with Andrew

Woo hoo!

Call for volunteers: Hack Shack India

So, the idea: bring together a group of fun, adventure-loving hackers to live and cowork in India for a couple of months this coming spring (we’d leave the States shortly after Liftcamp). I’ve visited twice already and loved it — for anyone who grew up in the Western world, India is an incredibly rich, diverse, and fascinating experience.

Currently, I’m looking for people who’d like to help me put this together. Interested? Let me know.

Travel plans: Morocco, December 2011

Tomorrow morning (Thursday, Dec. 7th) at the wee hour of 6 am, Michelle and I are headed to Morocco for the first time. We’re taking a bus to Madrid, and a 2 pm flight (EasyJet 7869) to Tangier. I’m writing these notes up as I research places to stay, things to do, etc. Yes, I am aware I’m planning extremely last minute.

Based on recommendations from friends, we’d like to see Chefchaouen and Fez. Ideally, we’ll bus from Tangier to Chefchaouen tomorrow evening. I’ve read mixed things about how often the buses are, so it might be Friday morning instead. We’ll spend a day or so in Chefchaouen (unless it’s absolutely stunning), and then bus onward to Fez, where we’ll stay until Monday. Monday morning, we’d like to get an early train back to Tangier to catch our 3:05 pm flight (EasyJet 7870) to Madrid.

Chefchaouen notes:

  • Transportation will be on a thru bus to Fez.
  • Hiking sounds like a must, either Rif Mountains or Jebel al-Kalaa (9 hours round trip).
  • Lots of cheap lodging near the medina, especially considering it’s the off-season (Lonely Planet search). Casa Hassan, Dar Meziana, Hostal Gernika, and Mahaliya sound like good choices.
  • Shopping and such in the medina.
  • According to Michelle, if we get arrested, we have the right to contact the nearest US Embassy (Rabat).

Fez notes:

  • Walking around and exploring the sights/sounds of the medina is the highlight of the city.
  • The main street is the Talaa Kbira, which runs from Bab Boujloud to the Karaouiyne mosque in the heart of the medina.
  • “Don’t eat the seed-pod like things the proprietor offers you. Although he’s eating them also, they are very high in estrogen and can cause a man’s nipples to be sore for several days afterwards.”
  • Check out the view from the hills surrounding the city.
  • For lodging, I found a few hotels across the entire price spectrum (Lonely Planet search): Riad Jean Claude (10 bis Derb El Miter), Dar El Hana (22 Ferrane Couicha), and Dar Drissi (24 Derb el Menia Kbira)
  • There are several trains a day to Tangier that take 4.5 hours.

A final note: No laptop this trip, although I have an international data/SMS plan for my phone. I’ll try to check my personal email account a couple times per day, and will be available by SMS whenever.

Google Doc for the News + Gaming Hackathon

Google Doc for the News + Gaming Hackathon. I’ve put together a collaborative planning document for participants to list skill sets, share links, and brainstorm ideas or improvements to existing projects.

Ideas for a UO Sustainability Conference in October?

Steve Mital, Sustainability Director for the University of Oregon, recently sent a call for ideas to help guide a Sustainability Conference tentatively planned for the 23rd and 24th of October, 2008.  It is being organized by Sustainability Directors at Portland State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Oregon, and the second day will reportedly be “entirely devoted to students and sustainability.”  My suggestions for the conference, written in full on the Oregon Direct Action blog, revolve around these ideas:

  • Planning this conference digitally and in the public eye so that students can be a part of the entire process
  • Adding an international component to help bridge the local-international sustainability gap
  • Networking with local sustainability non-profits
  • Drafting a set of sustainability guidelines for campus community to voluntarily adopt (i.e. minimizing paper use, using Tupperware instead of styrofoam, etc.)
They are looking for ideas on “workshops, themes, keynote speakers, etc.” until July 3rd.  Let’s make this conference worth attending!

Last minute

I think I am taking way too many supplies. When your pack has more deodorant than socks, and more paper than shirts, you know something might be quite wrong.

This will be more of a stream of thought than a well-thought, insightful post, so my apologies in advance. Sometimes this happens when you leave everything for the very last possible moment. In all honesty, I should be finishing packing my bag right now; it’s only half full and I’ve got my things strewn all across the living room. GPS, shirts, socks, books and other things I’m not sure I should bring lie in little piles like raked leaves in the fall. My plan of attack, and I know it’s going to lead to this, will be to just dump armfuls of gear into the pack and sort it out later.

I hope that works!

It makes me wonder what I’ve been doing in the past couple of weeks to be so amazingly prepared. On a similar note, I’m not quite sure how much money I have. My bank account is hovering around two thousand American dollars but, with our economy where it is and my credit card payment having not gone through yet, I’m probably going to have a bit less than that. The last lens I bought is definitely going to set me back around twelve hundred.

Oh, and my travel plans are absolutely absurd too. After what I imagine isn’t going to be the best 28 hour flight in the world, I’ve got six hours to catch a night train to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and then be in the shape to interview and photograph the next day. This type of, let’s say, well-structured planning just might be going on the entire trip. I do plan to see parts of the entire country during my short three month travel period. The map of India looks so small, and might be giving me the delusion I can make the full loop.

All of that negativity aside, I’m stoked! Here goes nothing!