Get your Skype superpowers

business, Information, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials No Comments »

Skype is one badass application. If you don’t have it… get it, now. Out of the box it lets you text chat, send SMS (text) messages, send files, call other Skype users, call phones, send files, and it even has fun hidden smilies to amaze your friends with (my favorites are (Y)(finger) and (mooning) ).

However,  there’s more to using Skype than just being able to give your friends the finger while sending them a file (the file sending is pretty great, because it will resume files if you get disconnected, etc). Skype is a powerhouse of productivity… especially with a little help. Read the rest of this entry »

Rebecca Black bad — transformation of the web.

humor, Information, Marketing Lessons, music, News, opinion, party, rant, video 1 Comment »

Rebecca Black and Ice Cube star in FridayOne of my couches / buddies Jason Moffatt just did an epic thing.  Despite being a surfer, and loving La Jolla, he moved to LA to participate more in comedy.  Originally he took the comedy bootcamp just ’cause he wanted to… thought it might make a good blog post (We’ve all done crazy things for that reason, right?).  Well, doing things on a whim often leads to amazing things.

Jason  is funny, and fearless, and smart (He has experience in selling magic tricks at bars, he was a PI, he is a marketer and copywriter… many of these things combined let him be confident, and know how to read people, and know what to say…. plus he has more street smart than most people I know– and that’s a lot of people), so he was a natural at this. Here is his first show!

I was lucky enough to get to be there in person to show support for a friend. There’s not much better than being able to show support for your friends in their big dreams. Jason is also the only other person I’ve ever met who’s taken shrooms and gone to a stripper club (his experience sounded way more painful than mine).

Anyways….not only was he funny, but his marketing superpowers are able to help these comedians– Louie Anderson and Kyle Cease. Jason has been out to Vegas a few times since to hang with Louie. How cool is that?

So… as I started this post with, Jason gave up the peace, quiet, and beauty of La Jolla to go to LA to work on comedy with Kyle Cease. I know he’s going to crush it!

The other day Jmo posts “Check out this spoof that we just filmed for Rebecca Black’s Music Video, Friday” –And he posted this video.

Ok… cute… funny…. but I didn’t see the original, so… I googled it, and here’s what I found…. Good luck watching the whole thing- *shiver*

I couldn’t watch the whole thing.. But heck, I’m not her demographic, right? I think it’s intended for teenagers. This girl is in 8th grade after all.
Well, at the time of writing this blog post (Saturday the 19th, 11AM CST), she is approaching 22 million views! Read the rest of this entry »

Alternative Presentations that Kick serious Ass!

business, design, Information, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials, video 2 Comments »

My own techniques for creating presentations that stand out from the competition and get the clients’ attention every ttie… which turns into more sales, so you can have more time to do the work and enjoy life, rather than trying to sell more.

Originally I recorded it for my consulting clients only… but screw it.. I want EVERYONE to have more sales and more fun! So… enjoy, take action, and share the wealth! Read the rest of this entry »

I mean Business!

announcements, business, Get to know Ori, Information 2 Comments »

I know I’ve been off the grid (‘cept all those silly jokes on Facebook)- so here’s what’s up:

I’ve been in South Florida now for almost 3 weeks. I’ve only left the house to go jogging daily (I have missed 2 days), and two times to go out to dinner with my folks.  Other than that, I have been in front of my computer day and night.

Over the last month, I’ve gotten my LLC, Merchant Account, Business Banking Account (got majorly disappointed with Bank of America, for the second time, so am never doing business with them again), Online Shopping Cart, and have set up numerous business relationships and creating a few products.

You see, I love helping people build and grow their businesses.  I’ve been doing this for ages, by providing people with high-end photography, videography, motion graphics, websites, marketing strategies and implementation, and even product design and creation.  I’m thrilled that I can help… But…. I can’t help enough people to feel like I’m making a difference when I’m doing it one on one.

Coming in April is my Big Ideas Workshops….Everyone spends their money and time on getting and learning the latest tool or tactic… but they don’t actually have a great idea to use it with.  People are running their businesses, but missing major opportunities.  So, I will be working with 20 people per weekend teaching high-end creative ideation, as well as doing many hotseats, so everyone gets to walk away with their own big idea:  a new product, or additional direction with their current product or service,the challenges you can expect to face, the resources you’ll need to charge through those challenges, and the tools to make sure that these ideas work with your market, as compared to just being nice ideas.

This week I am releasing a product that fills a major gap. It is a course on how to easily set up your own website, and fire that overpriced web designer that’s been holding your site hostage. Many people buy courses that tell them “ok.. just set up a WordPress site, and then do this this and this” — they don’t tell you how to customize it, or how to brand it.. I’m going step by step, and showing you exactly what to do, and… how to do it without having to know any of that geek-code… you don’t need CSS and HTML and PHP… although, I do teach that in case you do want it.

Ideas On Retainer, originally my coaching site, which I was adding a paid newsletter to, was getting great response… but as I said earlier in this post, I just don’t think I’m helping enough people if I put the information behind a wall.  I will be publishing those business articles on this site.  Ideas On Retainer will go back to being my coaching site.

So.. that’s some of what you can look forward to.

Sorry if I’ve been off the grid,


A journey to Quality Time

adventure, travel No Comments »

As I told Chris why I hadn’t met him the night before, his eyes were wide, “That’s Crazy!” “Yeah… I suppose… but, if I said ‘I drove from Austin to South Florida, and it was a breeze… that wouldn’t be very interesting.” Here’s what happened.

While I was in Costa Rica, I decided that  I’d like to go spend some quality time with my parents.  None of us are getting any younger, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen them. When I called them up and asked if they’re cool with it, they were thrilled.  So, 2-3 weeks in February was what we decided on, and then I also lucked out and ended up having a 13 hour layover on my flight back to the United States, so, I got to have dinner with them in January, before hitting Dallas.

I love Austin, but the only reasons I stayed until February were that David Gonzaelz was holding another Internet Marketing Party (and he gets irate when I leave town right before the event, and don’t make it), and my good buddy Rob Burns was coming into town for that event as well. I hadn’t seen Rob in a while, and I missed him, so it was worth staying. We had an epic day of hanging out, followed by an epic night of hanging out.  Internet Marketing Party was a blast.  I ran into another really close friend I hadn’t seen in a while (Jesse Jameson), and now have an invite to go snowmobile and ski in Breckenridge, CO in March.

Since Rob was flying out Wednesday at 6pm, I was going to leave town about that same time, then drive to Dallas for four hours, hang out with friends, and leave for Gainesville, FL in the morning. However, at 3AM, while losing my voice from telling so many jokes at the Thai place , Jonathan Herberts informs us that the weather will literally be freezing by noon.  This was not cool. Wrecking to black ice once is enough.  Change of plans. As I curled up to bed at 5AM with my laptop, I skyped Brandie to see if she can figure out where the storm is going to be, and where I can go to avoid it.

I got up, packed up, and punched in Gainesville into my new phone (Oh yeah… I’m finally done with my Palm Treo!  I got an LG Optimus S, which was cool.. but had some glitches that pissed me off… so I just traded it in on Tuesday for a Samsung Epic… NOW I’m happy.  Geez, the things I can do with that phone (That’s what she said)). ‘s GPS, and it concurred with Brandie’s route that I should get on I10, and not go up to Dallas, to I-20.  I got on the road at 1:15PM, and hauled ass.  It was 28 degrees out, and I had seen a few snow flakes fly by. Tweets from Dallas were telling me that Dallas would be 18 degrees by morning. I was also informed that I’m about to drive into a storm and freezing weather, so watch out.

I was cold, and the heater didn’t help much because it made me sleepy.  I would use it when my windows fogged up.

Icicles on signs made me nervous…. but the road seemed dry.  The weather slowly warmed to 30 degrees, then I hit the rain.  My car slid around a tiny bit, but I think that was more from the force of the wind than the rain.  It wasn’t enough to spin me around.  The gloomy weather was not fun though… I like my daytime driving to be blue.  It was only once the temperature rose to 36 degrees that my hands eased up on the wheel.

Once I had driven for 5 hours, the temperature rose to 41 degrees, and stayed at that level until I arrived in Gainesville at 8am.  It hadn’t stopped raining at all.

I had used the wrong cable with my phone, so I was not able to transfer audio books onto it.  This was quite frustrating, as I had to do music and news the whole way.  It’s nice to hear that both Katy Perry and Pink have songs out with a positive message (Fireworks, and F’ing Perfect). But damn… everything gets overplayed…. especially on an 18 hour drive.  I did switch between radio and Pandora. By the way, if you want to do your own version of the Fireworks video, I suggest playing with a program called Particle Illusion.

I barely stopped for bathroom breaks.  I only stopped for gas.  For food, I had home made Kale chips that I made with my buddy Perry’s dehydrator using this tasty recipe for Kale Chips. I also had a few boxes of Wheat Thins sent to me by the Wheat Thins team, since I praised them on their awesome marketing campaign “The Crunch is Calling”.  Oh yeah… and I got 3 $0.99 McChicken sandwiches with no lettuce.  I’m not sure why some places have them spicy, and others have them non-spicy.  I prefer the non-spicy version.

My pun that evening was that pumping gas is so cool.  Yeah… it was 41 degrees out for a long long time.

I got to my little brother’s new place in Gainesville around 8am.  His dog, Nugget, remembered me.  He wouldn’t leave me alone.  He didn’t let Itay take him on a walk, he didn’t even want to sleep in Itay’s room.  He just wanted to hang around me.  That was so sweet… Nugget’s getting a little old now, but he’s still so adorable… and his tail still stings like a barb!

I completed a small project before going to sleep… I had promised that I’d have it on Thursday, and it was thursday morning… so I got it done.  Fell asleep.  Woke up, went to Brunch with Itay, then got on the road to Orlando. I was going to meet up with some people in Gainesville, but I also hadn’t planned on sleeping in until 2:45pm.

I gave Itay a big hug, and got on my way again.  The rain had of course picked back up again.  Now I was heading to Orlando, to grab some coffee with some friends there.  That too didn’t quite happen.

Apparently, the whole “You get 30 miles to drive once your gas light comes on” is more of an urban legend… and definitely does not apply when your car is filled to the brim with belongings to weigh it down.  The light came on, I didn’t keep an exact tally of the mileage, and next thing I know, the motor sputters… but roars back to life, then sputters…. it was clearly gasping for air (gas).  Like Irony?  I do!

I ran out of gas, and let my car glide as far as it would go… which was 1/2 a mile from the next exit, and 10 feet after the “Gas at this exit” sign.  So… there’s the sign for gas stations ahead, with my car out of gas in front of it.  Lovely.

More irony you crave? Well… ok.. I have more.  So, less than a week ago, I get to Kate Buck Jr’s house to hang out for Superbowl weekend. She’s telling me the tale of how her gas light came on, and she was freaking out, and barely made it to a gas station.  What do I say? “Oh… I wouldn’t worry about it.  You see, when that gas light comes on, you still have 30 miles to go.”  See the irony here?

So.. I’m on the side of the Florida Turnpike with all my worldly belongings (except the 2 remaining boxes at Kate’s Garage– down from 5 boxes.  A computer that Craig has in storage, some photo lights at Rob’s house, and a few of my old paintings at my parents’ house). My buddy Johnny Diggz just happened to have a gas canister in his car, and was willing to come get me…. but Orlando is a bitch to navigate… you have to go through all sorts of tolls, and lots of lengthy bits of road to get between sections of the turnpike.  I told Johnny not to worry about it, as I got AAA.

I called them up, they call me back and say it’ll be within the hour.  Really? It takes an hour to get a truck to me when I’m on a major road?  Oh well.  I had my wheat thins, water, internet on my phone… I was good to go.  I actually fell asleep while waiting.  When I woke up because there was the AAA guy knocking on my window, I realized that I had run out of battery while waiting.  Maybe I left my lights on.  I’m not sure, but it was good that it was AAA, they can fix everything.

So, Chris Hughes now had to cancel on our meeting, ’cause it was almost 10PM now.  Joel Lepp said he’d still come out, and Johnny Diggz and I were going to hang out regardless of the time.  Now, instead of coffee, I went to Johnny’s house, and from there to his Dueling Piano Bar (it’s pretty fun to have a friend that owns a dueling piano bar. We got a lot of attention from the cute waitresses, and the band members kept coming to hang out with us, and it was 3 for 1 drinks), Baby Grands.

Joel met us there.  The thing that sucked was that I ordered 20 wings, so he could join in…. but when he got there I learned that he is a vegetarian.  I know Joel from– a site I visited for a bit when I found out that I am an ENTP on the Myers Briggs scale.  I was on a hunt for others like me. Joel seems more mild mannered than me, but when he jumped the rail and went on the dance floor impersonating the really drunk guy, his wild streak was pretty evident.  I was highly amused.  And then, he had to go.

Johnny and I spent our time there brain storming.  His company Tropo does incredible things– they have an API that lets you add voice, text, sms, fax, email, IM, and much more to any of your web applications.  That’s actually how I met Johnny Diggz!  I was speaking at the 140Conf on Creating Serendipity… Johnny was also speaking about Geeks Without Bounds.

Watch Johnny’s presentation, it’s mind blowing what they are doing to change the world with their technology.
There’s not much more to the story.  I ended up brainstorming with Johnny on some cool new ways they can grow the company some more. It’s always flattering to put my skills to good use with such impressive companies.  He gave me a tour of their downtown Orlando office… quite cool.  Then it was off to Johnny’s house, where we kept brainstorming, then watched a lecture by Rushkoff… interesting fellow!

It was time for sleep.  But I gotta say Johnny has the coolest couch of all the couches I’ve been on.  I slept in a bed, but that couch is friggin awesome!  I’m going to have him send me a photo of it.  His lights are all motion sensor activated / deactivated as well!  Totally rad.

Today I woke up, had coffee with Chris Hughes, since I didn’t get to see him last night.  I can’t help but business consulting!  It’s what I”m wired for… so that was our 1st meeting.  We know each other through Facebook and the internet marketing community.

I made a pit stop in Wellington, to meet a new client, and tour their facility.  Then I finally made it home.  Let the quality time begin.

Home made food (Mushroom Blintz) for dinner, along with a cup of tea.  Then mom and dad asked me if I want to watch a movie with them. We watched “The Resident” and it sucks.  There is no point to that movie except to make people feel creeped out, and women feel freaked out about moving in to a place, ’cause their landlord may be raping them in their sleep.  I will say that Hillary Swank looks uber-hot in it.

Since that movie sucked, dad apologized, and said “Let’s watch another” -so we watched yet another movie, which also wasn’t anything to write home about.  So…. now I’m writing late at night.

What do the next two weeks hold? Working on my book and projects, and then doing the things that mom and dad like- so… I’ll be playing card games, board games, watching movies, and I think we’ll even go to the beach.   Wish me luck.  Too much loving drives me bonkers.  Tonight it was”Would you like to sit here?” “No… I’m fine. I’m already being productive” “Here, I cleared off space for you” “Really, I’m fine. Since you’re standing next to the power strip though, could you plug my laptop in?” “But I plugged the light in, don’t you want light?” “No mom, I don’t need light. I need electricity, thank you.” “Are you sure you don’t want to sit here?” (I’m sitting there now by the way).

My parents are adorable.  I love them. I can endure two to three weeks of being loved. Their happiness is worth a 23 hour drive through crap weather.

Happy Working Naked Day!

adventure, announcements, humor, Inspiration, video 2 Comments »

In honor of Working Naked Day 2011, I’ve made a video.

It’s 37 degrees out in Austin, so don’t expect that I’m going to go Streaking or anything like that.

If you missed yesterday’s blog post about Working Naked Day, you should read it ’cause I went in depth about the holiday.  What I say in this video that I didn’t say yesterday was that there are over 30,000,000 Americans that work from home. That’s not the population of Facebook or anything, but that’s a pretty formidable crowd!

Now, picture 30,000,000 million people naked.  Yeah, that is pretty gross.  But then consider that Naked just means free from the corporate structure, and then it’s not gross!  It’s 30,000,000 people that have chosen to go pursue their own dreams, or spend quality time with their families, or maybe just travel all over the world while working on a laptop from anywhere (that sounds familiar).  It’s an easy decision… all you have to do is make it, and take the first step.

If you’re not working from home, then spend a few minutes today imagining what it would be like if you could work from home. How would you spend your time? What would it feel like?  How much would you work?  Whom would you hang out with?  What kind of schedule would you keep?

If you are working from home, then spend some time reflecting on the freedoms that you do have, that you would not have if you were not working from home.  Then call some friends who are stuck at an office, and see how they are doing.  You get extra points if you’re calling them on video skype :)

Tomorrow is Working Naked Day, how will you celebrate?

announcements, business, humor, Information, Inspiration 4 Comments »
a girl working naked at her computer

Will you be working naked? (photo from fhmonline)

I’m not making this up! February 1st is Working Naked Day, and I am celebrating! If you aren’t, perhaps you should!  Let me tell you about the holiday.

Working Naked means Stripping yourself of the bonds of corporate World. Shedding that structure of the workplace.

Working Naked means working on your own terms, in what ever clothes you want, on your own schedule.  Basically, welcome to the world of being a home-based entrepreneur.

February 1st is a day kind of like Thanksgiving, but without the Turkey.  It’s a day of gratitude for those that have shed their workplace like a corporate suit.  It is a day to appreciate all the things you can do that you wouldn’t be able to if you were at a job.

For example- you can go to a theme park without having to wait in major lines, as you would if you went on a weekend.  You can go to the beach, or the park and read a book, because you control your own schedule.  You can bring your laptop and work by the lake, because no one says that you have to be in the office in order to be productive.  You can make sure to spend time with your family, or significant people.  You should definitely wear something comfortable- pajamas? boxers? nothing?

So, if you are a home based entrepreneur, then you should make sure to do something to celebrate your freedom, and you should also contact your friends that are working their corporate jobs, and remind them that they too can work naked… all it takes is a dream, and some hard work.

In this day and age of abundance, people are starting to seek passion and meaning, rather than just a place to pay the bills.  If you’re going to spend all your time working… you might as well be absolutely enthralled in what you do, and pursue your passion on your own term. You might as well work naked.

If you are congested, this is a miracle.

Information, product review 2 Comments »

“You sound like shit!”  This was the first thing that 2 clients told me within the last 3 days.  My older brother just asked me to call back, because he couldn’t understand what I was saying. Yes, I am sick. It is rare, but it happens.

I suspect that it is an allergy to the Cedar Trees in Austin… Check it out, there’s an entire site dedicated to hating Cedars!  They have lots of facts… Austin, Texas voted the 2nd allergy capital in the USA by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The upside is that I get to use one of my all-time favorite bad puns.. You think it’s funny, but it’s snot!  I say this every time I’m on the phone with someone, and I have to blow my nose. Hooray for silver linings, right?

But, I have been coughing up a storm, and my head felt as if someone shoved a balloon up my nose, into the brain cavity, and then inflated it…. my sinuses were so clogged, my eyes were blood shot.  I could not concentrate on anything, and I was constantly tired… it’s as if someone had just turned on the Tired Switch, and left it on.  I would sleep, wake up, and go right back to sleep.  Not cool!

My friend Isabella Jones had sent me her Betti Pot right before I went to Costa Rica, but Read the rest of this entry »

Grumble- Radio Shack misrepresentation.

business, rant No Comments »

I run I travel, I jam my ear phones all sorts of places (did that sound wrong?)… bottom line, I have a frequent problem with ear phones shorting out at the base. First the volume drops on one side, but if I pinch or twist the cable then it works.  Then one ear bud completely stops working, then the other. After a while, unless I have the earphones twisted a certain way, I can’t hear them at all.  I’m used to it.  I go through many pairs.

So, when I went to “The Shack” (That’s how they brand themselves now… the ads say “the shack” and they pick the phone up “Thanks for calling The Shack”) in Santa Monica while couchsurfing with the awesome Espree a few months ago, I bought the cheapest replacements I could find, at $14.99, after having just killed a pair of Skull Candy earphones — a brand that brand on someone’s recommendation that they would be more durable… but… bleh, they died like the rest. The salesperson did a great job upselling me on the replacement plan.

He said that I could just walk into any radio shack, no box, no receipt, and get it exchanged.  Well, I thought I’d try that today, ’cause sure enough my new pair has been dying.  Here’s how it went down (as if the title didn’t give it away):

The very helpful sales rep gave me a brochure, and said Read the rest of this entry »

Breakdancing and finding your passion.

Get to know Ori, opinion, rant, video 6 Comments »

Ok, sounds good. <– Not even a reaction!

I guess my friends and family are used to hearing what new goal I am going to go after now, “I’m going to be a 3D animator!  I’m going to be a photographer!  Now I”m running a printshop!  I’m going to design jewelry!  I’m a marketer!  I’m a video editor!  I’m going to play the guitar! I’m writing a book!”  So… Breakdancing may not be a big stretch for them, especially after stunts like Bull Poker, or Cliff Jumping, or Skydiving, or all these other things that I’ve done.  But… this is different, and I’m telling you why so maybe you can find that thing that brings you alive. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s all about Perspective, and other stories.

Couches, Get to know Ori, humor, travel 4 Comments »

Everything stopped. Whatever had been going rushed into confusion, as the white searing light filled my entire existence.

“Wake up”


The small Australian five year old child moved his flashlight which was on, and leaning against my left eyeball to my right eyeball Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year 2011!

adventure, announcements, business, Get to know Ori, humor, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, travel, video 2 Comments »

Happy New Year from Couch Surfing Ori - Ori Bengal

Who writes their happy new year post on January 7th?  I do! I’m on Tico Time ? Yeah… things in Costa Rica are pretty relaxed.  But.. it’s my last day! I leave today at 1PM, and I wanted to start my new year of blogging from another country. This blog post is very important to me.

Last year I started of writing about that new year’s resolutions are bullshit. I still think that.  Most people don’t even last 1 week! I do have a few declarations to make to you and the universe, but before I get into those, let me tell you something I’m really proud about.

January 1st was the anniversary of my Couchsurfing journeys starting!  I started on New Year’s day on 2007, which means I am now in my 5th year of couchsurfing! That’s also the reason that I wanted to send my blog post from here in Costa Rica… because that’s been a goal of mine which I finally accomplished: to couchsurf in another country.  I’ve been here for 5 weeks now on seven different beds.

As a kid I wanted Read the rest of this entry »

Ideas On Retainer is coming!

adventure, announcements, business, design, events, Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, Tutorials 1 Comment »

The Ideas On Retainer logo - a lightbulb over glowing designy stuffI’ve conquered a lot of fears, and grown my comfort zone. I’ve studied thousands of hours on so many topics, and met with so many different people. I suppose you could call it my life’s work.

Now I am going to have to deal with the fears that I’ve let push me over to not committing. Check out Ideas On Retainer— coming January 1, 2011 after the hangover wears off.

I even like my new logo that I designed :)

Coconuts, Bats, and My Birthday Surprise – another Costa Rican Update.

adventure, travel, video No Comments »

A sign that shows Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica has a population of 7I have a beard going on.  I’m writing from a bean bag that’s overlooking the beach. We (Kathryn and I) are staying with Billy in Jaco. He built this tree house.  Funny thing is, we came here straight from staying in a real treehouse that was 90 feet above the ground in the Costa Rican jungle.  THAT was my birthday surprise that everyone’s been waiting to find out about.

Kathryn asked me a few months ago if Read the rest of this entry »

Costa Rica Birthday Surprise

adventure, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, Interviews, party, photography, travel, video 1 Comment »

Celebrating 34 with friend and Patron

The brakes don’t work!  We were gliding forward, and I was certain that this is it…. I was going to run over my 1st person ever! Why were they riding their bicycle right there?  It was a good 34 years of being free.

To start off, I don’t know what my birthday surprise is, so don’t let the title fool you. It’s the night before we leave Tamarindo, and I’m in a writy mood (apparently, Writy is not a word, but it’s how I feel– so… screw you red-underliny thing (underliny is also not a word)). I have a funny story, and a good life lesson. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday to me– in Costa Rica.

adventure, announcements, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, party, photography, slideshow, travel, video 14 Comments »

I got my wish.  I’m couchsurfing in another country.  I have the most amazing friends I could have imagined, and even though most aren’t here with me, I feel that I am totally loved.  So, now I’m 34 — here’s the latest from Costa Rica.

1st, since you’re curious as to how I’m celebrating, I am going to learn to surf waves, not just couches.  I would’ve done it sooner, but I injured my foot when jogging barefoot on the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

Arriving in Costa Rica

adventure, photography, travel, Uncategorized 2 Comments »
Looking out at Costa Rica through the plane window

Descending into Costa Rica

What is your destination city?

Ummmm… Guarante or something? Hmmm… If only I can get on the internet…. Do you have the Wi-Fi Key? Can I use your phone perhaps?

Apparently, you can’t zoom out a Google Maps map without being on the internet, and since it seems that people don’t have addresses in Costa Rica, Brendan just gave me a Gmaps link when I asked where to go.

Am I not going to get to enter the country now? Read the rest of this entry »

Oh Deer! It’s Hanukkah!

events, humor, music, video 3 Comments »
Happy Hanukkah

Oh Deer! It's Hanukkah!

Wow, it’s already Hanukkah, and December just started!  Usually we jews have to battle with the rest of Christmahanukwanzika for gift giving, and national media attention.  This year, it seems we practically have to compete with Turkeys instead.  While I generally am not crazy about holidays, Hanukkah is special to me, as I was born on Hanukkah, and thus named after it.  “Ori” means “My Light” (or “My Skin” / “My Leather” if you misspell it, with an Ay’in instead of an Alef– perfect for going to a fetish party?) in Hebrew.

No gifts this year, since I’m in Costa Rica.  No Jelly Donuts, no Potato Pancakes. But, I did get to speak to my parents with Skype, and I do have internet access, so I can find and share awesome songs like this with you!  So… Enjoy the holidays!

The Gangsta-Rap Hanukkah

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Thanksgiving and such

adventure, announcements, Get to know Ori, Information, rant, travel 2 Comments »

This is my last post from America this year.  This afternoon I take the Greyhound from Austin to Dallas, then I fly to Costa Rica (Got a nifty blog post about how that came up) at 5am. I’ve spent most of this month sleeping on a dog bed, although Bentley the St. Bernard didn’t always want to snuggle.

That dog bed is so comfortable. I started sleeping on it as a joke, because I was protesting the amount of time it took to inflate and deflate Craig’s air mattress, then I realized it’s really comfy, there’s nothing to set up or clean up, and Bentley makes a great pillow anyways.

I’m writing my “Thanksgiving and stuff” blog a few days after Thanksgiving, because I am grateful every day.  I’ve got a great family (regardless of how much we annoy each other after a few days.  You know what they say “Family and garbage.. they both start to stink after a few days.” :)  ), I’m traveling, I’ve met the most amazing people, I work on projects that engage me intellectually, I Read the rest of this entry »

Couch Surfing Ori stickers are here!

announcements, design, Marketing Lessons, product review 4 Comments » stickers in black

Nothing says you're cool like having one of these on your laptop

They have arrived! After four years of traveling and turning strangers into friends, my logo can now be had by you!  That’s right! Couch Surfing Ori stickers are here! 

I’m going Costa Rica

adventure, announcements, travel 7 Comments »

Costa Rican BeachThis is a short post.  I just wanted to write and announce it, so you can’t say you didn’t know.  I’m going to Costa Rica.  It has been one of my goals for a long time to start couch surfing outside the USA.  Heck, I’ve had many offers in the UK, Scottland, Amsterdam, Australia, Japan, and more places… I love change. I love new places, new people, and cool stories.

Caleb Jennings has told me about Awesomeness Fest after he told me about his trip to the Malaysian rainforests.  When I was photographing David Wolfe’s Longevity Conference, I was hanging out with Caleb and I also met Fatemeh, who works for Vishen, who is the organizer.

I wanted to go.  It sounded like “TED” but on the beach.  There’s some smart people going, and I love smart people.  I love learning, and bouncing ideas.  The tickets are costly, and would require flight, and the hotel is costly.  But just as I decided it was out of my range…. Serendipity comes into play.

Fatemeh pointed me out to Vishen as a kick-ass photographer.  I worked out a deal with them.  Hotels were still close to $200 a night, plus flight.  Well, Brendan has been inviting me to go to Costa Rica for a while.  He says he’s there because of me.  So, I figure if I go to the Awesomeness Fest, I might as well stay a bit longer. Read the rest of this entry »

A day that you will never forget – The Beatles on Itunes

business, Information, Marketing Lessons, music, opinion, product review, rant, Scam Warning 2 Comments »
Apple's itunes announcement on its homepage

Apple thinks you are a tool

Apple is the king of marketing and creating hype.  Their technology has changed the world.  Their style has made technology simple, and pretty.  And now, they think that we are all fools. Me personally, I am waiting for the youtube itunes video of the person who came up with this latest scheme getting executed by firing squad.

Yesterday had all the tech sites wondering what Apple will announce today, as their home page announced with poor grammar that “Tomorrow is just another day.  That you’ll never forget.”  I gotta admit, with all that they’ve done, I too was curious what their announcement will  be.  What will they have people lining up around the block for this time?

Apparently, all the hype was to announce that the Beatles are now on iTunes.  Seriously?  That’s it?  That is worth shutting down the Apple home page for?

For those who were not aware of it Read the rest of this entry »

Pretzel Crisps – Incredible use of social media.

business, Information, Marketing Lessons, product review, video 4 Comments »
Ori Bengal holding up the Pretzel Crisps gift bag.

Check out my Pretzel Crisps Gift Bag

Many people see a marketing technique, and use it in a spammy way. I bash my clients when they use spammy methods, and I help them come up with more engaging methods. Here is some wonderful use of Social Media by Pretzel Crisps.  Just watch the video, it explains it all:

Prom again.

adventure, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, party 2 Comments »

Ori and Itay back in the day when Ori went to PromSo people who suffer PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) often get cured by reliving a traumatic experience again and again, in a controlled environment.  Well, I didn’t survive (or not surprise) a landmine blowing up my Humvee…. but I did go to Prom in high school.

Yeah… it was pretty sad.  I didn’t give a crap about the people in my school.  I didn’t get along with them all that well. It’s not that we didn’t get along, it’s that I didn’t know  who I was back then.  I guess you could say I’ve come out of my shell since then.  I was working at the movie theatre, and this girl Sharon came in.  She was kind of hot.  She had huge boobs.  Back then, that was probably good enough reason to take someone to prom.

To the left is my awesome tuxedo picture.  Yup.  I feel like I should be a waiter or something.  May I grind some cheese for you for your salad?

So, I did not hook up with Sharon. Nowhere near.  I had fun drinking with the group.  Riding in a limo was cool’ish.

So today I’m flying out of Austin, to go to Social Media Prom.  That’s right! Me and the rest of the computer nerd misfits who never felt they fit in (which apparently, is most people) are now enjoying and connecting on social media, but the real world is way more fun.  So, what is Social Media Prom?

Well… who cares?  It’s another excuse to hang out with friends and celebrate!  These days I’m not shy and quiet.  These days, I’m rowdy, and way more confident.  I’ll dance.  I’ll sing.  I’ll tell jokes the whole evening.  So– I WAS going to show up in a Kilt, with a Tux Jacket, and this shirt.

Graphic EQ Shirt

My prom shirt.

Yeah. Tuxedo-Tshirts are tacky, so I have to be innovative.  The only thing is that there was a problem with the kilt place, so… now I may just wear a regular tuxedo with this tshirt.

Look… I may play poker with bulls, and train with cage fighters, but I’m just a big nerd!  I’ve been building PCs since 6th grade.  I was hacking video games at 7th grade.  I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.  I was using dating sites before they were considered safe.

So…. yeah… this seems awesome, and even cooler, it’s presented by Funny Or Die.  I love Funny Or Die!  If you haven’t heard of them, just watch this clip that launched them:

Social media has allowed me to connect with some of the people from Funny Or Die in person at various other events.  Amber Osbourne introduced me to Patrick Starzan at a nightclub in Vegas, “You have to meet this guy!  You’re twins!” (not identical… just non-stop corny jokes).

I actually had 3 girls fighting over me!  This is way better than high school prom!  And we can legally buy the booze this time, and the kids that are the cool kids are the people who embrace life, and have a lot of personality… not the people who have a fancy jacket. My official date is Brandie. , my business manager.  She’s become invaluable, and I wouldn’t want to go with anyone else.  I have so many ideas, and if it weren’t for Brandie, many of them would not get executed.  I can’t tell you which dress she’s wearing… but here they are:

I’m voting for the 1st one.

Anyways- the point is that I am always looking for unique and memorable experiences, preferably with great people that I can share them with.  I can’t think of much that will be better than this.  I predict a lot of fun, and I challenge you to go find some cool fun event that makes you feel silly.  Go to some vintage shop, find some crazy costume or outfit, and own it!  Post the pictures everywhere!  Heck!  Post a picture of your prom pics!  Leave a comment!  My prom picture rocks!  I was a younger, dorkier me, and my little brother Itay was all adorable and puffy and tiny.

These days he is 6’2, 240LBS of solid muscle, and he hates that darn picture :)