The Obamacare Decision

Picture 32

Breaking news (if there is such a thing): The individual mandate in Obamacare stands.

Maybe you’re seething; maybe you’re jumping up and down.

I have no idea what this means for the future of healthcare and I don’t think experts for or against know either.

But here’s what I do know…

We pay $350/month for our health insurance and have an $11,000 deductible.  We don’t have health insurance; we have bankruptcy insurance.

Our premium jumped $30 since last year, despite another year of not even coming close to reaching our deductible.

Last year we paid cash for the birth or our son since we didn’t have maternity coverage. We shopped hospitals first. “Hey, we’re having a kid. What kind of deal can…

Read More >

Gay men can't donate blood but former sex tourists can

Questions on blood donor questionnaire:

Have you had sexual contact with someone who has HIV /AIDS or has tested positive for HIV/AIDS?

Have you had sexual contact with a prostitute or someone else who takes money or drugs or other payment for sex?

From 1977 to the present have you received money, drugs, or other payment for sex?

(Males Donors) Have you had sex with another male (even just once)?

Yesterday the local blood center was giving away 2 pints of Baskin Robbins ice cream for 1 pint of blood. Since the average human has 10 pints of blood, that means that I would have to donate 5 times before my body would be coursing with 100% cookies ‘n’ cream.

We all have our dreams.

They didn’t want my blood. But not for any…

Read More >

Announcing The Facing Project

(UPDATED: 4/16/13)

The mission of The Facing Project is to help communities tell their own stories.

If you believe in the power of stories, please like The Facing Project fan page.

I believe that each of us needs to put that thing we’re best at, that drives us, that makes us feel alive, that fuels our passions, to the use for our local and global communities. For me this is taking complex issues like sweatshops, the global food system, and poverty and telling the stories of individual people. Suddenly all the stats and bootstraps that we argued about disappear and we are left with the story of an individual who faces the challenges of that…

Read More >

Guest Post: Make the road your home for pennies on the mile

I visit students around the country encouraging them to travel. Many of them ask about the cost, after all they say, “We are just poor students.” They think travel is a cruel joke — when you are young and have the knees and time to see the world you don’t have the money, and when you are older you have the money and not the knees for it. I tell them the world is cheaper than they think it is.

I will always welcome others encouraging students to see the world. That’s why I’m happy to introduce you to Everett Pompeii, a student who is traveling the world on less than $8/day. He’s writing a book telling how, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to: Earth. He launched…

Read More >

Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi


Since I’m working on a book about the global food economy, my mind is so full of food books it has indigestion.

I’m on a tight deadline so I really needed an excuse to read something else. The release of John Scalzi’s new book Redshirts was that excuse for two reasons: 1) John is a friend (and my favorite blogger) who lives near my childhood home in Ohio. 2) His books are always action packed and hilarious.

Redshirts was like Gas-Ex to my farting brain. (That’s a compliment.)

If you’ve ever watched Star Trek you know that a dude wearing a red shirt is going to die on every away team. But as John points out, if…

Read More >
1 comment

What if you didn’t speak English?

If I didn’t speak English, I couldn’t show up in nearly any village in the world and find someone to act as my translator.

Given that, I wouldn’t have met any of the people who made my clothes, or the people who grow our food, and I wouldn’t have a career telling stories. I wouldn’t receive invitations to speak in Peru. If I only spoke Spanish or Mandarin or any other language, who knows what I would be doing?

I wouldn’t be able to go to almost any website and have the option to view it’s contents in my language.

I would struggle to find my way around most airports.

I wouldn’t be able to have the vast reading choices that I have. Each year more than 550,000 new books are published…

Read More >

Dear ExPat Dude, Thanks for Leaving

You can’t miss the Dude’s wife. She’s got it and by it I mean a combination of plastic and animal tested beauty products filling out and shining up her slender yet curvy frame. She’s a model 20 years his junior.

I shared a plane with the dude. We shared an airport shuttle. We share a homeland, but that’s about it.

On the bus he told me that he was in finance and chose to leave. He said something like, “Things were going to shit in the United States. Money is fleeing. If you knew what I know you would leave too.”

I complimented Colombia, the country I had spent the past two week in and the woman’s homeland. The people were lovely and so was the…

Read More >

Make Random Happen

View from my hotel in Lima, Peru.

I wrote this post last week in Lima, Peru.

His name was Didier. He spoke a little English and I spoke a little Spanish. We met briefly at EARTH university in Costa Rica where I was working as a banana worker. He asked what I was doing in Costa Rica and I told him about my Where Am I Eating project, including my upcoming trip to Colombia to research coffee.

“My family lives in Nariño a region famous for coffee.” He said.

We talked for 15 minutes, maybe.

Two months later I was strolling down the streets of his hometown, El Tablon de Gomez, beside his father Ladardo and his…

Read More >