Taxes and Hang gliding

adventure, announcements, travel 1 Comment »

SOME of the various activities for the trip: whitewater rafting, hang gliding, kayaking, jetskiing, waterski, and airboatToday is tax day.  Some post offices stay open till midnight.  I was going to e-file, like I always do.  TurboTax.  It did not work today- not sure why.  I did my organizing last night, so today should have been plug and play…. but that wasn’t the case.  It told me that I gotta print, and mail, not e-file.  So I went to the post office, which was closed.  So, I ended up filing electronically through for free, for an extension…. until I figure out what’s going on (probably tomorrow) – – but now my taxes are not done… an incomplete loop, I got a few of those to close (that’s why I won’t sleep much today).

Anyways- that part was annoying, but other than that, it’s AWESOME out!  Check it:

Kathryn calls me up and reminds me that Mother’s Day is coming up. In fact, she reminded me so by telling me that their new technology can probably make my mom a pendant out a photo of my 2 brothers and I.  It sounded awesome- I like creative gifts, but mom doesn’t wear jewelry, so it would just sit there, appreciated, but not worn. I thought of what the next surprise be.

I know!  I’ll visit Mom!  My uncle from Israel is visiting them, I can get my little bro on the way…. and I’ve been tough on myself for not having a crazy enough adventure lately, so why not hit up some hang gliding in Chattanooga?  I’ve always wanth ted to do that.  So, I told Kathryn about it– said she can go if she wants…. “You can be her present!”  “Are you sure she’d be ok with you just showing up with some random stranger?”  “Are you kidding me?? If I show up with some girl, she’ll think it’s the best mother’s day ever.”

Now, rewind a few posts, and Kathryn saw me speaking at a social media event in Dallas, then was the one who showed up to my rescue when I ran out of gas at SXSW.  How we spoke for the first time, was that she had posted a link to her 1st blog post…. and tweeted me that she’d love to see what I thought about it.  You can read my comment on there. Now I went and spent Easter over there, saw her neighborhood’s Easter Parade, and got to watch how Jewelry is made with Cad/Cam (design it on the computer, and the machine makes a physical model).

Back to the present- Mom won’t wear a pendant, but Kathryn didn’t freak out at a semi-joke, when I mentioned Hanggliding– this is fun! Taking a shy/quiet person, and taking them hang gliding?  She kept swearing that she’d never jump out of a plane, and I always said “You say that, now”  – so I actually brought Hang gliding up as “Well, it’s not skydiving” — personally, I think Hang gliding is more fun…. you can be up in the air longer, with more control, you can ride thermals up, etc… Cheaper too– you don’t need a parachute, and all that gasoline.

The details started filling in…. I had asked Craig recently what he thought of going hang gliding, and he said he’d be interested… so I started scheming– planning it on a weekend, so Craig can make it out with us.

Katie was telling me about a rough day yesterday, but not much about it.. just that it was, but today she decided that it was gonna be a great day, so it was… I said I agree, and told her that Kathryn agreed to go hang gliding. Katie lit up like Times Square…. “Hang gliding?  I wanna go!  I love hang gliding (followed in a later conversation by “I’ve been towed by planes, taken off a boat, jumped off the side of a mountain!”  – that’s awesome!  So… Katie’s going, Kathryn’s going… oh yeah… Katie hasn’t visited her cousin – who lives in Tennessee.

I forgot to mention that her cousin works in a White Water Rafting company…. screw it!  We’re adding White Water Rafting to our trip!

The funny thing is that earlier I was telling her that going Hang gliding will be life changing for her… ’cause if you never think of doing stuff like that, there’s a reason why…. and when you push your comfort zone to do something that you’ve never done before… so much so that you never even bothered imagining yourself doing that…. well, you’re gonna have quite the adrenaline rush, and I predict a nice juicy bite in the ass by the adventure bug!

“Well… how hard can this client meeting be, I mean.. I jumped off a friggin mountain!”

“So, after you go hang gliding, you can go on a milder adventure, and take your dad– like whitewater rafting”- and sure enough, later in the day whitewater rafting gets added.

I started calling, texting, and tweeting people– “Wanna join us for some hang gliding?”

Well… I kept adding— since I have until the 10th to kill.  So, drive to Tennessee on the 29th, by way of Dallas, to get Kathryn.  Be there by the 30th- hang glide for 3 days, then go white water rafting…. then go to Georgia, go to the Georgia Aquarium (which is mind blowingly awesome), and even sleep there… they have a thing where you can camp out there, and watch the whale sharks all night long.  I’m so down!  Then, go kayaking on the French Broad.

What luck!  Neither Kathryn nor Katie have ever been kayaking, and now Katie was saying she may ride along for the whole trip— ’cause she went to school down there, and has friends down there.   So…. get to Gainesville, FL on the 5th or 6th, get Itay and Nugget, and surprise the crap out of mom in South Florida.  Haven’t thought of the details… Maybe send Kathryn in to the house with my fake (but very real looking) gun?  Nah… poor girl, and my parents… they’d all be traumatized.   I suppose the machette is out too, and I lent out my rocket launcher to a friend of mine for a tv show they’re doing….

Maybe I’ll send Itay in, so Mom and Dad think he’s being sweet and showing up for Mother’s Day… I have him leave the door open (I do have a key), and then I Sneak in, and surprise them.  Or… maybe I’ll send Itay in with Kathryn, and see if they recognize her… ’cause I just did a shoot with Kathryn, and I sent the folks a copy of the picture.  That may be the way to go….  Confusion’s a fun one.

Once in South Florida, Kayaking in the mangroves, rent Jet-skis, water ski at the Ski Rixen , and ride an airboat through the Everglades.

Make mom some awesome brunch for mother’s day- maybe catch a musical performance somewhere, or dinner theatre, and then head back on the 10th– dropping Itay and Nugget off, making a pit stop in Atlanta, and then… having an extra day before Kathryn has to be back at the office, we’ll actually find some cool adventure between Atlanta, GA, and Dallas, TX.  Any suggestions?

We’ll probably ride in 2 cars.  Craig’s probably bringing Bentley, and Katie’s probably bringing Bentley- is that weird? They both have dogs named Bentley.

Basically, a 2 week roadtrip that evolved fully in one day.  It definitely fills up my adventure hole in my heart.  There’s many people to meet along the way.

So, yeah.. .I’m pretty excited.  Now… here’s some info, in case you want to go – either now, or later. has the Weekend Package which is $399, for training, and 20 jumps off the short (65 foot hills- as compared to being thrown off a 1,500 foot cliff right away) hills, and 2 aero-tow lifts (get towed behind a small plane/glider  – so you do get the 2,000 foot experience).  I am actually signing up for the Mountain Package at $699 – which gets you ready for Level 1 & Level 2 certification- meaning you can fly solo (non-tandem) off a mountain afterwards.

One of my friends/couches is Derek, whom I just found out works for Thrill Planet, so he told me what their price is on hanggliding- or what rate he can get me as the couchsurfer (I crashed with him for a month in 2007) discount… but has the same rate for tandem jums.  The thing that surprised me was that I was told the price.. I had actually asked for what would be a bulk rate, since I’m bringing a bunch of people… so I was given the rate, then I asked what I get for it- and I was told 30-40 minutes in the air on a tandem jump.  Well, $399 is a tiny bit more than double the price I was given… but it seemed absurd- why take one measly flight, when for a little more, I can get 20 jumps + 2 tows, and hang out there for 3 days– oh yeah.. forgot to mention, we’re camping!

We’re totally bringing the helmet cam!

Running with Tellman Knudson (of RunTellmanRun)

Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, video 1 Comment »
Tellman Knudson running Barefoot across the country

Tellman is the first person ever to run coast to coast barefoot.

I’m thrilled to bring you guys this interview with Tellman Knudson, while running, as he runs across the country barefoot to raise $100,000,000 to help fight youth homelessness.

Tellman Knudson is a really awesome person.  He’s driven, but chill.  He knows who he is, and lives according to that.  People like that are far and few.  He is a very successful marketer, and decidedto do a first.  In this video, he tells the challenges of finding a “first”,  about why he’s doing what he’s doing, and the challenges of it.

He’s gotten to meet my hero, Richard Branson… whose charity (Virging Unite) he’s raising the money for.

I can hardly fathom $100,000,000.00 — I don’t care what your cause is, that’s a lot of money, that can really make a difference! Hanging out with Tellman while at Matt Bacak’s & Mark Joyner’s Survival Tactics for Tough Times was very enlightening and humbling.  What do you think of what Tellman’s doing?

Thanks to Harris Fellman, who’s another successful fellow who’s fun, money was raised just from this jog.

2009 – Where did the year go? I know! My year-end summary.

adventure, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, Inspiration, misc, party, summary, travel 7 Comments »
Disney - Remember... Dreams Come True (3) (Explored)

Fireworks - seems like a good pic for the new year

As of 2pm on January 1st, I will have been couchsurfing a full 3 years. I have to admit, it’s gone by quickly. Everyone says “Where did the year go?” But because I blogged more this year, I actually know where it went.  I didn’t blog everything- but here’s my summary.. Read the rest of this entry »

Couchsurfing Radio – The very first Couch-Cast!

couchsurfing radio, Couchsurfing Radio Episodes, Get to know Ori, Marketing Lessons, News, rant 11 Comments »
Couchsurfing radio - the show graphic

The Couchsurfing Radio Host- Couch Surfing Ori

Have you ever felt you were destined to be on TV or Radio?  Yeah… me either.  But I sure was told it often that I should have my own show.  At least for 10 yearas now.  So… here it is :)

I present to you CouchSurfingRadio, my latest creation. Right now it will be on Monday nights at 11pm EST, with replays available for your downloading pleasure (so you can hear it again and again… have it on as you clean, drive, work, jog, poop, etc..).

The show will cover many topics, but most of them will be what I often blog about: adventures, travel, incredible people and places, marketing, life lessons, motivation, design, jokes, and of course, my odd perspectives on everything.

Here is the very first episode.

Download the episode for home/car/plane/etc.. listening.

It’s a great story… the forming of this radio show:  I felt like putting on a radio show, I tweeted and facebooked that in 2 hours I’ll be putting on a radio show, and then I put on my radio show.  Exciting, huh?  There was more to it than that, of course. I didn’t figure out how to log-in to the host number until (literally) 3 minutes before showtime. I was a distracted spaz.  I didn’t know how to read the questions that were coming in through the show’s chat-room, through twitter, and through skype. So.. yeah.. I was all over the place.

The feedback thus far has been great though!

For next episode, I will have a surprise guest, someone to filter the questions/chat for me, and segments… so, some kind of structure.

Take a listen, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show (Leave a comment below please)

A couchsurer’s view on “Stuff” (worldly posessions)

Get to know Ori, opinion, product review, rant, video 34 Comments »
CouchSurfingOri surrounded by STUFF at Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

CouchSurfingOri surrounded by STUFF at Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

Stuff!  We all have it! The thing is that it means different things to different people.  Some people think that we are nothing more than what stuff we’ve accumulated.

Have you ever been to soeone’s house that looks like a museum? Shelves upon shelves of little crystal figurines, and nice china, and walls of DVDs, and shelves full of books, and tons of walk-in closets, etc… ?

I wonder if they actually enjoy their stuff.  I wonder if they eat on that fine china… I wonder if they watch every movie.. I wonder if they read all their books.

You see, I have a lot of stuff too.  We all do!  But, do we actually use it after the first few weeks?  It’s a shiny object, and my marketer friends probably made the ad that made you want it…. but after you spent your money, or were gifted it, you probably got bored with it.  Clearly, there’s exceptions– computers, cell phones, televisions, but even those gather dust after we find a shiny new model.  The Ipod got replaced by the Ipod Nano, which got replaced by the Iphone / Touch – which got replaced by the Iphone 3G, which got replaced by the Iphone 3GS.

What’s my point?  I just realized that a lot of my stuff I have because people think I should have it.  What do I mean? I guess I should tell you my big plans first.

(If you’re in a hurry, just scroll to the video at the bottom) Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing is so bad that you can’t laugh at it– when things go wrong for me, it seems to always be funny

rant 1 Comment »

Burglar + BagIf you’re going to do something, do it well!  That includes having a bad week I suppose, ’cause as T. Harv Ecker says “How you do anything, is how you do everything!” It’s not that I’m a super-optimist, but watch the video… when things happen to me, they are funny!  I mean… this crap is random!  Who steals a shelf??

Read the rest of this entry »

On the road again, full time!

adventure 1 Comment »

Thursday, January 29th, the road has BEEN beckoning, but this is the official ’09 launch. “Ready or not”.  My destination was Austin, Texas (which happened to be 16 hours away).  This year, I’m not just going for adventure (though, I definitely am seeking it out).  This year, I’m bringing you advice and secrets from various successful CEO’s / entrepreneurs.  So, stop #1 is Perry Belcher.  Perry’s made about $100,000,000 over the last 11 years in various businesses, and today is ranked #38 twitterer (out of more than a million).  You should be able to learn a thing or two from someone like that, right? Well, to get there,  there was the packing and driving 1st Read the rest of this entry »

My NEW adventure!

adventure, announcements, business 1 Comment »

Where in the world is Couch Surfing Ori?   That’s what the text message often says.  Joe of Couch 56 sends it every month, sometimes more frequently.  His wife recently took to Couch Surfing, and was even my 1st guest at my new place.  So… based on the fact that you know my definition of adventure as doing new things that you haven’t done before….. Read the rest of this entry »

Independent Lady Magazine – Here’s the man to hire as your editor!

humor, rant No Comments »

Seriously!  I did not modify this in any way!  The punctuation, spacing, and spelling…. this is a straight-up cut/paste job.  It’s a pretty long reply, considering that Mr. Independent Lady Magazine said not to write, ’cause my emails will not be read.  So… he read my e-mail and replied.  I simply can not get angry at a letter like this, because the horrific grammar is just so amusing.  How can you take something like this seriously?  Especially when the guy tells you he’s a great editor, and his project is “a magazine”!  I’m sure “God” will lead him in the right direction all right :)  I definitely agree with that part.  Enjoy this fabulous letter from Mr. Independent Lady Magazine, telling me off. Read the rest of this entry »

Independent Lady Magazine

business, design, humor, Information, opinion, rant 2 Comments »

Independent lady magazine is the name of a project I was going to take on. I’ll tell you about it, since you know I hate having my time wasted, and this is a wonderful story of time wasting. Angela was looking for projects for me, and found someone on that needed a magazine layout done. Their initial project that they tried to get me to do for free to cheap was to photoshop the text off a cover that someone had sent as a proof… on a photo that they didn’t have the rights for. Read the rest of this entry »

Couch 24 & 57 are pregnant! Change of plans for GA.

Couches, movie reviews, photography, slideshow No Comments »

I’ve spoken to Jessica (Couch 6) since I’ve left her no clothes party a few times, and she’s gotten promoted within the speed speed skating industry.. she now co-coordinates the races. Yay couch 6! She also hasn’t heard from the Other photographer that was at the event. Too bad, ’cause he had some pics of everyone (including me). I know how you people feel when I, or anyone else takes your photo, and you just have to wait and wait and wait. Trust me folks, I’m working on catching up through these 27,000 photos from 2007. After Jessica’s party, I did get to hang out with Couch 5 for a bit as well, and I saw Couch 4 on my way to Tampa for a few minutes. I still haven’t spoken to Victoria, who flaked out on going to the party, and therefore did not become the next couch. She did try to call me a few days later, but I was in the middle of something, and she didn’t leave a message. Being flaky is a good way to burn bridges with me.

The drives have all been beautiful… It is the time of year when the trees change colors, and if you haven’t seen it in person, I highly recommend an October drive across Maryland / Virginia. A sea of green, with foaming waves of red and orange of all shades. It is breathtaking… This is not something I have too many photos of, as I was driving. I have gotten quite adept at taking photos while driving out of either window and the sunroof.

In Georgia, I was supposed to go Kayaking with Couch 24. I couch surfed with his new lady, Alyx (Couch 57), who is an optimistic ball of affection! Even her cat, Zeppelin is a lover. Here’s a few shots of Alyx, her cat, and her window-fairy. Read the rest of this entry »

Pictures from the Zoo!

Information, photography, slideshow 1 Comment »

The other day I said that I went to the zoo. Being a photographer, I took a ton of photos, and today I finally figured out a good way to set these slideshows up efficiently– so.. here they are!


I actually show how I got the colors on these photos in my video I did for RAW files. Make sure to signup at and you’ll receive my Photoshop-tips newsletter, including that one.