A Sweet DC Kiss

a dc kiss
A sweet DC kiss

I remember the first time I saw a sweet DC kiss. Last summer, I watched a moving truck take a too-tight turn and ruin an Ohioan’s vacation in Washington DC. Then Metroblogging DC‘s Brownpau saw a serious DC parking lot kiss, offender unknown. And who could forget the Metrobus DC kiss that sent passengers to the emergency room?

Each time, I felt sorry for the recipient and wondered if the kisser got away with their transgression. Or even felt guilt in the subtle hit-and-run style of hitting a parked car and then driving off. Saturday morning, I found the answer the hard way.

In mid-post about Dousing IMF Protestations, I got a call from my next-door neighbour, Joe Martin: “Did you hear that crunch? Sounds like someone just hit your Mom’s truck.”

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Bye Bye Geekcorps, Hello Mercy Corps

Wayan Style
Geekcorps Style

Yes, as you may have read in the Associated Press article on the OLPC price increase, I am now:

“the former director of the Geekcorps international tech-development organization and current editor of the OLPCNews blog.”

Friday was my last day as head geek, able to stop entire conversations with the simple, “I’m with Geekcorps,” which inevitably lead to a half-hour discussion on technology in the developing world.

For three years, I led Geekcorps, starting with a handful of CD’s from the previous staff and one program in the field. Through blood, sweat and a few tears, we built it into a successful organization.

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A Cemetery Conclusion

a sad moment
Moment of sadness

When I was young, I used to fear cemeteries. I was always very scared to be near them, which proved a problem when my family moved in behind the Vero Beach Cemetery.

Then I met a grave digger making a new hole on day and asked him if he feared the dead. His wise, southing response?

“I worry more about those four feet above the ground than four feet below it.”

Since then, I’ve not worried about graves, and to an extent have become fascinated by headstones, markers of lives long past in few words and two dates. Like why we bookend lives with birth and death?

Was there not a parent that has a story before we start? Was there not change in life at least a few months before us? Then, do we not live on in our children? In memories of us throughout the community? In work and deeds that transcend our short lives?

Some grave markers are overly religious, with symbols of preferred gods or saints, others have images and etchings of the deceased. But even if it’s just a name and a date, I still find meaning.

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California’s Capitol Corridor Commuter Connection

California tranist foaming
California transit foaming start

After a week of the Global Social Benefit Incubator, I needed a break. I needed an escape from thinking about sustainable international development and San Francisco called my name. Even better, the Bay Area is served by a great rail network, perfect for my transit foamer fetish.

First up, I called Kristin and Mark, the dynamic duo behind Inveneo and asked them for a lunch date. Ever the gracious hosts, they agreed to meet me at the 22nd Street Station in San Francisco, a short hop north of Santa Clara on the convenient CalTrain that stops at the Santa Clara University front door.

After a relaxing six mile run (and a shower) I bought my $7.50 train ticket and settled in for a wait at the Santa Clara train station. A wait entertained with model railroads and a very interesting but annoyingly noncommercial train museum complete with model trains but no postcards or other purchasable train memorabilia.

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Amy, Will You Marry Me?

amy's engaged
Amy said “Yes!”

What do you do when you love your girlfriend? When you feel she is Miss Right, worthy of cohabitation, even if it requires a half-million dollar mortgage?

First off, you discuss the future with her. Life as Mrs. Vota, legally bound to a highly visible, globe trotting uber Geek with an addiction to technology and transit foaming on the Internets and even the streets. Then, when she accepts your insanity, you go ring shopping.

But don’t tell her that you’re buying an engagement ring. Oh no, you do your best to fake her out. You bitch and moan about diamond prices, you defer ring shopping trips, you even question the whole idea of engagement rings until she gives up and stops pestering you.

Its then, when she least expects it, like a Ross family vacation to Fripp Island, South Carolina. And where she least expects it, like the Bonito Boathouse Restaurant & Sunset Lounge, that you pop the question. Down on one knee, surprise engagement ring in hand, you ask her, “Amy, will you marry me?”

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