Cool companies

two j’s doin’ good

I have friends that do the coolest things. If I was ever cool, like even one bit- it would only be because of the variety of interesting and remarkable people I have in my life.

Take Justin for instance. He is a musician and has been a part of Silly Bus for years while educates and entertains kids through music. He also volunteers for other community projects and oh yeah, he’s a career guy too. Justin is way funnier than he realizes and it’s always a blast to catch up with him. We had coffee recently and he brought this CD that he had just finished to me as a gift:

Flashlight Tag Christmas CD

Flashlight Tag Christmas CD

This CD is GREAT. I can’t lie, I’m not a big holiday music super-fan. I don’t usually bee-bop to Rockin’ R’ound the Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving until Santy comes, but I am all about the Flashlight Tag tunes. (I have to say I am a sucker for some banjo.) Listen to Twinkle Lights here or get in touch with the guys to get a copy of the CD. This is a must have in your holiday collection.

In more news on interesting pals doing exceptional and unselfish work, meet my friend Jocelyn, owner of Green Duck. She has recently finished up a HUGE project at the World Equestrian Games. With over 500,000 visitors to the games, can you imagine all the waste? Well, Jocelyn and the crew she worked with managed to collect 175,000 pounds of materials to keep them out of the landfill. Yay! Watch the video with Jocelyn busy at work here. Next time you’re noshing at your favorite local restaurant, or your socializing at that annual fundraiser you go to, remind the people in charge if they don’t already- to forget the styrofoam devil and order their food packaging from Green Duck. If you are green, you are cool. Enough said.

My Christmas gifts? Learning from, looking up to, and spending time with people like these two. They are inspiring kids, making art, respecting community and living consciously. That is my satisfying pile of wrapping paper. What more could I ask to be surrounded by?


looks like I’m not leaving the west coast…

…until at least Wednesday.

A friend who I’ve just seen for the first time in ten years just sent me an email with a link to this event in San Francisco on Tuesday. His email to me simply reads; “This was made for you.”

After years and years of repetitive conversation I’ve had with hundreds of people while traveling, and 9,000 miles to think on my current trip about what I really want to do, I’ve been thinking, note taking, talking and researching about starting a company like Meet, Plan, Go! for weeks now. Unexpected that this conference comes up, right when I am about to leave the west coast and during the last few days of the battle of where to move next, what to do, where to work, etc.

I’m going to this event to scope out what Meet, Plan, Go! is really like, see what kind of peeps show up to these things and I’m sure I’ll end up traipsing right up to someone at some point during the evening and telling them they need to hire me. I love doing that stuff. I’ll report back. Stay tuned. Things could get interesting…


guys like these inspire gals like me

I think one of the coolest and smartest organizations/movements out there is Roadtrip Nation. I’ve written about them multiple times and I follow them regularly. Just saw this quote today from a guy Doug Baum the participants have interviewed. It cracked me up and I wanted to share:

“I’m raising camels in Texas- do you think I care what people think?”

Now that’s owning what you do! Gotta love it.

Here’s another recent one I saw and thought deserved equal props. Interview with Roger Thomas:

“I came to the conclusion very early that, whatever it is that I do, it should be something I would do for free.”

Rock it out Doug and Roger, rock it out.


i love attentive companies

Check it! I emailed the Ian’s Pizza folks complimenting their product and service yesterday and quickly go this email back from their Management. Talk about on top of it. This place wins points left and right in my book:


This is awesome! Thank you so much!
A link is definitely going up on our website and for sure a print-out
is going up in the staff area of the restaurant so we can all give
Jack his 15 minutes of fame!

I totally agree with everything you said — I’ve worked here for 4
years and this is the best group of people I’ve ever had as coworkers,
hands-down. I’m so glad to see someone recognizing the people who work
behind the counter… they do such a good job with such a wide variety
of people (business folks on down to severely drunken coeds)
every single day and they make it look effortless. I’ve worked counter
jobs too, and I know it is one of the most demanding jobs ever (there
are definitely days you have to fake it!) and they all make it look

Of course it helps that the pizza is excellent (duh!) but in Madison
there are so many places to get top-notch food (it’s almost
ridiculous…) and I think our staff is what really is the key to our

Thank you so much for recognizing that and for all your kind words.
Next time you are rambling through Madison let me know & I’ll hook you
up with a couple of free slices (or a salad & a slice — our salads
are amazing too!).

Thanks again, and safe travels to you!


“do you have a french press?”

…”if not I am going to give you one of those, along with a bunch of coffee because no friend of mine is going across country on bad coffee!”

Spoken like a true coffee lover from one to another.

My friend Tom roasts coffee for Blanchard’s Coffee Co. in Richmond, VA. The above is what Tom responded in an email to me after announcing my trip. In enters Blanchard’s as my coffee sponsor.

I got the chance to stop by for a chat and pick up with Tom on Monday. I had been in the roasting house before and the smell is so delicious you want to lick the air. As always Tom was in good spirits, peppy about life and loving his job. He had just finished roasting with the crew for the day so I snapped this photo of the roaster:


…and of course some boxes full of all the hard roasting work:


…and finally my gifted stock to start off my trip (Tom is going to ship me more as I drive.) A French Press too. Ahh…


What a great treat. Bad coffee is a serious no-no for sure. I was happy to pay some of my stock forward to my hosts Gabriela and Phil who I stayed with last night. More fellow coffee lovers. It’s so fun to be able to do that thanks to Blanchard’s.

Thanks guys. No sleepy driving for me!


mocha java shake; revisited

Once again I’m slurping down the best shake I’ve ever had; The Mocha Java from Port City Java in Wilmington, NC.

I wrote about his indulgent shake a bit over a year ago when I lived in Wilmington. 16 months later when deciding on where to camp out and work a bit, there wasn’t even a question, so here I sit. I’m thinking there might be crack in these things. Heavenly, mouth-watering, scrumptious or lip-smacking can’t even come close to describing how these things taste.

I’m glad I snapped this photo quick because as I type this now 5 minutes later, my cup is empty. Ahhh…

If you are every anywhere near a PCJ, do yourself a favor and drop in for one. With the combination of this treat and the always friendly staff here, it’s comforting to know that some things never change.

Mocha Java shake- Port City Java. YUM!


things you find in hotel parking lots

My friend Lara entertained taking a picture of me after I practically jumped out of her moving car squealing; “OOH! It’s the Aha Moment Camper again! I have got to stop this time!” (I had spotted it a few days before in Richmond, VA but wasn’t able to stop then.)

I finally have uploaded the photo, so here it is. Thanks Lara! (Or should I say thanks JW? Hee hee…)

Aha Moment camper


New Boss Every 7 Days

I’ve been following Sean Aiken and his One Week Job Project for a while now. He’s finishing up his documentary that will feature him working a job a week for 52 weeks. It will be available later this year. Sean promotes and has the desire to encourage us all to match our skill sets with our personalities, values and passions to make our careers. I couldn’t agree with him more. His documentary will be a brilliant thing for young people (or all ages for that matter) to be able to watch and learn from.

Thanks to Sean and everyone who has and is participating in this project. Yours is one of the many insightful ones that we’ll be able follow and draw inspiration from. It will keep us all confident knowing that whatever is out there that we want, we can go get it at any time.

Bonus; I’ve been in touch with Sean, and he and I are going to get together when I’m in Vancouver soon during my own project. How fun! Stay tuned for stories about our visit…