First Week of Hanalei Fatherhood


One week ago, today

Wow! Now that Hanalei is home, the shock of her birth is starting to set in. The counsel of “nothing will ever be the same” is gaining value as Amy and I shift to the role of parents and I watch the reactions of our friends and family.

I’m surprised that everyone seems to be fixated on numbers, specifically her birth weight and length. Hanalei was 8 pounds 5 ounces, and 21 inches at birth, but what does either number really mean? Does that convey something different than if she were 8 pounds 1 ounce, or 19 inches long?

I’m just happy she’s healthy, with 10 fingers and toes, and all the needed bits in between. Now if she could just let Amy and I get needed sleep, the whole family could be much happier. And that lack of sleep is serious!

Read More

Please Welcome Hanalei Stockard Vota

Our bundle of joy and love has arrived!

After nine months of looking at life through her own belly button window, a new girl-child came into this world. Please welcome Hanalei Stockard Vota into the family.

Read More

Going to the Largest Barak Obama Party: Kenya!


An American Dream Realized

Last night in a Seattle airport bar, I learned we would have the son of an immigrant as our next president. I have never slept better on a redeye flight. While I dozed in happiness on the way home to DC, joy and relief passed through the hearts of the world.

We just proved the American Dream is alive – anyone can be President.

And even though I missed the epic Election Day parties here in DC, I’m headed to the biggest Barak Obama party ever – Kenya.

The country is in a fit of ecstatic delight. The son of a Kenyan, President of America. I am crying as I type this, overwhelmed with pride in my country. I cannot even imagine what a beacon of hope Obama brings to Kenya.

Read More

Petworth Dog Walk Halloween


A scary DC police dog

Last night we had an amazing celebration of costumed canines in Petworth. Around 30 dogs + owners came out to Domku Restaurant to compete in the Petworth Dog Walk Halloween.

We had everything from ladybugs to pigs in blankets, to pumpkins, all tail wagging happy to compete in three categories:

  • Best Doggie Costume – the classic, dress ’em up!
  • Best Twins – celebrating how dogs and owners can look alike
  • Best Trick – Costume or not, show your dog’s skills

.

Read More

A Bi-Coastal BBQ Lifestyle

inveneo's goal
See that Iridium flare?

Now that I live in Washington, DC and work for Inveneo, based in San Francisco, CA, I am living a bi-coastal lifestyle. I spend an average of a week every month or so in the Inveneo offices, living at the “Inveneo Hotel” – the home of Mark and Kristin, Inveneo’s co-founders.

Before you cringe at the thought of working all day in the same room as your boss and then spending the evenings with him or her too, I have to say that Inveneo isn’t your standard company.

First, we’re a social enterprise, which means we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, yet we’re run like a business. We’re out there selling product and hustling for business like any other company. At the same time, we have a strong social mission that permeates everything we do.

Read More

An Announcement from Amy and Wayan

There is a Ziggy on the way! Conceived after our second wedding, Ziggy the zygote is now 13 weeks old.

That means Amy is just starting to show and we’re both just beginning to freak out. Ziggy will one day soon be an actual child – it already has little arms and legs, and sucks it thumb. One day soon, we’ll be actual parents, and of something way more intense than a
Taxi, too.

Read More

Directing Inveneo’s ICIP Program

inveneo's goal
Inveneo ICIP in action

Back when I was Director of Geekcorps, we focused on developing appropriate technology to increase economic development. In the hot, dusty, off-grid environment of Mali, that meant developing solutions like the Desert PC.

While we only built a few for radio stations, another group, Inveneo, took the appropriate computing idea to the next level. They developed an entire product line of information and communication tools for rural and remote communities in the developing world.

But tools themselves are not enough. Technology is only truly sustainable when they are affordable and can be serviced and supported locally and the lack of qualified in-country ICT professionals is a great hindrance to technology diffusion. At Geekcorps we tried to solve this human capacity by linking international technology volunteers with local professionals for one-on-one training.

Read More

A Whole Other Kind of Taxi Time

taxi learning
Taxi, getting some learning

“Taxi! Come here Taxi!” This is what I shout on a daily basis now. I’m calling a Taxi in the morning, during the day, and even late into the night. But it’s not the taxi your thinking of.

This is not a New York Taxi story, nor a taxi experience in Macedonia, Russia, or even Bangkok, and its much better than the San Juan Taxi Mafia.

This is a story even better than Portland taxi driver perfection, this is a whole other kind of “taxi”.

Read More

Deconstructing Downtown Washington DC

tasty!
Deconstructing memories of youth

Walking to work the other morning, I was struck by an amazing sight. A pinnacle of destruction piercing the downtown skyline, another office building deconstructed in the name of development.

This office building was special to me. Back when I first moved to DC, I worked at its sister building across Connecticut Avenue and the two were the only buildings around that had windows that could open. On beautiful spring days like today, I loved listening to the hustle of commuters exiting the Metro and melodies of the musicians singing for spare change.

Over a decade later, I find myself deconstructing my own downtown DC experience. No longer am I a clueless beginner accountant in a small nonprofit. No longer to I think Washington DC is the shit. Now I’ve lived on the world stage. I’ve circumnavigated the earth twice, and I’ve even been on 60 Minutes. And I’m the better for it.

Read More

Thomas Lee: A Married Man Now

thomas lee
View of married life

Ladies, its time to mourn. The most eligible bachelor between New York City and Beijing, via Toronto, is now officially off the market. Thomas Lee is a married man, and a lucky one at that. This weekend Thomas married his long-time love, Holly Krambeck is a sweet and swank shindig at the University Club in Washington DC.

The formal wedding ceremony, where I was Best Man and kept Thomas focused on Holly versus all the other stimuli, was followed by wedding photos at DC’s Spanish Steps. But not just any wedding photos.

Thomas, being Thomas, had the photographers take hundreds of photographs of the wedding party. His family, her family, both families, groomsmen, bridesmaids, and every conceivable combination that could include each group and Tom and Holly, or as they’re now known as “Ta-Molly”.

Read More