Monthly Archives: November 2006

You are a target.

So am I. Not to say we all aren’t in some fashion or another. Somehow this evening (I’m still trying to retrace my steps) I ended up at reading an in depth analysis on a segment of consumers labeled as TRANSUMERS. That would be the Transient-Consumer. Transient can be understood in several ways according to this treatment. Transient in terms of ownership, such as “Been there, owned that, sold it on Ebay for 60% of what I paid” or transient in terms of location/situation.

I find myself primarily in the transient in terms of location group. While I do like the idea of renting an experience such as the 2006 Lotus Elise I almost picked up for the weekend in Omaha from Dollar rent-a-car of all places (had to pass, no room for luggage.) I would say that the description of a Transumer fits me fairly well.

Trendwatch Briefing:

TRANSUMERS are consumers driven by experiences instead of the ‘fixed’, by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the current, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible. In other words; the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the ‘now’*.


As I read this I considered that I haven’t slept in the same bed for more than 2 weeks in better than a year. I have no personal space at my office. I carry with me at all times a vast array of my own personal ‘culture’ of digital music/movies/photos/books and the like. I can work anywhere with an Internet connection and a power plug and be as effective if not more effective than if I had to work on location and in person.

This is normal for me. This is fun for me. In fact, I have carefully created this existence.

The whole article is worth a read. If for no other reason that to have your eyes opened as mine were to the variety of rental services that have popped up. We’ll just have to wait and see if this trend has roots or it is as transient as the consumer group it hopes to target.

(Oh, and just wait for TRANSUMERS to be amongst the first to accept if not desire virtual goods. After all, the more time they spend online, the less need they have for expensive, fixed, hardly ever used physical goods. But we’re getting carried away here…)

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Filed under Random, Travel

Election Day

Today is November 7th, the day we exercise the right to participate in our democracy. I would bet if you did a random survey of people roaming the streets you would find that a decent percentage of people are not even aware that today is the last day for them to exercise this fundamental right. Even with all the political ads and news coverage I would venture to guess that most people who have not been paying attention will only learn tonight when they get home or tomorrow when they glance at the paper that they have missed their opportunity to voice their opinion on a candidate or a proposition.

Tomorrow morning bills will have become laws, taxes will have been raised or lowered, and maybe civil liberties will have been expanded or curtailed.

So I have to say, if you knew this was coming and didn’t bother to exercise this right, you can blame only yourself if something you don’t like makes it into law. You have given up any validity in your complaints. Because you didn’t try. I unfortunately have to count myself among those who couldn’t be bothered this year and maybe that is why I am so upset about this. I knew it was coming and forgot to reregister for my new district. Something I should have done the moment I moved in. My drivers license is a year out of date as well. So while this may sound hypocritical based on that tidbit of information, know that I’m talking to myself too. There is no excuse for it, especially in a vote-by-mail state.

I believe this level of apathy is counted on by a great many people that are trying to get laws passed around this country.

I propose a change:

Today should be a national holiday. Not just for government workers, who are likely more informed than the general populous, but for all citizens. Our culture should rally around this day. We should wake up in the morning happy in not having to work and remembering why. We should have ink stained fingers proving that we voted and for the inevitable “voting day sales” that will pop up we should not be allowed to have our discounts unless we present the “black thumb of democracy” or some other catchy bit of proof.

We should tailgate at our designated polling place and offer treats to those who have taken the time to participate, regardless of their political affiliation or disposition.

Write your Congressman, Senator, Governor, Mayor, or any other person that represents you in this squeaky machine of American democracy and tell them it’s time for a new national holiday.

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And so it goes…

I just spoke with a woman at Visas A.S.A.P in Burbank, CA about the Visas I would need for my trip. After describing what I am attempting to do there was a sigh on the other end of the phone. Let’s just say she wasn’t optimistic about my chances of getting many, in any, of my Visas before I leave.

According to her, Iran is not an option, not safe, and I shouldn’t go there because there is a country warning on the website. Also, as an Isreali, she knows something about this. While I believe she has valid reason to dislike any country that has publicly announced they wish the destruction of her country, I sincerely doubt she has traveled there. Iran, by as many reports as I can find, is full of very friendly and intelligent people that can tell the difference between a person and their government. Iran is even offering a cash incentive to tour organizers to bring Americans to their country as reported by CNN here: “Iran offers cash to U.S. tourists”

Aside from Iran she advised that I get my Visas while traveling, noting that most of them require itinerary and proof of onward passage. I have neither. Many of the Visa applications I have looked at also require specific entry and exit dates, which I only have a rough idea of regarding the month of the year. I imagine I will be spending quite a bit of time in Turkey or Syria trying to get my passage through the rest of Asia figured out.

If you have a glass handy, raise it with me, to the long road ahead.

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Filed under Adventure, Round The World, Travel

Visa Required

I’m still trying to determine which path I’m going to take across Asia. I wanted a big picture view of the world where I could easily see which countries required an American citizen to get a visa. So I built a map to display a visual representation of what I had to look forward to. It isn’t finished quite yet. I plan to include links in each country to direct you to that specific embassy so you can grab the documents you need. Click away, it’s pretty fun.

I haven’t been able to get it to present correctly inside WordPress yet. So click Here to see the map.

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Filed under Round The World, Travel