What's in a name?


Proof I’m probably not (yet) adult enough to have children:

I’m wandering the aisles of the red dot and circle shop and just discovered “butt paste”.

“Butt paste” Hahahahaha! I literally laughed out loud.


I’m pretty sure it’s posts like this that’ll get me banned from speaking at TED.

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And then this happened….


Introducing Plucky

I met my first travel mascot — Plucky — in a Toys R Us in North Carolina on August 25, 2010.

A rooster seemed like an odd choice in travel companion, but after what was turning into an extensive search, something about Plucky (he didn’t have a name then), seemed right.

I saw potential. He had life — although it isn’t evident in this first photo I shared with my followers.


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Plucky started showing a bit more personality once I got him out of the store. I had no experience with travel mascots, so really had no idea what I was doing.

I chose the name “Plucky” simply because it seemed like a suitable name for a rooster. I had absolutely no idea what it meant:

“Having or showing determined courage in the face of difficulties.”

Which is a remarkable coincidence, because this is exactly how I was living my life at the time. One difficulty after another, but trying to keep it together, because I was sharing everything on the Internet. I put on a brave face.

Unlike Moolander (mascot #3), Plucky seemed a bit shy at first. As evidenced in this photo.

He mostly stuck to his own thing in the beginning. The quiet observer. But you could sense a sweetness about him from the start.


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Although we visited a few places together, what Plucky mostly did in those early days was watch me drive…

I drove a lot back then.

(We were stopped in traffic on the Outer Banks in the photo below).


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And then one day Plucky broke out of his shell by not only attending a pirate cruise in Baltimore, but doing it in full pirate garb.

It sounds silly until you realize it was a hit with not only the ladies, but pirates, too.

And there was rum. And dancing. And pirate songs. And the limbo. And skinned knees.

Good times were had by all.

Plucky wasn’t quite as shy after that. But I always felt like he needed a fellow friend. Someone with a stronger personality. And so, as I traveled, I kept my eyes open for a second travel mascot. Months passed.


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Introducing Moolander

I first met Moolander on April 15, 2011 — but he didn’t have a name then — while I was still in travel mode around the country.

I was in Tucson, Arizona at the time and came across this face while browsing an adventure store.

As I was already the adopted dad of 2 other travel mascots (a rooster (named Plucky) and an eagle (named Stabby Joe), I had no real desire — or need — for a third.

Still, this crazy cow had so much personality, I couldn’t resist taking a picture and sharing it with the folks who were following me.

This picture.

And that’s how I ended up with a third travel mascot.

*Other mascot introductions pending.


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As you might expect, Moolander displayed his eccentricities almost immediately.

Including his love for sticking his head out the car window.

But not for the fresh breeze.

To catch bugs.

That’s Moolander for you.


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One of Moolander’s first adventures included a trip to the Tucson Wildlife Museum where he immediately displayed a knack for comedically timed photo bombs.

“Oh look, a Bighorn Sheep!”


It’s Moolander.


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And here we are at the beautiful Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs where —

Moolander! Move.your.face!

And this is one of the reasons why he’s so…



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Not so vanilla

So. I switched to decaf coffee at this cafe a while back and I haven’t really been enjoying the flavor all that much (I like my hazelnut or vanilla coffees).

And last night I was at Trader Joe’s and wondered what would happen if I put vanilla in my coffee. So I bought some vanilla extract.

And today I performed the experiment…

I put some in my first cup of coffee and it was ok, but not strong enough. So I went to put more in my second cup, but accidentally dumped a bit more than I intended.

But it actually tastes ok.

But then I’m sitting here thinking I’m feeling a bit buzzed. Like legitimately buzzed. But that’s ridiculous.

Turns out, vanilla extract is 35{82b2ded5ae086bbe31c001f0374079c9503b180ae813ec027549eb44365a9474} ALCOHOL! O_O

(I’m sure some people know this. And I may have known this at one time, but until today, it wasn’t relevant).

So yeah, I basically had a shot in my coffee (I rarely drink).

Good times.

No really. Good times.

Incidentally, it also turns out vanilla is good for increasing your mental performance

So just as soon as my buzz wears off, I’m going to be a freakin’ genius!


*By the way: “Although vanilla extract is made up of at least 35{82b2ded5ae086bbe31c001f0374079c9503b180ae813ec027549eb44365a9474} alcohol by volume, the “bourbon” in “Bourbon Vanilla” is not the name of the alcohol used to make it. Bourbon vanilla is the name for all vanilla grown in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean, including Comoros and Réunion.”

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