Inspired by Derek Siver’s NowNowNow project, here is what I am doing now.
I arrived “home” after two months on the road that took me to two Hawaiian islands (where I visited my awesome first daughter Chelsea), to Portland, Oregon, then to the Yucatan in Mexico, and finally for a few weeks ranging through the back roads of Guatemala.
A year ago, before this trip and my 2015 travels through South America, I wondered...Do I still have my nomadic “chops”? Am I really a vagabonder or do I just play one on TV (aka Am I a poser)? Do I need all the familiar places, people and things that comfort me? Will I take another extended international trip?
I have put all these doubts to rest, in fact, I am having trouble sleeping in my own bed now. After all…the world awaits!
My Czech partner Vaclav Hodek and I succeeded in creating the world’s largest online store of self-guided tours, which we call Go!Mobile Orange, It is a one-stop shopping resource for finding, evaluating, and buying tours that run in on your smartphone.
I finished writing my second book, this one a non-fiction ebook entitled “How to Build the Perfect Smartphone Tour (Without Geeking Out): A Guide for Executives, Tour Operators, or any Non-Technical Professional in the Tourism Industry” and am giving it away for free here as a way of garnering interest in my consulting services on technology based tourism. The book addresses:
- How to create jobs jobs, opportunity, and wealth in your community with smartphone technology.
- Three major technology trends you can use NOW to stimulate your tourism economy
- The ONE reason mobile tour apps fail and how to avoid it
- Seven practical tools, tips, and techniques for building your first mobile tour
- Five ways to draw your visitor into a deeper experience, and make money in the process
If you are curious about my first book, Map of Dreams, you can find it on Amazon. Here’s a teaser:
When a PhD student uses a supercomputer to analyze thousands of dream journals from around the world, he discovers a strange pattern — the dreams fit together like puzzle pieces to form a map. The student is then mysteriously murdered, hurling his deadbeat brother and estranged wife on an international race to find the map’s lost treasure. Along the way, the troubled couple are opposed by the dark forces of the religious underworld who desperately want to keep the ancient secret hidden. Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, former military intelligence officer R.L. Sidewith helps the couple, and discovers the Map of Dreams points to something much more dangerous than treasure.
When I win the lottery, I will write another R.L. Sidewith book entitled “Tesla’s Ghost and the Secret of the Stolen Death Ray,” designed to dazzle and entertain but also to interest young women in math and science. Maybe I can interest Tesla fan Mathew Inman of the Oatmeal in the project, so if you know him…
When R.L. Sidewith, an awkward but brilliant teenage geek, builds a device allowing her to communicate with the dead, she encounters the ghost of the enigmatic inventor Nikola Tesla, who is still “alive” in the afterworld. Tesla is frantic. His detailed plans for a death ray, squirreled away by the US Government upon his death in 1943, were quietly stolen by North Korean hackers, and now the rogue nation is building a supersized version of the killing machine. Sidewith must overcome quarrelsome ghosts, a boozing mother, and a mysteriously distance father to warn the world of the living…before it is too late
I have gratefully accepted the role of caretaker for my mom, born 1925, as she experiences what lies ahead for all of us…the end of life as we know it. Then we pass into what 16th century French humanist François Rabelais called “the great perhaps,” that is, the afterlife, of which we know very little. I will learn more when I emcee the Afterlife Awareness Conference in June 2017.
For the present, I wash dishes and sheets, pick up her dog’s poo and discarded Kleenex, and make her tea and supper. As I do such things, I try to maintain an attitude I learned from the inspiring christian teacher Watchman Nee, who taught me through his book “The Normal Christian Life” that we may worship in even the most humble of activities, such as sweeping the floor. As Eckhart Tolle said, “One conscious breath, in and out, is a meditation.” This, as with everything, is a teaching moment.
Because my mom will soon die, and I have lost others I loved, I invented a system call StoryBox that is useful for capturing the stories of loved ones (preferably before they die) associated with paper photographs, of which there are gazillions shuffled away in shoeboxes, drawers, and dusty photo albums. We all think we have time, but we don’t really know, do we? My ambition is to help people now to capture those precious stories and preserve them for generations to come. How we evolve as humans depends on it.
I am at a crossroads with my musical hobby, which heretofore has been guitar playing and singing, either alone or with a cover band. Having “been there, done that,” I aspire to something different, but am painfully aware it would require more time and money than I presently have. But to leave the hobby also seems a sad waste. What to do?
For the past few years I have been satisfied composing new musical snippets and posting them on ccmixter.org under the name Whip Snapper, where they occasionally get mixed into songs by artists much more talented than I. I have also played a few private live gigs.
If I were to revive the hobby, I would want to create a totally new sound, that I hear in my head, and that would combine pre-recorded compositions with live performances. I am inspired by the Berlin School of electronica like Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, and can hear myself playing with their music. I also love world music covers, especially when they integrate afro/cuban/brazilian with Indian trance. Imagine if Girl Talk mixed those sounds with old rockers like Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and hits from my youth like “Crimson and Clover” and you get the idea. I am a bit crazy.
Exploring in word my thoughts and feelings about how to be a high quality man in a society increasingly confused about gender, sex, and how to balance precious male and female power. Just finished Robert Bly’s excellent “Iron John: A Book About Men,” which was exceedingly helpful, and which prompted me to write this post.
My mission when I started the podcast in May 2014 was to
Learn about death, a perfectly natural and unavoidable process, in a lively and open way so we are better able to accept it, plan for a beautiful one, and most importantly, embrace every precious moment of life as a miraculous gift to be savored and cherished.
I agreed with myself to give it a good two year effort, and I did. I came into the project knowing almost nothing about death, dying and the afterlife, and every question I asked my amazing guests was borne out of my genuine ignorance and sense of wonder. I learned so much, and am so grateful for this leg of my spiritual journey. I carry a death awareness with me nowadays, not as a burden, but as a reminder.
After producing a film on Why I do the podcast, and overhauling the site with a new look and new sound, I decided to put the most time consuming part of the mission (the podcast) on the backburner to simmer for a while…maybe forever. We’ll see.