Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My dad wants you to watch this:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Amazing and short animation: International Space Station being built. http://ping.fm/gIZQN

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rediscovering the joys of soldering, made cheap clunky solar charger, works on cloudy days. Thanks Dad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

StumbleUpon | Discover Your Web.




Power Making Pavements, believe it.

Home :: Pavegen Systems ::


- Aaron

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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Home Energy Bible: Residential Energy by Krigger and Dorsi. It can save the planet, folks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yes, it's 3:27am. Yes, I'm on FB/Twitter. Yes, I'm reading solar / energy efficiency news articles. What's it to ya?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In 5 years or less, neighborhoods will have the option of generating all their own power. Integrated Design will enable this.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

RE/EE Integrated Design + Spiritual Core = Peace Profit. Ask me how!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Confession: I'm a total lefty who has always wanted to be in the Army. Heroism? Bloodlust? Marketing? Why?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Reggie Watts just broke my music neck. Also, I did a 5 second energy audit of Le Pichet. Are these related?
"Freedom of choice is what you've got, Freedom FROM choice is what you want" -Mothersbaugh

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Does anyone own a steadicam I can rent/borrow?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

continuing to offer cost-effective energy efficiency consulting services, audits, and support. Free 30 min consultations. Questions?

Monday, October 26, 2009

I play co-ed over-30 soccer on Monday nights. I freaking love it. Except the injuries.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

If you parent, you must iPhone. Sitting in the car I read my mail, did an hour of work, updated FB, while Piper slept for 2hrs.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who is planning on buying an electric car when they "get it right"? What would it have, and at what optimal cost?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life or Death: US Healthcare Reform. http://ping.fm/JPKJA
Goal Setting KILLS: http://ping.fm/atC0w

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Turns out my daughter Piper's energy is also infinitely renewable !!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here at REFF West, San Fran. Turns out, we were right about community solar / energy efficiency!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

FB/Twit posts fascinate me. What am I doing or thinking right now? Why read this or post that? To combat loss/lonliness with Connection.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Truth: I love Lucky Charms, but I don't want to buy them and share with Piper. Cruel?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Anyone recently buy an efficient chest freezer? Suggestions?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Artists: I need some help putting my microprint portfolio together. Trade for a 2hr energy audit.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Officially exploring secondary career path. Suggestions welcome, preferably in the energy/conservation field.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

just read the ADD quiz in "Delivered from Distraction". Score? 120/128. I WIN! Wanna ride bikes??

Saturday, September 5, 2009

StumbleUpon: targeted yet random net zeitgeist...I Stumbled "bug-out bag" then "utopia/dystopia" and then "When technology Fails". Weird.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

another reason to love both Bobby McFerrin and the pentatonic scale:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm beyond the triple bottom line: planet and people MAKE the profits possible.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm a traffic unclogger, check it:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Debating waiting for the infamous Apple Tablet instead of going Macbook...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Classic: "row3 your boat" = Piper asleep. Aquarium @ 12:00 instead.
Join Piper and ABC at the Seattle aquarium today! 11:00-1:00pm.

Monday, August 24, 2009

refining my credo: Prosperity and Peace through Community Energy Independence.
Peace, prosperity and progress

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Piper slept the WHOLE ride back from Anacortes. Apologizing for 2 sleepless nights?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My dream is helping others pursue their dreams

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Recalling my first big hike in N Cascades. Lucky to be here, fo shizzle
check that: Pineapple Pass via Alpental parking lot. Rock.
Hiking snow lake, razzamatazzberry!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Progress through energy independence.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Taking my technofreedom 4 granted.

Monday, May 4, 2009

More Campbell Energy Media Exposure

Just a note, I'll be on web radio again tomorrow May 5th and 9am, PST:

I'll be talking with Mike Broili on Terry Phelan's "Living Shelter Cafe" radio show. Tune in to hear it, send me an email if you'd like me to answer a question online that's pertinent to energy auditing or water auditing.

If you think you've got a web-radio-worthy idea or interviewee, let me know as well!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Self-Actualized Home

Can you think about the water runoff of a home and ignore the foundation? Can you think about the foundation and ignore the ground? Can you think about the ground and ignore the plants? Can you think about the plants and ignore the people? Can you think about the people and ignore how they interact with each other; their dwellings and environment? What kind of thinking integrates these questions and their components? I think the anwer is self-actualized thinking. Self-actualized thinking is done by self-actualized people.

I've just read a pretty succinct article on BrainMeta that outlines the characteristics of a few so-called "self actualized" people.

In it, the German word "gemeinschaftsgefuhl" meaning "community feeling" or "social interest", was described as one of the traits self-actualized people had. I got to this page via StumbleUpon while winding down after a very intense walk/talk around Greenlake with a couple of wise men in the building/environment/design field.

Non-coincidentally since this was likely building for a while, the conversation I had with Mike Broili and Wayne Apostolik was centered around the burgeoning field of holistic dwellings, high-performance homes, and residential energy/resource conservation. (Wayne runs a firm called NorthWest HomeCrafters Inc, and Mike Broili runs a firm called Living Systems Design).

What we discovered (likely again) was the truth about how the building trades (most all of them) need to truly integrate their services for both new and retrofit/remodel homes. In particular, we agreed that there is really no way to do this right without doing it entirely, thoroughly, holistically. From the site, to the design, to the materials, to the methodologies, to the workmanship, to the vegetation, to the integration of the people in their homes and beyond.

For new homes, the USGBC's highest LEED standards are getting very good at this holistic integration approach, but the retrofit/remodel world is not yet on board. Perhaps it's because there is no single (or even usable multiple) methodology or terminology for bringing tradespeople into this systems-based model.

I posit the possibility that the direction is towards an ideal that works in the the social sciences and psychological world: that of "self-actualization".

If human dwellings and human beings are to improve, we need some serious goals to strive towards. "The self-actualized home" is where the self-actualized human should live. Some do so already, but this idea must be brought to the population as a whole, and not be limited to people who have spare time or spare money to pursue this seemingly lofty endeavor for themselves, their families, and their community.

Self-actualization is not self-ishness. In fact, quite the contrary, it's about the capacity to move beyond one's self and into the work of sharing our gifts with others in a healthy and progressive fashion. Full integration is what we're looking for, and it must consider the outside and the inside in a holistic (sorry to bludgeon you with the term) way. All the outsides and all the insides.

That's what's meant by the social term "gemeinschaftsgefuhl", and if we could add the environmental bridge between humans/communities and their dwelling spaces (outside and inside kinds of dwelling spaces), we'd have a really solid target to hit in the field of residential energy conservation.

At Campbell Energy, we are in the process of shooting at that goal, the full integration and self-actualization of people and their dwelling spaces. While doing so myself, I am promoting the idea itself and pushing this mountain of humanity in that direction. If we are to survive as a species, this is the way it must be done.

What do these self-actualized dwellings look like? They consider the entire ecosystem all at once, and integrate themselves with it and their inhabitants. The dwelling space is the conduit between the animals we are and the land we live on. This three-way integration is not new at all, look at a cave and you'll see the ancient evidence of it.

I'm actually hoping not to define the self-actualized dwelling myself, but to offer the idea up to my readers and get their feedback on it. If you feel compelled to describe the characteristics of a self-actualized dwelling, please leave a comment.

Deep Green Love,


Monday, March 30, 2009

Green Festival thoughts

Lots of folks show up again at Seattle's Green Festival, despite a seemingly "down" economy. Could it be that sustainability helps business keep an even keel despite fluctuations in the stock market? Methinks so.

Regarding "getting customers" at trade shows: I don't subscribe to the idea. It's too stressful to think in those terms for me. I like "make relationships". This opens it all up, and lets you think about every single person you see as a relationship, from the folks that clean the floors of "soy-product" when we've all packed up, to the people who sign up for our services.

Just connect to people and have fun. Let that be the purpose of the trade show and do the business-y stuff another day. ( That is, unless, you really do get lots of real work from the shows due to your particular revenue model. For the business-to-business folks who specifically cater to the trade show folks, it's all nitty gritty business all day, and the "relationship building + fun" stuff might not be your best bet. Try it toward the end of the day after you've done all the heavy lifting...)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Deep Green Public Speaking

As Campbell Energy evolves, we have been asked to speak on a number of occasions to a wide variety of audiences. After a few gigs, it became clear that this was something we are good and happen to love. I am personally very comfortable speaking in front of small or large audiences, and it really is the best way to communicate with as many people as possible. I like the web, don't get me wrong, but public speaking jazzes both the speaker and the audience in a way that is hard to quantify. We have been doing gigs for free for the most part, but when we add the in-depth Q&A the value of the engagement intensifies and becomes much more value-added. Interestingly, I like doing the Q&A so much that I would be very excited to do a 15 minute talk with 45 minutes of discussion afterward. It lets the group and each individual member really get something directly applicable to them, without the speaker being able to push some sort of agenda. I have priced my deep green public speaking at $500 for smaller audiences, and up to $1500 for larger audiences, but the Q&A component size really makes these opportunities invaluable to groups who take full advantage to ask questions that drill down deeply and personally. We'll see where this takes us, but I suspect we'll be adding more venues and different formats to this offering in the future, with anticipation of growing and evolving alongside the discussions. For Questions, email aaron at campbell dash energy dot com.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

collaboration over competition

Something that has been happening recently that's really indicative of the wave of New Change sweeping through: people are confused about whether they should work together or put up walls and work alone. On many different levels this is happening. What I am discovering is something I had always imagined was true:

Collaboration wins out over competition.

This is the case between people, families, tribes, cities, counties, regions, nations, and hemispheres. It's not just touchy-feely (though it's that as well...), it's a competitive edge. Yes, I just almost contradicted myself with the word "competitive". What I'm saying here is that although there are somewhat limited resources that in the end are being somewhat competed for (clients, energy, money), the way to "win" those resources is to collectively gather and distribute them. There is more room than you think, and more resources that can be gathered/saved if we collectivize in a targeted way.

This is not just an Obama thing, but his presidency certainly tips toward the collaboration end of the spectrum. This is a survival thing. We are not going to make it out unless we gather up, in all kinds of ways.

We are in the middle of a very strong but very slow hurricane, and we need more people to put sand in bags and fewer people looting.

This is not a "sky-is-falling" plan, this is a "we're in this together" plan.

In my business here in Seattle, there are lots of newly-minted energy auditors and consultants. I entered this field late by my own admission, but I entered it based on collaboration from the outset. I saw lots of people trying to make a living on their own in this new field of residential and commercial energy auditing, and they were struggling. They still struggle. They ask me "how do you get new clients?", and I tell them that I have to do three distinctly different things at once: collaboration, education and sales.

When I sold cars, I didn't need to do as much education; people knew they needed/wanted a car. What they didn't know was which one. They need to be collaborated with, listened to, and finally helped into buying their car.

In the conservation world, they aren't really sure they need an energy audit, or aren't even sure what one is. My own close friends and family are dragging their heels on getting an audit from me, not because they don't trust me, but because they don't know what's at stake. It's harder to collaborate when you have to educate so much, then they think they have to let it sink in over time before they get an audit. I am managing to make a modest living because I can connect with people no matter where they are. This is essential if they don't already "get it" right off the bat.

When the price of fuel rises again (and it most assuredly will), there will be yet another spike of desire for energy savings, electric cars, and energy efficient appliances. When the price of fuel dips a bit, people will slack off again on the idea. People need to realize once and for all that energy efficiency and conservation works no matter what the price of fuel/power/energy/resource is. The very life we live is at stake, and we need to act. The trick is now that we have such massively connected hubs of people, we need to act collectively.

This doesn't mean I think we should abolish the market. I just think it's a market advantage to work together. At least at the baseline. We all have particular skills and intelligence in particular fields and that will continue to be valued, but the constant clamoring to be the best at the expense of the rest is a horrible waste of energy.

That's the bottom line: it's patently inefficient to spend so much energy on competing when we need to collectively act in so many arenas. Those that grok that point are going to succeed in this new economy/world. Those that don't will likely find their success fleeting and constantly at risk...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Training Energy Auditors, Doing Energy Audits

Community connections occurring left and right for us now. Phinney Home Remodel Fair was a success, thanks in no small part to HomePerformanceWashington.org. We spent the day talking with people, connecting, and learning. One thing I learned is that I have been getting more requests for information about becoming an energy auditor than for information about getting an energy audit. This is exciting for Campbell Energy, since we are positioning ourselves to provide this valuable training, but it's also strange.

Why strange? Because I can almost guarantee that the people who have been looking to become an auditor have not themselves done all they can in their own dwellings and lives to reduce their energy and resource losses.

So here's the big advice:

If you want to become an energy consultant, you must first and foremost become the master of your own energy profile and carbon footprint. You must walk before you talk.

That's a cardinal rule. And while I'm doling out the unsolicited advice, anyone else in the "sustainability" world should also do the same. It's why I spend a chunk of time during my seminars and workshops preaching directly to the choir. They need it, because they are the first line of energy defense and they are getting caught reloading their muskets. Who are we to tell people to change their incandescents to CFLs if we ourselves didn't do all we could to reduce air leakage and wattage waste in our own homes?

For new energy auditors and energy consultants, the proof is in the carbon pudding...

Monday, February 9, 2009


Today was a great turning point. We've been at this place before in the past, and not been able to see our way around it. We've had to confront the fact that money and values are not easily sitting together at the lunch table.

But today we realized that instead of choosing a side, we have to creatively figure out how they CAN sit together. Because just because they haven't been together in the past, doesn't mean they can't be together now. We just have to see it from another angle.

In talking about the "green economy" I fear that society is simply replacing blue with green, that we're simply taking the folks who made cars and thrusting them into solar panel factories, with no other change. But that's not the green economy to me. At least, it's not the sustainable green economy. The green economy I am working toward is one that diversifies our skills, capitalizes on both our innovation and our education, and supports us in putting our values before our wallets.

This is a whole new ballgame. Our friends and family are not just downsizing, they are reevaluating what matters MOST to them and focusing on that. They aren't just selling their expensive cars, but looking to see if they need a car at all, or even just thinking about sharing a car with others. They aren't just sending more forwarded emails to relatives, but getting together in person and taking care of each other. They are looking at what they eat, what they breathe, what they wear, and what they say and MAKING SURE that it is who they are, IN THEIR INTEGRITY. This is not just a lovely trend, it's a paradigm shift that will only benefit each individual who makes these fundamental personal changes and also every person that touches them.

There is a sharp curve to bringing this about. Doubt exists, as it always has. Fear exists, as it always has. But hope exists, perseverance exists, and success exists as THEY always have. We are now aware of the choices we can make and we are finally making them.

This day is different because we see who we are and where we can go (and have been going). We see that the light of the world is not far off, it is right above us.

THIS is Campbell Energy!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Vision is a broad stroke, taking into consideration the ideal. What does Campbell Energy want? What are we REALLY going for? What gets us up in the morning, or better yet, what can we magically find energy for when we think we're tapped?

Energy is a great word because it's not just about electrons, but also about LIFE FORCE. Where is Campbell Energy's life force? What is the source of our life force?

As we open up to the education aspect of our business, what are we focusing on? What gives US energy?