Seattle, Washington Frequently Asked Q’s

The merry-go-round keeps a-spinning.

Here’s my site traffic over the last 12 months:


And I’m told a lot of it isn’t going through my site anymore. So that’s nice.

The posts on metafilter and seemed to draw most of the crowd. I was warned there’d be a lot of "asshats" making obnoxious comments on their message boards. I braced myself, but the asshat ratio has been surprisingly low.

I emailed my web host to apologize for the sudden surge and let them know I haven’t started a warez site or anything. They didn’t seem fussed about it. I highly recommend them, by the way. $10 a month and absolutely no extra fees if you suddenly start pumping out 60 Gigs a day.

I’ve had a couple media requests — interviews and whatnot, which I’m certainly not above participating in.

Far and away the #1 question I get asked about is what song is used in the video. It’s called Sweet Lullaby and it’s by a couple French DJs who call themselves Deep Forest. The main vocals, I’ve read, are sung by a young girl in the Soloman Islands. Some central African Pygmy chants are mixed in along with a bit of cheeseball Euro techno from the early 90s.

I have to apologize to the musicians for not including them in the credits. I fixed that yesterday, but my rinky-dink video editing program is giving me trouble, so I haven’t been able to put it up yet.

In looking into the song and its origins, I made a depressing discovery: a music video was made for the song about 10 years ago and the concept is very similar to what I did. It shows a 4-year-old girl riding her tricycle through Kenya, Russia, India, and a bunch of other places. Worse yet, I now realize I saw the video when it was repurposed as the station identification promo for a channel called SBS: Australia’s equivalent to PBS.

The idea for the dancing video came from my friend, Brad, so I can’t claim credit for that anyway. But clearly the notion of putting Sweet Lullaby over it was planted by watching that very similar promo.

So there you have it. I’m a derivative hack.

The other question I get asked is, of course, how did I afford all the travel. Am I a trust fund baby? IPO jackass? International jewel thief?

The simple answer is that I invented the Ab Roller. But while simple, it is sadly untrue.

I saved up a fair amount while living in Australia due to a favorable exchange rate and some tax weirdness that turned out in my favor. It wasn’t a fortune by any means, and I should stress that if you avoid Europe, the US, and a few other places, you’re really not spending all that much once you get where you’re going.

I couldn’t even guess at how much I spent wandering around over the last two years, and I certainly wouldn’t want to. But it’s not something that bothers me. If you regret the money you spend on travel, then you’re doing it wrong.

Some people want to know where I’m planning to go next. It won’t be for a while, as I have no money coming in right now, but when I do get things sorted out I’d like to take an extended trip to South America — one of the two continents I haven’t yet visited and by far the more manageable journey. I’m terrified of spiders, so I’m staying out of the Amazon and anywhere else where large furry arachnids tend to hang out. Patagonia seems beautiful and fairly spider-free, so it may be the focus of the trip.

I’d really like to go to Bhutan. The places I pine for most are generally the ones I know least about, and pretty much all I know about Bhutan is how to spell it and where to find it on a map. It seems like a mysterious place, so it’s near the top of my list.

As landforms go, you can’t beat islands. Islands are a great thing. I’ve never met one I didn’t like. My favorites are often the ones where you go "Who knew there was a freaking island there? How can that be?!" I have that reaction to the Azores and I’d like to find out what the hell the deal is with that place. I’d like to go to the Isle of Man, mostly because of the name. There are a lot of Monkey Islands around Asia and I’d like to visit all of them. Speaking of which, there’s a place called Skull Island a few thousand miles southwest of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. It’s surrounded by a rock atoll that hides it from passing ships and would have acted as a breakwater for the tsunami, so it should still be in good shape. I would like to go there and search for dinosaurs and oversized deified primates.

If anyone is interested in funding such an expedition, you know how to reach me.