Pete and I finished the first-ever virtual live-streaming broadcast cross-country road trip on August 18th. It took us 9 days and 40+ hours of driving on Google Maps to complete the trek. I got food poisoning from Burger King and Pete almost lost his mind, but we persevered and made it to Richmond, VA from LA.
Fancy us; we were interviewed by NPR Weekend edition for our “vacation.” For the NPR audio interview go to http://bit.ly/GMRTNPRA. And for the NPR article see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111921898.
We’ll be back up this Friday, August 21st at 2pm PST to take a tour of Richmond, and we’re slated to take a trip up to Maine soon. Stay tuned.
Like so many of you, my friend Pete Baldes and I wanted to take a road trip together this summer, but he lives in Richmond, VA and I live in LA. We tried and tried to make our dreams of the classic American cross-country journey come true, but because of finances, schedule conflicts, and time constraints, we just couldn’t make it work. You know how it is. But then we had an idea: What about a virtual road trip that exploits the wonderful technologies of Google Maps and ustream. We could definitely make that happen.
So on August 10th, 2009, at 3pm PST, we’ll leave my house in LA and drive together to Pete’s place in Richmond. We’ll “virtual drive” across the country by continuously pressing the Google Maps arrow keys eastward, and we’ll broadcast the entire experience live on http://www.googlemapsroadtrip.com . This means you’ll be able to not only see and hear us as we travel, but also join us in a real-time chat room. Just think of it as an invitation to hop in the backseat and ride along with us for any part of our adventure that you like. We’ll take your suggestions on what to see and where to go as we trek this great nation, and ideally we’ll all get to know each other a little better.
We’ll stop for a shake at McDonalds in Flagstaff, get dinner at Olive Garden in Roanoke, play mix tapes, get in the inevitable argument, visit historical sites and old friends, stop at crummy motels for the night, etc… Just remember: This is real-time, so when we stop to eat, we’ll actually eat, and when we stop to sleep, we’ll actually go to bed, and if you’d like us to visit you, we’ll actually call you as we near your house, and you can virtually take us around your hood.
This is everything that we’d do on a real road trip, except we don’t have to leave the house, pay for gas, or worry about getting speeding tickets.
If you have suggestions on what we should see along the way — or if you would like us to stop and visit you — please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to spending some quality time with YOU on our road trip! Can’t wait!
Marc & Pete
p.s. The chronicles of this epic road trip will also be available at http://www.thefastertimes.com/travel
Christmas came a little early/late this year with this new exciting scavenger hunt game I unveiled at tenoversix for their LA fashion week show. It’s called Hidden Paintchip Fancy Gift.
To prepare the game, I matched the color of select items around tenoversix’s courtyard to paint chips, like the ones you get at home depot. I then precisely cut the paint chips to match parts of the items I selected, thereby camouflaging the paint chip pieces. When people arrived at the opening, they were instructed to go out into the courtyard and find the little paint chip bits. When someone found one, they were instructed to bring it to me. Then, I would redeem it for one of the gifts my mom gave me this past Christmas. The gifts have never been open, so it was a big surprise to use both.
If you would me to set up Hidden Paintchip Fancy Gift at one of your parties, please feel free to contact me at marc (at) ineedtostopsoon (dot) com, and we can work something out.
This is one of the first social projects I documented. I’ve never dragged it out until now.
For this project, “How Bout a Burrito at My Favorite Place?,” I posted an ad on craigslist.org asking people to join me for a burrito at my favorite taco truck in Oakland, CA. We met up at a specified time and ordered together. After ordering, I took a picture of my meal date with their food. We then ate together, discussing whatever. When we finished, I took a photo of their “burrito sculpture,” (a.k.a their trash).
It’s nice to see a person, take into account what they do and who they are, and then see how they fidget with thier leftover food and trash eventually completing a sculpture.
Peter Leonard – Collage Artist and Graphic Designer
Bruce Bortin – Activist
Joe Guzman- Photographer
Rene & Chris – Students
I had to put this project to an end because I received over 900 requests and I ate burritos 2-3 times a day which made me really fat.
Live the dream and make yourself a ship in a bottle!
1) get two plastic bottles and cut them in half (arrowhead 1 liter are the best)
2) draw and color your ship on both sides
3) tape or glue your ship horizontally on one of the cut bottle bottoms
4) merge the other bottle bottom with the one you just adhered the ship to
5) glue or tape the bottle bottoms together
6) take a bottle top and make a stand for your ship in a bottle by placing the wide side down and adhering the drinking hole part to the bottom of your ship in a bottle.
You probably don’t need instructions to do this, but I can’t imagine a craft project without instructions. Make a ship in a bottle and post it to the flickr group “Ship in a Bottle” – www.flickr.com/groups/shipinabottle/
By doing this, you’ll most likely win someone over.
This is sort of something I stumbled upon by accident while waiting for a phone call. It is very easy to execute and brings one much pleasure. All you need is a ceiling fan and a roll of toilet paper. I would suggest that you have hardwood or concrete floors, but I think short carpet would work too.
Here is the easy-to-follow 10-step process for creating a TP Tornado for yourself:
1) Grab a roll of 2-ply toilet paper, open it up (if wrapped).
2) Unravel about three or four feet of the TP.
3) Give it a throw up in the air so it goes over TWO of the fan blades (if it goes over just one blade, gently pull it off and try again). This the most crucial step.
4) Once you have the TP roll over the TWO fan blades, then unroll the rest of it. You can throw it around a bit more if it brings you pleasure. Whatever you do, don’t break the stream – REMEMBER ONE SOLID STRIP OF TP!
5) Once all of the TP is unrolled on the floor, remove the cardboard roll, and make sure the toilet paper isn’t too tangled up.
6) Start the ceiling fan on medium to medium high speed and watch the fun began!
7) As the toilet paper twists up like a tornado, help it ravel up a bit by feeding it some of the toilet paper on the floor.
8) Once the TP tornado has sucked up almost all of the TP, turn off the fan.
9) Run back to the tornado. As the fan slows down, gently lift up the main TP twist (as pictured) to alleviate some of the stress at the top. Do this until the fan stops completely.
10) Slowly release your grip and step back to enjoy your personal TP Tornado!!
Show your friends and loved ones. Take a picture and send it to me. I’d love to post a collection of TP tornados from around the world.
Yeah yeah, the tornado is technically up side down but who really cares?
We all have wishes – big and small, be it things we’d like to own, people we’d like to meet, things we would’ve done differently, hope for global change, desire for the perfect mate, or simply a cold soda on a hot day.
This project is dedicated to you and your wishes. Simply COMMENT TO THIS POST answering the following questions:
1) State your name (first name only is fine)
2) Where you’re from
3) And what you wish for!
My plan is to broadcast your wishes into outer space. Once there are a few hundred, I would make a recording of me reading them all. For example, Josh from Bakersfield, California wishes he had a 2000 foot slip and slide going from his home to his school. Nancy from Cleveland, Ohio wishes for President Bush to fall in a gigantic hole and never come out. Bob from Portland, Oregon wishes he’d never given up on his high school sweetheart. And on, and on.
I would then give the recording to someone like Sent Forever who would broadcast the recording into the furthest reaches of space.
Additionally on a more earthly level, I’m going to go to The Grove here in LA and read all your wishes through a megaphone
I really don’t know what this image is, but it seems like the perfect “wishes in space” gif
Studying errands is no small task. Everyday people are faced with the necessary errands – grocery lists need to be checked, tires need more pressure, credit cards need to be paid, new phones need to be acquired, broken things need to be fixed, dogs need their vitamins, sailboats need a specific polish, gifts need to be purchased, and everyone needs new underwear.
Common problems that can occur while fulfilling errands include: loneliness and alienation, boredom, impatience, anxiety, frustration, lethargy, hunger, flatulence, humming a Neil Diamond song, encountering stinky children, head bumps, and thoughtlessness.
In an effort to solve some of the aforementioned problems and create new and exciting ways of running errands, I have designed a two-part feasibility study:
Phase I: Running errands with others
Phase II: Running errands on a pack mule
Phase I: I run errands with strangers. I offer advice on which brand of cereal to buy, help folks fold laundry, determine the best quote on auto body repair.
Phase II: I do the same thing as Phase I, but now I’m on a donkey.
My studies determine that, if one desires to be spiritually fullfilled, errands need to be more than just a menial task. This can be achieved in many ways: go on your errands with another person, or in a group, wear some silly shades and a wig while doing your errands, walk backwards through the store, carry a really big boom box playing your favorite music, dress-up in a tux to go to Walgreens, if you don’t take the bus, take the bus to do your errands.
Go out and start an errand support group in your neighborhood or initiate group bill-paying sessions. The possibilities to make errands more communal and more appealing are endless.
This is a project I did a bit back, but it’s such a classic, I had to “re-release it”
Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicle Story
2_13_04 went on my first errand with Mary Burnham. We got two estimates on her damaged car and attempted an oil change.
went to drop of a zip disk and library book, get some eye-glasses, and look at a room wih Cory Bernat
did Laundry with Natasha.
Errands with Merideth Taluson.
Send an e-mail if you’d like to be a part of this sensation!
That’s Doug the mule trainer and Audrey the mule (right) whom will accompany me on my errands!!
On the morning of June 12, 2004, San Francisco will continue to live up to its reputation as the most expressive and experimental place on earth. I will complete my errands atop a pack mule in an effort to complete Phase II of my errand feasibility study. I will drop off my dry cleaning, process film, make photocopies, return some things to REI, do my grocery shopping, and make a deposit at the bank – all the while riding a pack mule and being escorted by a bicycle cop.
On June 12th, 2004 from 10am – 2:30pm, Audrey the mule, Hail the donkey, Doug the trainer, me, and the motorbike cop will be running errands. We will start at my house, located at 1343 McAllister at Steiner, then follow the rest of the route:
We will go down Mcallister to Fillmore,
LEFT on Fillmore,
LEFT on Herman
RIGHT on Church
LEFT on Market,
RIGHT on 12th street
LEFT on mission
RIGHT on 11th street
LEFT on Bryant
RIGHT on 9th going toward civic center
RIGHT on Larkin
LEFT on Hayes
RIGHT on Steiner
LEFT on McAllister
The Process to get this together:
Initially, I contacted at least 12 different city departments about riding a pack mule through San Francisco to do my errands. Below are the responses I got back. Below them is a solution I finally reached.
From: “sfpd public affairs”
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:40:57 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Re: Public input for Police
check our website and goto the …how do i get a permit area or contact the
permits unit at 415-553-1115
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2004 12:51 AM
Subject: Public input for Police
I need to ride a pack mule through SOMA to Mcallister at Steiner. Where do
I get the necessary permit to do this?
Thanks for your inquiry. A pack mule, huh? I’m not sure where you’d get
the necessary permit, but I would try either the Department of Parking &
Traffic or the Police Department in whatever precinct(s) you’ll be riding
for Grants for the Arts
Submitted on: 2/23/2004 12:50:23 AM
comments: Good Day,
I need to ride a pack mule through SOMA to Mcallister at Steiner in order
to complete a video project. Where do I get the necessary permit to do
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department has no jurisdiction over
this matter. I would contact the San Francisco Police Department.
City and County of San Francisco
Recreation and Parks Department
Submitted on: 2/23/2004 12:53:31 AM
comments: Good Day,
I need to ride a pack mule through SOMA to Mcallister at Steiner. Where do
I get the necessary permit to do this?
Thank you for contacting SFGOV Online Services. This support is intended
for users of the transactional services provided by SFGOV Online Services.
SFGOV Online Services facilitates internet payments for city and county
departments and agencies. Please visit
http://www.sfgov.org/site/mainpages_index.asp?id=7695 for a directory of
City and County Departments and Agencies.
SFGOV Online Services
I am new to the city. Can you please tell me the laws regarding riding
a pack mule through the city. I need one to do my errands, it is in my
religion – do I need to obtain a permit from the city? i cannot walk
and i cannot ride in motorized vehicles.
Our library director forwarded your question to me for an answer.
The most likely source for the answer is with the San Francisco Film and
Video Arts Commission. Here’s how to contact them:
1. Log on to the City website: http://www.sfgov.org
2. On the left of the page click on “Mayor’s Office.”
3. On the right of this page click on “Offices under the Mayor.”
4. Scroll down the list to “Film and Video Arts Commission,” click on
‘website’ (end of the paragraph).
5. This is the SF Film Commission website. Click on “services” on the
6. This is the page titled “Services offered by the Film Commission.”
These people should be able to tell you if you also need a permit from the
Hope this helps!
GERALD H. CLARK
San Francisco Law Library
401 Van Ness Ave., Rm 401
San Francisco, CA 94102
I talked to Cindy Shamban in Traffic Engineering. She referred me to a few different people.
Depart of Public Health – Sheldon Lew (special events) 252-3828. Cindy said he may have some answers about riding around on a Mule. I’ve yet to call.
I immediately called Sergeant George Carrington of the SFPD at 415.553.9764. He was very helpful and took kindly to the project. He considered the project an “Industrial Project,” meaning that it would be used for “business” purposes in that I would show others to generate interest in myself. He sounded very optimistic and said that he was going to do a feasibility study about riding a mule through the city. He is the big wig, so if he gives it the thumbs up, in my opinion it’s almost in the bag.
I would have to hire a police escort on a bike and make sure there were no major parades or festivals the day of my mule riding. The bike cop costs $70/hr for a 4 hr. minimum. He would stop traffic, help in dealing with the public, and make sure all is safe. He’d probably get a nice tan as well.
Vikki from Animal Care and Control called on 2/24 and said the Mule would not be a problem as long as I have the necessary permits through SFPD. She said to call though and notify her of the date and route – 415.554.9402.
I have much confidence that this will happen, but keep your fingers crossed just in case. I’m shooting for June or July.
I just got a call from Sergeant George Carrington. I can get the permits for riding a mule through the city from the SF Film & Video Arts Commision!!!!!!! I’m sure this project will not come cheap as I need a police escort, permits, a pack mule, and a video crew. It’s well worth it though! If anyone has a hot lead on a pack mule – let me know as my source dropped out. I called the American Mule Association to find a mule in the area. I talked with Marsha Arthur, email@example.com, who works there and she told me 1) you don’t ride the mule, you lead it. Who knew? It carries the packs, not the people. 2) She said that there is a club in the bay area – California donkey and mule association – and Doug and Paula jones (BOD) lead it up. She had me contact them at 650.879.0711 and at Dougj@mccue.com. There are offices Pescadero or Saratoga. Doug has a pack mule, but I’ve yet to talk with him in person. Marsha warned me that the Mule Show Season starts soon – animals start getting packed up and heading into the backcountry – so I better secure the dates. There is a Mule Show in May at Clovis,CA. The biggest is the “Bishop Mule Days” (parade), may 26th – 30th. Marsha said that parade mules can be the best because they are used to people and traffic – she said “you can’t just take mountain mules into the city.” Again, cross your fingers.
Doug Jones comes through! I have a mule that is traffic safe, and her name is Audrey. She comes all the way from the Pescadero area with all the trimmins’ – traditional packing gear, a lead, and snacks. I’m shooting for Sunday May 23rd. Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed.
Pushed date to June 12. Finalized.