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Free from external validation 
Greetings from my shed...
17 days later.
A little plumper, a head full of stories and so very tired.
As ever it all feels a little like it all happened a long time ago. I wrote up the first day of my Californian Motorbike trip here
…and the second part here.
There are more Hells Nerds specific posts to drop into the feed when I can make the time, so this is a little intermission to ask “how are you?” And tell you I’m back home in Blighty.
In total we rode about 1300 miles through some incredible landscape. After my two riding companions left me in LA, I had a noisy, sleepless night under the LAX flightpath before I flew east and holed up in the Red Roof + on the south side of Austin, Texas.
I really got to know this place and the staff, there was very little else within walking distance. I had a comfy stay with Monica and Angie on the front desk showing me what decent friendly customer service looked like.
I had breakfast, lunch and dinner in The Hideaway a 5 minute walk away.
Also friendly staff (especially AJ), live music and decent food. While I was there a guy spending $20 on drink tipped $1000. The going rate is to tip 20% of what you are spending, not 5000%. The staff were in such a good mood they bought me a beer.
But I wasn’t to be hanging out on the outskirts of Austin for my entire stay and thanks to lift from an old friend Jeremy Tanner aka @Penguin I relocated to be more central.
We also had fantastic ramen but I might save that for a food only post.
I booked into the Arrive Hotel and got off to a shaky start. On checking in I was asked to pay for ‘incidentals’ and they would hold the money till I check out. Apart from that with a UK card it would be for 30 days! I refused to pay four hundred dollars as a ‘just incase I drank the minibar and didn’t pay’ and told them I’d just go buy the same things for a fraction of the price at the local supermarket. (It was $4 for a coke and you can imagine what the booze cost.) Thankfully my client who may or may not have thought this kind of distrust from posh hotels is normal, stumped up the cash and I was allowed in the room.
I then drank the entire contents of the minibar and carefully replaced the bottles after refilling them with either cold tea or water.
OK, I didn’t do that, but I could have. I felt like I should have.
After the hotel had realised I wasn’t some chancer passing through and was actually part of a large and very lucrative corporate booking, I got treated a little differently and even managed to get a few laughs out of them.
Even with the weird lack of trust it was a great room with quiet nights and an overall decent stay. I spent a fair few hours at my desk preparing for the job I was in town to do.
I’ve signed an NDA but can say I was assisting a large US corporation in a multi day workshop focused on connecting dots, bridging silos and cultural transformation.
Lovely venue, an amazing team and although exhaustingly long days, very rewarding.
I was to fly out via LA as it was all I could get at the time but unfortunately there was a delay and I would not make the connection so instead I came back direct from Austin to London with BA. Not flown with BA for a long while and it was a very pleasant experience.
I watched The Last Bus on the way to the US. A tip from @GreenApe. He said he’d sobbed all the way through it. I did the same.
And on the way back I watched Adieu Les Cons (Bye Bye Morons). Really enjoyed this as well. Watch it. I didn’t link the trailer here as it pretty much gives you the story on a plate. I think I got so much out of it as I watched it without knowing anything in advance.
I really have to respect both the cyclist and the drone pilot team in this video…
Sharing time and space with some really smart people last week had me questioning and double guessing all the processes and semantics that were at play.
Quite often, learning content was being honed and adjusted all the way up to the moment of delivery.
I’d ask myself… Is this the best way to steer this particular learning experience? In this instance, does abstract rhetoric do a better job than complex specificity?
There really is something about being in the same physical space when it comes shared learning experiences. There are so many subtleties in body language and tone, let alone diction.
Language just isn’t enough.
And when it comes to navigating cultural transformation… Well, what does that actually mean?
Edward Snowden owns up to being one of the people behind ZCash.
Thanks for adding yourself to the Documentally community map.
Best keep your kids off TikTok. Or at least check their settings.
My friend Gia would like to help you see that ‘Our Digital Selves work for trivial digital-only rewards that have no real world benefits.’
A great read. Especially if like me, you wouldn’t mind disappearing into the woods to live in a cabin and chop wood. Still with an internet connection and a well curated selection of redemptive technologies. Not all the shiny distracting things. It might be you keep your devices in a hand made wooden box and sometimes, when you want to appreciate modern technology on your terms, you open the box and remind yourself what joy these convivial tools can bring.
I shall leave it there as I have a bunch of stuff to catch up on and so much I could bung into this feed over the next few weeks. I might go for some smaller supporter only posts, so if you would like to see everything I post please consider supporting this publication. It costs HALF the price of one fancy US coffee a month (boy America got expensive in my absence).
This week I’m honoured to assist the BBC in celebrating their centenary by running a BBC affiliated radio station from my back garden.
When not on air I shall be catching up with family, doing paperwork and reconnecting with friends.
“Don't Gain The World & Lose Your Soul, Wisdom Is Better Than Silver Or Gold.”
~ Bob Marley
Connect the dots.
See you out there.