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May 28, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, change your world, create your world, digital photographs, enlightenment, entreprenuerial, hitchhiking, hobo, social activism, social change, social justice, travel, traveling, USA, vagabond, vagabonding, virginia | Leave a comment
Sun setting on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville.
“We are your new favorite band.”
Nate says into the microphone before banging away at his keyboard.
Nate is the lead singer for Astronomers (http://www.myspace.com/weareastronomers). Not ‘The’ Astronomers, as their Myspace page points out. Alexandra plays the bass and sings back up. Jamie jams the drum set.
The opening act was Megafauna (http://www.myspace.com/mymegafauna), an Austin act on their first tour.
I had negotiated with Gwendelin, the manager of the Tea Bazaar (http://www.teabazaar.com/) in Charlottesville, to shoot photographs of the bands and release all the photographs to them, in exchange for them paying my 5$ cover.
So I sat up front and took a lot of photos.
Dani Neff, the lead singer of Megafauna, rocked the guitar like a pro. She sweated. Her brunette hair was thrashing around in time with the music. She is the woman, Jimi Hendrix. Will Krause, wore a white-ish tank top and rocked the bass. He was tall and skinny. He had a long, somewhat pointy goatee. Cameron (last name unsure) had a shaved head and rocked the drums.
I found out later that night that Megafauna had formed in December. They had been traveling for 8 days and were headed to Chapel Hill, NC next.
“We are Astronomers!” (No, ‘the.’)
They rocked. Nate Boiling was the lead vocals. Load and proud. He played the keyboard and guitar too. In the middde, was Alexandra Angelich, Nate’s girlfriend and an Austin, Texas native. Nate and Alexandra had moved to Charlottesville in search of a new music scene. Austin is “supersaturated” in music according to Alexandra. Jamie, has a pony tail and a black t-shirt and he plays the drums.
I shot more photographs and tried not to blind them with the flashes from my Nikon.
The Tea Bazaar is a cozy nook on the second floor of the Downtown Mall and as the show wound up. I was not to excited about sleeping in some woods near town. Rain all day. And more rain when the show was wrapping up.
Bless the hearts of Megafauna, they invited me to hang out after the show and were interested in my story. They were crashing at Astronomers house in town so I tagged along.
Their house was on the outskirts of Charlottesville, 5 big jumps from the railroad tracks. A rusty watertower overhead and lots of tall weeds and abandoned cars in between the weeds. Shiny, wooden floorboards inside. They creaked.
The walls were hung with colorful Alexandra paintings. Music instruments and lots of cords were everywhere in the living room. It reminded me of a house the Beatles would live in. Party, Music, and People were the message of this house.
Armani came too. He was a friend, of Nate and Alexandra. A fellow musician, whom said he was related to a member of N.E.R.D. (http://www.n-e-r-d.com/), the hip hop group. He is a member of Burnt Brush Productions (http://www.myspace.com/burntbushproductions). “The hottest hip hop group in Charlottesville.” He kinda did look like the guy from N.E.R.D. or maybe Chris Tucker.
Alexandra wants to take over the world, but not be the leader, just pull the strings from behind the scenes. Nate lives and breathes music. Jamie and his girlfriend, Amy moved into the house about a year ago and aren’t planning to leave anytime soon.
Dani is going to Law School in Austin. “That is my day job.” While Will has enjoyed the Summer of Will ’09. He lost his job in February and has just been living off the dough from his gigs. Cameron is going to school for music.
He likes kids and wants to teach music.
I am just feeling blessed at this point.
Alexis Ziegler (http://www.realitysandwich.com/user/alexis_zeigler).
Jack, the roommate of the house and I would describe him as a “vagabonding mystic,” mentioned Alexis as a local “energy radical.” He has a place in Belmont (a part of Charlottesville) where lots of “nature kids” go. He know alot about “Peak Oil.” He is my man, I am going to try to find this man and interview him.
Pork Chops were for breakfast the next morning. Breakfast at 2pm, thanks to Alexandra’s cooking. The Pork Chops were well-seasoned and the coffee was black and hot.
I get dropped off back in Downtown Charlottesville as Dani, Will, and Cameron head to North Carolina and I am feeling sad to say goodbye to these folks, yet also awesome.
I am going to see another show at the Tea Bazaar tonight. Zee Avi. She is big I guess.
“It will be packed.” according to Gwendila.
Create our world,
“Give love and unconditional acceptance to those you encounter and notice what happens.”
May 26, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, change your world, charlottesville, choosing a domain name, create our world, create your world, domain name, enlightenment, entreprenuerial, farmville, frugal living, Gear, go daddy, google, hiking, hitchhiking, hobo, how do i become a hobo, how do i hitchhike, jenks, road trip, roadtrip, roadtrip usa, social activism, social change, social justice, travel, traveling, USA, vagabond, vagabonding, virginia | Leave a comment
Today, is the day of buying the domain name for the site (the http://www.domainname.com) and I have narrowed it down to 2 choices.
Create Your World. versus Create Our World.
According to my friend, Paul Gilbert, “Change” is so 2008…, so I am losing “Change” and going with “Create”. But I can’t decide between “your” or “our” so I have decided to Google both phrases and analyze the top 5 hits.
Both look promising on being able to dominate this Keyword Search.
I am not sure what the product is but I think it is a Dutch commercial and I like the graphics and the big blue crayon.
This is a site devoted to creating your own RPG Game, “immersing yourself in a role playing world, built by yourself or other players of our community.” OR it looks like you could join another player’s world. MALMON looks interesting, it is a small city on the edge of the Aquatea Sea, with quite a few amenities.
“We have all been made in the image and likeness of the Creator, therefore we are creators also,” from Nicole Andrews the CEO and Founder. She has a passion to help individuals discover and fulfill their God-given purpose through practical means which will ultimately advance the Kingdom of God on earth.
Create a Map of your favorite places, travels or destinations and share the map with friends or the whole world!
“It’s a really powerful set of tools for travelers and map lovers, and a great way to find people who share your interests.”
- Jim Nichols, Partner, Catalyst:SF
AND THE NUMBER ONE HIT….
“Have you ever wanted to come up with a great evil plan, but just never had the time or intelligence? Well, your prayers have been answered…”
I will share my Evil Plan that was generated:
“Your objective is simple: World Domination
Your motive is a little bit more complex: Love (Yes, it works)
To begin your plan, you must first Seduce a Wall Street Executive. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, stunned by your arrival. Who is this Evil Genius?
Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in a Supervillian Costume with Gimmicks?”
It goes on but I will spare you the details.
“Goal.com represents the global football fan.”
“Our fans are the lifeblood of our site and our community..”
Our World to Create create by gr33nkoz
Together we have gone through a lot
Our eyes have seen many people get shot
Fighting for our rights
Following the lights
To live in freedom.
Marching down the street
Their life has not been a treat
It still isn’t that great
But soon change will occur in our fate,
People will see us as equals.
This World Is For Us To Create…
“Mindfulness doesn’t always have to be work; it can be fun. I can be amused at the things I cook up in my mind.” by Lenore Flynn
A reggae music video with the hook:
“As far as the eyes can see;
my people they all are free;
free as they want to be;
creating our history.”
“If you have an HP, Brother, Canon, Samsung, Sharp or Konica/Minolta Printer or Copier, you know how much you can fork out in cost for toners and drums!”
“TAKE A RUSHING CHARGE AT LIFE! CREATE YOUR WORLD!”
Going to hang around Charlottesville today and work on the site and relax.
Please tell me what you think!
Create your world, Create our world,
“We must maximize our full potential and create our world!”
- Nicole Andrews, CEO and Founder of Create your world.
May 26, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, change your world, charlottesville, create your world, hitchhiking, hobo, social activism, social change, social justice, travel, virginia | Leave a comment
As I was walking out of Farmville, this morning at around 8 am, I was sensing bad mojo for today’s trip. Today was tough, but I am in Charlottesville and healthy.
Although, it started great! After I had hiked a few miles out of Farmville, to the intersection of Route 15 and Route 460. I bought a cup of coffee and thumb fully extended, making good eye contact with passing cars, giving them the big smile, I had a truck stop pretty soon.
But… my gut was not happy about this vehicle. It was a rickety, old truck packed with trash in the back and two long-haired folk in the cab. One man and one woman. They drove by, all smiles and then pulled around to make another pass. Now, the whole time, I am hoping they are not coming back for me. I do NOT want to ride with this pair. One, I think it would be pretty crammed in their cab, with all three of us and my hiking pack. But also, they just seem a little too happy to see me. Maybe I was wrong, but I told them that I would find another ride.
They drove on and I was patting myself on the back for going with my gut!
Plus, I look at hitchhiking like dating.
Don’t settle for a ride you don’t feel good about! There are always more cars coming!
In 20 minutes, a Jeep Cherokee stopped with Gordon, Andrea, and Jacob inside, they were going to Bent Creek for kayaking since it is Memorial Day. I almost jumped in the car as soon as they stopped. It was a husband, wife, and kid pulling a trailer full of kayaks. This is a first class “ride.”
Andrea had a lot to say. They like vacationing, especially Shee-co-teague (I don’t know how to spell it, but it is an island in the Chesapeake Bay with horses). It is quiet and peaceful.
I was considering heading where they were going, almost hoping they would invite me along, just so I could hang out with them longer. But, no luck and I really wanted to get to Charlottesville so I got off in Dillwyn and hiked another mile up to another street light to wait for another ride.
I am feeing great! It is before 11am and I have gone over 20 miles and met this great family. I was very confident that another ride would come soon.
I was wrong.
I waited. Then moved up the road a bit. Then waited. Then snuck into the woods for a nap. Back to the road. Lots of waiting and trying not to wait in the sun.
Eventually after 6 and a half hours of waiting, I just decided to start walking. Scottsville was 20 miles away and although, I knew I couldn’t walk the whole way, at least I was heading in the right direction and maybe someone would pity me as I was walking in the middle of nowhere.
So, I walked and it was good.
After a few miles, a young woman, named Jenny picked me up. She worked at Charley’s Waterfront Cafe in Farmville and she was driving a Blue Mustang with a license plate that said, “Hocker.”
“That is my last name.”
She was going home to Staunton and agreed to take me to Charlottesville.
We didn’t talk much. My brain was zapped from the sun and the view was nice.
I arrived at 7pm and bought a bushel of strawberries. I ate the whole thing (but wished I had had water to wash them); is that bad for you??
Well, I’m going to find a place to hole up for the night soon. Unfortunately, I recently formatted my hard drive so had to reload a lot of programs and my photos are not uploading. I will try to fix this tommorrow.
All the best to everyone.
Create your world,
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Hellen Keller
May 25, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, birth matters, change your world, create your world, entreprenuerial, frugal living, hitchhiking, hobo, midwives, road trip, social activism, social justice, travel, USA, vagabond, virginia | Leave a comment
Ronna Strilaeff-Maldonado gave birth to her youngest son, Ezreal, or “Ezzy” in her bed at her small home in Farmville, Virginia. A mid-wife helped with the birth.
“It changed my life,” she said, “I can’t describe it in words.”
She had this sparkle, or glow, or something about her as she said it. She was holding Ezzy at the time and standing on her porch in the sun. This was a few weeks ago, but I wanted to know more.
Ronna is the co-director of the Farmville division of Birth Matter’s, an organization whose mission is “to improve the culture of birth in Virginia by promoting an evidence-based model of maternity care and supporting care providers who practice mother friendly care.”
I sat down to talk to Ronna a few days ago in her living room on what seemed like a typical day. Silas, her oldest son, stood in front of me offering me his finest toys: skateboard, cowboy hat, red cape, and some others. Ezzy ran about the room without any pants on playing with whatever toys lay about.
Now keep in mind, I am feeling a bit out of my league talking to Ronna, as a man and a single man at that, whose child-bearing career looks far off, but, I am interested.
“There are choices and there are options for women in their maternity care and the way that they give birth.” She started. There is also a lot of information, that is not widely accessible.
According to Birth Matter’s website, the United States spends more money than any other nation on maternity care. YET, we are the 29th ranked in infant mortality (babies dying before their first birthday) and the US ranks 41st in maternal mortality (the mother dying around the time of childbirth). What is the difference between the United States and other developed nations that is causing this? Midwives and, not obstetricians, are used to manage birth in the other countries.
I like the idea of the natural birth process with no drugs, in your own bed with loved ones nearby. I have recently read a book about aborigines, whom would go out to the “birthing spot” in the outback and hold onto a tree, while standing up and the baby would plop out into the hot, desert sand.
As Silas was running off into other room with my car keys, “I got your kweeysz!!!”
Ronna was trying to quote from a recent documentary about the maternity industry, “The Business of Being Born,” that “birth is going to change you, it is just a matter of how.”
For more information, check out the Birth Matter’s website, it has a host of information or there is a monthly meeting in Farmville, that discusses birth options and information for couples.
Tommorrow, I will be heading out on another pre-hitchhiking trip up North towards Charlottesville. My goal there will be to meet at least one World Changer and talk to them.
Change your world,
“Women need to have variety of options for giving birth where they feel the safest, and that is going to be different for every woman.” -Ronna Strilaeff-Maldonado
May 19, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, buzzmachine.com, carnagie mellon, change your world, commencement speech, entreprenuerial, eric schmidt, frugal living, gen x runs the show, google, hitchhiking, hobo, jeff jarvis, social activism, social change, social justice, time magazine, travel, USA, vagabond | Leave a comment
Check out this article, I just saw in this month’s issue of Time Magazine, “When Gen X Runs the show”
Over 30 years ago, my Dad was going to college in southern Michigan when he dropped out to work at the local factory to make probably more than he would have, had he had his degree.
Today, he is looking at potentially losing his job a few years before he can retire. And he is one of the lucky ones, many factory worker’s have lost their jobs already.
I have been reading a lot of books, websites, blogs, and such to try to learn as much as possible about where everything is headed for the future, because it seems like our society as we know it will be changing very soon (less than 10 years).
What is ahead for us?
I sure don’t know. But I am very interested and want to help.
Heck, I read an interesting quote last night on Buzzmachine.com, from the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, (by the way if anyone understands our current society it’s this guy, his company controls about 70-80% of the internet traffic worldwide),
“Don’t bother to have a plan at all. All that stuff about having a plan, throw that out. It seems to be it’s all about opportunity and make your own luck…. You cannot plan innovation. You cannot plan invention. All you can do is try very hard to be at the right place and be ready….”
This is what he told the graduating class at Carnegie Mellon.
Change your world,
“the times, they are a changing.”
4:03pm at the Drowsy Poet Cafe in Lynchburg
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
According to Google Maps from my home in Farmville, I have traveled 51.9 miles, not including the windy around to avoid highways.
Lessons learned so far:
1. Bring a bigger water bottle.
2. Find a good hitchin’ spot and stick!
A. A good hitchin’ spot is right past a light where the car’s are going slow, NOT near a prison, & it has plenty of space to see you and have a safe spot to park.
I left my home in Farmville around 7am and walked out of town and stuck out my thumb. At around 9am, Bill picked me up. Bill is a Machine Producing Fella, who is from New Jersey and likes reading Theology. Bill is a good guy, drives a nice car, apologizes when his phone rings and he talks on it, and worked his way into Electrical Engineering not through college but by learning on the job. His advice is do what you feel like doin’ even if it seems “stupid”, because he regrets not doin’ some stuff when he had the chance.
Bill drops me off near Lynchburg near 29. I try getting a ride north on 29. Not happenin’ so I took a nap. Then I decided to try to get to Roanoke, but couldn’t find a good hitchin’ spot.
So I walked. Walked to Lynchburg and through some neighborhoods searching for the dollar movie theater and hopefully some Wi-fi.
It gave me time to think about what values I want to live by on the journey, here goes:
1. Be Courageous! If you want something ask for it. Talk to people. Don’t worry about what others think.
2. Give! Even though I will be broke give to as many folks as I can. Not necessarily money, but gifts, encouragement, smiles, and kindness.
3. Don’t give up! Push on. The trip is long.
4. Be Grateful! Life is all about perspective.
Change the world,
I am grateful to Bill!
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.”
May 13, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, change your world, entreprenuerial, frugal living, Gear, hitchhiking, hobo, road trip, roadtrip usa, social activism, social change, social justice, travel, universe, vagabond | Leave a comment
Tommorrow, I am going to get up. Pack my bag quickly. Water my lawn (and leave a note for my roommates to water it) and then walk west with my thumb out. See how far I can get West in One Day!
I’m going on a shitty gear test run. I am going to see exactly what gear I am going to need to buy for the journey.
Meaning when I return I am going to be writing Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Patagonia, North Face, Moosejaw Mountaineering, Apple Computers, and any other companies that would be willing to sponsor me gear. But I want to know what I need so gear that I currently have that I need to test and see what makes me uncomfortable and what i can live with:
1. Shoes – Nike’s that look retro, old. need boots.
2. Sleeping Bag -40 degrees, very small but is it warm enough.
3. Tarp – thinking of buying a small tent or bivy sack for journey
4. Video Camera – just “bought” today from Wal-mart. Flip Video HD hooks directly to the computer. small. this is nice.
5. Trash Bag – to keep my laptop waterproof, this definitely needs an upgrade but for a couple days should be okay.
My goal also is to spend less than 5 dollars a day.
Will write tommorrow from the road. Davey and Robbie hey guys thanks for joining, my goal is to have 10,000 members of my actual page after a year so cheers to your pioneers. If you have any feedback please send it. This facebook page is all about ideas! You guys rock on!
Change your world,
“When we are dreaming alone, it’s only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginnig of Reality.”
-Dan Helder Camora
May 13, 2009 in Uncategorized | Tags: adventure travel, ben jenks, change your world, hitchhiking, hobo, hope, how do i become a hobo, how do i hitchhike, jenks, pledges, roadtrip, social activism, social change, social justice, traveling, USA, vagabonding | Leave a comment
Gotta hold myself accountable & I don’t just galavant off through the countryside and forget about this, So here are 4 pledges for my journey:
1. For a year, I will write a blog every day (baring no Wi-Fi).
2. For a year, I will upload at least one photograph I have taken that day (baring no Wi-Fi).
3. I will travel by thumb/my own feet (no greyhound/airfare) and I will not sleep in any hotels or hostels. (exclaimer: I am in severe physical harm, sick, or an emergency happens)
4. I will compile (suggestions will be needed) a list of 50 influential people that are World – Changers and meet at least 10 of them the first year.
For example, people to meet:
A. Barack Obama
B. Bill Gates
C. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
D. Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Outlier’s” among other great books.
E. Eckhart Tolle, author of “The Power of Now”
Change your world,
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
- Alan Keightley
My goals for this page and my trip:
1. Change my world! Live how I want to, by making a living by traveling.
2. Seek out the people whom are changing the world as we speak. From the famous and influential person (Barack Obama) to the underappreciated person living in a small town (Ronna Strilaff-Maldonado). The World Changers whom are striving to make the world a better place!!!
3. Give!!! Give along the way, whether it’s having good conversations, volunteering, or smiling at a stranger. But also SHARING EVERYTHING that is learned on this site (well actually my own website but this is the beginning).
Hopefully, the website is a place that not only tells my story but countless other people’s tales that are doing things that make them happy, yet also are changing our world for the better.
Change your world,
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualist concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.